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Top 5 Camping Tips for a Safe (and Fun) Summer

A family camping.

Ah, summertime. Warm weather, swimming, barbecues and fun in the great outdoors. And nothing says summer like a camping trip! If you love to spend your nights under the stars, you're not alone. Before you hit the road to your favorite campground or wilderness site, be sure that you're ready to have a safe and fun time. These top camping safety tips will help.

Before You Go

When it comes to camping, the first rule of thumb is simple: Be prepared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend putting together a camping safety kit that includes items such as:

  • First aid supplies
  • GPS, compass or maps
  • Flashlights or lanterns and batteries
  • Extra clothes
  • Blankets
  • Water and food
  • Medications

Being prepared also means reading up on your campsite's rules, regulations and conditions, checking weather reports for the region you'll be camping in, and telling trusted friends or family members where you'll be. If you're driving your RV to your campsite, you'll also need to have adequate insurance coverage for your camper. The easiest way to ensure that you have the right coverage for your camping trip is talking to your insurance agent before you leave.


What if you encounter temperature changes or severe weather conditions? To prevent unpleasant surprises, the National Weather Service recommends signing up for its free weather alert service through your mobile devices. If you get caught in a storm, get out of your tent or camper, stay away from trees to avoid falling debris and head for a sturdy shelter. If none is available, take shelter in your car. If you're caught outside in a lightning storm or high winds, crouch down and stay away from tall objects.


When camping, you may experience hot, sunny days and cold nights, making it hard to determine exactly what type of clothing to wear. The solution? Wear layers that you can remove in the heat and add when it gets cold. For those cool nights, be sure to bring adequate blankets or sleeping bags. If you're tent camping, setting up your tent on top of a plastic tarp adds an extra layer of insulation against the cold ground.

Sun Exposure

If you've ever had a sunburn, you know how uncomfortable too much sun exposure can be. Protect yourself by wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing during the day, and a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Sunscreen is a camping essential; apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 15) frequently. During the hottest hours of the day, seek out shade to minimize your sun exposure. Remember, UV rays penetrate even cloudy or hazy skies, so don't forget to protect your skin.

Wildlife and Insects

Those squirrels and chipmunks hanging out around your campsite may be cute, but many wild animals can carry diseases. Stay safe by keeping your distance from all wild animals and ensuring that your food is sealed and stored securely. Insects are also a part of camping; protect yourself by using insect repellent and checking yourself for ticks frequently. Do the same for your pets, if you bring them along.

Camping is a great way to get back to nature and enjoy the great outdoors. By following these simple tips, you'll help ensure that your next camping trip is both fun and safe!

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