Heading out to spend some time camping in the great outdoors? Be sure to follow these safety tips!

Extinguish the Fire

Campfires are a large cause of wildfires that can destroy vegetation and kill or injure wildlife. In addition to destruction of land, campfires can cause severe burns to skin, and should be properly lit in designated and prepared areas. A fire should also never be left unattended, as children and pets could accidentally trip and fall into the fire, which could lead to severe burns.

Always properly extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the site

Follow Water Safety

If you are camping in an area with water access, be sure weaker swimmers or small children wear a lifejacket. Avoid swimming in areas where people are fishing, and obey any signage posted prohibiting swimming.

Bring Adequate Supplies

Check that all camping gear, like tents, ropes, bungee cords, and tarps are in good condition. Pack plenty of food and water if you plan on being outside for an extended time. It’s better to be prepared with a little extra in case of an emergency. And don’t forget to gas up your vehicle before you leave!

Store Food Properly

Bring along any food storage containers require to safety store food while camping. Because of the risk of attracting wildlife, like bears, some campsites have certain requirements for storing food. This means keeping food in approved containers, and stored in coolers, bear-safe containers, or a box that locks.

Tell a Friend

Be sure to let someone know where you are going, as well as when you plan to be back. If your plans change, or you decide to stay longer, be sure to let that person know there has been a change. This can be crucial in the case of an emergency, especially if venturing out into the woods or uninhabited areas where you can become lost.

Stay Alert

Don’t forget there are dangers. Be vigilant, and be aware of your surroundings, watching for wildlife such as bears, snakes, bobcats, or in some places alligators. You should always have access to a device to call for help in case of emergencies.

Keep Close to Camp

It is easy to become disoriented or lost in unfamiliar surroundings, so it’s always best to stick close to your campsite. In the event you need to find firewood or go exploring, try to stay within sight of the camping spot. This is especially important for children, as they are more likely to wander off and become lost in trees or brush, making them difficult to be seen or find their way back.

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