You can find day camps in the middle of any city, but the charm of overnight camps is their rugged surroundings. Hills, deserts, creeks, and open prairies await campers from all over the state. Exploring the outdoors has tempted children for centuries, and for almost as long adults have instilled the necessity of safety. At Deer Creek Camp, we know how captivating wilderness ventures can be, and we also know that they’re safest when campers are prepared for survival. Before letting anyone embark on even a short hike, we instill time-honored information to ensure they’re entering the wild as safely as possible. Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman or have only encountered nature through your television, these survival tips will make the most out of all wilderness ventures.
- Never go alone. Bear Grylls’ Discovery Channel show should really be called Man and Well-Supplied Camera Crew vs. Wild. There’s a romantic, courageous notion of experiencing the great outdoors on your own. There are also immense dangers that can harm the most equipped and knowledgeable adventurer in the world. Carrying compass, box of matches, canteen, and food supplies won’t negate the fact that the wilderness remains unpredictable. Rattlesnakes can strike; floods can literally appear in a flash; and one misstep over a boulder can result in a broken limb. Those scenarios are certainly rare, but they’re possible, and they’re much less dangerous when you’re venturing into the wilderness with a hiking partner.
- Stay on the path. Trails are never built to keep hikers from seeing the good stuff; they’re designed to give people as full an experience of a mountain or forest as possible. Following a path, then, is a surefire way to really see the sights on wilderness ventures. It’s also a surefire way to keep from getting lost. Unless America acquires Canada, Texas will forever be the second-largest state. The hill country around Deer Creek is one of its most expansive regions. It doesn’t take a long route off the beaten path to forget your way back. Though you’ll find civilization eventually, if you get lost around dusk, the more dangerous night is a harder time to navigate.
- Trust the Scouts: be prepared. We don’t issue our campers a survival kit with flares, rope, and dehydrated foods, and we don’t expect them to bring all of that from home. It isn’t a bad idea, though, to bring and carry a few essentials to prepare for worst case scenarios on wilderness ventures. Three simple items, in particular, can prove lifesaving in dire moments: a flashlight, whistle, and bottle of water. More than snakes or cacti, dehydration proves to be the greatest peril you can encounter. A bottle of water will keep you safe during a hike and sustained during an emergency. In the event that you do get lost or severely injured, a flashlight and whistle can help others find you—in the dark and without killing your voice.
Of course, this list could continue for ages. These three tips don’t amount to much compared to the training that Boy Scouts and Navy SEALS receive, but they’re a good starting place for safety. Wilderness ventures will always appeal to our campers, and we’re always thrilled to let them experience the great outdoors. Safety, though, remains among our highest priorities. Hiking with friends, sticking to the path, and carrying a few essentials will lead to a much safer encounter with the wild world.