Image is courtesy of Pixabay

Memorial Day weekend unofficially kicks off the summer season. Summer is the time to play outdoors on long sunny days, sleep under the stars, and enjoy activities on land and water.  Summer is camping season!

Planning a camping trip requires thought and preparation.  After ticking off the items on your gear checklist, take some time to think about some other important checklist items before you pitch your tent.

Taking Fido?

If you are taking your dog on a camping trip, don’t forget these things to make the trip safe and healthy for him.

  • Dog first aid kit. Just like you, your dog may have a minor emergency. Consider butterfly bandages, tweezers and a muzzle.
  • Make sure your dog’s tags and microchip are up to date.
  • Know basic facts about dog first aid, like when to induce vomiting and when not to do so.
  • Long and short leashes – one for the campsite and one for hiking.
  • Comb for burrs and other items that may be in Fido’s fur.
  • Make sure your dog has his own water.

What to eat?

You burn a lot of calories when you play outdoors all day, which makes having plenty of good food and snacks key to the success of a camping trip.  Trying to eat healthy?  There are lots of recipe ideas for eating healthy on the trail, including this Eating Well magazine list of healthy campsite menus.  Consider easy to pack snacks like dried fruit, nuts, and granola bars for hikes and other outings.

Protect your skin!

If you are out in the sun all day you definitely need sun protection. Experts recommend a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 for adequate protection. Bring more than you think you’ll need to ensure that you don’t run out and re-apply every couple of hours.  A brimmed hat and sunglasses will protect your face from the sun.  If you are sun sensitive, you may want to consider protective clothing with SPF.

You know there will be bugs on a camping trip, so don’t forget the insect repellent.  The CDC recommends that you apply bug repellant after sunscreen.  Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants can provide a barrier against bugs if you are hiking. Be mindful of poisonous plants like poison ivy or poison oak, and pack hydrocortisone lotion in your first aid kit in the event you come into contact with them.