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Post 018: Camping and Hiking: How To Keep Your Group Safe

Camping with a group can be a lot of fun. It can help you bond with friends, forge new relationships, and learn how to better communicate. Camping creates a team atmosphere where everyone pitches in. It’s a chance to have fun and relax, but it’s also a great time to test leadership skills and the ability to compromise. Knowing how to work together under stress is essential.

It’s important to go on the trip with the right frame of mind. Keeping the group safe during the trip is a priority because being out in nature can present many hazards, even if you’re camping in an RV. To help you prepare, Johnnie Walker RV shares a few things to keep in mind.

Pack well 

As Cozi notes, it’s useful to use a checklist to plan and pack for the trip. Talk to the others in your group to find out what everyone is bringing so you don’t end up with several instances of one item but not enough of another. It can be a good idea to split up necessities: for instance, one person can bring the first-aid kit and emergency kit (which can be filled with matches, a high-powered flashlight and extra batteries, ponchos, protein bars, and flares), while another person can be responsible for pots, pans, utensils, etc. if you plan to cook over a campfire. Creature comforts should be top of mind also, like comfy blankets, camp chairs and mattress pads. When purchasing anything of significance for your trip, take stock of reviews before deciding what to buy.

Stay connected 

It’s important to stay connected on your trip if possible, both to each other and to the outside world. Most people want to go camping to get away from the stress and hustle of everyday life, but it’s a good idea to let someone know where you are and when you’ll be back. Within your camping group, bring two-way radios so you can keep in touch with one another even when you’re not together. 

You might also be surprised how much cell phone coverage there is, even in state and national parks. Clark lists coverage maps of the major US cell carriers. And if you plan on camping for multiple days, you may want to invest in a solar charger.

Stick together 

How Stuff Works says that it’s smart to make sure everyone stays in groups of at least two people during a trip in case of an emergency. Accidents and injuries happen, so let everyone know not to go off on their own. Make sure you have the right safety equipment for any activities your group might want to participate in, such as rock climbing or swimming.

Check the weather forecasts 

Wherever you go, the weather is going to be a factor. Some areas may have hot days but chilly nights, while others get heavy rainfall. Look at the forecast to see what you’ll need to bring and how to plan your activities, and check online if you’re headed to a national park to see if there are any alerts or special rules you’ll need to follow. Remember, the weather can be different than the surrounding area if you hike into elevation.

Educate on fire safety 

A fire is usually an essential part of camping, whether it’s to keep warm or cook over, so it’s important to brush up on fire safety habits and talk to the others in your group about the best ways to keep flames under control. Research building fire pits. Keep grills away from tents and in a well-ventilated area. Refrain from leaving food on them, which could lead to a grease fire or draw animals to your campsite. And once you’re done with your fire, be sure to extinguish it, taking the time to make sure it’s all the way out. An effective method is to pour cold water on the fire and then stir the ashes until they’re cold. 

Camping and hiking are exciting activities, especially with a group. However, making sure that everyone stays safe should remain a priority. Ensure the success of your next camp or hike by preparing well, communicating, staying together, minding the weather, and practicing fire safety. Having that peace of mind will allow you to relax, have fun, and leave your worries behind.

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