Camping makes for a fun summer getaway and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. However, along with the beauty of nature comes risks that could pose a real threat to your health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests these 10 camping tips to keep you healthy and safe the next time you lie under the stars:
1. Get vaccinated.
It’s important to make sure your vaccinations are up to date before going on a camping trip. This can help protect you from certain diseases and conditions while camping.
2. Keep your hands clean.
Wash your hands often and always do so before eating. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
3. Store food safely and securely.
Keep food in airtight, waterproof bags or containers. Store containers in an insulated cooler. This helps the food stay fresh and keeps wild animals away from it.
4. Practice campfire safety.
If your campsite allows fires and you choose to build one, do it safely. Choose a spot without any overhanging tree branches nearby; ensure that it has a metal fire ring or is encircled with rocks; and keep a bucket of water or a shovel nearby in case it gets out of hand. You should never leave a campfire unattended. Before you leave your campsite, be sure to put out your campfire completely.
5. Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by never using fuel-burning equipment, such as gas stoves, heaters, lanterns and charcoal grills inside or near a tent, camper or other enclosed shelter.
6. Avoid wild animals, and protect family pets.
Some wild animals carry diseases that are dangerous to people. Enjoy watching wild animals from a safe distance in their natural surroundings. Make sure your family pets are vaccinated and always keep a close eye on them. Check for ticks, and remove them promptly. Ensure pets have plenty of water, food and shelter.
7. Fight the bug bite.
Keep yourself protected from mosquitoes and other insects by applying an insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin. Using an insect repellent is the best way to prevent diseases such as Zika and dengue that are spread by mosquitos.
8. Protect yourself from the sun.
Put on sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and cover up with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
9. Choose safe activities.
Camping is a great way to enjoy doing activities such as walking, hiking, biking or swimming. Be sure to bring protective gear, such as helmets, sturdy shoes and life jackets.
10. Be prepared.
Always check the weather report before you leave, learn about security at your camp location, and make sure others know your plans and how to reach you in case of an emergency. Bring a supply kit with you that includes a first-aid kit; compass or GPS and a map; flashlight and extra batteries; blanket; medications; and extra clothing.
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