So, you’re feeling Mother Nature’s pull \u2014 ready to take to the trail or campground for a getaway in the great outdoors. The right preparation can help\u00a0make the most of your trip.\nFirst, Pack the Camping Essentials\nBefore you take off on your adventure be sure to pack all the necessary tools, clothes, and food you need for your trip. Equip with all the essentials, but also prepare for the worst \u2014 flash storms, bad bug bites, rashes, and the surprises Mother Nature may have in store. A few ideas include:\n\nMaps\nCompass\nWhistle (for hiking to warn animals you are coming)\nBottled water\nSleeping bag\nFlashlights\nSunscreen and bug repellent\nWaterproof matches\nFirst aid kit\nWarm clothing and rain gear\nTent\n\nRELATED:\u00a0How to Stock a First Aid Kit\nWhen Camping, Expect the Unexpected\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \nWe all know to watch out for poison oak, mosquitoes, and bears when we are in the woods, but there are many other hazards we may not think about before taking the wilderness plunge:\n\nFrequently look for ticks (especially if you are going to take a family pet along)\nDo a quick internet search and study up on what poison ivy looks like\nWear boots \u2014 they help against ankle sprain and possible snake bites\nAvoid cliff areas\nAlways travel with a companion\nStay hydrated \u2014 it is best to drink bottled water to avoid contaminated streams\nKeep foods in air-tight containers located where wild animals cannot reach them\n\nCreate a Camping Strategy for Safety\nMost of the time, you’ll stay at a site or campground with many other campers nearby. Some people, however, like to rough it and stay in more remote locales.\nIf you’re heading off the beaten path, take time to review your campsite and surrounding environment. Be mindful of these factors:\n\nSet up camp before nightfall. Setting up camp initially helps to establish a base of operations for the rest of the trip.\nGet your tent set up and supplies organized inside.\nIf you are expecting wet weather build drain-off ditches around the tent.\nEstablish an area to create your campfire. The campfire not only provides light, but the smoke will help to keep bugs away.\nSet foods that can be smelled by bears to the outside of the camp, and if possible, hang them high where they cannot be reached.\nWatch your surroundings when hiking. Hiking can be fun, but there are many obstacles in the woods that you may not notice. Watch out for heavy brush areas or rock areas that can cause you to lose your footing. Be aware of your location and remember landmarks so you can find your way back to camp.\nBe a little loud or blow your whistle occasionally to let wild animals know that humans are around: They will likely run.\n\n\nWear the right clothing. It can be nice to wake up in the morning and feel the brisk cold of the morning air, but plan accordingly if you are planning on going out in the wild. The clothes you put on in the morning may become very warm later in the afternoon after a mile or two of walking through the woods.