Summer camping trips are a great way to spend time and enjoy the best that Mother Nature has to offer. However, a trip can turn sour when accidents or environmental hazards occur. The guide presented in this article can help you prepare for the trip so you can provide the best camping experience for yourself and your family.  

A good first start is to plan your trip early - this means months of planning ahead. You can research the web for various environmental hazards to look out for. These hazards include forest fires and toxic algal blooms.

Forest fires are a possibility during a camping trip, this is something that should be saved in your notes. Summer can leave many forests vulnerable to fires. To be fully prepared, check for blogs that provide current information on sot, smog and smoke levels. The park or camp site you plan to visit may have their own rules and restrictions regarding fires. You must review your state park’s rules through their website or by speaking with the appropriate personnel.

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Toxic algal blooms are another forest risk and can be especially harmful to swimmers and pets. There are numerous toxic algae bloom advisories that can provide helpful information before you dive into unfamiliar waters. One point of rule you can follow is to avoid brownish, thick, foamy, or pea-green water.  

Before jumping into the car and hitting the gas, be sure to review your camping checklist and get all things in order. It is important to calculate how you can even get to the trip site at all. Having a car break down in the middle of the trip can quickly cast a cloud over the camping enthusiasm, make sure the oil, fuel, brakes, wipers, and battery are all running fine and in great condition. Bringing your car to a shop can save loads of time, money, and stress in the future. If anything needs fixing, take care of it as soon as possible.

If this is a family trip, get everyone involved in the pack-up process. Your children should have the responsibility of packing their own items and gear. Before the supplies are even loaded into the car, do a double check of what is being loaded. If any electronics chargers or belts for your pants are missing, head back into the house and re-pack immediately. Most backups should have tennis shorts, layers of socks, hiking shoes or sandals, long pants, and a sleeping bag. For a summer trip, hats, sunblocks, and sunglasses are a must. 

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Camping means spending time in the outdoors; there will be a high chance of injury or harm. These can come from scrapes, falls, bug bites, thorns, and bumps. In the middle of the wilderness, there is no clinic -you must pack a first-aid kit. There are various guides and websites that will show what contents are appropriate for a kit. Some of the most basic items include bandages, wraps, cotton, aloe vera, bug repellents, and sprays. Other essentials that may be handy include pain relievers, allergy medications, tape, and tweezers.

Sometimes, there are things you forget to put in the checklist, or too much in a hurry to remember. Even the most prepared trippers forget a thing or two. Small items such as fish bait or tent stakes can be easy to forget. Carefully packed matches or a small fire starter is important, especially if you’re venturing out into the woods during summertime.

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There are many websites that offer resources and checklists regarding important items to pack.  Double-checking lists can help ensure a safe, secure, and worry-free trip. Additional important things to include in the checklist are castile soap, dye-free deodorant, and toothpaste that do not contain triclosan. This will help keep waterways clean in the event these products come into contact with rivers or streams.   

If you have waste to eliminate, then substitute disposables with durable mess kits and cloth towels. You can clean any dirty utensils or tools with a washtub, breathable bag for grimy lines, and reusable water bottles. Additionally, you can tie a garbage bag to your backpack and dispose of trash during your hike.

Your camping trips should be a time of fun and great memories. A trip can be ruined if injuries, diseases, and potential environmental disasters occur. By following these steps, you can make camping what it is supposed to be – a great family experience.