Park Safety

Preventing accidents before they happen will improve your trip to the parks. Accidents like a sunburn, eating improperly stored or cooked food, getting too close to the animals or setting the park on fire can make for rough times. These accidents can easily be prevented. See how below.

Food Safety

Diarrhea and vomiting make vacation days less fun. The following link from the Minnesota Department of Health can assist you in learning how to safely manage food.

Fire Safety

If you have not heard or seen the U.S. Forest Service commercials yet, humans cause 9 out of every 10 wildfires.  Go to the following links to find out how to build and properly manage campfires.

How to Build a Campfire

How to Maintain and Extinguish a Campfire

Animal Safety

One of the great things about going to the parks is that we can see animals that don’t live in our neighborhoods.  In some areas we see deer, birds or raccoons and in other areas we encounter moose, bears, elk and even animals like sea lions, dolphins or sea turtles.  Because we are unfamiliar with these animals we humans do not know how to interact with them and this can lead to problems for us and for the animals.  To reduce and hopefully prevent these negative interactions, has created a list of best park visitor habits below.

1.  Do not feed the animals.  This includes the cute chipmunks.  The reason for this is that animals that become accustomed to people food no longer eat what they should be eating (unhealthy), they stop finding food on their own and they can start to become a nuisance by chewing holes in your equipment, opening your cooler (raccoons) and breaking into your car (bears).

2.  Keep a safe distance between yourself and wild animals by using binoculars and zoom lenses on cameras.  The animals in a park are wild.  Many times they look relaxed but that is because they have seen people before and don’t scare easily.  If you get too close though, the animal will think you are threatening it and it will defend itself.

3.  Never leave food on the picnic table when no one is around as the animals will find it and want more of it.  Keep your food locked up in the car in parks where there are no bears.  Always use the park provided bear box to store your food including coolers in places where bears live.

Theft and Personal Safety

Not everyone is your friend as much as we would like to think.  When visiting a park or camping, protect your most valuable possessions by keeping them on your person or out of sight in the car.  In twenty years of camping we have never had anyone steal from us or threaten us harm but it is possible that it could happen.  For your personal safety, traveling with others is a wise decision on the trail.  If the kids need to go to the bathroom, go with them.  If the kids want to check out the campground, have them go in a group so they can take care of each other.  Using these simple precautions will help give you a piece of mind and help you enjoy your trip.

Accidents that Happen at Home and on the Road

Every once in a while on a vacation, a member of the group is going to have an accident, an insect bite, a sun burn or contact with a plant that causes a bad reaction on the skin.  The following is a list of the preventions for common situations that can be encountered when camping.

1     Insect Bite

2.    A knife cut

3.    Sunburn

4.    Burn caused by heat

5.    Poison Ivy

6.    Bee sting


  1. Bring insect repellent and use it.  Always bring repellent on hikes because sometimes the insects are not bad in the      campground but are everywhere on the trail.
  2. Always direct the blade of a pocket knife away from your body.  Also, pay attention when using any knife.  If there are distractions, stop using the knife until you can concentrate on what you are doing.
  3. Always bring along sun block and wear it.  A sun burn can greatly affect how much you enjoy your vacation.  Also, too much sun can cause cancer and ugly spots on your skin.  Pay close attention to the children because their skin is very delicate and can be damaged easily by the sun.  Always put sun block on children!
  4. Be careful around the campfire.  Do not put gasoline on the fire and be careful when touching the metal fire ring that      surrounds the fire.  In addition, just like at home, be careful with hot pots around the stove.
  5. Bring a poison ivy block and use it in areas where the plant grows near the trail.  Try not to walk off of the trail because many times there is poison ivy in the forest.  A good rule of thumb for avoiding poison ivy is:  If the plant has three      leaves, leave it be.
  6. Be careful when walking without shoes.  Especially in areas with a lot of flowers in the grass.  Also be careful when drinking from an open soft drink can because sometimes bees crawl inside looking for the sugar.  Therefore, check inside the can before you take a drink.  To prevent bees from crawling inside, cover your can between sips.


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