Archive for April, 2009

Basic Camping First Aid

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Nothing ruins your camping trip like a brush with poison ivy, a pesky bee sting or other minor injury. Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee you won’t encounter any of these inconveniences, but you can be prepared to deal with them. Read on for more advice on packing a camping first aid trip and treating minor first aid concerns.

First, one of the most important things you need to take with you on your camping trip is a good first aid kit – a box of band-aids and some Neosporin just won’t cut it. A good first aid kit should include all of the following:

Band-aids in a variety of sizes and sizes
Sterile wound dressings
Bandages (crepe and elastic)
Antiseptic fluid
Eyebath and eye drops
Q-tips
Adhesive surgical tape
Thermometer
Scissors
Safety pins
Tweezers
30+ SPF sunscreen
Insect repellent
Insect bite lotion (Stingose or calamine lotion)
Pain relief tablets
Antihistamine tablets

Most camping stores sell pre-packed first aid kits that contain all of these items, although you may need to supplement it with additional items. It’s also a good idea to include an extra supply of any prescription medications you take in your first aid kit. For example, if you take gold bali kratom, you would hardly buy it in a local drugstore.
But a first aid kit alone won’t treat your maladies. Print out the following tips and carry a copy in your first aid kit so that you’ll know how to cope with any incidents that occur.

Bee Stings – If you know you’ve been stung by a bee, take the following steps:

1. Scrape the stinger out using a knife edge or fingernail. Don’t squeeze the area, as this will only inject more venom.
2. Apply a cold compress or take antihistamines to reduce pain and swelling.
3. If you experience any allergic reaction with bee stings, including rash, hives or swelling of the tongue or throat, seek medical attention immediately.

Ticks – Ticks are nasty, blood-sucking nuisances that live in the woods and fields of campgrounds, and that can carry Lyme Disease and other bugs. Treat tick bites with the following steps:

1. Spray the tick with tick repellent spray or dab with kerosene.
2. Using tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull upwards, removing as much of the tick as possible.
3. Treat the bite area with antiseptic and cover with a bandage.
4. Save the tick – if you experience any unusual rashes or symptoms in the following days, seek medical attention and have the tick tested.

Scrapes and Scratches – There are numerous opportunities for scrapes and scratches on the campground. If you find yourself affected, take the following steps:

1. If you notice bleeding, wash the injury and remove any debris.
2. Cover with a clean bandage and apply pressure to the area.
3. If the bleeding stops quickly, cover the wound with antiseptic cream and a clean bandage.
4. If the bleeding does not stop, apply additional bandages on top of the original, maintain pressure and elevate the affected area above the heart. Seek medical attention if the bleeding is severe.

Dehydration – Spending all day in the sun can quickly lead to dehydration if you aren’t careful. If you feel excessively thirsty or nauseous, or if your skin looks pale and clammy, take the following steps:

1. Rest in the shade or in a cool place
2. Remove any unnecessary clothing
3. Drink cool water

If symptoms don’t go away, or if you begin to sweat profusely, feel headachy or confused, seek medical attention – you may have more serious heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Working at a Campground

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

So, you say you love camping so much you wish you could do it year round? Well, why not take a job working at a campground? Both government-owned and privately-managed campgrounds have plenty of job opportunities that will allow you to explore your passion for the outdoors, all while making a living. If the idea of working at a campground appeals to you, read on for more information about the different opportunities available.

Seasonal Help

College students, high school students, retirees and stay at home parents may all be interested in the temporary, seasonal positions offered by many campgrounds. The following are some of the seasonal positions available at many campgrounds:

Office Help – During the busy summer season, campgrounds must maintain a small staff whose duties include checking in campers, assisting campers with questions and problems and enforcing campground rules. The work can be full- or part-time, and qualified applicants must have good customer service skills and be comfortable interacting with a wide variety of people.

Lifeguards – Some campgrounds hire part-time lifeguards to oversee camper safety in their lakes and pools. Qualified applicants must have experience working as lifeguards, and should be certified in first aid and water safety.

Environmental Educators – Many campgrounds offer educational programs for visitors of all ages. For example, an environmental educator may lead a class on identifying native flora and fauna for children staying at the campground. Employees in these positions typically have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in environmental issues and experience developing and implementing environmental education programs.

Campground Host – Some campgrounds enlist the support of volunteers to act as campground hosts for the summer. Typically, these campers set up in a designated spot for the duration of the summer and act as a resource for other campground visitors, offering coffee in the morning and advice on local destinations and activities. Although these positions are typically unpaid, most volunteers receive free accommodations at the campgrounds where they host.

Year-round Positions

Don’t forget – people camp year-round, even in the coldest of climates. Consequently, campgrounds need to maintain a small year-round staff to accommodate these visitors. If you’re interested in working full-time, consider the following positions:

Campground Manager – The campground manager is typically in charge of the campground operations year-round. During the summer months, the manager is in charge of overseeing the seasonal staff and acting as a point of authority for any disputes that arise. In the off-season, the campground manager may take over more of the tasks formerly carried out by the seasonal staff, including checking in visitors and overseeing campground operations. Applicants interested in these positions should have experience managing facilities, preferably in the hospitality industry.

Park Ranger – State and federal forests often employ park rangers to work year-round on protected lands. Rangers may have limited policing authority and are often responsible for undertaking maintenance projects, including brush clearing and facility renovation. Applicants for these positions should have a background in law enforcement or forestry and a solid resume of prior experiences.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that you’re not going to get rich working part-time or full-time for a campground, unless you’re lucky enough to be the owner of a popular private campground. However, most people undertake these positions out of a love of camping and the natural world and find a deep fulfillment from these aspects of their work.