What’s a guilty conscience got to do with camping you might be thinking? Well it’s like this, you’ve decided to go away for a camping weekend, you’ve heard of a great spot on the river a couple of hours drive away and you’ve asked to borrow your friend’s kayaks.
You’ve tied them onto your roof rack and as you pull away from your friend’s house, the kayaks fall off! Much to your embarrassment, having reassured your friends how you’ll look after the kayaks, you haven’t tied them on properly. Your friends are rushing over to check out for any damage to the kayaks, wondering if they’ll ever loan anything to you again and your conscience is crippling you. What if they had fallen on a passing car? Or a child on a bike? Someone could have got hurt.
Moral of the story: Thorough preparation and a ‘cool-as-a-cucumber moral sense’ is the key for a guilty-conscience-free and safe camping trip. Whether you are a weekend camper, or a regular camper or it’s your first time, safety should be top priority. Preparation for your vacation doesn’t start at the campsite, it begins at home.
My partner and I have done a lot of camping, but we are never complacent when it comes to preparation, particularly for the vehicle that’s going to take us to our destination. Here are some ideas for a safe and guilt free camping trip.
Ensure your vehicle has had a service: Tell your mechanic your plan, so they can check for those things that could go wrong more thoroughly. Ask for your spare tire to be checked and if you are planning on a remote camping trip acquire a second spare tire. If you think you are going to go off road, have a 12v pump to adjust the air pressure in your tires. Sometimes we can think that our vehicles will be okay because they have regular services etcetera, but this isn’t always the case.
Allow more time than usual:This way you are not feeling pressured to rush, which as we have all experienced when we rush our usual moral sense of what is right and what is wrong can leave us and we short cut and safety is compromised. For instance on our last trip away, we had packed the car the night before, my partner had put gas in the car, check the oil and water so in the morning we could wake up and get going. We were feeling good about our preparations when we woke up and took one last check, but to our astonishment we discovered a flat tire! Yes! So after all our preparation, the unexpected happened, and time was getting away.
Check the weather, the traffic conditions, and have regular breaks: To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If it’s pouring with rain, generally you drive slower, the traffic slows down, more accidents happen (in my opinion). These common sense checks do help to have a safe journey.
First Aid kit: Most households have a first aid kit. Check used by dates on medicines and replenish. Bandaids can become old, tattered and lose their stick, so check them too. We use the First Aid kit from First Aid Product.com. The bright orange container is good as it attracts the eye if we need to find it fast. Source where the nearest hospital is and how far, and make sure you have revised your knowledge on giving first aid.
Water. While driving keep hydrated. Adults lose a lot of water during the day through various ways and since our brain is made up of 85% water we need to keep replenishing ourselves to stay energized and alert.
Sleep: Make sure you are getting adequate sleep leading up to your vacation. Three nights in a row of about 9 hours sleep is recommended. If you are anything like us, where we try and get as much work done as possible before we go away, it may not be realistic, but keep it in your mind, as drowsy driving is not safe. Another tip you may find useful is if we know we will be driving 6 hours or more, we will swop driving every 2 hours. Not only does it reduce fatigue risks but it helps the long drive appear not so long!
We just love camping and driving and our time away from home. And it’s all that more relaxing and enjoyable knowing that we have done some basic safety measures before we have left. And while it wasn’t us with the guilty conscience in the kayak example our first camping expedition was definitely full of learning experiences and we wanted to share the one we thought was the most important-safety.
Brendan is an outdoors addict and finds camping in any form the ultimate destination – there is no better place to ponder the Meaning of Life. But there’s nothing like a guilty conscience to ruin a good camping trip so check out these tips!