In preparation for the summer outdoors season, and in honor of Oklahoma Trooper of the Year Trey Downum, we wanted to take a moment to talk about camping safety. All of the most fun summer activities carry some degree of risk, from minor annoyances like sunburn and bug bites to more dangerous activities like jet skiing. But when you come prepared, camping can be a safe and fun way for families to get away from it all during the summer.
This year, Oklahoma Trooper Trey Downum received an award from the state for saving the lives of two boys found in the middle of Lake Eufaula during a flood. The boys weren’t wearing life jackets, and if it wasn’t for the fast action of Trooper Downum, there could have been a major tragedy. But that’s not the only reason Downum is being called a hero this year. Keep reading to find out more, and learn how to have fun safely this summer when camping near Tulsa.
- Water Safety: Parents should take care to make sure that young swimmers wear floatation devices until they are more comfortable in the water while always taking enough lifejackets on any boating adventure. Whenever possible, young people should swim with adult supervision, whether at a pool, lake or Tulsa splash park.
- Be Prepared: It’s not just the Boy Scout’s motto, it’s good advice for all areas of life. Even ticks and sunburn can be dangerous, so always go camping near Tulsa with any first aid materials, bug spray, suntan lotion, or important medications you need to stay safe.
- Be Careful of Wildlife: When Trooper Downum found a distressed juvenile bald eagle, he did exactly what you’re supposed to do: he called game wardens to safely trap the animal. Afterwards, the bird was taken to a licensed Oklahoma wildlife center. It was named “Trooper” and will make a full recovery. Remind your kids that wild animals who approach humans may be sick or dangerous. If your kids are eager for a close encounter with Oklahoma wildlife, teach them to fish this summer!
- Fire Safety: There’s nothing better than roasting marshmallows over a fire when visiting campgrounds, but it’s crucial to teach kids to take a common sense approach to fire safety. Build fires in designated fire pits and keep flammable materials far away.
- Fireworks: For countless Americans and Oklahoma residents, fireworks are one of the best parts of summer. Still, a certain amount of caution is required when lighting off fireworks, which cause home fires and burns every year. Never light fireworks while they’re in your hand, and never point them at another person.
Information on Camping Near Tulsa, Oklahoma
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service keeps track of how many Americans go hiking and camping, and each year more and more people are learning to love the great outdoors. That also means some inexperienced campers are heading out. In 2008, an estimated 29.23 million people went camping in the United States. By 2014, that number grew to 38.05 million people. And whether it’s in the family RV, in lakeside cabin rentals, or tent camping, the average camper will spend 14.9 days at camp a year.
Sadly, the Outdoor Foundation reports that only a small number of young people are included in camping trips. Only 14% of young people over the age of six will go camping this year, and we think that’s a crying shame. With a little bit of preparation and common sense, camping can be a wonderful way to create new family memories this summer.