Sleeping under the stars, hiking, swimming, and toasting marshmallows are activities many folks look forward to every summer. But getting back to nature offers its own set of risks. By understanding the following common camping mishaps, you can make it much more likely that your summer outdoor excursions will only include the fun and exhilarating kind of adventures, instead of the emergency-room kind.
Bites & Stings:
Depending on what part of the country you live in, camping may expose you to mosquitos, ticks, spiders, flies, bees and, yikes, maybe even snakes.
Preventative measures: Know and prepare for the insects and animals common to your area. To avoid getting bit or stung in the first place, use bug spray and wear protective clothing. At night, make sure your tent stays tightly zipped and that it’s hole-free.
If it happens: Remove the stinger (if necessary), clean the wound with soap and water, and apply a cold compress and/or hydrocortisone cream to alleviate itching or burning. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used to relieve mild swelling or pain. If you experience any extreme symptoms such as weakness, nausea, swelling, or confusion, seek medical attention right away.
Minor Injuries & Burns:
Hiking, climbing and cooking outdoors increases the chance of a twisted ankle, sliced finger or third-degree burn. Additionally, boating, swimming and other water-related recreation can be potentially deadly if not done safely.
Preventative measures: Prevent minor injuries by going slowly and using basic safety guidelines, especially when doing outdoor activities like swimming, hiking or climbing. Use the right equipment, such as sturdy, supportive hiking shoes or a life jacket while swimming. Keep all cooking equipment organized, and don’t leave items such as matches or knives lying around a campsite.
If it happens: If someone in your party sustains a minor injury, you’ll be happy you packed a basic first-aid kit containing ointment, bandages, tape and tweezers, among other things (for a complete list, follow this link). Keep wounds and burns clean and covered, and stabilize any sprains or strains. If you suspect any injury cannot be handled with basic first aid, seek immediate medical attention.
Weather Related Conditions:
Many camping accidents are related to changing weather. Extreme heat, rain, lightning, and rapidly falling temperatures can cause conditions that range from irritating to life threatening.
Preventative measures: First, check the weather, and, unless you’re an experienced camper, be willing to stay home if it doesn’t look promising. Pack rain gear, warmer clothing and light fabrics (for hot weather) as necessary. When you reach your campsite, make a plan for seeking shelter during a lightning, rain or windstorm. In extreme heat, stay hydrated, seek shade, and avoid too much activity.
If it happens: In the event of a storm, find shelter or get inside your vehicle. If there’s lightning, avoid lone trees or metal tent poles. If you suspect heat stroke or hypothermia seek medical attention.
For more information, call or contact Consolidated today.