Many people enjoy camping. Some folk choose the safe bet of glamping, which maximises the luxury element. Others prefer to put even normal campsites aside, in the pursuit of freedom and adventure. It can be really exhilarating to go off-grid and be spontaneous. Whilst it may be fun for adrenaline junkies, safety must always be of prime importance. Camping should always be undertaken responsibly. This is not just for the sake of the participants, but also for the family and friends that are left behind.
A key area regarding health and safety lies within the preparation stage. It involves knowing the terrain, the weather and the time to be spent away. It’s absolutely essential that the right kit is packed. Let’s take a deep dive at this together.
A fire starter kit
This isn’t just about lighting a fire to dance around it; it’s about being able to cook and to keep warm. Lighting equipment should be stored inside a watertight plastic bag. According to the guys at geardisciple.com/best-waterproof-matches/, some people choose stormproof products because they will work even if they get wet. The flames don’t get extinguished when the wind blows, and they can even burn underwater. Lighters are useful too, and windproof versions can be purchased. They can also help light a fire to gain attention in a crisis. It’s also worth looking at Ferro Rods, candles and flint options.
A water kit
People only survive for three days without water, so this is a top priority. Each person will need to drink two gallons a day. Bring a water holder too. The native water may not be safe to drink because of bacteria and small organisms; therefore consider taking filtration straws. There’s also water purifying tablets and compact purifiers. If water is filtered and then placed in a metal container, it can be boiled in order to sterilise it.
A first aid kit
This should be customised for each individual. Bring a week’s worth of prescription medicine, then include the more standard items such as ibuprofen, plasters, bandages and disinfectant. There will also need to be ointments and creams to deal with bites and burns, or to provide sun protection. Also think about cold packs and emergency thermal blankets. Foil blankets reflect the heat and are weatherproof.
Shelter and spare clothes
Ideally shelter will include a sleeping bag, camping mat and tent. Protection may be needed from the heat, wind or rain. Shelter can also keep mosquitoes away. People wishing to carry less could take a pop-up tent or use the emergency blanket. Spare shoes and clothes will be worth the carry. It’s not just a case of getting dirty and wanting to change. If the clothes are wet there is the chance of getting cold, and even suffering with hypothermia.
A light source and duct tape
Imagine how dangerous it could be stepping through the unknown at the dead of night, to use the ‘bathroom’! There could be sharp branches or even a steep drop. Head torches are great because they are hands-free. Some people bring light sticks too. Some lamps are solar powered or hand operated. Don’t just rely on them, though. Bring a battery-powered torch and some spare batteries too.
They say that if you give a child a hammer, everything they see will need banging! Duct tape is a bit like that. You’ll only realize its value when you bring it! It is very adhesive and is great for making repairs and sticking things together. Gaffa tape makes a good alternative too.
When it comes to camping, people need stuff that doesn’t go off with the heat (like meat) or gets ruined by the cold. Camping food is non-perishable, and ready to consume. MREs are sealed meals that require no preparation before eating.
Bring some long-life survival biscuits. There’s also food bars and power bars which are designed to maximise energy. Glucose and dextrose can also be consumed by swallowing energy tablets. They will be perfect for those moments when the body just wants to stop and rest.
An emergency signal
We mentioned the value of lighters earlier, but there are other ways to catch peoples’ attention if there is a problem. Camping mirrors can be effective when faced towards the sunlight. The resulting glare might be seen by any planes flying overhead. A whistle is small and light, and easy to pack. It will help any passers-by to hear you. Having said that, only pea-less ones will be able to survive the cold and keep working. Some alternatives to think about are flashlights, rescue balloons and flare guns.
A multitool and a larger knife
Most people have heard of swiss-army knives. They are small and contain a blade, but there are other things included too. Multitools may feature a screwdriver, tweezers, file, can opener, bottle opener or even a small saw. They are great for cutting and repairing things. Multitools are by nature small, so a five-inch knife would also be a good addition. Buy a fixed blade one to cut through branches. It can even be used in defence. The next level would be to bring a small firearm. This would provide a defence against the game.
Something for directions
The first thing that comes to mind here is a compass to show magnetic north. It can be of real value to explorers, but only if they understand how to use it! The same thing goes for maps and map reading. Maps need to be protected from the weather at all times, or they could prove useless. Fans of technology can bring a handheld GPS system with some spare batteries. It may prove a real asset, but sometimes the signal can get lost. A back up option is therefore advisable.
A paracord bracelet
Bring one of these or a belt or dog leash version. It can come in handy for holding down tents. It can also be used for creating a splint or making a trap. The cord is also suitable for fishing purposes, and some bracelets incorporate hooks with them. It has become apparent here that there are a lot of things to think about! Once it’s all in place, however, all that will be left is the feeling of expectation as the new adventure awaits.
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash