Camping out in the woods can be one of the most gratifying experiences available for those who stress over the hustle and bustle of daily life in or near a city. The dangers of contemporary lifestyles and environments can themselves drive people to the slow pace of the woods. Crime, careless drivers, pollution, identify theft. Who needs it!
While seeking a safe haven from the pitfalls of “civilization”, the camper must also bear in mind that the great outdoors is fraught with its own set of dangers. Let’s consider a few and how you can counter the risks.
In this article, we’ll look at food safety, ensuring you have clean water to drink, and avoiding ticks.
Bacteria can invade many types of food, especially those high in protein and moisture, such as milk, milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, cream pies, custards and potato salad. After preparation, these foods must be kept either hot (above 140 degrees Fahrenheit) or cold (below 45 degrees Fahrenheit). Between the two temperature ranges lurks the danger.
A camper who does not have the means of sustaining food that can easily spoil outside of those thermometer readings should not bring them on the trip at all. It would be much safer to bring canned food and garden goodies.
Exposed food should be prepared prior to the trip and protected in plastic prior to icing them since ice can trap harmful bacteria. For example, though ice pulled from a frozen stream in winter can help to keep food cold, it should never be permitted to touch the food itself.
And whether eating meals from a picnic table or sitting on the ground, always cover the eating area with something clean, like a plastic table cloth.
Any food that you suspect may be spoiled should be disposed of rather than eaten. The risk is just too high.
CLEAN DRINKING WATER
When you are thirsty, there is nothing like a cold, clear glass of water to satisfy. At home, our tap water is normally relatively safe, though many people opt to filter it through one means or another to improve the odds of safe drinking.
Aside from water that is purified for us, however, it has been estimated that the vast majority of surface water in the US fails to meet government standards for intake safety.