Is camping dangerous | Full Guide

father and son camping

The answer is yes and no. Sometimes camping can be extremely dangerous. However, camping can also be very safe if you follow the proper precautions. In this blog post, you will find out what the dangers are of camping and what the risks are. But it's not just about safety. You'll also find out the good and bad about camping.

What to think about before heading out to the great outdoors?

When deciding whether or not to go camping, it is important to think about how much you know about going camping. Some people don't know anything about camping and think that it's going to be a walk in the park. They don't think about the dangers of camping. The things you should think about before going camping are the following:


Camping is fun and adventurous. You get to explore nature, connect with yourself, and have some good bonding time with friends and family. However, weather conditions are unpredictable and camping can put you at great risk if you don't know what to expect and how to prepare. There's no way to control the weather. Whether its sunny or cloudy, hot or cold, wet or dry, windy or calm, camping requires preparation and planning.


Wind is the force produced by air moving over land or water, and it constantly changes direction. Winds can blow quite strongly and unpredictably, and they can even vary greatly over short distances. If you're camping near a lake, hillsides, a canyon, or any other place where the ground slopes upward toward the sky, then winds may pick up speed as they rise to create strong gusts and updrafts. Campers should always plan ahead to avoid being caught off guard by sudden gusts.

Lightning Strikes

Lightning is commonly associated with thunderstorms, but can strike anywhere, anytime. Lightning occurs when electricity travels along the Earth's magnetic field and strikes the atmosphere. Lightning does not require cloud cover, precipitation, or rain; therefore, lightning strikes can occur in clear skies. When exposed to sunlight, the electrical charge becomes unstable and can cause a spark that ignites nearby flammable materials.


Flooding can happen rapidly and unexpectedly. In times of high rainfall or snowmelt, lakes, rivers, floodplains, and streams may become extremely swollen. As these bodies of water begin to swell, they can overflow their banks and flow downstream. Floodwaters can move at speeds up to 50 miles per hour! So before heading out for a night under the stars, campers should make sure to check local news reports for flash floods and other weather-related hazards.


Terrain refers to a specific location. Certain types of terrain are inherently dangerous for camping. For example, cliffs, steep inclines, ravines, and creekbeds are prone to slippery surfaces which could lead to falls and injuries. Campers need to be aware of their surroundings while hiking, climbing, swimming, fishing, and exploring.


Roads pose a danger to campers because cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, and ATVs often share the same roadways. Traveling down roads often means sharing space with other vehicles and pedestrians. A vehicle that hits you could seriously injure or kill you. Be careful riding bikes while camping, especially on roads.


Cliffs are tall vertical mountains that protrude out from the earth's surface. These sharp rocks, boulders, and jagged edges are extremely hazardous to campers who decide to climb them. The lack of traction on the smooth rock surface makes it difficult to maintain balance and footing. Furthermore, falling off the cliff could result in severe injury or death.

There might be wild animals

This is especially true if you are camping near woods or forests. Animals like bears or wolves could attack you simply because they mistake you for food since you look different than them. These animals have sharp teeth and claws, so there is nothing you can do except run away fast.


Snakes are not only dangerous they have sharp teeth and poisonous venom. If an snake bites you it could cause death if not treated right away. Another danger is that snakes bite humans for food (which is illegal) therefore, people who camp need to take caution and keep their eyes open at night.


Bears are predators and can attack people. Bears look for foods such as berries and fruit trees. Therefore, campers need to make sure they take safety precautions around animals especially bears. Bears do not have rabies so they cannot spread the virus but just being wary of them may help prevent something bad happening. Also, never let a bear get close enough to grab hold of you.


Plants can be toxic to human beings and even be deadly! There are over 200 known types of plants that can kill someone if ingested. Campers should only eat what they know about and are familiar with. Don't pick wildflowers, fruits, or berries unless you are sure it's safe.

Some plants or leaves can cause illness when eaten or when they get in contact with your skin. They can affect your intestines causing cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Campers should stay away from leaves and stick to foods that they're familiar with. Just be aware of what you put into your body and always wash any leafy vegetables before consuming them.

Here are some plants you should avoid while camping:

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is actually not a true plant at all; instead, it is classified as a vine. A native perennial herbaceous plant, it grows throughout North America and is known to produce an oily sap when cut. This sap contains urushiol, a chemical irritant responsible for causing allergic contact dermatitis. Once absorbed into the skin, it causes inflammation, sweating, itching, swelling, blistering, and eventually, if left untreated, rashes. You may have heard about poison ivy before, and many people assume that they know what to do to prevent its effects. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. In fact, these symptoms are going to occur regardless of whether you get exposed to the plant or not, since some people just react differently than others.

Poison Oak

Poison oak (Toxicodendrum radicans), also known commonly as western poison oak, western poison sumac, California poison oak, etc., was first described by scientists in 1753 and was originally called Rhus diversifolia. Native to Central America, it now grows across the United States and Canada. While most people consider poison oak to only exist in coastal regions, it is now commonly found in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest U.S.

Poison Sumac

The common name for this tree is poison sumac, although it should really be called poisonberry sumac (Rhus toxicodendroides). Poison sumac is native to North America, where it grows in prairies, woodlands, swamps, and along streams. Its botanical name comes from sumac, a shrub-like member of the rose family whose berries taste similar to those of poison raspberry (Rubus idaeus). The fruits of poison sumac contain urushiol, which is toxic to mammals. The oil is contained in small glands along the stems, branches, and leaves, while the seeds and bark contain higher concentrations.

Stinging Nettles

Common stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a non-legume, biennial herb, often confused with poisonous hemlock, garden bistort, and wild pea. The plant blooms between April and July, depending on weather conditions. The stingers are produced in late spring and develop from the buds on the underside of the leaf blade. Stinging nettles are considered one of the best weeds for growing in home gardens because they help improve soil structure. Their roots loosen compacted soils and aerate them, making them easier to work with.


Berries are full of seeds and can harm children and adults alike. Berries can stain clothing, shoes, tents, and anything else that comes in contact with them. Campers should wear protective footwear when picking berries and avoid eating them altogether.

Heat Exhaustion (Heat Stroke)

When we go outside on hot days, our body temperatures rise, causing us to sweat. When there's enough fluid loss, it can lead to heatstroke. Symptoms include dizziness/feeling faint, headache, sweating profusely, muscle cramping, confusion, seizures, unconsciousness, and death if left untreated. Most people who suffer from heatstroke have just been exercising, not working hard at their jobs. If you work out in 90-degree weather, make sure you drink water before, during, and after exercise. If you ever feel thirsty while you're working out, stop and drink water. Water helps prevent dehydration, which causes heatstroke. Drinking plenty of fluids during a workout also reduces the risk of cramps and keeps you from overworking your muscles. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day as well, especially when you're trying to lose weight. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine, both of which dehydrate you.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness occurs when air pressure changes rapidly and the body isn't ready for it. At high altitudes, blood rushes down the thinner capillaries in your lungs and brain. In addition, the heart pumps harder to keep blood flowing to these organs, which puts extra strain on your cardiovascular system. As a result, you may feel tired, dizzy, and nauseous. Your symptoms should subside gradually once you reach lower altitudes. If you think you might get altitude sick, head straight home. Once you get back to a level where you don't feel any ill effects, slowly descend until you feel comfortable again.


Hypothermia happens when your core temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You may start to feel cold, shivering, confused, and disoriented. People tend to underestimate hypothermia because they don't realize they're feeling cold. There's no need to panic, though; use clothing, blankets, and gloves to help keep yourself warm. Try to stay dry, eat, drink, and rest regularly to restore lost energy. Keep in mind that hypothermia kills even the fittest among us. So, if you're planning to spend time in a remote area, make sure you take precautions. Pack lots of food and water, wear layers of clothes, and carry a first aid kit. And always check in with family members or friends.

Falling Trees

If you camp in a forested area, it's possible to walk away from a falling tree without damage. But, if you're hiking in a rocky landscape or climbing a steep hill, you could be injured or killed by a falling tree limb. Before you set off on a hike, look around and assess the terrain. Are there gaps between tree trunks along the way? Avoid going directly under branches. If you do find yourself walking underneath a tree, try to step over them rather than walk around them. Always watch where you place your feet and never climb in a direction where a branch is leaning toward you.


Wildfires pose a threat to anyone in the path of flames. Unfortunately, wildfires occur frequently during summertime months in the United States. You can reduce your chances of getting hurt in a wildfire by following safety guidelines. First, build a solid shelter using sturdy materials such as logs, rocks, and canvas. Afterward, gather together what possessions you'd like to save. Move anything flammable further away from your shelter. Finally, fill your water bottle or canteen with non-toxic, insect repellent.

Biting Insects

Biting insects often attack humans in the evening hours. Mosquitoes and blackflies are some of the most common culprits. Both mosquitoes and blackflies bite during dusk and dawn. To repel these annoying bugs, apply bug spray. Follow up by applying DEET-containing products to your skin. While you're wearing long sleeves and pants, you'll also want to avoid exposing your arms and legs.


Stay updated with our newsletter

What are the benefits of camping?

Outdoor activities enhance personal growth

Camping gives us the opportunity to get out of our comfort zones and try new experiences. We learn how to adapt to different environments due to new challenges encountered in the natural world. Being outside allows us to experience the beauty and wonder that nature offers. Nature provides a great learning tool in many ways, especially since we are not taught about it in school. Our minds are free to explore and develop further than they could inside a classroom. Since we spend more time outside, we gain more knowledge regarding ourselves and the environment we live in.

Camping creates memories

If you're someone who likes making memories, then camping should definitely be at the top of your list. While you may only have one chance to camp, you will always remember the fun times spent together. You will never forget the beautiful scenery surrounding you and the people you met along the way. Your memories will last forever!

Camping help make friends

A lot of people find themselves meeting new people while camping. Whether you are looking to make new lifelong friendships or just meet some new people, this may happen. There are so many people traveling around the planet right now that it's easy to find someone to hang out with. Even if you don't intend on making any friends, you might end up having some anyways!

Camping teaches discipline

Everyone knows that camping requires lots of patience. You need to wait patiently for your food to cook, for your tent to dry, and for your sleeping bag to warm up. Camping also requires strict adherence to rules. This means no drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes in public places. In addition, you need to follow certain guidelines regarding fire safety and leaving designated campsites clean. Without these little things, camping would be much harder.

Camping fosters independence

Most people will agree that no matter where you go, there will always be something lacking compared to camping. However, without the comforts of home, you will have to rely on yourself to survive. This is why camping promotes independence. Since you depend on yourself for everything from shelter to survival, you won't be dependent on anyone else. This enables you to stand on your own two feet and succeed even when things aren't going well.

Camping makes you appreciate nature

When you are surrounded by natural wonders, you begin to understand what really matters. You begin to realize that even though you have conveniences such as electricity and running water, they pale in comparison to nature. You take a step back and start thinking about what truly makes life living. As you sit under the stars and gaze upon the moonlight, you feel closer to Mother Earth and appreciate her power.

Camping helps you appreciate animals

No matter the type of animal, you will surely encounter them on your travels. While you may not want to interact with wild animals, you will certainly enjoy seeing them up close. Watching their behavior and interactions with other wildlife will help you appreciate animals more.

Camping helps teach responsibility

One thing that camping does well is allow for independence. This means that you are responsible for yourself and everything around you. You are expected to provide for your own basic needs and those of your group members. To do this, you need to know that you must respect others and leave them alone while they are not doing anything wrong.

Camping teaches teamwork

While you may be able to survive on your own, you cannot survive alone. If you are planning on hiking or camping with a friend or family member, you need to work together to ensure everyone's safety. You will need to coordinate your schedules and communicate so that you can stick to your plan. Failure to do so can be disastrous.

10. Camping increases self-esteem. This is probably the biggest benefit of camping. By being away from technology and interacting with nature, you begin to appreciate life and yourself more. Camping forces you to reevaluate yourself. It brings you face-to-face with the reality of who you are and what you do for a living.

Camping is affordable

Sure, camping may seem expensive at first glance. However, compared to staying indoors, it's actually pretty cheap. Instead of spending money on rent, utilities, and eating out often, you simply pack your backpack full of food and head to the woods. Once there, you can use your imagination and create whatever kind of adventure you want!

Camping is fun! Camping is a lot of fun!

There is nothing quite like waking up early and enjoying a morning hike before breakfast. Afterward, you can relax in the sun and read a book, play sports, or practice a hobby. You can spend hours talking about what happened last night with your friends or family. You can even share stories about your past adventures!

Camping saves money

If you spend money on renting a cabin every weekend instead of camping, you will save a ton of money over the course of a year. On average, you'll pay $350-$500 per month to stay in a cabin. That adds up fast! Spending less money allows you to save more money for college, travel, and other major expenses.

Camping reduces pollution

When you decide to go camping, you reduce pollution by cutting down on wasteful materials. For example, you don't throw plastic bottles into the river; you keep them for later. Also, rather than buying paper plates, cups, and napkins, you bring your own supplies to avoid adding to the problem. Lastly, you cut down on trash by bringing your own bags and packing out what you brought in.

Main Image provided by:


Camping can be dangerous but it is not all bad. Before taking a trip to a camping location, however, it is best to know that campsites can be dangerous places. Hopefully, you have learned about all the dangers of camping in this article. If this article has helped you in any way, feel free to sign up for our news letter or read our our article at why camping is good for you.

About Author:

image of Kevin Pommells

Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

Follow Me @ Twitter | Facebook |

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.