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Hiking & Camping Safety: Staying Safe in Nature this Spring

One of the most beautiful aspects of nature is that it is ever-changing. You and your family may visit a National Park in the summer, only to return in the winter and discover completely new surroundings. This can be exciting, but it also means nature presents its own unpredictable challenges. 

When traveling and planning outdoor adventures, uncontrollable forces such as weather or wildlife can potentially damage your personal property and belongings. Recreational insurance provides both liability and property coverage, ensuring that you are protected on both fronts. While you hope to never encounter dangerous animals or damaging circumstances, you can still be prepared for anything. Here are ways you can practice responsible outdoorsmanship and leave nature exactly as you found it. 

Secure Your Stuff

One of the best ways to be sure you will not have any uninvited wildlife guests at your campsite is to secure all your possessions and food. Should you leave food or other “attractive” items within reach of animals, they may wander into your site and cause unintended damage to your vehicle, belongings, or motor coach. Recreational insurance can help you recover the cost of this lost or damaged property, but your immediate safety is always a higher priority. 

To prevent bears, wolves, or even simply raccoons from causing campsite damages, double-bag your garbage and secure food in a locked cooler at least 20 feet off the ground and eight feet from the trunk of a tree. If you are having trouble hanging your food on one tree, look for ways you can tie a rope around two trees that are at least 16 feet apart.

Take Your Trash

In addition to using two thick garbage bags and storing these off the ground alongside your locked cooler of food, it is vital that you remove all trash from the campsite, park, or hiking trails when you depart. The scent can still attract dangerous wildlife, and hungry animals are not known for being careful. They could cause damage to your personal property or harm you and your guests. It is also simply the responsible thing to do, and it ensures the natural scenery is just as enjoyable for the next group who comes across it. 

Using renewable or eco-friendly products while outdoors is another way to minimize waste and leave the land how you found it. This could include using biodegradable soap for bathing and cleaning cookware, compostable plates and utensils, and solar lighting to reduce the use of gas. 

Prepare Your Plan

When taking long road trips, prepare a plan for your stops, driving schedule, and how you will handle potential changes or roadside emergencies. By knowing where you will stop to sleep, you can remove the stress of late-night accommodation searches and potential driving hazards as your group grows tired. A dedicated driving schedule also sets expectations and allows everyone to get the rest they need. Additionally, with an emergency plan in hand, your group can travel confidently knowing they are prepared for a number of automotive incidents that can take place. 

Recreational insurance can provide additional assurance. Damages, vandalism, and even theft to your car, van, or RV will be covered if this unfortunate circumstance takes place during your trip. Speak with your agent to determine the best policy for you and your adventures.