Insect Repellent: Mosquitos in the U.S. can carry West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis and ticks can spread Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Protect yourself from outdoor pests by bringing along a good mosquito and tick repellent. Watch out for repellents with high deet concentrations. Anything higher than 30 percent does not follow American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Other ways to protect everyone from insects include:
- Keep tents zipped at all times
- Build fire away from sleeping area
- Turn off flashlight before opening tent
- Inspect for ticks after walking in the woods
Protective Clothing: Keep everyone safe from harmful UV rays by packing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. This clothing will also help protect you if you accidentally rub against poison ivy. The Centers for Disease Control also advises campers to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip screen with at least SPF 15.
Whistle: It's important to always stay with the group when camping. Some camping areas have cell phone access but don't be surprised if you can't get a signal. If you do get separated, a loud whistle can summon help in an instant.
In addition to these three safety items, don't forget a novelty sign for your RV or campsite. A novelty camping sign is a great way to spruce up your accommodations.