You vs The Elements: Staying safe on long camping trips

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The classical elements are earth, water, air, and fire. You think of them and a whole bunch of exciting images of nature pop into your brain. Of course, images of danger may also appear. It’s this kind of thinking that puts people off of doing things like camping. But for others, the fact that you’re going up against these elements is exactly what attracted them to camping in the first place.

Of course, it’s never a guarantee that you’ll be faced with all four elements when you head out there. Some people may find themselves camping in dry weather and away from bodies of water. But you do have to drink the stuff on your journey, right? And sure, you may not necessarily encounter the use of fire out there. But the fact is that you’re going to eating your meals cold if you don’t use it on your trip.

So when we go on a camping trip, what are we going to be faced with? What is nature going to throw at us? What are the risks, and how do we protect ourselves? This article, of course, isn’t going to be long enough to cover every single potentiality. But we are going to have a good exploration of protecting ourselves against the natural elements while we’re camping.

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Soil of the Earth

One of the biggest differences between staying at home and going out camping is what’s underneath your feet. Carpets and hardwood floors are gone for the time being. You’re now in the realm where the soles of your shoes are mostly touching earth.

Usually, the ground isn’t going to cause you much of a problem. But the fact is that dirt often contains harmful bacteria and even parasites. Chemical contamination isn’t unheard of, either. For most people, the problem is usually encountered when the wind starts blowing dry dirt about. When this happens, dirt can get into your food and drink. It might not kill you, but you’ll probably want to avoid consuming it either way! Dealing with that particular problem is best left to the ‘air’ section below. For now, I’ll say that you should keep a close eye on any food you’re preparing in case some stray dirt wants to get in.

The bigger problems are found when the ground gets wet. Then, of course, we’re not just dealing with any old dirt or soil. We’re dealing with mud. It’s much easier for mud to cling to things you don’t want it to, and in much greater quantities. It makes the ground a lot slippier, which puts you at a greater risk of injury if you’re climbing or hiking. Make sure you bring disinfectant so you can clean yourself properly if you get muddy.

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Dealing with the wind

When it gets really windy, several problems start rearing their ugly head. For many people, the most pressing worry is the change in temperature. Of course, if you were really hot before the winds starting showing up, then you might welcome a cool breeze. But it seems that most people experience an unpleasant chill is these winds.

The wind also presents a problem I referred to earlier. Dirt and the bacteria that comes with it can easily travel with the wind and make its way to your campsite. Really heavy winds may even start to disrupt the foundations of your tents. In any case, you might be best advised to look into barriers from Wind Warrior if you think it will be a concern.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Fire and heat

When people think about camping, most of them seem to think immediately of roasting marshmallows. Others will think about cooking their dinner on a hot skillet. In any case, you’re probably going to need to get a fire going to take part in either activity.

Of course, with great fire-making power comes great responsibility. Fire is one of the most things there is on this planet. It’s great and everything, but if it gets somewhere you don’t want it to then you could be in severe danger. So while a campfire is definitely recommended, you need to make you’re prepared for the possibility of things going wrong. Bring fire safety equipment is a must. A fire extinguisher is probably the first thing that springs to your mind. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a very “natural” way to deal with a fire. But, needless to say, that’s not very important. You should also visit stores that sell strong tarp – perhaps even fire retardant tarps – like this from Nasus Supply.

If you happen to get burned while you’re out there, then you need to take immediate action. Because you’re bound to be quite far from immediate medical assistance, you need to treat all burns as severe. This will help you prevent further pain and infection. Get it under cold water right away and make sure to keep any fabric away from it. If the burn is a second- or third-degree one, don’t try to only deal with it yourself. Cut your trip short and get to a hospital.

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Knowing what to do about water

Water, of course, is the one thing you definitely have to bring with you in large quantities. On long camping trips, you would have to take gallons with you. If there are several people with you, you’re probably going to have to take a near-industrial amount. For many people, they would prefer to actually find water in the area where they’re camping. Of course, if you do find water, then you shouldn’t just go ahead and drink it. You need to know how to purify it, too.

When you’re out there, you may find yourself wanting to travel across bodies of water to get to new places. In that case, you should definitely know how to swim! But even if you can swim, falling into the water can be a problem, especially if you’re clothed. If you’re drenched, then you can find yourself getting cold and ill quite quickly. The same will happen if it starts raining heavily and you’re not adequately protected.

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Make sure you know how to dry yourself quickly. This is why you should definitely be bringing clean towels! Get a fire going so you can warm up. And read up on how to dry clothes quickly so you can get back in them.

This entry was posted in 2016, camping, outdoors, photography, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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