Guest Post: The Risks In Camping and How to Stay Safe: Written by Billy Trotter

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I know that many of you wait impatiently, tapping your toes, sweating profusely, pacing back and forth, anxiously checking your email box for the next blog post from The Outdoor Soul. I understand how breathtakingly exciting are my stories; how in-depth and mesmerizing are the piecing together of my words. I would love to be able to provide you all with much more of my fascinating pieces that add to the whole of my oeuvre. Yet, I am only one man. One man with a full-time job and a family, I might add. I wish that I had more hours in a day to be able to accomplish everything I would like to.

I am opening up my blog to be able to introduce to you all some other bloggers and writers that share in my passion for and expertise of the great outdoors. I want to allow others to share their voice with you as well. I was recently contacted by Billy Trotter with Perkin Knives, who was enamored to share some of his own camping safety tips. Safety should always be on your mind when camping in the wilderness. Let me allow Billy to further explain:

There is no activity which is risk-free and camping especially because it involves experiences in the wilderness. The outdoors has all kinds of challenges that you need to face and risks that you need to prepare for. On your camping and hiking trip, there are several risks and challenges that you might face and you should be well equipped and aware to deal with them and keep yourself safe.

Here are some of the common risks that all campers and hikers should be prepared to face.

1. Risks of a Fire

Most of the campers and hikers are going to light a campfire, strum a few strings and dance around. So that means the probability of fire-related risks increases. To avoid getting interrupted by the fire while you’re enjoying singing Summer of ‘69, always have your campfire away from your tents and in a contained area. You will have to keep a check on your fire to ensure it doesn’t spread too much. Never leave a campfire unattended unless it has absolutely burned out. Keep flammable items like liquids, paper, etc. away from the fire.

2. Wildlife

There’s always a risk of bears, dogs and other wildlife attacking you. The main thing to keep in mind to prevent any bear attacks is to not leave any food outside. If you thought you were a foodie, wait till you leave some out for the bears in the wild. Keep the usage of products that might have odor which can attract bears, to a minimum and only when it’s absolutely necessary on your camping trip.

In case you have an encounter with a bear, do not replay the film The Revenant in your head. Make sure you do not approach it and keep your distance from it. Ensure that all your food and hygiene products are stored in a bear canister or hung from a tree far away from your camps.

Also, always keep a pocket knife with you at all times during a camping or hiking trip. It can come in handy to fight bears or fix up a shelter. They come in handy not only during emergency situations but can be extremely useful for first-aid tasks like removing a deep splinter or trimming some moleskin.

In my personal experience, a pocket knife can simplify the process of making fire-friendly splints and can definitely be a blessing if hunting is on the menu.

3. Weather Conditions

Although you can always ask Alexa or Siri about the weather before you head out for your camping or hiking trip, it can still be very unpredictable and change within minutes. Keep tracking the weather of the place that you’re heading to for your camping trip and understand what kind of clothing you will need there to protect yourself from extreme weather conditions. Always be prepared for risks like hypothermia, dehydration, heatstroke etc.

In case of heavy rains, never camp near water bodies like lakes and ponds unless you want to wake up breathing water. Always camp away from the water, as these areas can easily get flooded in times of heavy rains. Carry blankets, warm clothes and always carry an extra set of change on your camping and hiking trip.

4. Plants and Trees

In the wild, there are all kinds of plants and trees which can be harmless or extremely poisonous. Do not attempt to eat wild berries or any other plant produce if you are not sure whether it’s edible or not. You can get sick or have severe poisoning if you end up consuming the wrong plant. Best is to stay away from any plants or berries that you are not sure of or don’t know anything about. Remember what happened at the end of the film, Into The Wild. Yeah, while happiness is only when shared, it’s also only when you know what you’re eating.

5. Communication

Keeping someone informed of your whereabouts is extremely important when you’re out camping or hiking. If possible, you should inform someone on a daily basis of your well-being. It’s important to do this if you want to be able to receive help in case of an emergency. In case of getting lost in the woods, someone will at least notice your long absence and send a search party for rescue.

In Conclusion

Going camping or hiking is only fun if you are well prepared and safe. Safety is most important when you’re venturing out into the wild because there are a lot of risks in the woods. Right from natural dangers like wildlife, poisonous plants to health emergencies, anything is possible in the wild. The only way to encounter them, have a good experience and return home safely, is to beware, take precautions for all the risks you are exposed to and not to forget, have loads of fun!

Guest Post Contributed by Billy Trotter

Having been on the Perkin Knives team for several years as a marketing executive, Billy has been part of a great many top-of-the-line projects. Not only has he personally contributed to the service in every way, but he also happens to be one of the most revered members of Perkin Knives.