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How not to be a careless camper

August 04, 2015
tent in field with trees and mountains in background

Camping is one of those quintessential American pastimes, and whether you're a kid who's never put up a tent before or an experienced outdoorsman or woman who's more used to sleeping under the stars than in your bed, it's worth it to get away from the hectic pace of everyday life once in a while. Some people choose to head to their local parks, while others need to trek across the country to their favorite camping spots, but as long as you're out there and away from smartphones, TVs and everything else, you've got the right idea.

Camping isn't all canned peaches and creamed corn, though. Living in the wilderness naturally puts you at greater risk of certain illnesses and injuries, and while this shouldn't stop you from going on that camping trip, you should still be aware of some of the more common ailments that affect careless campers. In the worst-case scenario, you can head to your local CareWell urgent care center for remedies to these often annoying, sometimes dangerous camping injuries.

"Apparel unsuited for the weather you'll be camping in might get you in trouble."

The Emperor's new clothes
You might arguably spend more time packing for your camping trip than actually spending time outdoors, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you pack everything you need and nothing you don't, odds are you'll have a good time. However, if you stuff your camping gear with clothes, jackets and other apparel that isn't suited for the weather you'll be camping in, you might be in trouble.

While almost every camper knows that dehydration, heat stroke and frostbite are all risks when spending time in the Great Outdoors, not as many realize that packing the right clothes can drastically reduce the likelihood of weather-related injuries. For example, if you're lugging all your gear to your campsite, but you have a heavy, wool-lined jacket in 60-degree weather, you're probably sweating much more than you need to, wasting precious moisture and setting yourself up for dehydration. On the other hand, if you're trying to pack light and think that a windbreaker will be enough when temperatures dip overnight, you might wake up to some cold fingers and toes.

What's better than a weekend away from everything?
What's better than a weekend away from everything?

The affected, infected area
Part of the whole camping experience is exposing yourself to an unsheltered experience that doesn't include the comforts of normal life. As such, the average camper will probably collect his or her fair share of cuts or scrapes over the duration of the trip. However, if these cuts are serious enough, the lack of a sterilized environment could lead to infections.

While you might scoff at the idea of a tiny scrape becoming infected, treating these wounds is all about timeliness. For example, if you cut yourself on a jutting branch the first day of your camping trip and fail to wash it properly right away, you're essentially giving germs unfettered access to grow and fester before a doctor can address them.

That's why there's never a good reason to leave your first-aid kit at home when you leave for a camping trip. While you might not have the tools that the professionals at CareWell's urgent care centers do, you can still disinfect and cover the wound so no more bacteria have a chance to do their thing.

This is far from an exhaustive list of all the things that can go wrong when you set out for your outdoors adventure, and if you encounter any other issues during your camping trip, don't wait to head to your nearest CareWell urgent care center as soon as possible. After a few days in the wilderness, CareWell can help get you right back up to speed no matter what injuries or illnesses you've sustained.

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