Finding a safe camping ground is the first priority for any successful and fun camping trip. Sometimes it's difficult to know what to look for in terms of safety and ease, but some general advice is to keep your surroundings and, even more importantly, the weather, in mind when looking for a safe place to camp. What works for one camping trip may not always work for another, so it helps to know more about your environment and the upcoming weather during your trip.
Some people are confused as to whether high ground or low ground is preferable for a safe camping ground, and the answer to the question depends entirely on your surroundings and the weather. For example, if there is a river bed close by your location and waters upstream are violent, or if there are heavy rains and melting snow, low grounds are not preferable. On the other hand, if you expect to experience high winds, strong sun, or high temperatures, higher ground may not be the best choice, so look lower. It all depends on the terrain of the area on which you will be camping, and the season of the year.
When choosing a campsite, it's extremely important to consider the animals in the area. If you make camp in a heavily trafficked area, you run the risk of being trampled, or having your campsite ruined by animals such as elk and deer.
Bears are also extremely important to consider. Make sure that all of your cooking tools, such as pots and pans, are thoroughly cleaned after use, and hung at least two hundred feet away from your shelter, otherwise you may have large, unwanted visitors to supper! You also want to make sure all food and perishables are kept also at least two hundred feet away from the shelter.
Also take these safety tips into consideration: Avoid placing your tent in a low-lying area if there is a chance of flooding. If you must camp in low ground, dig a trench on the sides three to four inches deep to help divert the water around your campsite. In state parks, however, this may be prohibited, so make sure you are familiar with the rules of the campsite. For further instruction, locate and query the park ranger.
As far as a specific location for your campsite goes, try to avoid setting up your shelter under a tree. If this situation is unavoidable, make sure to check that the tree is stable; that it is not dead, aging, or has dead, loose limbs above your shelter. Keep in mind that if you camp under a tree, you run the risk of tree branches falling on top of your shelter, and can hurt or injure yourself or someone of your party.
To enjoy a safe, fun camping experience, always keep a First Aid kit on hand, as well as flashlights, extra batteries, and medicines. Also remember to drink purified or boiled water, as the water you will find in the wildnerness of both North America and Canada is not safe to drink.