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The Biggest Camping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on May 10, 2020

Camping can be an incredibly freeing experience. You can connect with nature, get away from your computer and phone, and just breath in some fresh air. It can also be a wonderful bonding experience with friends, family, and children. Between Arizona and Nevada, residents of the Southwest have a host of camping options, from local state parks to classic trips to the Grand Canyon. However, when you go camping unprepared, it can turn into a complete disaster. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to avoid the most common camping mistakes and mishaps.

Mistakes to Look Out For

Ignoring the weather: Your weather app isn’t always right. It may say it’s going to rain all day, only for the sun to keep shining. Because Arizona is home to 30 different climates and a variety of elevations, the weather can vary drastically depending on where and when you travel. A campsite at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument may seem like a lovely oasis, but the weather can change rather quickly. Prepare for things to be too hot, too cold, and too rainy, otherwise you may be caught in a storm with only a light jacket to protect you.

Not assessing the campground: Different areas call for different ways of pitching your tent. For example, if you are staying in Manzanita Campground near Sedona, be sure to pitch your tent under any available shade, and away from ditches, ravines, or channels, to minimize the risk of being caught in a flash flood. If you are camping by a river, be sure to leave sufficient space between your tent and the water, and always pick a spot that is higher than the river. You should also pick a site that has readily available amenities, including a ranger’s station in case you need assistance.

Using untested equipment: Maybe you’ve gotten a new, big tent that you’re excited to use. You take it with you on your next trip, only for it to fall to pieces the moment you try and pitch it or one of the poles is missing. While it certainly isn’t your fault that your tent was manufactured so poorly, you should have still tested it before using it.

Skimping on food: Maybe you think you can live off of nature, maybe you left it up to a friend to bring all the food supplies, but either way, you don’t have enough to last the trip. Unless you are a professional survivalist, or have years of experience, never assume you can properly identify what is edible and what is not. Skimping on food can land you in a nasty and potentially life-threatening situation.

When It’s Not Your Fault

Sometimes, camping can go wrong due to someone else’s negligence, not your own. When this happens, it places you in a dangerous situation that you have no control over – especially out in the Arizona wilderness. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. have experience working with clients in the Arizona and Nevada areas who were hurt during a camping trip due to someone else’s poor decisions. Here are some of the more common scenarios we’ve seen:

Poorly maintained campgrounds: Not everyone likes to have a wild adventure while camping. Some prefer to use a reserved campsite, like the ones at Lake Havasu, Catalina State Park, and Bonito. These campgrounds should be ready for visitors, properly maintained and as safe as is reasonably possible by the time they open for camping season. Improperly maintained campgrounds can lead to injury, illness, or trauma for visitors, especially if the park is facing budget cuts, which has become more common in recent years.

Malfunctioning equipment: While you should always test new camp gear before your trip, it is reasonable to expect the gear you paid for will function as advertised. Equipment that was not manufactured correctly, such as faulty gas stoves or electric lamps, has the potential to cause serious injuries.

Transportation accidents: Arizona has amazing areas to camp in, but many are not easily accessible with typical passenger vehicles. For that reason, many campers will pay to be transported by boat, jeep, or some other off-road vehicle. The operators should act responsibly and keep you and anyone else in the vehicle safe. But not everyone does what they’re supposed to, and you could end up severely wounded because the operator drove distracted, intoxicated, or in some other negligent way.

If you have been hurt while camping because of someone else’s negligence, then you deserve justice. Going up against companies or governments is a difficult task, and one you should certainly not do alone. Contact The Husband and Wife Law Team at (480) 588-8508. Let’s discuss your case and what we can do to help you.

Posted in: Premises Liability

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