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7 Top Tips For Safely Pitching a Tent When Backpacking

You wake up suddenly while sleeping in your camping tent. After sitting up, you hear a distant rumbling sound overhead. It’s not thunder. It’s not a jet. You listen carefully for a few seconds, and then realize…it’s an avalanche! With one of your Swivel Back Badge Reels dangling from your neck, you climb out of the tent, strap on your skis, and then use the ski poles to launch yourself down the slope. The base of the mountain rests a short distance from your campsite, but as you glide down the snow, the avalanche starts gaining on you, creeping up closer…and closer…

When pitching a tent during a backpacking trip, pitching it safely is as vital as pitching it correctly. Following some basic guidelines can help to ensure that you remain safe and sound during your next backpacking excursion:

1. Caution! Hot Texas tea. When using flammable liquids, be extremely careful. They should be stored in safety cans with tight caps. Also, like fantastic Ski Badge Reels, those containers should be kept away from children. Another point to remember is that the containers should never, under any circumstance, be stored inside or nearby your camping tent.

2. Prevent bugs from bugging you. Here are some interesting facts about bugs:

• Roughly 95% of all animal species are insects.

• Scientists have discovered a million species of insects, but it has been estimated that up to ten times as many species could exist on Earth!

• Millions of insects can live on a single acre of land

As we know from past camping experiences, swarms of flies, mosquitoes, and other nasty critters can call campgrounds their home. So it is vital to arm yourself with insect repellant for any backpacking trip you go on. Also, make sure to quickly open and close your tent’s door, when entering and exiting it.

3. One is such a dangerous number. On any backpacking trip, always travel with at least one other person. When backpacking in a remote area, at least three other campers should accompany you. If you get in an unfortunate situation in which a backpacker is injured, one person can remain with the injured camper, while the other two backpackers head out to get help.

4. Prevent trees from storming into your tent. Never pitch your tent near the tallest trees on a campground, as electric storms could knock down trees at any hour of the night--without providing you with a “timber!” warming.

5. Spotting what is at stake. Injuries often occur when backpackers trip over tent stakes or ropes. Using small flags with vivid colors or florescent paint on stakes, can be as effective in preventing such injuries, as Metal Badge Reels are in gripping badges.

6. Where there is smoke. It is important to learn about the dangers that sources of ignition can create. For example, an open flame (i.e. match or candle) should never be used inside a tent. Also, campfires should be constructed at a location many yards from your camping tent. In addition, the fire should be downwind from the tent. Another important point is to never fuel camping stoves, camping lanterns, or camping heaters inside the tent.

7. Seeing the light. Always bring a Coleman flashlight and extra batteries, to help guide you towards your tent. Emergency signal devices can also be helpful when you get lost in the wilderness.

While setting up a tent correctly during your next backpacking trip may provide you with a place to sleep, failing to do it safely could result in a rude awakening during the middle of the night. Fortunately, following some basic principles will ensure that you only wake up to the smell of smoke…from your breakfast cooking!

Submitted by:

Nicole Munoz

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