Tent Camping Safety Tips
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A common beginner question is to ask how safe camping is from crime. Because I am always busy planning my next camping trips, I decided to do some research on this.
Based on the latest government statistics, there is almost no crime in the national parks. According to the FBI in 2018, there were 1.2 million violent crimes reported in the US. In 2018, the Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service reported a total of 119 new crimes. Which means statistically there are almost no crimes committed while camping.
This is because while in the outdoors, even criminals have to deal with the elements as much as any other camper. And those more of a threat than another human. But read on to get more tips about camping safety.
Outdoors Are Not Inviting To Criminals
There is less crime while camping because campers are not easy targets. First, camping occurs Outdoors. The outdoors is a wide-open space with fewer people. this means a bad guy would have to wait a very long time in order for a Target to appear. or have to spend a lot of time trying to find someone to rob or physically hurt. Second, the bad guys would have to deal but the same elements as campers. This includes the natural Terrain, the weather, and of course the wildlife such as bears and snakes. Third, campers are often armed with some kind of weapon. while not all of us are carrying firearms, we are more likely to than the general population. And even if we are not carrying a firearm, we are most likely armed with at least one knife.
Just like the Boy Scouts say you should “Be Prepared” when going camping. Because while most people will go camping without incident this doesn’t mean camping is without risk. These are basic precautions to deal with the fact that we will be outside and away from medical services. So make sure to bring along proper clothing, sleeping gear, food, water and of course a first aid kit. Also before you leave to make sure someone who is staying back home knows where you are going and when to expect you back. This way if you don’t return on time they can let the authorities know the launch of search-and-rescue for you.
While you can camp by yourself, it is safer and more fun to camp With friends. Even if you are going on a solo camping trip, you may still camp in an area with other people. Campers are typically very friendly. Not only is camping with friends more fun. Camping with other people makes camping safer. If there are bad guys in the woods, they’re unlikely to Want to attack a group. going with friends also means that if something happened such as you fall down and break a leg that they can go and get help.
Trust Your Gut And Leave
One of the benefits of camping is that you get disconnected from the noise of urban life. Your natural senses will improve. This includes your natural ability to detect danger in your gut. If you are in a situation with another person and it just doesn’t feel right then feel free to trust your gut and leave. Even if that means cutting your camping trip short moving to a new camping spot.
Learn Wilderness First Aid
The best skill you can learn to improve your safety while camping is to learn proper wilderness first aid. While you are unlikely to have to escape from the family in “Deliverance”, you may need to treat an injury. Even if you have cell service and can call 911 it will take them a long time to reach you. Thus the knowledge and a basic First Aid kit will go along way to improve your safety while camping. And I don’t want you to be scared about needing to learn First Aid. Because most camping injuries are likely to be minor such as sprains hand blisters. You can learn wilderness first aid through classes taught by either REI or the Red Cross. You can learn more about the Red Cross Wilderness First Aid course here.
Practice Inconvenient Camping
Another way to improve camping safety is to learn some basic “survival skills”. As survivalist teacher, Dave Canterbury says what people call survival skills are not really survival skills. They are learning how to improvise An Inconvenient camping trip. That’s because true survival means having to make decisions and execute an action to save your life and the next minute to 30 minutes. And most of us will never find ourselves in such a situation. But you might find yourself leaving camp and going for a Day hike. Only to stumble and twist an ankle. And realize that you cannot make it back to your campsite before dark. In this case, you will need to make an improvised primitive campsite. This is why all campers should take a pack with them on trips away from their campsite with some basic supplies. and more importantly the knowledge of how to use the supplies. The supplies would include equipment to make shelter, purify water, and to make fire. In addition, there should be some way for you to signal for help and to perform Compass navigation to get you back home if you got lost. you might even want to throw in some snack bars in case you got hungry. Just like you can take first day classes, there are classes on survival or bushcraft skills. And these are fun to practice even in your backyard in between camping trips. And we cover an essential skill of boiling water in this article.
Use The Light To Evade
When Outdoors always carry a tactical high lumen flashlight. if you are wearing a headlamp then make sure it has a very high lumen setting that you can engage with a flick of your finger. Not only will high lumen flashlights make it easier for you to see at night, but these bright lights can also temporarily blind and distract an attacker. This way if you do run into a person that you need to escape from you have an easy way to buy yourself sometimes without risking getting into a physical entanglement. These bright lights can also be used to scare off any wildlife that might have stumbled into your camp looking for food.
What About The Missing People?
Every time someone asks about camping crimes and the group responds with that they have camped for years without incident, someone always mentions the “missing people”. I am not doubting that every year some people go camping and unfortunately go missing. However, I doubt these people went missing as a result of a criminal misdeed. There are many ways for people to go missing in the outdoors. Not everyone files a plan with the local park rangers. Not everyone tells a friend where they are going and when they expect to be back. Not everyone goes camping with friends. And we have all heard the new stories of people getting seriously hurt or killed while trying to take the perfect selfie on a cliff. While camping it is most likely going to be a fine and safe adventure. Or to put it another way, for most campers the dangerous part of your camping trip will be the driving to the campsite and back.
Should You Arm Yourself?
When beginners ask and I Camping forums about camping crimes, at least a handful of people will respond with you should carry a firearm. This is a personal choice. If you feel like you want to carry a firearm while camping then please check the local laws of your campsite. Please make sure to get the proper training. Please remember to practice. And never mix alcohol and firearms. First, I doubt you need a firearm for protection while camping. As we explained earlier most campers are friendly. Camping does not present easy opportunities for the average criminal. Movies about serial killers hiding in the woods are from the minds of creative filmmakers and are not documentaries. And even wildlife such as bears and snakes are more likely to flee then mean you harm if given a chance to escape.