Camping can be fun if you take the right precautions and have all you need on your camping gear list. Here is an example of how a Camping Trip can go totally wrong (extreme worst case scenario) and a few tips on how you can prevent these things from happening to you.
Your food tent is torn to shreds. A family of raccoons is snarling at you. Your kids are trembling in the car with your wife. You are standing behind the car banging a stick. However, it is too late. They got to your meat and everything else that is not secured in a can or jar.
So, you figure, for tonight, you still have your canned goods. What was that? You forgot the can opener. After walking a quarter a mile to various campsites, you realize no one has a can opener. They opted for steaks and shish-ka-bobs – nothing in cans. The camp store is all the way at the entrance to the campground (about 1.5 miles away in some instances). You have already walked a good way. By the time you get back to the campsite, you have lost all motivation to drive to the camp store to get a new can opener. So, you end up borrowing some bread from a neighbor (the raccoons already got into your bread) and have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. Your stomach is growling with hunger.
After you and your family eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you have a couple of beers. A little while later, you go into the woods to relieve yourself (at this point, the bathroom is just too far to walk). On the way back to the campsite, you step on an in-ground bees’ nest, and your legs are twice their size and hurt like you know what. There is no stream or even a puddle to jump into to relieve the pain.
Your back is burnt to a crisp. Your feet are bruised from the rough terrain. Your arms are covered with mosquito bites and bee stings from when you stepped on the bees’ nest. Your ripped up t-shirt is binding a gash in your leg caused by your tripping over a sharp stick.
Your dog has disappeared over the horizon chasing a squirrel. You took off his collar to make him comfortable and don’t know how you’ll find him. You stepped in his droppings and ruined your moccasins.
The campfire spread to dry leaves around it and melted one end of your cooler, exploding the cans of beer inside. You have hot beer all over you as a result. At least the canned fruit and the grape soda are fine. They are in the other cooler away from the fire.
The kids are crying and your wife is sulking because they are hungry. Remember, the only thing you all had to eat was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You drop down in despair on a tree stump.
What went wrong?!
First of all, you should have stored your food a little ways away from any of your tents. That way, if an animal takes an interest in your food, it won’t destroy your campsite. Also, do not take any food into your tent. If you want a midnight snack, eat it outside. As for the can opener, you seem to be a good candidate for those folding ones that fit on your keychain, providing you don’t lose your keys.
As for the bees and mosquitos, you should invest in insect repellant. It really works. Also, a first-aid kit should be a given for campers. Both of these items are important items that should be on your camping gear list. Do you know if any member of your family is allergic to bee stings? People die from bee stings. An antidote exists for that, too, and can be made part of the kit. Also, a good kit has an ace bandage for such things as the gash in your leg (Weren’t you watching where you were going? Hope it wasn’t a favorite t-shirt.).
Oh, no! Didn’t you bring something most people wouldn’t leave home without? Sunblock! You had better hope your good old buddy next door doesn’t slap you on the back and say “Welcome home!”
Did you really think the collar was uncomfortable for your dog? Under no circumstances should you take the ID off of your dog. He can’t say his name and phone number. Ever hear of a leash? Also, wild animals often see them as prey.
Your moccasins are probably history. Don’t you know that good campers bring waste bags and scoopers? You’re lucky your neighbors did not meet the same fate. You might have been history! Wearing moccasins, to a camp out is not bright anyway. You will probably be soaking your feet for a week. Hiking boots exist, you know.
As for the fire, what did you think would happen with dry leaves all around the flames? The word “dry” is a clue. Did you think there were tiny little firemen hiding in the leaves waiting to put out the inevitable fire? Get rid of any dry leaves before you start your fire. Also, have the [tag-ice]beer cooler[/tag-ice] in reach but not so close that the fire can get so much heat to it that all the ice melts and the beer explodes.
Camping can be fun and extremely rewarding as long as you use common sense and have a well-equipped camping gear list. Remember to check over all your gear before you go and make sure your first aid kit is equipped for every possible scenario. If you do these things, you will have fun with very little consequence.