Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Camping Safety

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US Army First Aid Manual
Fundamental Criteria for First Aid
Basic Measures for First Aid
First Aid for Special Wounds
First Aid for Fractures
First Aid for Climatic Injuries
First Aid for Bites and Stings
First Aid in Toxic Environments
First Aid for Psychological Reactions
Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

Survive Outdoors will address a generic camping safety. This will apply to rustic backpacking into any high-country area as well as your local state parks and populated areas to camp.

For all tent campers, please be advised of where you are placing your tent or shelter. This is crucial in terms of the following:

  1. Weather and rain - do not place your tent in a low-lying area for flooding purposes. If you absolutely have to, then dig a trench out around the sides. It does not have to be very deep. Three to four inches is helpful to detour the water around your shelter. If this is a state park area and you cannot do that, please respect their rules. Fill in these areas after you are done camping.
  2. Beware of trail areas and animals - Many animals, especially hoofed animals such as elk and deer will move at night. If you are in the middle of a heavily traveled path, you may be trampled in your tent or shelter in the middle of the night.
  3. If you are in a territory where there are bears - Clearly you want to have all your pans clean. Hang food and perishables as well as pots and pans you cook in at least 200 yards away from your campsite. You do not want to hang them 20 or 30 yards away from your tent area.
  4. Do not place your tent under a tree - Sometimes this is impossible. If you are going to place your tent under a tree, please check and make sure that the tree is not dead, aging, or dead or loose limbs above. It has not been uncommon for limbs to fall from a tree onto campers’ tents, and injuring them in the middle of the night.

As far as concerns of getting lost or one of your childern or fellow campers getting lost, please refer to “Getting Lost and Getting Found” section on Survive Outdoors. You will see a varitety of tips and hints that we strongly advise you carry with you when camping.

Always carry a medical kit of some degree with you. Please see our medical kit area for a helpful guide. Band-Aids, topical antibiotics are helpful. Make sure everyone has their tetanus updates that are going camping. Depending on the length of time that you are spending camping, antibiotics may not be necessary. These are just a variety of medicines that you should have in your kit. We will be more specific in our medical kit section. Over the counter Imodium AD is always good to carry with you. It is very uncomfortable to get diarrhea on a camping trip. Flashlights are crucially important. We have a difficult time seeing in the dark. We are not nocturnal animals. Flashlights that work should be checked and double-checked. Extra batteries would be helpful to have on-hand. The LED flashlights have been a huge innovation in lights and they can burn anywhere from two weeks to a month on the batteries that are put in there and are extremely resilient.

Water is crucial, while water purification is even more crucial. Currently, there is no safe water to drink in North America or Canada. Water filtration as well as purification tablets and boiling are effective means to take out all organisms for drinking purposes. Make sure you bring enough water. Dehydration is not an enjoyable ailment and can lead to death in severe situations.

Last, please remember that you are not in your home but in nature’s home. If you take care of her, she will take care of you. Please pick up all litter. In certain areas now, specifically in the boundary waters, you have to carry out your excrement. This area is not usually addressed. If you are in areas where it is not necessary to do that, please dig a hole far enough away from any water sources. Pick up all your litter. After you have packed up, turn around and look where you have camped and cooked and see that it is clean. Look at it as if you are staying in someone’s house, and how you would like that bedroom or that area to be just as well picked up. Please treat nature the same way.

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