How to Stay Safe while Camping: Safety, Security, and Precautions

Bear next to green tent in the wilderness

Before summer comes to a close, you’ll want to get your last-minute camping trips in! There’s nothing better than taking some time off to relax and reconnect with nature. You get to enjoy fishing with your family or hiking on the trails near the campsite. As you tuck yourself into your sleeping bag at night, you might freak out from every little creak in the woods and paranoia can totally ruin your camping experience. You need to be able to keep your guard up but still be able to have a good time on your camping trip. We’re going to give you some tips on how you can keep yourself, your gear, and your fellow campers safe on your next camping trip. Let’s get into it!

How to Find the Right Campsite 

Before you pitch your tent, you need to make sure that you pick safe campgrounds for your trip. Here are some steps you should take in order to find the right campsite for you and your endeavors: 


  • As you scroll through the different campgrounds you’re considering, take a look at social media reviews of the campsite. These reviews will give you an idea of what the campsite is like from people who have stayed there. You will be able to choose more wisely what campground is the best for you. 


  • Some campsites already have security set up, like check-ins at a security gate before entry, safety patrol, and/or security cameras. When possible try to get campsites that have built-in security. If that’s not possible, bring your own security with Guardline. You can keep a driveway alarm in or near your tent that will notify you when trespassers are nearby.

Campsite Visibility 

  • When looking at campsites, look at places that are away from busy paths or roads, but not completely hidden. This will protect your gear from getting taken and create apprehension from potential thieves. They are more likely to be interrupted in more visible campsites. 

Ask Park Rangers

  • The people that know about the best campgrounds are the people working there. Ask campground staff or park rangers if there have been any recent problems on the campgrounds or other parks nearby. They’ll be able to help you find out which campsites are to be avoided, and which ones you should check out. 

Get the Lowdown of the Area 

  • Once you’ve decided on your campground, make sure to get the lowdown while you’re setting up camp. Take some time to introduce yourself to your neighbors, and get a sense of who they are with a brief conversation. You want to make sure your neighbors have similar plans for their trip, like if they are going to be partying all night and you want to go to sleep at 10 pm, then you might want to move your camp. In addition, if they have been there longer, they can tell you  how their experience has been so far. You could also ask if you want to look out for each other’s supplies. 

Father and son tying their tent down in the woods

How to Secure Your Campsite 

So, you found your dream campsite and you’re starting to set up your gear for a great weekend in the wilderness. Before you can go fishing and hiking, you’ll want to make sure that the perimeter of your campsite is secure. What a nightmare it would be to come back to your site only to find out that your tent and nice gear have been taken. With that, here are some tips on how you can keep your campsite secure. 

Packing Your Gear 

  • While you’re packing, remember to only bring gear that you will be using while camping. There is no need to bring your valuables such as expensive jewelry, electronic devices, musical instruments, and so on, that is not going to affect your camping experience. 

Keep Your Gear Nearby 

  • You might think that setting up your campsite over to the side is the best idea because you won’t have many neighbors, but this makes it easier for intruders to slip in and steal your items without anyone noticing while you’re away. The ideal location to set up your camp is centrally within the campsite, so you can easily keep an eye on your gear. If you want to go on an adventure, you can easily ask a trusted neighbor to watch your items while you’re away. 

Hide Expensive Gear in Your Car 

  • While camping, you’ll want to go do some outdoor activities, like kayaking or hiking. Even with the outdoor fun, you don’t want to leave your expensive belongings behind with the risk of them getting stolen. In addition, you don’t want to waste your time packing and unpacking your stuff. To make sure that your expensive gear isn’t taken, you can lock it up in your car. A good trick is to buy a bed sheet that matches your car's interior to put over your gear in order to trick thieves into thinking that there’s nothing there. For extra protection, you can place a driveway alarm to notify you if there are any intruders nearby and scare them off before they get too close. 

Securing Larger Items 

  • It’s going to be a little harder to conceal your larger items, like BBQs, bikes, kayaks, and so forth. Each item should have separate chains and large padlocks because they are harder to pick or open with the slam of a hammer. It’s best to secure them to a tree. For items with wheels, like boat trailers or ATVs, it is best to have wheel locks so they can’t easily roll away. To go a step further, you can leave a driveway alarm near your larger items. You’ll be notified if someone is nearby and the beeping will scare them off your campsite.   

Car Keys 

  • Even if you are close to your car, you should never leave your keys in your car’s ignition. You’re just asking for someone to walk by, jump in, and drive off with your car in minutes, leaving you in the dust. Keep your keys well concealed or with you at all times when you are not using your car.  

Protecting Your Tent 

  • You should always zip up your tent when you are not in it. Thieves target loners. It is better to have a group of tents than one tent to deter thieves, if it’s possible. Tents aren’t the best place to leave your expensive gear behind. Putting a padlock on your tent is a declaration for thieves that there is something valuable inside. They can easily make a slit in your tent and steal what’s inside. You can use Guardline driveway alarms in your tent to know when an intruder is nearby. You don’t need a wifi connection for it to work and it is completely wireless. You can add additional sensors around your campsite and car to protect your belongings. Thieves will be deterred from going near your supplies when they hear the beeping of the sensor. 

Animals and Your Food 

  • Humans aren’t the only ones that you have to worry about taking your gear and food supply. Animals can vandalize your belongings, like slashing your tent open to try and get to your food supply. Keep your campsite clean from food scraps to avoid the chance of attracting animals. Make sure that you don’t leave open food containers around. You can use bear-proof cooler locks to keep animals from getting into your cooler. Dispose of trash and clean any cookware or utensils immediately. In addition, you can tie your food up and hang it with a paracord to prevent animals from swiping your meals. 

Personal Safety 

  • With all these measures in place, you most likely will not have any belongings taken from you while you’re camping. On the off chance that something does get stolen, you will want to make sure that you’re taking time before you react. Reacting before thinking can put yourself and your fellow campers in harm’s way. Your belongings aren’t worth any bodily harm. Make sure that you use common sense before you think about confronting a thief or scaring off a wild animal. 

Setting Up Security Systems 

  • We’ve mentioned previously in different sections about using driveway alarms to protect your campsite. You can place them up to 50 yards from your camp. Those early warnings will scare off potential intruders instantly. It’s an easy set-up because you don’t have to worry about wires around your camp or having a wifi connection. It’s possible to set up a tripwire with a fishing line with a can tied to the end with pebbles in it. That would also work to scare off intruders, but it is much easier to have a driveway alarm because there is no complicated setup and you don’t have to worry about tripping over it yourself.  

A group of people enjoying a picnic in the woods

Wrap Up 

Now that you have secured your campsite, you can enjoy your camping trip peacefully with all of your camping alarms set and gear protected. You will be free of worry and you’ll be able to actually take a real break from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. With that, you will be able to enjoy your trip and the last moments of summer until next year’s camping trip. Enjoy your adventure! 

Contributing Writer: Madeline Collins 

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