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Camping Safty Guide

Although camping is thought of to be an activity enjoyed in the summer months, it is now becoming a year-round activity. And camping trips are planned with hopes of good weather, severe weather conditions is always is a possibility, but it doesn't have to ruin the enjoyment of camping. To make the most of camping, safety tips are important to consider before packing up your rucksack/ camper or travel trailer.

Weather Considerations

Lightening
Severe weather can occur anytime of year and often with little warning. Lightening is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards because it usually claims one or two victims at a time and does not cause mass destruction. You're in danger of lightning if you can hear thunder. If you do hear thunder, seek shelter inside an enclosed structure, if that is not possible squat low to the ground, with your feet close together and your head between your knees. Maintain minimal contact with the ground and do not lie flat.

Rain
Floods and flash floods also can be a serious threat to campers. Most people underestimate the threat of water. Never attempt to drive through standing water. It only takes 18" to 24" to float most vehicles! It is recommended not only paying attention to the weather around you but also upstream. If flooding is a possibility in your camp area, immediately move to higher ground.

Temperatures
Not only should you remain aware of possible severe weather, you should also be mindful of extreme temperatures or sudden climate shifts. Extremely cold temperatures and winds rob heat from the body, this increases your risk for hypothermia and possible frostbite. When camping in the winter, it is important to pack extra blankets, food and water to reduce these risks.

Be Prepared

It takes a lot of planning to handle any weather that Mother Nature might throw at your camping trip. Simply following some basic tips can lead to a much more enjoyable camping experience! These tips are important to follow:

• Check the weather before you leave home. There are a variety of web sites that offer weather forecasts seven days in advance.

• Carry a weather radio at all times. These are available at most electronics stores, a weather radio can be programmed to a specific location and provide possible life-saving notification of a fast-developing storm or extreme weather condition.

• Talk to your camping group and develop a contingency plan should bad weather arise.

Stay Safe

With planning and preparation, it's possible to camp all year round in almost all kinds of weather. Checking the weather forecast regularly, listening to a weather radio and knowing what your group is going to do in the event of bad weather allows campers to have a safe and fun trip anytime of year.

Here are some more useful notes to consider:

Use a checklist
There is nothing worse than arriving at your campsite only to discover you forgot something important.

Carry spares
Always take spare tent pegs as these are easily lost, bent or broken! A couple of spare guy lines in case of breakages, and some good quality water-proof tape for quick repairs to your tent.

Protection from the wind
Pitch your tent so any heavy wind will be effectively deflected by the tents shape/ design. If you have a tent with a single entrance then keep the entrance out of the wind to prevent a gust of wind lifting your tent and blowing rain inside.

Keep it safe
Always keep any toxic chemicals like stove fuel, lighter fluid, cooking gas canisters or bottles out of your inner tent. Many of these chemicals are highly volatile and can have nasty effects once breathed in. Chemicals stored in your outer tent should always be kept in an air tight container.

Avoid fire hazards
Never cook, smoke, have candles or any naked flames in a tent. Many tent and sleeping bag materials are highly flammable and just one spark from a cigarette could result in disaster! In bad weather, sit in the porch of your tent to protect you from the elements and always keep your stove well away from your tent. Also, be aware of where you light your camp fire, high flames can spred fast and trees can catch fire!
Clear the area
Before pitching your tent always ensure the ground is free of stones, sticks, glass or any other objects that could cause any damage.

Avoid a soaking
When camping near a river or water, always ensure you are not going to be caught out by rising water levels and wake up either stranded or underwater. Flat, level ground can become waterlogged easily so try to select a pitch with a gentle slope which will drain more quickly.

Use common sense
Avoid obvious dangers such as overhanging trees which could drop branches onto your tent, rabbit or badger holes that can twist your ankle. If you camp in a working farm always ensure you use the correct paths and close gates behind you.

Food storage
Always store food inside your inner tent, this will avoid your food being eaten by uninvited guests. Hedgehogs, foxes and badgers can be quite bold around campsites!

Use a head torch
Head torches that are worn on a band around the head are invaluable as, instead of holding a torch, they offer hands free illumination in your tent keeping both your hands free for tasks such as eating or getting dressed.

Keep it handy
Sleep with anything you might need in a hurry close to hand like a torch, loo roll or any extra clothing you might want to put on if you wake up feeling cold.

Scotland is packed with stunning countryside views, steaped in history and proud of its many traditions.
There really is something for everyone in Scotland and the BEST way to get the full experience is by camping.
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