List of the Bugs to Avoid When Camping

Bugs to Avoid When Camping? Camping is a fun, outdoorsy activity that almost everyone enjoys. However, there are some camping bugs that can spoil your camping experience.

List of the Bugs to Avoid When Camping

If you want to avoid these bugs while camping, then read on! We will discuss several things that you should do in order to keep pests at bay when camping.

Going on a camping trip could be one of the finest adventures you’ll experience. Fresh air, spectacular mountains, stunning plants, and more are all about many campgrounds. But humans aren’t the only species to be located amongst them. And not every single one is friendly.

Bugs to Avoid When Camping

There are some camping bugs that you should avoid encountering when camping, and we will show them to you. We’ll also give you tips on how to keep pests away while camping in order for your trip to go smoothly!


The class of wasp common to the regions that the evergreen tree grows is the yellow jacket. Some will build their nests in trunks, but most will attempt to construct a nest beneath an awning, normally at the end of spring and the beginning of summer.

List of the Bugs to Avoid When Camping

The wasps typically leave the nest early in the morning and returning back in the late afternoon. Frequently, they’ll build a nest on the ground, noticeable by a dime-sized hole.

Although, not particularly aggressive, unless the colony becomes aroused by someone coming close to the nest. If this happens, a number of wasps will fly away at once and the likelihood of a sting soars.

They tend to be attracted by the whiff of meat being cooked, sugar water (even a tiny amount on the rim of a soda bottle), and various other human goods. If you don’t notice them, the chances are greater that you’ll come into contact, leading to a wasp sting.

A can of wasp repellent is often an ideal accessory to horde, but there are usually preferable ways to take care of this situation.

Bugs to Avoid When Camping: Mosquitos

One of the most common causes of illness is a mosquito bite. Zika virus, West Nile virus, and malaria are all transmitted by mosquitoes.

west nile virus

Though the bite or sting of one may not be painful, it’s certainly bothersome and often harmful. The likelihood of a fatal or severe injury from a mosquito has been magnified by the media, but it is genuine and in some locations, significant.

The attraction for the mosquitoes is the carbon dioxide that we breathe out, together with certain other aspects that are generally less understood. Research has indicated that body warmth counts, while others have even suggested that insects can detect heartbeat vibrations.

Thankfully, there are a variety of sprays that are efficient in tackling them. DEET containing bug spray is safe and efficient if applied properly. Aim to squirt over the clothing instead of directly onto bare skin.

In either situation use the least amount necessary. Citronella candles can be used in some cases, but if it’s gusty at all they are generally much less useful.

Natural mosquito repellent can also be used. A tea tree oil-based repellent is said to work as well as DEET, and there are claims that peppermint oil too can help in some cases.

How to make your own essential oil repellent

  • Add 15 drops of tea tree oil or peppermint oil to a small bottle that’s half-filled with water.
  • Fill the rest of the way up with rubbing alcohol or vodka (so it doesn’t go bad).
  • Shake well before each use.

Mix and match oils, but one parent should always be tea tree oil – just in case it’s not as strong for the bugs.

Add any carrier oils you want – olive oil, almond oil, etc., to help moisturize skin and add some scent (coconut oil is a great all-around option).

Keep in mind that these scents may reduce how well your repellent works.

A combination of natural oils and peppermint oil will make a great smelling repellent that is still effective against bugs.

You can find a lot of additional ways to use Essential Oils on Beauty Awesome.


Equally, ticks are widespread in forested areas. Here again, the threat of Lyme disease has been inflated, but I actually know several people in Wisconsin who have been affected.

Lyme disease

Ticks can also have Rocky Mountain spotted fever. A tick bite can be a signal that you’ve been bitten by an infected insect, but there have also been cases of people contracting these diseases from the blood after being scratched or bitten on their skin while handling ticks without realizing it.

Ticks are especially active in the warmer months. Try to wear long-sleeved tops and leg-wear that reaches down to your boots, also prevent your hair from brushing against bushes. They do tend to appear on animals, in particular dogs, more than humans. It helps to keep a find tooth dog comb for a quick once over after a walk or use a Hellmack – style lint roller on them.

As for you, if you find a tick on yourself, the best way to remove them is with a tick tool. We like the Original Tick Key as it works for people AND pets.

How to remove ticks

Bugs to Avoid When Camping: Spiders

Depending on the location of your campsite, certain species of spider will need to be steered clear of. The chances of being bitten are limited, as spiders strive to recoil from human contact and normally only go on the attack if cornered.

toxic spideres

Black widow spiders will hide in cool, dark spots but basements aren’t common camping locations, and they are inclined not to occupy caves. They’re noticeable by the hourglass-shaped colored red marking on the underside.

Violin spiders also tend to shy away from but will attack if any of your body parts brush in close proximity to them. Keep away from any places where you notice funnel webs, often in gloomy, isolated areas.

Verify the most usual toxic species for any particular region that you plan to visit, wear suitably clothing, and your chances of having your camping trip spoiled will be incredibly limited.

What did we miss?

Are there any bugs you like to avoid? Tell us in the comments!

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7 Common Mistakes New Campers Make

Common Mistakes New Campers Make? Camping is a fun and adventurous activity for many people, but if you’re new to it there are some common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. In this article, we discuss 7 of the most common camping mistakes that beginners make so that you don’t have to learn them the hard way.

Common Mistakes New Campers Make

Any camper who claims never to make a mistake in their nature adventures is either telling a bit of fib or they really don’t get out there too often. No matter how many years we’ve been at it, all of us are guilty of an occasional error of judgment.

But is that such a problem? Certainly not. If we admit to the blunder, carefully think through it, and try to salvage a lesson from it, each mistake becomes a more effective learning experience than any number of trouble-free camping trips.

Common Mistakes New Campers Make

It seems to me, though, a few campground blunders crop up more frequently than others, particularly among newbies of the outdoor scene. Here are seven bloopers you should watch out for:

Mistake #01: Poor Choice of Equipment

No doubt the earliest trap of all for enthusiastic but inexperienced campers lurks among that vast array of equipment and hardware that confronts them in a well-stocked outdoor supplies store.

It’s right here where they are most vulnerable to the well-meaning but poorly informed — and usually equally inexperienced — sales assistant. Woe is you if they work on commission! You are likely to end up with expensive, inappropriate, insufficient, and unnecessary camping gear.

This is number one on our list of Mistakes New Campers Make because it simply makes the largest difference.

Solution: Start slowly. Hold off buying too much stuff until you get a feel for the outdoor lifestyle and activities that most appeal to you and your family. Read, ask, look around; maybe borrow or rent some gear at first, to see if it suits. After each trip, review your equipment options, then add (or discard) according to your needs, wants, and outdoor aspirations.

Mistake #02: A tough first trip

By leaping straight into the deep end — perhaps a week-long trip through a remote and uninhabited desert country — it is possible that you or your family may never want to go camping again. Unfamiliar equipment, seemingly hostile terrain, lack of established routines, and very little skill add up to a trip you all, quite probably, would prefer to forget.

Solution: Take your camping one step at a time, progressively developing each trip from the one before. For example, try a shake-down trip, first up, to a not-too-distant country town where there’s a commercial campground or RV park.

Next, visit national parks that offer basic facilities and amenities. Finally, venture into the real bush or further into the backblocks where higher levels of self-sufficiency are necessary. This is if you are really into the idea of off-grid experiences.

Mistake #03: Traveling too far or too fast

Many outdoor people fail to distinguish between camping and road-tripping. They spend maybe a week of their two-week camping vacation just getting to and coming from. Or they travel on such a tight driving schedule that the whole trip becomes one frantic dash from campsite to campsite. Isn’t this meant to be a holiday or a relaxing vacation?

Solution: When road-tripping, or touring, take time to see and experience the country. A good daily maximum is 200-225 miles. On the other hand, when off on a camping trip, try to spend no more than 25 percent of total holiday time traveling. Plan your route or your destination accordingly.

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Mistake #04: No stand-up-height shelter

With the increased popularity of small, low-profile tents, more and more campers get caught with no other form of shelter. A two or three-person hike tent is fine for sleeping, but that’s all they’re good for. Who wants to spend a day of foul weather hunched and huddled in a space the size of a dog box. After all, no matter where you go, one day it’s going to rain. Every so often, it will come down in buckets.

Solution: As well as your sleeping accommodation, take along a large tarp or awning to string up, at head height, between trees, vehicles, poles, or whatever to provide day-to-day living space during pouring rain or blazing sun. Go for quality and sturdy construction, with sufficient room for all in your group, plus a bit of camp furniture. You can get these at the local Dollar Tree for just a buck!

Mistake #05: Unsuitable toilet arrangements

If there’s one thing that’s inevitable in the city or the countryside, it’s the need for a toilet. On unimproved campsites for a night or two, the camp shovel and a long walk are often adequate.

Yes – camp shovel. Not every campsite has flush toilets or even pit toilets. Unless you have your own portable toilet, a shovel is your friend.

But always use the shovel. There’s not much worse than finding toilet waste around the perimeter of a campsite — the hygiene implications don’t bear thinking about!

Unfortunately, this is so common I can only conclude that few campers give toilet arrangements any forethought at all.

Solution: Add a small shovel to your camping gear and take it along on every trip. For camps of four days or more, a bucket-style chemical toilet will be more convenient, but you still, eventually, need to bury it.

Indeed, in some areas, taking all forms of waste back out with you is now the only legal option, so prepare accordingly.

Ohhhh – and don’t forget the TP!

Mistake #06: No campfire preparations

A cozy campfire — where they’re allowed — is an integral part of camping’s attraction, so it’s always a surprise to witness the blundering, half-hearted attempts of many new campers.

Scrounging for damp wood, huffing, and puffing (even dousing their meager efforts with lighter fluid!) they usually finish up with more smoke and frayed tempers than flames and comfort.

Believe it or not, most campsites — particularly the popular areas — rarely provide sufficient kindling let alone dry firewood unless you buy it from them.

You are NOT allowed to bring wood in from outside that area in most campgrounds.

Tree-killing insects and diseases can lurk in or on firewood. These insects and diseases can’t move far on their own, but when people move firewood they can jump hundreds of miles. New infestations destroy our forests, property values, and cost huge sums of money to control.

Solution: Plan ahead. Find out where you can collect enough dry firewood and kindling for your first campfire in the area you will be camping.

Also, a supply of waterproof matches, newspaper, and firelighters should be packed on board where you can get to them soon after arrival. Check out our article on how to build a perfect campfire!

Tip #07 – Inadequate refrigeration

It seems to me, whoever came up with the idea to carry an icebox on roof racks or in an open trailer is a couple of cans short of a six-pack. He’s probably the same guy who buys a bag of party ice for a long weekend camping trip and wonders why the steaks are sloshing about in a cooler of bloodied water by Saturday night. Getting the most out of a cooler requires a bit of thought and careful nurturing.

It is HUGE as one of the Mistakes New Campers Make so you don’t end up with food poisoning.

Solution: If possible, use block ice. (Make your own in the freezer at home.) If party ice is your only option, choose bags that are frozen solid and leave them unbroken.

Carry more ice than you think you need. Better still, find a supplier of dry ice. Always carry and store the cooler in a shaded spot, or cover it with a heat-reflective tarp. Keep a layer of cans or watertight containers across the bottom to keep food (in containers!) out of the water.

Also – have a cooler for drinks that is separate from the cooler for your food. You tend to open the cooler for drinks a lot more often and this would keep your food cooler, for a longer period of time.

Don’t be too surprised if, in your early camping days, you bump up against a lot more mistakes than these. But take heart: each error you make eventually adds to your outdoor savvy. And although there will always be campers with more experience than you, there are even more with considerably less. Watch and learn from their mistakes, so you don’t find yourself repeating them.

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How to Read a Topographic Map While Hiking

Why do you need to Read a Topographic Map? Unlike a simple trail map, topographic maps ideally reveal the terrain that you can expect to encounter on your trail. Topographic tools are essential tools for hikers as they can plan an entire trip with the help of a topographic map.

How to Read a Topographic Map While Hiking picture of a map

The map dramatically decreases your chances of any unpleasant surprises. The map includes steep mountain ascents, gently sloping valleys, and some of the fascinating points you pass by an area. The plan will give you a rough idea about the distance to reach a specific location.

How to Read a Topographic Map While Hiking

When you consult a topographic map before hiking, you can gauge the difficulty level of the hike and be prepared for potential adventures. A topographic map is one of the best tools you can have if you lose your bearings on a trail. You will need some basic understanding to utilize the vital information on the topographic maps fully.

Different forms of charts show three-dimensional landscapes that include elevations, contours, bodies of water and vegetation, and topographic features.

Why do you need a topographic map?

Simplified trail maps that include the JPEG images don’t include all that you might need on a trail. The plans don’t include any elevation data or magnetic declination and also have limited symbols.

Even if you get lost, the simplified maps won’t help you in finding your way out.  A topographic map offers plenty of information not only on distance and elevation but also on vegetation and human-made structures.

Parts of a topographic map:

Contour lines

The contour lines ideally show elevation. They are known as bread and butter when it comes to an understanding of a topographic map. It shows the layout of the terrain and also gives clarity of maximum features. The contour lines will show the changes in elevation and lay of the land.

It will also give you an estimate of what you will be walking through and how difficult the trail will be. The contour lines connect all continuous points that share the same elevation. The elevation is changing at shorter distances when you see contour lines close together, indicating a steep slope or a cliff.

The grade is gradual when contour lines are apart. You might notice that every fifth line is thicker than the others. Contour lines help you visualize the features and shape of the terrain. After understanding the contour lines, you can point to valleys, plateaus, mountains, and depressions.


Scale is known as the relative distance of the real-life map. The scale is found in the legend. It shows the ratio of real ground inches to map inches. You can understand the details of the plan by looking at the scale. If a topographic map has a scale of 1:12000, it shows a much smaller area than a scale of 1:24000.

When you are planning a route, it is essential to know how detailed your map is. The representative plate is also included in the charts that help you visualize the distances in kilometers that are more useful than measuring your hike in inches.


The legend is essential to understand how to read a Topographic Map. It contains some vital information, including:

Source data- It includes when and where the map was made. Ensure you check the map before buying, as it is essential to get some recent version possible.

Scale- It means the relative distance on the map.

Contour level- It means the change in elevation between the contour line.

Magnetic declination- It means the difference between fascinating truth north and north in the given area. It is essential to set up a compass before leaving for your trail as the magnetic declination varies from place to place.

Color key- The color key indicates the various colors used across the map to mark vegetation. The darker shades indicate denser vegetation, while the lighter colors indicate thin vegetation.

Symbol key- It indicates certain features, including rivers, pipelines, boundaries, roads, etc.

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Where to get the topographic maps?

You can get topographic maps from various sources. You can get topographic maps from local government companies or specialty companies.

How to Read a Topographic Map: Orient your map

You have to use your compass and map’s north arrow to orient your map. It would be best if you placed your compass flat on the map with it pointing to the top. Then you need to rotate yourself until you see the compass’s needle pointing north.

Look for your location on the map

You have to look around to identify nearby locations or features including mountain, river, road, or spur if you have to locate those features to find your position on the map.

Read the contour lines

You have to understand the contour lines that traverse the terrain that you might be covering on your trail. Always remember closer the lines, the steeper the landscape. You can sense gradual elevation where contour lines are farther apart. The concentric circles indicate the saddles between the peaks and peaks. If you see some concentric circles with tick-marked color, it suggests the depression in the landscape color.

a Topographic Map

Identify the landscape features on the topographic map

Landscape features include saddles, spurs, summits, and reentrants determined by contour line patterns on the topographical maps.

 ➢ Spurs- It is a landscape feature under which the land slopes on three sides and slopes downwards, only one side. You can easily identify catalysts by looking at the contour lines on the map.

Reentrants- This indicates an indentation on the mountainside. You can identify reentrants by looking at the contour lines that point against the natural mountain slope on the map.

Summit- The topmost region of a mountain is known as the summit. You can identify the conference on the map by locating the contour that is an innermost line from the set of concentric contour line ranges.

Practice deciphering contour lines by reading map features in a similar location- You have to visualize each similar picture and then see how the map’s contour lines represent each feature.

Get out on the trail with your topographical map- One of the best methods to learn map reading is by taking the topographical map along with you on a short hiking trail. So you can practice identifying landscape features and then find them on your plan as you start hiking. You should pay close attention to the arrangement of the contour lines for each element.

Thus a topographic map is a vital tool that helps you plan a route and be prepared and know what’s ahead of you. I am sure you will be able to do it easily with time if you practice map reading regularly.

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How to Stay Safe While Camping

How to Stay Safe While Camping? Camping is incredible: no annoying neighbors, no screeching telephones, no piles of work, no electronic gear distracting you. But it would be best if you stayed safe.

stay safe while camping article cover image

Camping is a great time to bond with your family or have a get-away with your buddies. But what starts as a fun weekend of camping can result in a bad experience or even death when people don’t pay attention to safety issues.

How to Stay Safe While Camping

A safe camping trip starts before you leave home. Consider doing the following before hitting the road:

  • Check with the campground for closures or other restrictions.
  • Check out the weather forecast.
  • Research your destination if you are not familiar with the area.
  • Check your vehicle to be sure it is ready for your camping adventure.
  • Let someone know where you’ll be camping and when you will return.
  • Make sure you leave early enough, so there will be daylight when you set up camp.

Where Should I Camp?

How do you choose a safe yet ideal camping spot? To a degree, “ideal” is in the eye of the beholder. While some may prefer sheltered idylls by the edge of a gently flowing river, others may opt for wild and savage arenas.

Many parks require you to camp in designated sites that are well set up and concentrate on environmental impact to a smaller footprint. If you are choosing your spot, look for the following:

  • Wind protection (You may want a windier place during insect season.)
  • Level ground for the tent.
  • Water source (You may have to boil, filter, or treat it.)
  • A place to hang or store food safely from animals.
  • Good view.
  • Check the site for glass, sharp objects, hazardous trash, and low-hanging branches before pitching your tent.
stay safe while camping garbage pile

Have a trash bag on-site for every piece of litter. Put the bag into your vehicle at night or hang it from a tree in a food bag, or you may wake to find the remnants scattered around your campsite.

Campfire Concerns

  • If possible, keep the fire downwind of your tent and cooking area.
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire. If you must use lighter fluid or kerosene to get it going, apply the fuel before lighting the fire.
  • Always watch campfires at all times. Don’t leave the area to go for a stroll when there are flames.
  • Keep extra wood away from the fire.
  • If the day is windy, consider skipping the campfire. Do not build a campfire if the fire danger is high; one spark can burn down an entire forest.
  • Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby for emergencies.
  • When you are ready to crawl into your sleeping bag for the night, put the fire out with water or dirt. Never leave it alone to burn out.
  • Stop, drop, and roll. Remember this handy trick you learned in school in case an item of clothing catches on fire.
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Campfires are one of the major safety concerns campers face. According to a study done at the University of Alberta’s burn treatment center, 74% of camping injuries are due to burns, and the percentage is even higher for adults.

Burns to children is mainly a result of walking over open flames or pouring combustible material onto an open flame. Almost half of the children that are burned while camping is under the age of four.

Communing With Nature

Please do not leave children alone with animals or encourage them to pet them. No matter how tame they appear, they are wild animals. Sudden actions can frighten the animal, and it may attack. Check everyone regularly for ticks and other insects. Ticks can cause Lyme disease, among other infections.

Camping in Door County black bears

Children often wander away from campsites and can get lost in the woods. Consider giving them a whistle to blow and teach them to blow three blasts at a time, the universal signal for help.

Many campers don’t go prepared for temperature changes. At night temperatures can drop, and camping will be a better experience if you are prepared for it. Bring clothes to layer, such as t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and jackets. Take extra blankets. Excessive heat can also be a problem. Stay in shaded areas as much as possible during hot afternoons.

Tent Camping: Stay Safe While Camping

Camping in a tent provides its own challenges. Only use a flame-resistant tent. Keep stoves, lanterns, candles, and such out of your shelters. Do not build your campfire within ten feet of your tent, preferably farther. Don’t smoke cigarettes or cigars near the tent and never inside. It is handy to keep a utility tool or Swiss Army knife near you so you can cut your way out of the tent if necessary.

tent at campground

Use only battery-operated lights in or near the tent.

If possible, do not put your tent directly under a tree. Limbs have fallen in the middle of the night and injured dozing campers.

RV Camping

The RV sector is and has been growing at a rapid pace over the past five years. It is estimated that there are some 650,000 RVs on the road in the USA today. RV shipments in Canada are expected to be between 1.3 and 1.5 billion dollars annually, which represents 38,000 to 40,000 new units. This trend has continued over the last number of years and is forecast to continue.

Easy RV Meals For When You Are on the Road

As for safety concerns, RVs today are very well equipped with all of the necessary safety devices (smoke detectors, CO monitors, fire extinguishers) and have better towing and driving equipment.

Campers face a wide range of possible risks, depending on where they camp, the time of year, their level of experience, and other factors. By doing a little research and preparation before you go, and staying alert for potential dangers while you’re there, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip.

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Camping First Aid Kit Essentials

Nothing says “survival camping gear” like a self-engineered camping first aid kit. Learn the necessities of any good first aid kit here.

At first glance, preparing for events that are not very likely to happen seems silly. But consider that such preparations could save a life or at least provide a more relaxing vacation free from the worries of injury.

Camping First Aid Kit Essentials

A well-constructed camping first aid kit is an essential part of any camper’s gear because camping involves many activities that increase the likelihood of a mishap.

The Camping First Aid Kit Container Itself

Many types of containers will work fine for a comprehensive camping first aid kit, but try to find a medium to a large-sized plastic waterproof utility box. Waterproof takes one more worry from the mind so that the camping vacation can be full of stress-free fun.

If the camping first aid kit is situated in a guaranteed dry location, such as inside a vehicle or camper, waterproof may not be as important, but make sure it’s still tightly secured.

The Bulk of the Camping First Aid Kit

From scrape to gash, bug bite to snake bite, all wounds received while camping should be treated promptly and with the utmost care to avoid infection. Don’t leave for the campground without first packing these items in a camping first aid kit:

  •   Hydrogen peroxide for slowing bleeding and preventing infection.
  •   Small bottle of alcohol for cleaning supplies triple-antibiotic ointment.
  •   Hand sanitizer to cleanse those hands before treating that wound, and after.
  •   Cotton balls or gauze pads for applying the alcohol.
  •   About 25 bandages of various sizes and shapes.
  •   Tweezers for removing thorns.
  •   Non-latex disposable gloves to avoid cross-contamination.
  •   Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream for itches.
  •   Aloe vera gel for burns and sunburns.
  •   Flashlight.
  •   Space blanket.
  •   Scissors for cutting clothing and other general purposes.

Illness Treatment and Emergency Gear

Camping First Aid Kit Essentials medical cross

Accidents happen, and In the event of a severe illness or some other unforeseen catastrophic incident, there are a few vital supplies that should be at hand:

  •   Oral thermometer: it’s always good to be able to monitor a fever.
  •   Anti-diarrheal medicine: it may seem a silly addition, but there’s no telling when someone might catch an infection from water or food, putting them out of commission for the whole trip.
  •   Antacids for upset stomach relief.
  •   Antihistamines for allergies: nothing is more likely to ruin a vacation than a sneezing fit brought on by pollen.
  •   Pain-relief: ibuprofen or aspirin (but no aspirin for children).
  •   An ample supply of any medications needed by those on the trip.
  •   A small bottle of Saline solution: without reliable, clean running water, the ability to flush the eyes in the event of an accident is a necessity. Contact wearers know this to be true.
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Bone Treatment

Although the extreme case of a broken bone or sprain is somewhat unlikely, proper preparation will limit the severity of an incident. And it’s not too hard to add a couple of items to a first aid kit:

  •   Extra cloth or gauze for wrapping (or to use as a sling).
  •   A splint for setting a broken bone (or just use a sturdy stick or two).

First Aid Kit Guide

Camping First Aid Kit Essentials first aid field guide book

Perhaps most important of all, any adequate camping first aid kit contains an instruction booklet for complicated tasks involving saving someone’s life or correctly treating an injury. Find a good camping first aid kit book and pack it along with the kit. Skim through it some beforehand, too, to decrease the time it takes to find vital information.

More Information

Find more information about what first aid kits should contain at the American Red Cross or double-check the family camping gear checklist to make sure everything’s packed for the trip.

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Winter Camping Hacks For Bitter Cold Temperatures

Enjoy the outdoors in winter by covering up, wearing layers, and utilizing backcountry shelters. Lately, the temperatures in much of the mid-west and northeast have been bitterly cold, and well below freezing.

Winter Camping Hacks

When the temperature is this cold, exposed skin can freeze quickly, and one can be prone to cold weather injuries such as frostbite or hypothermia. Below are some ideas for winter camping hacks to help campers and travelers who decide to brave the cold weather.

Winter Camping Hacks For Bitter Cold Temperatures

We have shared before 10 Tips For Camping When Cold Weather Hits but this is a  little different. We are now talking bitter cold, almost Polar Vortex kind of weather. Winter is just winter when you are talking December or February, but when January really gets rolling? Look out.

Benefits of Winter Camping

Winter camping is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature, build character and enjoy good times with your family and friends. These are some of the benefits of camping in cold weather and safety measures to keep you healthy and warm.

Deepen your appreciation for nature.

It’s easy to love a spring day but winter can be more demanding. Whatever the hardships, enjoying freshly fallen snow and longer star-filled nights may convince you that the effort is worthwhile.

Learn to work as a team.

Everything will be harder when you’re outdoors in cold weather. You’ll need to pull together to get the tent up before it gets dark and make breakfast when the ground is frozen.

Experience solitude.

When the summer crowds are gone, you’ll have a lot more space to yourself. Enjoy the silence and the chance to see more wildlife.

Persevere through obstacles.

Success in life often depends on being able to persist even when you run into complications. The skills you learn while camping will help when you’re pursuing other goals.

Become patient with discomfort.

Much of the stress in life comes from our minds rather than from external conditions. You’ll return home a little wiser when you see how you can make cold feet feel warmer by remaining calm.

Develop more gratitude for common amenities.

It’s easy to overlook indoor plumbing and central heating in our daily lives. When you go without them for a little while, you’ll feel more appreciative.

Learn eco-friendly habits.

Many campers are becoming increasingly conscious of leaving as little behind as possible. You’ll help build a more sustainable world as you focus on ways to reduce your footprint, including using alternatives to burning fuel.

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Tactics for Keeping Safe and Warm:

Turn heaters off overnight

Portable heaters can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used improperly. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and turn them off before you go to sleep.

Eat heartily

You may need to eat more calories than usual because your body will be burning them up to fight the cold. A bedtime snack is especially good for raising your temperature a little. Focus on complex carbohydrates that are easy to carry around and simple to prepare.

Stay hydrated

Dry winter air can be dehydrating. Your body needs plenty of water in order to regulate its temperature and keep your blood flowing smoothly. Carry a thermos so you can drink liquids frequently. Plain water is best. Low-sodium soups are also a good choice.

Get the right gear

Selecting the right equipment will make it easier to protect your wellbeing and have a good time. Check out winter tents that provide more coverage and stakes that are designed for snow. Chemical heat packs can keep your hands and feet toasty.

Cover the Skin to Prevent Frostbite

Make sure to cover any exposed skin with clothing before venturing outdoors to prevent frostnip or frostbite. Some areas of concern include the face, ears, and hands.

These parts of the body can suffer a cold injury quickly, especially if there is a wind chill. A wool or fleece cap, balaclava, fleece face mask, and several pairs of gloves or mittens will work.

Insulate the Body to Stay Warm

Use adequate clothing layers to retain body heat. These include base layers, middle layers, and outer layers that trap heat from the body but also protect the body from exposure to wind or the elements.

Also, by dressing in layers one can remove layers if necessary to release heat, such as when hiking or digging a snow cave or add layers to retain heat when feeling cold.

Half your body heat really can escape through your head so choose your hat carefully and wear it all the time.

Wear Adequate Footwear

Wearing the right boots keeps the feet warm, and can help prevent cold injuries. When shopping, look for the temperature rating of the footwear. Does the rating only apply when in active use?

If so, then the boots may not keep the toes as warm when standing around in camp. Make sure the boots will be appropriate for the kind of activity they will be used for. Wear thick wool or poly-blend socks.

winter camping hacks trying to stay warm man and his dog in a blizzard

Stay Active to Stay Warm

Moving around gets the blood going, and creates heat that can be trapped by clothing. Doing something also helps keep someone in a positive mindset, as opposed to standing around in the cold.

Be careful not to work too hard that requires the body to sweat to cool off. Sweat chills the body and can take a while to dry, sapping the body of needed heat.

Know When to Come Inside

Sometimes the safe plan is to stay inside, such as when the thermometer drops well below zero. People who have had previous cold injuries can be prone to re-injury. If young children are on the trip, then it might be a good idea to bring them inside for safety.

Use a Cabin to Winter Camp

An alternative to a full-on wilderness winter camping trip is using a cabin or insulated yurt for shelter. These allow the user the opportunity to get out during the day to hike, snowshoe, or ski, and to warm up in the evening in a heated shelter to dry clothing and boots and warm up. This can be an excellent option for winter camping with young children.

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Know your limits

Check the weather report and pay attention to local advisories. Play it safe with your own life and the lives of rescue personnel. You may be going into areas without a cell phone signal so ensure that someone knows where you’re headed and when to expect you back.

If you’ve been putting your tent away as soon as the weather turns cold, you may want to give winter camping a chance. With some simple precautions, you can stay safe while you experience a new sense of peace and adventure.

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How to Keep Bears Away From Your Campsite

Summer’s almost here, and with that comes camping opportunities galore. But always remember that you’re sharing the forest with wildlife like bears. While we love and admire these majestic creatures, we want them to be nowhere near us when we are out in the wild. How to Keep Bears Away From Your Campsite is more important than you might think, and black bears are more dangerous than grizzlies. We learned an awful lot about bears when we had the chance to interview Jeff “the bear man” Watson.

How to Keep Bears Away From Your Campsite

Strolling along soft dirt paths through evergreen forests in the Canadian backcountry, setting up tents near lakes abundant with life, and preparing s’mores over a crackling campfire brings to mind the many summers spent finding that perfect wilderness camping spot.

Let’s face it; camping is just plain fun! It is enjoyed by tons of people over the warmer months and in a variety of ways, from roughing it in the backcountry to taking it easy in an RV. Either way, there is one element one always needs to be aware of: nature, specifically wildlife.

Be Prepared for Bears and Cougars in the Backcountry

Many parks and recreational areas in both Canada and the United States are also home to potentially dangerous animals like bears (brown, black, and grizzly) and cougars.

While it is rare that these predators will hunt you out, they may be attracted to your campsite by the smells of food. Always take precautionary steps to prevent an animal encounter.

Often it’s not the animal’s fault. All the animal really wants is food. It is up to people to take care not to draw these animals to it.

grizzly bear walking

Keep Smells Away to Keep Bears Away

Bears, in particular, are drawn to the smells of food, be it fresh, packaged, or garbage. The Center for Wildlife Information recommends campers set all food-related items at least 100 yards away from tents and sleeping areas, and tie them up at least 10 to 15 feet off the ground.

Want to prevent intrigued and hungry animals from wandering into your tent in the middle of the night? Keep all food, beverage, and personal items such as soap and deodorant away from the tent.

The Center for Wildlife Information, which is head of the Bear Aware initiative, also suggests not sleeping in the clothes you’ve cooked in. Make it a rule to keep all smells away from sleepers.

Camp Bear Smart

The main things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect area to set up your tent: pitch away from berry patches, animal and walking trails, and rushing water. Be aware of signs of animals that could be living in the area, and you can always choose a spot near a tree just in case.

When hiking around your camping area, always keep children and pets (if you must bring them) close as predators will target smaller prey. Make noise along the way so as not to surprise any bears or cougars, and pack a container of bear spray in case of a serious situation.

How to Keep Bears Away From Your Campsite is easy if you take simple precautionary steps to prevent encounters with dangerous wildlife, you are not only potentially saving yourself and your family but also the animal.

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