Here is a list of 10 common sense tips for tent campers to help you avoid uncomfortable or dangerous mistakes. After all, even the most seasoned of tent campers can make simple mistakes while in the out of doors.
- Common Sense Tip: Arrive Before Dark: There are many benefits to arriving early at your campsite. One of the most beneficial is not having to put a tent up in the dark. Headlights and flashlights are not a great substitution for natural daylight. Arriving early also gives you the chance to scout the area and find the best places to secure your belongings.
- Common Sense Tip: Don't Leave Food In Your Car: Bears are a very real part of nature, and they can open your car with very little effort. Most designated camp sites in state and national parks provide free bear lockers where you can store your food and toiletry items. Make sure to keep all foods, whether it is packaged or not, as well as all toiletries that have an odor in a bear safe container. Throw away any wrappers or food containers in your vehicle.
- Common Sense Tip: Check The Weather Before You Travel: Camping in the summer is great when the weather cooperates. Make sure to check the local weather forecast before you pack up you belongings and head out on that trip.
- Common Sense Tip: Don't Feed The Deer: No matter how cute the deer may look do not approach them or try to feed them. Deer, like bears can be dangerous. They also carry diseases. If a deer approaches you make a loud noise to scare it away. It is unnatural for them to be fed by humans, they will forget how to forge on their own if they are fed regularly. This applies to all species of wildlife.
- Common Sense Tip: If You Pack It In, Pack It Out: Don't leave your trash behind. Most campgrounds have designated garbage and recycling bins for your use. If you are tent camping in the back country bring an extra bag just for garbage.
- Common Sense Tip: Don't Drink The Water: Seriously! Don't drink any water even if it is from a swiftly running stream. The water may contain bacteria that could make you very sick, or even cause death. If you don't have any iodine tablets to disinfect water from these sources you can boil it as a last resort. The Wilderness Medical Society recommends boiling water for 30 minutes at 165 degrees Fahrenheit or for just a few minutes at 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the water boil rapidly for a full minute for extra safety.
- Common Sense Tip: Watch Where You Build That Fire: Most campgrounds will have designated fire pits, don't build another one. If there is no fire pit and you are allowed to have a campfire watch where you are building it. Make sure not to have a fire directly under a tree, near your tent or too close to anything flammable, like a field of dry grass. Make sure to put your fire completely out before leaving your campsite for any length of time.
- Common Sense Tip: Secure Your Belongings: If your tent camping trip includes activities that require you to be away from your belongings make sure to secure them before you leave. Anything that may be of value, such as cameras or sports equipment should be locked in your car or a bear bin. Don't just assume that somebody walking past your site will leave your things where you did.
- Common Sense Tip: Be Respectful Of Others: Camping is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for everybody. Some people like the quiet of nature, not your car stereo that has a trunk loaded with speakers. If you want music just make sure to keep it at a minimal and respectful level.
- Common Sense Tip: Use Common Sense: When in doubt, leave it out. If you see something like a berry and don't know what it is, don't eat it. If you see a baby bear, realize that the mother is nearby and get out of there. Camping is supposed to be fun, but remember to be safe.