Camping Safety for the Summer

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WASHOE VALLEY, Nev. -- It's a favorite summer activity among many families--camping. It's a time to get away from it all, but it's more than s'mores and sleeping under the stars. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned camper, anything can happen and you want to be prepared.

June, July and August are prime months for camping. Kids are out of school and the weather goes unmatched, but when you venture into the outdoors, it's important to make sure you have everything you need for the best camping experience.

"Sometimes folks just forget a few things so one thing when you plan, just make a list of all the things that you need," Jamie Klund, Cabella's marketing director said.

It's easy to forget warm clothes in the heat of summer, but conditions can always change.

"Have layers, then you can take things off. It's better to be too hot than too cold," Jennifer Dawson, Washoe Lake Campgrounds park supervisor said.

Camp rangers say it's always smart to pack sunscreen, bug repellent, a flashlight, extra batteries and plenty of food and water.

Chances are you'll probably be sharing your campground with some wildlife.

Studies show that bears can hear seven times better than bloodhounds and 100 times better than humans. Experts recommend using a bear container to store your food, keeping the bears out and the odors contained.

"Because it's been so dry, it's been a banner year for snakes," Dawson said. "If you're hiking, wear long pants and boots and basically be aware."

One of the biggest mistakes campers make is not properly putting out fires.

"It just takes a little wind to carry it off into the sage brush," she said.

Make sure the wood is burnt completely to ash, pour water over the fire until you stop hearing the hissing sound and finally stir until it's wet and cold to the touch.

Following these rules can make your trip the perfect get-a-way.

For a complete list of camping essentials, click on the link below.