Be Prepared: Scouts Canada’s Top 10 Summer Camping Safety Tips

June 23, 2014

From Bears to Bugs, to Getting Lost – and Found!

OTTAWA, June 23, 2014 /CNW/ – With this winter’s Snowmageddon finally
behind us, summer is here and camping is a great way for families,
friends and the adventurous to get outdoors and enjoy the summer heat.
From hiking, to swimming, to sitting around the campfire, camping
should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Scouts Canada wants to make sure Canadians stay safe while experiencing the great
outdoors. Young or old, novice or experienced camper, Scouts Canada’s
essential 10 summer camping tips will help ensure you get the most out
of your trip and stay safe this summer. Plus, keep these tips handy for
all your summer adventures – whether cottaging, hiking or hitting the

      1. Water Safety
         Many water-related accidents are preventable. Always wear a
         properly sized and fitted life jacket when boating; know your
         abilities as a swimmer and don't venture beyond your comfort
         level; use the buddy system; be aware of currents and learn what
         to do if caught in one; and always supervise children, even in
         very shallow water.

      2. Protect Yourself from the Sun
         With summer comes hot, hot heat! Sunburns can be incredibly
         painful and very serious. Don't forget to wear hats, sunglasses
         and apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun and
         reapply often; make sure to use waterproof sunscreen if you plan
         to go in the water, but remember it only lasts about 90 minutes
         when in water.

      3. Keep Cool and Stay Hydrated
         With summer heat, it's also extremely important to keep cool and
         hydrated to avoid heat exhaustion or stroke. Drink plenty of water
         throughout the day and pack extra water bottles in a cooler with
         lots of ice to keep them cold. Find a shady place to rest if you
         are getting too hot. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion;
         excessive thirst, nausea, fainting, cool and clammy skin,
         weakness, muscle aches, heavy sweating, slow heartbeat and

      4. Avoiding Bears and Other Wildlife
         Food attracts a variety of critters, so raccoons, skunks and even
         bears could make an appearance during your trip. Never store
         scented products or food in your tent; instead, lock it in your
         car, put it in a separate tent or string it up in a tree if you
         are camping in the bush. Don't leave garbage out in the open,
         store food in airtight containers and clean up immediately after
         eating - otherwise you may have some unwelcome visitors.

      5. Transporting Food
         Keeping perishable foods at the appropriate temperature is vital
         to avoiding illness. Eat fresh foods first and pack them in a
         cooler using plenty of ice to keep food from spoiling.

      6. Build Campfires Responsibly
         Check the official campground website beforehand to determine fire
         regulations. Use a fire pit if one is available, never leave the
         fire unattended and remember to fully extinguish it when you are
         done. If a fire pit is not available, create one well away from
         tent walls, plants, trees and other flammable objects.

      7. Getting Lost - and Found!
         Always tell someone where you are going. Have a set plan with a
         pre-determined meeting place if you get separated. Packing a
         whistle, cell phone and compass or GPS are always a good idea.
         Know what to do when you get lost and you'll always be found.
         Adventuresmart.cais a great resource for information on how to
         stay safe outdoors.

      8. Protect Against Insects
         Prime mosquito-biting hours are usually from dusk to dawn, but
         ticks are out at all times, so become familiar with insect and
         tick repellent and apply regularly.

      9. Prepare for the Weather
         Check the weather forecast before you pack. Weather can be
         unpredictable, so make sure to pack for a range of temperatures
         and rain.

     10. Bring the Right Gear
         Plan in advance and bring only certified essentials -- you
         don't want to be lugging around unnecessary equipment or faulty
         gear. Don't forget to pack: a pocketknife, first aid kit, extra
         clothing, water bottle, flashlight, extra trail food and matches
         and fire starters.

Whether you’re a first-time camper or experienced explorer, Scouts
Canada wants you to make this summer the best one yet. And remember to leave no trace that you were ever there so that the natural world will be there to
appreciate for many years to come.

Stay safe, alert and aware – happy camping!

SOURCE Scouts Canada

Source: PR Newswire

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