I wouldn’t call myself a seasoned camper; but I have definitely had my fair share of outdoor adventures and know how to handle my food allergy in the wild. The following is a collection of my best advice and tips for you to consider before setting out on your own big outdoor adventure.
- Remember to pack extra auto-injectors with your first aid kit. Then, when you have your extra ones, pack another (just in case); and keep them on you at all times.
- Train your group (if you’re travelling with one) about how to properly administer your auto-injector and make sure they feel confident with it before heading out.
- FOOD! I would say this is the most important thing to remember to pack (not just because I love food). It is very important to pack food that you can feel safe eating when you go camping. If someone else in your group is in charge of buying the food, make sure they are well aware of the severity of your food allergy. If you are backpack camping in the wild, I would recommend accompanying that person or even volunteering to buy the food yourself. This will improve your safety and comfort when you hit the trails!
- Wear your medical identification.
- Pack appropriately. If you are aware that plants carrying your allergen are present in the area, it might be wise to pack long pants and shirts in case you go on a hike. This will help protect your skin from contact with your allergen.
- Keep contact information with you or with your gear. It may also be useful to add some contact information for nearby establishments to get in contact should an emergency arise.
- Bio-degradable soap. This is probably a step most people overlook when packing for a camping trip—especially when you have to travel light. Washing your hands with soap is the best way to rid your skin of allergens after contact. So, when the nearest hospital is nowhere close, this is an important item; and you should always wash before meals!
- Have fun! Always keep safety in the back of your mind while camping; but remember that it is just as important to relax and have some fun!
Hopefully these tips help prepare you for your future adventures. Comment and tell me about your camping experiences. I definitely have a few great stories I’d love to share!