Ultimate guide to camping safety

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If you're looking for ways to improve your camping safety, you've come to the right place. Getting out in nature is a great way to relax and connect with both ourselves and those who go with us, but it's also unpredictable and isn't necessarily the safest thing to do if you're not prepared.

Keeping everyone safe while camping should always be a priority, and it will look different for each destination that you go to. Having said that, there are some basic camping safety tips that can suit all adventures and we've compiled them in this piece.

Planning ahead

The most important thing you can do to improve camping safety is to plan ahead properly.

Know where you're going

This camping safety tip has two meanings, the first, of course, is to understand how to get to your campsite. The second is to know the area you're going to be camping in.

Each destination will have its own dangers and you'll need to tailor your preparation to suit if you want to be as safe as possible. For example, some locations have more dangerous wildlife than others, so extra precautions may be necessary.

Have a backup route

We strongly advise against going anywhere where there is only one way in or out. While it might not seem like that big of a deal, Australia is a land prone to bushfire, flash flooding and other events that can quickly make a road or trail too dangerous to use.

Because of this, you're going to want to ensure that you always have a backup escape route planned for if you need to get out quickly.

Make sure your car is running right

There's a good chance that your car is one of the last things that come to mind when considering camping safety, but it's an important tool that really shouldn't be underestimated.

Making sure that your car is running right before taking off on an adventure is a good way to help ensure that you'll get where you're going safely, and it also means you'll have a reliable vehicle easily accessible if you need to leave in a hurry.

Know the weather forecast

Mother Nature really doesn't care that you want to go camping, so knowing the forecast before leaving will help you stay a whole lot safer and allow you to pack accordingly.

Stay connected

Although we usually go camping to get away from the world, it's advisable to ensure that your destination has emergency coverage at the least.

You should also ensure that you have a way to charge your mobile and a backup device such as a satellite phone or radio so you can communicate if necessary.

Check your tent

Just because your tent was fine when you packed it away doesn't necessarily mean it will still be fine now. Always check that your tent is still water tight and in good condition before heading off on your adventure.

Ensure all equipment is in good working order

You'll also want to check any other equipment you're taking with you, especially if you're carrying items that could be dangerous such as a gas camping stove.

Let someone know where you're off to

Finally, you should always let at least one person know where you'll be going, as well as any stops you'll be making along the way and when you're expecting to be back.

This is essentially the camping safety equivalent of texting your friends when you get home after a night out, and ensures that there's someone able to provide vital information if anything goes wrong.

What to pack

Camping is usually seen as a no-fuss getaway, so your packing list probably isn't too strict.

While it's perfectly fine to take whatever you want or need for your planned activities, there are a few essentials that should be in your bag.


The Aussie sun is no joke and if you don't want to spend your trip feeling hot, itchy and sore courtesy of a sunburn, you need to pack enough sunscreen to be able to reapply as often as needed - especially if you're going fishing or doing other activities near the water.

Insect repellent

Nobody wants to be swatting away mosquitoes and dealing with bites while they're trying to relax. Save yourself the trouble and pack some insect repellent so you can enjoy your evenings in peace.

Cooking equipment

It's not always going to be possible to make a campfire to cook your food, and even if it is, some things still require pots or pans. For this reason, we suggest taking a portable camping stove as well as anything else you're going to need to make whatever meals take your fancy.

You'll also want a tub, natural dishwashing liquid and a sponge to be able to clean up after meals, both for hygiene reasons and to avoid attracting bugs or wildlife.

Swag or something else comfortable to sleep in

You'd be surprised how many people forget to pack bedding because their brain registers that they've got their tent and that's enough.

If you want to get a good night's sleep, don't be one of those people.


Phones are notorious for going flat right when they're needed most. When camping, that's usually when you have to find your way to the toilet in the dark. Avoid running into this issue by bringing a good old-fashioned torch with you.

Appropriate clothing and footwear

You'll also want to ensure that you have appropriate clothing and footwear for any activities you're planning on doing.

While it might be perfectly fine to hang out at your campsite in thongs and bathers, this outfit certainly won't do you any good if you want to go for a hike, so be sure to plan ahead.

Lighter or matches

Even if you don't intend on building a fire, a lighter and/or matches should still be on your packing list as you'd be surprised how useful these products can be when it comes to improving camping safety.

Camping safety emergency items

Last but not least, there are a few camping safety emergency items that we strongly recommend having with you on every trip.

First aid kit

Injuries happen, and when they do, it's important to be prepared to deal with them. A good first aid kit can quite literally be a lifesaver, so make sure you've got one with you.

Map and compass

If your phone or GPS equipment decides it doesn't want to navigate and you haven't got a map or compass, you're probably going to find yourself up the metaphorical creek without a paddle. Make sure you've got both a map and compass so you can use them if you need to.

Two-way radio

If something happens that prevents you from being able to leave, you're going to need a way to communicate with the outside world.

Hopefully, you've followed our camping safety tip in the planning ahead section and have at least emergency coverage on your phone, however, it is still advisable to also have a radio just in case.


You'll probably have fishing and cooking knives with you anyway, but it's also advisable to have a sharp, sanitary knife in your pack in case you need it.


If you're in a really remote area, we also suggest packing a flare.

This is because rescue is most likely to come in the form of a helicopter or aircraft if you're too hard to find on foot, so a flare could literally save your life.

Final word

Camping is one of the best ways to spend a weekend, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Follow these camping safety tips to help avoid any issues arising on your next trip.

Jessica Jones
Written by
Jessica Jones
Jess has been writing educational content for almost ten years with a focus on lifestyle content. She loves coffee, dogs and all things fitness, and can often be found with her nose buried in a book and her music blaring through her earphones.

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