Travel | Did You Know

Wilderness Safety: How to Have a Safe and Fun Camping Trip With Your Family and Dogs

Camping is one of the most popular and most fun family activities in the United States. Whether you're going across the country to a warmer area for a week-long camping trip or you're simply spending a night out in the woods behind your home, there is nothing like letting go of technology and relaxing outdoors.

Americans love camping, but it's important that everyone is fully aware of how to stay safe while in the wilderness. Hopefully, these tips will help you, your family, and even your four-legged friends remain safe during your next camping trip:

  • Stay hydrated -- You need to be alert at all times while camping. The best way to remain focused is to stay hydrated and that doesn't just mean having a few sips of water when you're thirsty. You need to drink water throughout the day -- around three to five bottles -- in order to remain hydrated and attentive.
  • Cook your meals thoroughly -- Sure there are all kinds of outdoor dangers that can lead to health concerns during a camping outing, but don't forget about the importance of consuming healthy foods. Approximately 78% of campers participate in outdoor cooking while camping. Undercooked meals can quickly ruin a camping trip and even result in a trip to the hospital. Additionally, make sure you're carefully controlling the grill in order to avoid starting a fire.
  • Pay attention to the weather -- Make sure you're regularly keeping an eye on the weather forecast before your trip. Some rain isn't too bad during a camping outing, it can even be quite peaceful. But serious storms can result in all kinds of problems.
  • Remember to protect from the heat -- If you're camping during the fall, you will likely be okay -- but you should still protect yourself from the sun. During the summer, however, you're in serious danger if you're not protecting yourself from the brutal heat. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing, bring plenty of sunblock, and wear polarized sunglasses. The sun's rays are the strongest between 10a.m. and 2p.m. -- so make sure proper eyewear is being used during these times.
  • Keep your campsite clean -- It's a good idea to keep your site clean no matter what, but it's essential for safety reasons, as well. Dirty dishes, leftover food, and trash sitting out in the open could attract dangerous animals.

There are over 75 million pet dogs in the U.S., more than any other country. Some pet owners have a family friend watch their dogs during camping outings, but dogs can certainly enjoy some time out of the house, too. However, you'll have to be even more careful while camping with your pet dogs. Here are some great safety tips for camping with your dog:

  • Keep your dog on a leash -- At home, your dogs can run free and wander around your property. During a camping trip, you can't let this happen. Keep them close by at all times in order to ensure that they don't get into any trouble.
  • Bring a doggy life vest -- Some dogs do great in the water... but not all of them. If your campsite is near a lake, pond, or river, make sure you have a dog life vest so you can ensure they will remain safe as they take a swim.
  • Beware of poisonous plants -- The wilderness is filled with all kinds of plants that can be dangerous to both humans and dogs. Though it can be difficult to identify poisonous plants, do a little research beforehand so you can keep your dog away from them.

Whether it's just you and your dog on a week-long camping trip, or you and your kids are just spending a few hours in the outdoors, make sure you stay safe and have fun!

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com