Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States, an event that millions of people enjoy each year. But when you’re headed to a remote area with limited access to phone services and emergency help, being prepared for emergency situations is critical.
The American Red Cross offers this safety checklist for campers to follow:
- Take a Red Cross First Aid/CPR course so that you will know what to do in case help is delayed. You’ll learn how to treat severe wounds, broken bones, bites and stings and more.
- Pack a First Aid Kit – make sure to include insect repellant, sunscreen and personal medications. A variety of first aid kits and emergency supplies are available at redcrossstore.org
- Know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Plan accordingly. Sprains and falls are some of the most common misfortunes travelers may face.
- Going to the mountains? Falls are the biggest threat, many due to poor decision-making, lack of skill or not being properly prepared. Dehydration is also a danger. People planning a camping trip should plan for these dangers.
- Share your travel plans and locations with a family member, neighbor or friend.
- Don’t forget to only swim in designated swimming areas where a lifeguard is on duty.
- Bring nutritious food items and water.
- Bring light-weight clothing to layer.
- Don’t forget supplies for any pets.
- Mosquitoes biting? Ideally the first step is to prevent mosquito bites. If not, use an over-the-counter product to reduce the itch and urge to scratch.
- Sick stomach? Keep the person hydrated and take a medication made specifically for someone with tummy woes.
- Too long in the sun? Get out of the sun, cool the area and use topical pain relief medication if needed.
- Blisters? Leave it alone to protect the area. If the blister may cause further injury, puncture at the base, clean and protect with another barrier such as a bandage.
- Allergic reaction? Remove the person from the allergen; give them oral antihistamines if needed. If the situation is life-threatening, consider the use of epinephrine.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand and settings for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts including heat advisories and excessive heat warnings. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.