As dangerous it is to go out right now, it’s quite understandable why some people are planning or have already gone camping. Months of being cooped up in their homes have taken a toll on many people’s mental well-being not to mention their financial situation. If you really want to take the family out to get that much needed reprieve from your self-proclaimed quarantine, camping may just be the way to go. While camping is considered one of the safest outdoor activities during the pandemic, you still need to practice the necessary safety precautions when you go out. Here are some camping safety tips the whole family needs to know before packing all your stuff and heading out.
Before we proceed, I must reiterate that going out at this time is not recommended. As of this writing, the United States have recorded a total of 4.31 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with around 149,000 casualties. If you can still hang on a bit more, please stay at home. If you really have to go on an outdoor adventure, please take these camping safety tips seriously.
Are you currently sick? Do you have an existing medical condition? Are you over 50 years old? Are you fit to go camping? Were you tested for COVID-19 and waiting for results? Ask yourself these questions and if you answer yes to any one of them, don’t go. Stay at home. This is perhaps the best of all the camping safety tips you’ll encounter here.
Go With Your Family Only
Camping trips with a small group is the safest way to go. The larger the group, the higher the risk. Don’t ask other friends and relatives to go with you or to meet you at the campsite. It’s best to stick with the people who you share your home with.
In case you’re camping with people outside your household, make sure you do things as separate as possible. Don’t go in the same vehicle. You should drive in separate cars. Don’t share food, drinks, tents, and other camping gear. It’s enough to be “together” on this camping adventure. I’m pretty sure none of you will take it personally if you keep your distance.
Here’s a camping safety tip you may find fun: bring two-way radios. If you really miss your buddies or relatives, you can still talk to each other even if you’re a few meters apart. You can use something like the BaoFeng Tech BF-F8HP HAM Radio to communicate with your neighbors or listen to music on its FM radio. Most importantly, the HAM radio will come in handy during emergencies.
Check Campgrounds Near You
Before heading out, make sure you have some place to go. Check with all the nearest campsites and see if there’s still a spot for you and your family. Ask if there are lots of other people that have inquired about reserving a spot. This will give you an idea if the place will be crowded or not.
In case the campground is too crowded, look for sites that are not popular among campers. Find a remote and secluded place so you’re far from others.
Pack Everything You Need
Pandemic or not, you should triple check your gear if you have everything you need for your camping trip. No one likes to drive back or to look for a tore to get buy what you forgot. It’s also not safe considering other people may be carrying the virus.
One thing you should never leave behind is your tent. Obviously, you need a shelter to keep you protected from the elements. You can stay in your car or camper but a tent would be a better camping experience.
The Sundome® 2 or 4 Person Dome Tent by Coleman is made of durable Polyguard™ fabric. It boasts of its patented WeatherTec™ System, a welded floor system with inverted seams that helps keep the tent waterproof. The door awning and rainfly also help keep rain away. For ventilation, the Sundome comes with ground vent and two windows. The easy-to-setup tent also features an E-Port where you can use to bring electrical power inside.
In case of accidents, you need to apply first aid. There should be at least one person who has undergone basic first aid training. This cancels the need to go to hospitals every time someone is hurt with minor injuries. Hospitals are not the most ideal places to be in right now for obvious reasons. Make sure you have a first aid kit and you know how to use it. For serious injuries, call 911 immediately especially if the victim can’t be moved. Otherwise, take him to the nearest hospital but make sure you wear your face masks when you get there.
Normally, you’d bring a hygiene kit to camp. Because of the pandemic, your kit needs to level up. Make sure you have hand sanitizers, sanitizing wipes, alcohol spray, and other disinfectants.
Other camping gear essentials include food, water, sleeping bags, tactical flashlights, headlamps, portable stove, cooking and eating sets, fire starters survival knife, bear spray, and multi-tools. You’ll also need a compass, emergency whistles (one for each), paracord, folding shovel, hatchet or machete, hygiene kits, radio, garbage bags, board games or other forms of entertainment, and a host of other items.
Limit Your Stops
Make sure you have everything you need so you don’t have to stop by the store. Keep a cooler nearby so you can have a cold drink while on your way to the campsite. Ideally, the site should be nearby to avoid long drives.
Also, relieve yourself at home before leaving. You don’t want to use public restrooms at a time like this. If you need to refuel, get a full tank. This will keep you from making another stop at a gas station.
Practice Social Distancing
Expect other people at the camp grounds. As we mentioned, there’s quite a lot of people going camping since it’s one of the safest outdoor activities to do during the pandemic. If you do see other people, make sure to keep your distance. Try your best to keep that six feet distance between you and the other person.
Wear A Mask
You’ll be out in the open so you better mask up. There’s always the possibility of crossing paths with other people and if you’re not careful, you risk spreading the virus. These camping safety tips are not only meant to protect yourself and your loved ones but also others. In a way, wearing face masks during the pandemic is a show of courtesy to other people.
Frog & CO also makes face masks. Its Two Layered Cotton Mask with Filter Slot can filter up to 74% of 0.1 micron particles as is. The reusable and machine washable face mask does have a filter slot for additional filter that will increase its effectiveness. You can use HEPA polypropylene coffee filters or vacuum bags in the filter slot. Frog & CO also offers filter inserts. You can get 7 masks for $40 less its total price. Twenty masks save you a whopping $100.
Please be reminded that these cloth face masks are for non-medical use only. They cannot replace surgical masks and N95 respirators. Using cloth masks also don’t negate the need for social distancing and proper hygiene.
Avoid Touching Stuff
Wherever you go, keep your hands to yourself. If you have to stop for an emergency at a gas station, store, restaurant, or public restroom, avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Push doors using your elbow or shoulder. Spray some alcohol on door knobs or handles that you need to touch to open. Afterwards, spray some on your hand or use a hand sanitizer.
Once you get to your destination, avoid using your hands on public areas. It’s okay to touch your gear but make sure you didn’t touch anything else prior. When you go on a hike, don’t forget your hand sanitizer and your mask, too. If you have achy knees, bring a trekking pole to help keep your balance so you don’t accidentally lean on trees that other people may have touched.
BAFX Products Adjustable Hiking Poles work well for newbies and expert hikers. Since it’s adjustable, anyone from children to the elderly can use it. The poles are made of 6061 aluminum with rubber and carbide tips and weigh just 12.4 pounces each. They come with ergonomic grips, padded wrist straps, and two extra rubber tips.
Wash Hands Regularly
Another one of the camping safety tips that the whole family should be doing even without COVID-19 is to frequently wash your hands. When you’re in the great outdoors, you often touch dirt and other not-so-pleasing things. These call for some good handwashing.
Now that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, it is especially important to wash hands thoroughly as much as possible. You can possibly get the virus by touching surfaces other people may have touched or come in contact with.
If the campsite has no water supply, you need to bring your own. And even if they do have supply, you may not want to go near the faucets that other campers are using. You’ll need clean water for drinking, preparing food, and cleaning up. In other words, you need lots of water.
Hopefully, your vehicle has a large enough space to pack lots of water aside from your camping gear. WaterBrick Stackable Containers can carry up to five gallons of water each. The BPA-free High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) containers are designed for easy stacking, which should make it easier to pack as many in your vehicle. You need to purchase a spigot to get water directly from the WaterBrick.
If you’re staying for a few days, you’d want to have a shower. Pack a StanSport Jumbo Campers Shower for that hot shower after a day of roughing it in the woods. The 5-Gallon Solar Heated Shower is enough for 3 to 4 showers each fill. You just need to leave it under the sun to heat the water. Once ready, simply hang it then turn the switch on and let gravity so its thing. You can also use this for washing hands and cleaning your stuff.
The experience would be different without a campfire but maybe you can do without one for now. The smoke from the campfire can lead to coughing and when you cough, you spread whatever germs or virus you have, in case you’re infected.
For your cooking needs, try a solar oven. GoSun has a collection of solar cookers, each with different qualities. The GoSun Fusion boasts of being a hybrid oven. It can cook using electricity or solar energy. Basically, you’ll always have a way to cook your meals while outdoors or even at home.
The Ultimate Fusion Bundle comes with the solar cooker, the PowerBank, and the SolarFlex 30. The last two devices are used to power the Fusion even when the sun goes down and well into the night.
Since smoke is the main issue, one option is to go smokeless. The Pocket Stove Folding Camping Stove by Frog & CO uses smokeless Hex Fuel Tablets. The portable stove weighs a mere 3.8 ounces and measures just 0.8 x 3.9 x 3 inches when folded. It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and can withstand drops and abuse. In other words, it’s the perfect stove to bring to your camping trip.
The set includes six fuel tablets. Each one can burn up to ten minutes, which is enough to boil water and cook simple meals. If you planned an extended stay in the campsite, you need extra tablets. Frog & CO also offers Pocket Stove Smokeless Hexamine Fuel Tabs by sets of twelve. They weigh a total of 2.4 ounces so they barely have an effect on the weight of your gear. Most importantly, the tablets don’t produce smoke, which we already mentioned can cause coughing. That means you can still enjoy cooking meals and making hot coffee outdoors without worrying about spreading the virus.
Campfires provide warmth, which are necessary when the nights get too cold. Since we’re trying to avoid fire for the time-being, you’ll need other ways to stay warm. Of course, you should always pack fire starters so you can build one if you really need it. For now, use such extra layers of clothing, fleece blankets, emergency blankets, sleeping bags and other body warmers.
Speaking of, you should always have Heat Pax Disposable 20-Hour Body Warmers in your camping gear. Keep some in your car and bug out bags, as well. These disposable body warmers provide 20 hours of warmth as high as 155 degrees. They’ll be pretty handy when you’re stuck in your car or stranded somewhere during the cold season.
The camping safety tips are not mere suggestions. Think of them as laws that everyone should follow. These tips are just a few of the things you should know before heading out, though. Go to Gentleman Pirate Club and read more tips on both camping and the coronavirus.