Going on camping trips will improve self-reliance skills and help you decompress from the stresses of the real world, but you need to be prepared for basic situations that are more likely to occur in the wilderness than your own backyard, no matter where you decide to go camping.
Always be prepared for surprise changes in the weather. Bring several extra layers of clothing that you can put on if you get cold, which often happens at night, even in the summer. Have waterproof pants and a jacket for potential rainstorms. Note locations that are sheltered while on a hike in case you need to hide take cover from lightning or rain.
Focus on not surprising or provoking a wild animal in its territory. Make enough noise while hiking and stay on developed trails so you don't come across an animal sleeping. Always keep your food separate from your sleeping area. Never run from any wild animal if you come upon one, and protect yourself if necessary with pepper spray, rocks and sticks.
Always make a plan and tell someone where you'll be camping before leaving. If you realize you may be lost, stop where you are and sit down. Reevaluate your plan rather than hiking in circles. Note the sun's location in the sky or landmarks such as an obvious peak. If it is close to dark, plan to stay put overnight and make a rustic shelter out of logs or bark leaned against a sturdy structure like a boulder or downed tree.
Article Written By EmilyTrudeau
Emily Trudeau has been writing all her life. She has recently been working on a blog about gourmet outdoor cooking called Dirty Gourmet. She majored in biology and philosophy at Florida State University, and loved writing with both scientific and logical focus.