Having fun safely in the great outdoors

  • Published
  • By Eric T. Hoehn Safety Office
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – With fall outings upon us, now is the time to take a quick look at things you can do to ensure your next camping trip is a fun, enjoyable and most importantly, a safe family event.

Location, location, location

Tent campers should be mindful of where they are placing their tent or shelter. This is crucial in terms of the following:

  • Avoid flooding by not placing your tent in a low-lying area. Do your best to select a site on high ground.
  • Beware of trail areas and animals — many animals, especially hoofed wildlife such as 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. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not place your tent under a tree — sometimes, this is impossible. If placing your tent under a tree, check and make sure the tree is not dead or aging with loose limbs above. It has not been uncommon for limbs to fall onto camper tents at night and hurt people.

Critters and pests

Family camping can be lots of fun, but depending on when and where you go, it could result in an unpleasant experience, if you’re not prepared for nuisances. Here are some pests to watch for:

  • Flies and mosquitoes — these pests can quickly bring an end to your comfort around the campground, so take along something that will repel these little nasties. Citronella candles help keep them away from the immediate area, but for thorough protection, you may need to apply bug repellent to your skin.
  • Ticks — besides just being yucky, certain species carry Lyme disease. When outdoors, prevention is the best measure: wear hats, cover exposed areas of skin with long clothes; use a repellent, such as DEET, on your clothing, but not your skin; avoid walking through talk grass or brush, and perform routine inspections to check for ticks. If you find one, remove promptly.
  • Snakes — Beware! Learn how to identify poisonous snakes, and know what to do if bitten. As a general rule, avoid all snakes in the outdoors.

These are just a few safety items to consider before packing up your tent and heading to the great outdoors. For more camping safety information, visit www.surviveoutdoors.com