While a family-friendly camping trip is all about fun and relaxation, it’s also important to come prepared and knowledgeable about camping safety.

So, the next time you and your family are off to another memorable NYS camping getaway, we’ve put together a list of camping safety tips.

Fight the Bites

No matter where you choose to get away, it’s inevitable that when you go camping in NY, there will be bugs – plenty of them. Mosquitos, ticks and other pesky insects can carry certain diseases.

To avoid bugs, make sure you pack bug spray and repellent. When you go to bed, we recommend wearing long sleeves, pants and other light-colored clothing to help prevent ticks/spot them more easily.

In case you do get bit, apply insect repellent that contains DEET to the exposed area. DEET is a brand of diethyltoluamide – a colorless, oily liquid with mild oil that works as an effective insect repellent.

Avoid Wild Animals

This one should be obvious. Trust us, we know how cute and adorable the wild critters are, but that doesn’t mean they’re friendly or healthy. Some wild animals, much like bugs, carry harmful diseases such as rabies. Avoid touching, getting too close or even feeding any wild animals.

It’s also a smart idea to keep all food tightly sealed and out of reach of wildlife.

Some New York campgrounds invite pets to come along for the camping trip. If you bring along your four-legged friends, be sure to check them for ticks as well.

Prevent Climate-Related Illness

Camping during the hot, summer months or even during the chillier fall nights can lead to temperature-related illnesses if you’re not properly equipped.

To prevent hypothermia when it’s cold, pack extra blankets, socks, sweatshirts and sweatpants. Plastic ground covers also help to keep tents dry (if you’re a tent camper). To avoid heat exhaustion and other heat-related ailments, be sure to drink plenty of water and alcohol-free/sugar-free fluids and rest often in shaded areas, especially if you’re an adventurer who likes to hike, bike and explore.

…That Includes Sun Safety!

Protecting yourself from inclement weather is one thing, but when it comes to sun safety, that’s its own category.

Protecting yourself from UV (ultraviolet) radiation is important year-round. Even on days when it’s cloudy and you think you’re in the clear, those are oftentimes when you get the most burnt. Pack sunscreen – preferably a broad-spectrum (against UVA and UVB rays) with at least an SPF 30.

If your skin gets a little burnt, pack lotion and avoid the sun for the next few days by resting in the shade.

Water Safety

Many New York campgrounds are located on or near lakes. So, the next time you come camping in NY, come knowledgeable about all-things water safety.

Children should be supervised at all times, whether they’re swimming in the lake or a pool. Young and inexperienced swimmers should use life jackets.

Lake or pool, it’s smart to enter the water feet first, testing the temperature before fully diving in. Cold water can shock your body, elevating your heart rate and blood pressure. Jumping/diving into shallow pools can lead to serious injuries including paralysis.

When you swim in lakes, be cautious and stay within the designated swimming areas. Staying in your parameters and near a lifeguard or supervisor lessen your chances of being taken by rip currents, which are powerful channeled currents of water.

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