How to Avoid Forest Camping Disasters

Camping in itself is already an exciting adventure, wherever it may be. However, it also entails a lot of preparations and planning.

You need to be mindful of the challenges you might encounter so you can be ready. In this article, we will focus on tips for camping in the forest.

Being in the presence of towering trees, fresh air, scenic views, and the peaceful atmosphere is very therapeutic. That's just one of the many benefits of forest camping.

However, lack of preparation can quickly result in the opposite stress, disaster, and a horrible experience. For better chances of a positive and safe forest camping experience, follow these tip on how to avoid forest camping disasters:

Get the Right Shelter

Your shelter is one, if not the most, important thing you need to consider when you go camping. There are many options to choose from - cabin tents, dome tents, caravans, campervans, and more.

Your choice of shelter depends on your preference or on what the campsite can accommodate. However, you’ll most likely use a tent for forest camping.

When you choose your tent, make sure it is suitable for the weather conditions of your location.

You have to remember that no matter what season, it can get pretty chilly in the woods. It will also get wet, especially in the morning. With that in mind, consider bringing a tarpaulin for beneath and above your tent.

Choose Sleeping Gear with insulation

Whatever the season, the forest can get freezing at night. So, pick a sleeping bag that will keep you insulated in temperature drops.

If ever you need to cool off, you can always just unzip your bag. It's certainly easier to get rid of layers than lack layers for insulation.

Pack Appropriate Clothing

Your clothes are another thing you want to keep in mind. Like your shelter and sleeping gear, the temperatures and the weather of your location affect your options. If you’re camping in the summer, you’ll need light and breezy clothing for the day.

However, you’ll still need to bring extra layers to keep you warm at night. Layering gives you more flexibility and allows you to adapt to different temperatures quickly.

Follow Fire Safety Regulations

Camping is just not the same without a campfire, which is why many campsites permit it. As long as you are responsible and it does not cause any harm to you or the environment, it should be okay.

However, first make sure that it’s okay to build a fire. Some places might not allow it for geological reasons or safety reasons. If it is allowed, make sure to follow the fire safety regulations of the campsite.

Here are some general campfire safety tips to avoid harm or disaster.

Choose the Right Location

Most campsites may already have fire rings or fire pits, so this shouldn't be a problem. This mostly applies to wild forest camping or when you have to have still to build a fire pit.

The right location to build a fire is at least 10-15 feet away from overhanging branches, dry undergrowth, and away from your tent. This is to ensure that nothing else will catch fire and cause it to spread.

Safety-proof Your Fire Pit

Once you have the perfect spot for your fire pit, make sure you clear the area. Even when there's already a fire pit, you will still need to clear the area. Get rid of any debris like trash, twigs, dry leaves, and grass around the fire pit.

Dig a hole that's about one foot deep on the ground. Then, if there is no fire ring, use rocks to circle the pit, so your fire will be contained.

Keep the Flammables Away

Again, keep flammable items away. Your extra firewood should still be maintained from a distance, preferably stacked and upwind. You also need to keep aerosol cans, gas canisters, and other flammables away.

Keep Water or a Shovel Nearby

Sometimes, a gust of wind might even cause the flames to grow large unexpectedly. So, in cases when you want to turn down the fire, especially if you want to do it quickly, having water or a shovel nearby is wise.

Other Things You Might Need

Whatever you pack, you have to consider portability, weight, usefulness, and comfort. Many of these are subjective, and only you can decide what you want to bring. Take a look at this list of items that might come in handy in the forest:

  • Flashlight (I always have a handy AAA flashlight with extra AAA, and a headlamp too)
  • Matches
  • Camping chairs
  • Hammock
  • Bin bag for trash
  • lantern
  • camping stove and cooking essentials
  • first aid kit
  • pocket knife
  • axe/maul
  • Bug spray
  • Shovel
  • Water container
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Duct tape


If you want to avoid disaster while camping, then you should put some thought into your planning. This mostly entails getting the right things for the right purposes.

You need the right tent/shelter, sleeping gear with insulation, and appropriate clothing. Also, you want to avoid disaster by following fire safety regulations. And the last tip that’s not included above brings enough food and water.

Happy camping!

Author Bio

Louise Brown is a photographer, camping lover and hiking expert based in Colorado., where she share experiences venturing, tips & tricks and survival skills that will help you have an exciting adventure. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow her on Twitter @adventure_howdy

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