Camping is a great way to reconnect with nature this summer. Getting away from your electronics, stress from work and school, and the busy city life is a relief. Before you rush into the woods to pitch your tent, there are some safety rules you need to know. Even if you’re a more experienced camper, review these tips for safe camping to make sure you have a safe trip!

Know the Area

Every camping space is different. Different climates, park rules, animals, and so much more can create a set of risks you’re unaware of. Do some research on the park you want to stay in before you arrive. Upon arrival, ask the park staff if there’s anything you need to know. They’ll have the best information regarding things like animal sightings and recent weather conditions.

Contain the Fire

A roaring campfire is a great way to spend the evening in the woods, but make sure you’re containing the fire. Utilize a fire pit or ring to make sure the fire doesn’t grow too large. In addition to maintaining a safe size fire, you need to be using the right wood. Purchase wood at or near the campground to burn. Wood from other areas could contain insects and other pests that aren’t local to the campground. Those unwanted visitors will flee when you begin to burn the wood and could cause an infestation in the campground. Never leave your campfire unattended when you leave your campsite.

Come Prepared

Many campers fail to properly prepare for their trip. Begin packing days before you’re supposed to leave to reduce the risk of accidentally forgetting something. Pack plenty of food and water, flashlights, bug spray, sunscreen, and any other supplies you need to make it through the trip. If you’re not sure what to pack, do some research online that specifically addresses camping in your region and climate. Camping with children will require packing some entertainment materials in addition to the other essential. You might be able to just sit and enjoy the silence, but they likely won’t find it quite as amusing!

Camping is a fun and exciting way to reconnect with nature, but it’s also a lot of responsibility. Your next camping trip should be carefully planned and prepared in advance to ensure you’re as safe as possible. Reading this quick list of tips is a great first step, but don’t stop there!