Camping in the wilderness can be quite a challenge given that the dangers involved are often underestimated. Most often, first time campers and adventure seekers do not expect any danger on their way and hence are usually under prepared or mostly unprepared. Here are some dangers most frequently encountered by camping tourists and tips on how to tackle them.
1. Poisonous Flora
We think that such encounters are only to be heard in the fairy tales. But least do we know that many of these poisonous species can be fatal if not attended to immediately. Poison Ivy is one such plant. It is known to cause allergic reactions such as rashes which are painful but not fatal.
2. Dangerous Animals
Skunks are small mammals which spray a bad smelling spray to protect themselves from predators. Though harmless, the spray can cause rashes in addition to the obnoxious odor. There are many poisonous snakes’ species in every forest. It would be ideal to inform yourself about those and equip yourself accordingly. Bears and grizzly bears in particular are very dangerous and get attracted to the smell of food in any form. Hence it is important to follow all the instructions of a campsite designated as bear inhabited zone.
3. Parasites and Diseases
Ticks are a common parasite found in the forests. Often they transmit a disease called Lyme’s disease which is very difficult to diagnose and treat. Giardiasis is a water-borne parasitic disease common to adventure campers. The best way to keep away from such infections is to get vaccinated. Also it is advised that campers should purify water from natural sources such as springs and streams.
4. Weather Fluctuations
Out in the boonies, the weather gets very unpredictable. Temperatures tend to fall very rapidly towards evening and rise sharply by mid day. One must be sufficiently prepared for any such changes in the weather. It is always advisable to go through the weather forecast on the day of journey.
When you are out on the road it is easy to lose water from your body. Even before you know you can get severely dehydrated. Always equip yourself with more than enough water and keep drinking at regular intervals, even if you are not thirsty.
6. Getting Lost
Though we least expect this to happen to us, it is very much possible to get lost in the wilderness. Always carry paper maps provided by the campsite and do not rely on your cellphone or GPS. Signals in the boonies are totally unreliable. If you are heading out on a long hike use guided tour services wherever available. And in case you do lose your way, stay calm. Carry gear that will help you reach out to the rangers. Never go off trail.