Planning a camping trip is an exciting way to break out of the boring day to day routine. You get to unplug and live a simpler life for a few days. Before you load up your car and pitch a tent, it’s important that you understand the dangers that come along with camping and how to keep yourself safe.

Update Your Vaccines

Call your doctor to review your vaccine records. If you’re camping somewhere that isn’t local, additional travel vaccines may be needed. Ensure all members of your family have been vaccinated for tetanus, hepatitis, meningitis, and more.

Protecting Yourself from Bugs

Bugs are to be expected when you’re spending time outside. While it’s crazy to think you can avoid bugs all together during your trip, there are steps you can take to make sure they don’t harm you. Begin by using an insect repellent that will keep mosquitoes and flies at bay. Mosquitoes can carry serious diseases such as Zika and West Nile, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Ticks are another serious offender that affects campers. Lower the risk of attracting ticks by wearing light-colored clothing and avoiding heavily wooded areas as much as you can. At the end of each day, check yourself and your family members for ticks. Don’t forget to check your pets too! If you find a tick, remove it right away and continue to monitor for any signs of rash or fever.

Fight the Heat

Lastly, you need to be prepared to fight the heat and heat-related illnesses. Begin by staying hydrated throughout the day. Drink water instead of alcoholic or sugar-filled drinks. You should drink water throughout the day before you actually feel thirsty. If you begin to feel too hot, look for a shaded area to rest. Light-colored, thin clothing will be helpful to reduce overheating. If you plan to embark on a hike or bike ride, try to plan it during a time of day that isn’t too warm. Bring plenty of clean water along and map out a route ahead of time to ensure you aren’t left stranded in the hot temperatures.

Don’t be afraid to ask the staff at the campground for tips and advice on the local area. The more you know about your camping location, the safer you can be! After all, camping is supposed to be a fun-filled time, not a time for injury and illness.