Let’s have a frank conversation.

You’ve packed your tent, planned your meals, and gathered the gear. Now, you’re ready to camp. The U.S. is home to thousands of beautiful and diverse parks – just waiting to be enjoyed. As you prepare to explore the outdoors, explore our eight camping safety tips to protect you every step of the journey.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the area. Know the closest towns and nearest hospitals, and how to get to them, in case of an emergency.
  2. Set up camp. If you’re tenting, get settled on level ground and avoid any rocks or branches that could puncture the material. Keep your tent at least 30 feet away from the fire – preferably upwind so it won’t fill with smoke. And of course, if you’re staying on a cliff or mountain, steer clear of any edges.
  3. Store your food safely. The safest spot to store any food is in a sealed, waterproof container at the edge of your campsite – not in your tent. If food has to be kept cold, be sure to constantly replenish the ice to avoid spoilage.
  4. Avoid insects and animals. Always wear bug spray and never approach a wild animal (no matter how friendly it may seem).
  5. Seek shelter during storms. If you hear thunder, seek shelter that’s more structurally sound than your tent. Hearing thunder means you’re within 10 miles of a storm, so try to find a large building or head back to your car as soon as possible.
  6. Light your fire the right way. Clear the area of all debris. Make sure there aren’t any overhanging branches. Don’t use any flammable liquids to light a fire and build it only as big as you need.
  7. Stay focused on your fire. Never leave your fire unattended, and don’t leave it burning while you’re sleeping. Be sure to completely extinguish the fire with water or sand whenever you’re turning in or leaving camp.
  8. Remember to bring the essentials. Your collection of camping gear isn’t complete without a first-aid kit and a flashlight. Bring enough water, food, and safety supplies for emergencies or unexpected trip extensions.

Now that you know our eight camping safety tips, talk to one of our local, independent agents to ensure you have the right auto or RV coverage to get you where you’re going.