camping safetyIt’s almost summer, a time for outdoor activities including sleeping in the great outdoors.  Camping helps us refresh our mind and soul. There’s nothing better than seeing the wilderness wake up as the sun lights up the sky!

Camping requires some preparation to keep you warm, safe, and healthy. If you are planning a camping trip this year, keep in mind these essential health and safety tips.

Assess your fitness level.  If you are planning a particularly strenuous trip, make sure you are fit enough to withstand the strain of the journey. You may want to consider working with a fitness professional before you go on a particularly strenuous trip, especially if you aren’t physically active now.

Arrange for plenty of water.  If you are traveling to a campground, make sure that water is available.  If not, you’ll need to pack your own water or a water purification kit.  Water is critical for hydration, particularly at higher elevations or in hot climates.  A good rule of thumb is to have at least 2 liters of water per day, per person.

Bring a first aid kit. It is nearly impossible to be outdoors without incurring scratches, cuts or bruises. Proper and timely use of antiseptic lotion can heal wounds and reduce the risk of infection.

Protect yourself from sun and insects. Take lip balm and sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunglasses are a must, as well as a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Insect repellent will keep those biting bugs from bothering you.  If you don’t want to use chemical sprays like DEET, consider these options for keeping bugs at bay:

  • Burn sage in your campfire.  Bugs don’t like the scent of sage and will stay away.
  • Make your own repellent with any of these natural oils: citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, geranium, lavender, mint.
  • Try a mosquito repellent bracelet.  They are natural, safe and reusable.

Be wild animal savvy.  You should know before you go what to do in the event of a wild animal encounter. Visit Active.com for wild animal safety tips.

If you are a new camper, it’s important to plan ahead.  You can find books and websites with checklists and other valuable tips for a safe camping trip.

 

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.