|Camping tips! Before
you head out for that much anticipated camping trip, consider
the following tips that will enhance your camping experience.
If you have any additional tips for us, we would be more
than happy to add them to this page.... simply click click
here to e-mail us the information.
out our "Camping Checklist" for a list of
items you should bring with you on your next camping trip.
venture in a forest without a good map and a compass.
Even campers and hunters with a good sense of direction
have had unpleasant experiences in unfamiliar territories.
here to view our instructions on
how to make your own compass if you get stuck out there
without a real one.
you're walking in an area where you suspect poisonous
plants grow, always wear
boots, long plants and long sleeves shirt. The three most
common poisonous plants are: poison ivy, poison oak and
poison sumac (see photo). The slightest contact can cause
an itchy, oozing rash which can easily spread when scratched.
The streaky red, bumpy rash generally appears within a
few days after exposure. Avoid becoming affected by washing
the area with rubbing alcohol or lots of water if no alcohol
is available. In the forest, for emergency relief, you
can also rub the crushed leaves and stems of the orange
(or yellow) flowered jewelweed over the inflammation.
Use calamine lotion to soothe the itch and avoid scratching
as much as possible. Avoid using hot water on the
affected area and wash your clothes as soon as possible.
camping in high altitudes (7,000 feet or more),
you should drink plenty of water... that is 3 to 5 quarts
a day. This will prevent dehydration and high altitude
sickness, which cause headaches, nausea and muscle cramps.
wary of food poisoning. Contaminated food can cause
nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Food poisoning usually
resolves itself within 24 hours without medical treatment.
Drink lots of fluids (mostly water for 12 hours and then
add juices, broth....). Seek medical attention if symptoms
lasts longer than 2 days, if watery diarrhea occurs every
10-15 minutes, if diarrhea contains blood or mucus or
if abdominal pain or fever is constant. When camping,
remember the following;
- wash your hands thoroughly before handling food
- smell the food first. If it doesn't smell right,
don't cook it and don't eat it.
- it is better to "overcook" than "undercook"
food (surface bacteria are killed at 212°F)
- once meat has thawed, cook it........ don't refreeze
- serve cooked food immediately
- avoid food that nourish bacteria (custard, mayonnaise,
custards, bologna ....)
should always bring plenty of sun protection and a good
hat. Heat exhaustion
can lead to severe disorientation when in the forest. Symptoms
include blurry vision, dizziness, nausea and weakness.
When these occur, lie down in the shade and drink lots
of cool fruit juices or plain water (no coffee, tea or
being in the sun from 10-11 am to 2-3 pm when the UV (ultraviolet)
rays are the strongest. However, if you get a bad sunburn,
apply compresses of ice-cold water, or milk & water,
or Burrow's solution for 10 minutes every few hours. You
can also use an anti-inflammatory cream to reduce inflammation
and itching. If your arms or legs are swollen, elevate
them. If, in the hours and days that follow, you
get any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical
- swelling with throbbing pain
- pus (a white, yellow or green discharge)
- red streaks radiating from the sunburn area
- a high fever that has no other obvious cause,
such as flu or other illness
- swollen, tender lymph glands (in the groin, armpit
with insect bites! Remember that most mosquitoes
bite early in the morning and 1-2 hours after sunset.
If possible, stay in a "breezy" area since mosquitoes
will have more difficulty time finding you where the wind
is blowing. Avoid perfumes, cologne, hair sprays, scented
soaps, scented lotions and shampoos as these usually attract
mosquitoes. Wear light colors, mosquitoes seem to be attracted
to bright colors. When you get stung,
- remove the stinger with tweezers (or scrape across
the skin with a knife)
- wash the area with soap and cold water
- if there is swelling, apply ice or a cold compress
- apply an anti-inflammatory cream to reduce inflammation
- cover the area with sterile gauze / band-aid
The following are symptoms of an allergic reaction.
If any of these develop, you have to seek medical attention
- general itching
- loss of consciousness
- difficulty breathing
hiking, stay on designated trails and walk in single
file in the center of the path to avoid trampling trailside
plants. Many grasses and sub-alpine plants are extremely
sensitive to foot traffic. If you must venture beyond
the trail, choose the most durable surfaces to walk on
(rock, gravel or snow.)
tenting, set up camp on well-drained sandy or rocky sites,
or on vegetation that is heavily-laden with soft humus.
Do not establish camp on high ridges that are exposed
to wild weather (ie. cold, high winds and lightening).
Camp at lower elevations that are protected by surrounding
rocks, trees, and brush. Avoid camping in basins because
cold, damp air collects and you'll probably awake cold
and damp. Camp at least 200 feet (about 70 steps) from
lakes and streams to help keep pollutants out of water
sources.Also, seek out slightly sloped areas to ensure
that you don't awaken in the middle of a puddle of water.
from natural sources such as a stream or spring should
always be treated before consumption. Even crystal-clear
water can cause problems! The most common ways of disinfecting
water are: boiling for a minimum of 3 minutes and
chemical treatment (water purification tablets).
build your campfire away from your tent, trees
and other inflammable material. And remember, although
a campfire may look like it's "out" (on the
surface)... the core may still be burning. Be careful
it's a chilly night, you can use a water bottle to warm
up your sleeping bag. Simply fill you water bottle with
hot water, put it in your sleeping bag and roll your sleeping
bag for half an hour or so before you turn in for the
night. If you have two similar sleeping bags, you can
also "zip" them together so you can cuddle with
your mate. The body heat generated by two people can keep
the inside of the sleeping bag quite warm.
you're cooking on an open fire, remember to rub a bar
of (regular) soap along the outside of the cooking pans.
Any black scorching will then be very easy to remove.
clear plastic bags for your food and other items. This
reduces the weight you have to carry around and also reduces
tenting, it is recommended that you don't store your food
in your tent. rodents will simply chew holes in your tent
and pack in order to get to it. Furthermore, in bear country,
you might end up being the food. Hang food high above
the ground or use a bear-proof container and make sure
the food is a considerable distance from where you are