As of June 30th, at 12:01 am, Ontarians were given the green light to Step 2, which is an expansion on outdoor activities. Among a slew of freedom crumbs, overnight camping has made it on the list.
Before you start packing the van, and before we start the chants of “does anyone need to use the bathroom before we go?” there are a few other considerations we must take this year. It should be no surprise that as we venture out and begin to interact with the general public once more, there are COVID-19 public health measures and advice that we must adhere to. Once you have an understanding of the current Step 2 Breakdown, it’s time to start planning for your trip.
We have compiled a list of safety tips and tricks from multiple sources to make your upcoming camping experience as fun, and as safe as possible. If you are a seasoned camper, then the below list will just be a reminder of how good, and knowledgeable of a camper you are.
- Choose a campsite:
- This may seem redundant. However please keep in mind that campsites are reducing the number of campers they are allowing to stay on site due to the COVID-19 regulations. Make sure to book your site ahead of time.
- Get applicable parks permits.
- Have a tangible map ready and make sure you know the information houses in the cities where you will be staying.
- Plan where you will be parking and know your walking route to the campsite grounds.
- Supply Planning:
- Once you have a camp site pinned down, start planning your supplies. How long will you be staying? How much food will you bring? Do you have the appropriate supplies/knowledge for storing your food?
- Water. Water. Make sure you have enough clean drinking water. As beautiful as some lake water ripples look, it’s best not to drink it. There are water purifier kits that you can buy at your local Canadian Tire, or other supply shops if you don’t have the space to carry extra or giant water bottles.
- There are several safety apps you can sign up for if you are a solo traveller. You can set up emergency contacts that will be contacted should you not check in by a specified date and time.
- First Aid Kits:
- No matter how graceful, prepared, and tough you think you are, pack a first aid kit.
- First Aid Kits come in different sizes, depending on how many people you will be around. Coordinate, and communicate.
- Prepare a checklist of supplies you should have with you in your first aid kits.
- Brush up on your first aid skills.
- Fire Safety:
- Campfires should be at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees, and any shrubs.
- Never leave a fire unattended, and keep it small.
- Keep water nearby, make sure the fire it fully put out before leaving or going to sleep.
- Water Safety:
- Will you be around the water? Know the lakes you will be visiting.
- Know your water safety.
- Check the weather. Is it going to rain? Thunderstorms? High winds? Check. The. Weather.
- Listen to camp rangers if they advise against swimming/boating. They are not trying to dampen your fun, they just want you to be safe.
- Prepare for Sun:
- Make sure you have the appropriate SPF level sunscreen. Will you be swimming? Look into getting water/sweat proof formulas.
- Reapply regularly.
- Insect Repellent:
- Pretty self-explanatory. Avoid nasty bites, pack a repellent.
- Be Aware of Local Wildlife
- Whether you are camping on sites where it is known to see bears, or if the trails you will be walking on are known to have poison ivy or oak. Be prepared.
- Have Fun!
- Now that you’ve got a good understanding of the steps needed to plan your camping trip.
- Stay alert, and stay safe!
Having a good understanding of outdoor camping safety is imperative to ensure you can have the best time while enjoying the great outdoors. Plan ahead, check the weather, and to quote the great Scouts Canada, be prepared.
Thinking of taking up any other first aid classes? Check out our course list at Life’s Emergency Training today!