15 Camping Safety Myths You Need To Know About

Going camping or hiking is a great way to get away from the city, enjoy nature and disconnect from technology. With so many beautiful views and natural wonders to explore, you might think that there are no dangers when it comes to camping or hiking. 

However, while the risks of encountering dangerous wildlife or environmental hazards are fairly low, they can still happen especially if you aren’t prepared! 

To make sure your next trip into the woods goes smoothly, read on for 15 myths about camping safety that could end up costing you big time…

Campsite Safety – 10 Tips To Camp Safely in The Wilderness
Camping safety should be a top priority for every adventurer.
There are many myths associated with camping that are not true.
Proper preparation and knowledge can make camping a fun and safe experience.
There are many valuable resources available to help campers stay safe and informed.
Avoiding common camping mistakes can maximize the fun and safety of any camping trip.

Eating Food Off The Ground Is What Causes Food Poisoning

When you think of food poisoning, you probably imagine a rare steak that’s been sitting on the counter for three days or some raw chicken that’s been sitting out for hours. But actually, the root cause of foodborne illness is bacteria not dirt. 

Bacteria are everywhere: in soil and water as well as in the air we breathe. In fact, even if you wash your hands thoroughly before cooking anything, there will still be plenty of bacteria around to contaminate your food.

So how does bacteria get onto our crops (and subsequently into our stomachs)? If a field is fertilized with manure from infected livestock or birds, then any crop grown there could pick up some nasty germs along with its nutrients and minerals. Birds sometimes poop on vegetables because it’s just too hard to aim at a farm plot! 

The same goes for fish farms where waste from farmed animals can easily seep into surrounding waters; this type of pollution leads directly to shellfish harvesting areas being closed down due to health hazards like vibrio infections caused by Vibrio vulnificus (a dangerous form of bacterial infection) – which causes diarrhea & vomiting within 24 hours after ingestion.”

It’s not always easy to find great camping spots in America. But worry no more! Check out our guide on the best camping spots in America to discover the most scenic locations.

You Won’t Get Sick If You Wash Your Cutlery

  • Wash hands before and after eating.
  • Wash hands before and after preparing food.
  • Wash utensils after each use.

Use soap and warm water to wash your hands and utensils thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, including the backs of your hands, between fingers, around nails, palm side of hand (if you have a cut), underneath fingernails or finger-nail beds

Scrub the tops of fingers on both hands (if you have cuts); scrub thumb knuckles with brush if necessary to remove dirt under nails; rinse under running warm water until clear of all soap residue; dry thoroughly before handling food again (we often forget this step!)

Kitchenware Brands for Proper Sanitization

Brand NameProductBenefits
OXOGood Grips Soap Dispensing Palm BrushDispenses soap and scrubs dishes, glasses, and cutlery easily
Seventh GenerationDish Liquid Soap, Clementine Zest & Lemongrass ScentFree from harmful chemicals and effectively cleans dishes and kitchenware
CloroxAntibacterial Degreaser Dish SoapEffectively removes germs and harmful bacteria from dishes and kitchenware
SteriliteUltra Seal Food Storage ContainersProvides airtight and leak-proof storage for kitchenware and helps preserve food freshness
MicrobanAntimicrobial Sink ProtectorProtects kitchen sinks from scratches and harmful bacteria buildup

Drinking Water From Creeks And Rivers Is Safe

Drinking water from creeks and rivers is always safe to drink.

Nope! You may have heard this myth, but it’s just not true. Even in areas where there are no cars or humans around, wild animals can still contaminate the water you drink with bacteria, parasites and viruses that make you sick. 

If you want to be sure your water is safe to drink on your camping trip (or anytime), boil it for at least one minute before drinking.

If boiling isn’t an option for whatever reason maybe the power went out at home so your stove won’t work after all you can also use filters or chemical treatments like iodine tablets or drops to purify the water before use

Camping safety is a priority for every adventurer. If you’re looking for essential tips to prevent accidents while camping, have a look at our camping safety guide to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Bacteria, Parasites And Viruses Don’t Affect Cold Food.

To be clear, bacteria, parasites and viruses don’t care if your food is hot or cold. They are not affected by the temperature! This means you can get sick from any kind of food whether it’s cooked, raw or chilled.

The most important thing when camping is handwashing. Always wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom and before preparing food for others. 

If you want to make sure your ice stays sanitary (for example, if you’re making lemonade or serving ice cubes with drinks), use an electric cooler with a built-in freezer that keeps things cool without getting wet from melting ice.

Common Misconceptions About Food Safety While Camping

Bacteria, parasites, and viruses don’t affect cold food.While cold temperatures can slow the growth of harmful microorganisms, they don’t prevent them. It’s crucial to keep refrigerated or frozen food at safe temperatures below 40°F. Be sure to use a reliable cooler, such as a Yeti or Igloo cooler, and monitor the internal temperature with a thermometer.
All wild game is safe to eat.Wild game can carry harmful microorganisms, parasites, and diseases that can cause illness. Proper cooking techniques, such as cooking wild game to an internal temperature of at least 165°F, can help reduce the risk of illness.
Food can be safely stored in the tent.Keeping food in your tent can attract wildlife, such as bears and raccoons, who may damage your tent or injure you. Use a bear-resistant storage container, such as those made by BearVault or Counter Assault, to keep food safe and secure.
Food can be cooked over any fire.Wood that has been chemically treated, such as pressure-treated lumber, may cause harmful chemicals to be released when burned. Only use untreated firewood or charcoal for cooking.
Foodborne illness only occurs with undercooked meat.While undercooked meat can carry harmful bacteria, many other foods can also cause foodborne illness. Be sure to follow proper food handling and cooking techniques to minimize the risk of illness.

The Bacteria In Sewage And Soil Are Different, So They Won’t Make You Sick.

Did you know that bacteria is everywhere? It’s true. The world we live in is filled with bacteria, and some of it can make you sick. In fact, some bacteria thrive in the soil and water of a campground. 

When they get into your body they can cause illness or infection, even when camping out in nature sounds like such a good idea!

The reason why so many people don’t understand this myth is that certain types of bacteria are specific to certain environments like sewage and soil but there are also plenty of varieties that can survive anywhere from your own body to the food you eat at home or on the go. 

So unless you’re staying away from all contaminated areas (which would mean going into quarantine) there’s no way to avoid exposure entirely! 

Again: don’t feed your fears about getting sick while camping; instead learn how best to protect yourself from these risks by following the tips above and making sure all members in your group practice good hygiene habits at all times.”

Your safety should never be a concern while camping. Learn how to prepare yourself for every situation by checking out the ultimate guide to camping safety, and protect yourself and your loved ones from potential harm.

Bacteria Takes Some Time To Make You Sick, So It’s Safe To Eat Leftovers The Next Day

While it’s true that bacteria can grow in food at room temperature, they grow much faster and more efficiently when the temperature is higher. 

Germs are also able to survive longer at warmer temperatures than they do at lower ones, which means that eating leftovers from your camping trip could make you sick.

The general rule of thumb is to use your best judgment about whether or not something has gone bad before eating it. 

If you’re unsure about whether or not a certain item is still safe to eat, throw it out! Remember: there are plenty of other foods available for your consumption (and none of them will make you sick).

Debunking Common Myths About Bacterial Food Poisoning

Bacteria takes some time to make you sick, so it’s safe to eat leftovers the next day.Not true. Harmful microorganisms, such as E. coli and Salmonella, can multiply rapidly on food that is not properly refrigerated. Invest in a good cooler like a Yeti or a Pelican, and keep perishable food at a temperature of 40°F or below.
You can just rinse off meat or produce to remove surface bacteria.Rinsing off meat or produce doesn’t remove harmful bacteria, and may actually spread it to other surfaces in your kitchen or campsite. Properly cook meat to the recommended temperature and wash your hands regularly while preparing food to avoid cross-contamination.
Only raw meat can cause food poisoning.While raw meat and poultry may contain harmful bacteria like Campylobacter and Listeria, fruits, vegetables, and even some processed foods can also carry bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Be sure to thoroughly wash produce and cook all food to safe temperatures before consuming.
Food that smells and tastes fine is safe to eat.The presence of harmful bacteria may not change the smell or taste of food. If food has been held at an unsafe temperature or left out for too long, it’s best to avoid it. To be safe, follow recommended storage and preparation techniques.
Freezing food kills all bacteria.Freezing food can halt the growth of bacteria, but it doesn’t necessarily kill all of them. To ensure safe handling of food, always thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or use a microwave before cooking.

Meat Doesn’t Need To Be Refrigerated Until It’s Cooked

When you get home from the supermarket, meat doesn’t need to be refrigerated until you cook it. It should still be kept cold in a container that’s tightly sealed and wrapped in plastic—but only for about two days. After that, place it back in the fridge for another couple of days before cooking.

Note: Don’t put raw meat near other foods like fish or cheese (because they can spoil). Also make sure your kids don’t get into the fridge while you’re asleep!

If you’re going camping soon, don’t forget to pack the most crucial items and follow the necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Our article on 10 essential camping safety tips will help you stay safe and enjoy your camping trip to the fullest.

Cooking Destroys All Harmful Organisms

Cooking does not destroy all harmful organisms. Some harmful organisms can survive in the cooking water and be present in the raw food. They may even be present in cooked food if it’s contaminated by raw foods. 

For example, Salmonella is a bacterium that causes salmonellosis, or salmonella poisoning, when eaten. It can survive for several days on dry surfaces like tables and countertops as well as refrigerated foods such as meats, eggs and dairy products.

The pathogen also lives in dust particles that might contaminate food during preparation or storage within the home environment before being consumed by humans without proper cooking methods employed at each stage of production (i.e., harvesting wild plants growing near livestock operations that uses manure fertilization).

Wild Animals Can’t Carry Diseases That Can Harm Humans

One of the most common myths is that wild animals, like bears, raccoons and foxes can’t carry diseases that can harm humans. 

The truth is that animal bites are one of the most common ways for people to contract rabies. Rabies is a viral disease of mammals (including humans) caused by a rhabdovirus and it’s spread through saliva when an infected animal bites another animal or human.

If you see an aggressive bear with cubs, leave it alone! They are extremely protective and will attack if they feel threatened in any way. 

To make matters worse: bears have excellent senses of smell which means they may pick up on human odor from afar (even if you didn’t even see them). If they think there’s danger nearby they’ll attack quickly so be sure not to run away from them unless absolutely necessary!

Before going on your next outdoor adventure in the wilderness, make sure you’re equipped with the right knowledge. We suggest checking out these expert tips for staying safe and surviving in the wilderness to be adequately prepared for any situation that might arise.

You Don’t Need To Protect Yourself Against Insects In The Woods Or At Camp Sites

Biting insects can be a serious problem, especially if you have a severe allergy to them. They can carry disease and cause irritation and infection when they bite.

Bugs don’t need to be a nuisance on your camping trip. There are some precautions you can take to avoid being bitten by bugs while camping:

  • Avoid areas with lots of trees, plants and water – bugs are more likely to be found in these areas!
  • Stay away from wild animals – they may carry infections that could make you sick!

It’s Always Ok To Have A Fire When Camping Or Hiking As Long As You Are Careful With It

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about campfires. Many people believe that it’s always ok to have a fire as long as you are careful with it, but this isn’t true. Fires can easily get out of control and become uncontrollable and they also increase the risk of forest fires!

You should never leave your fire unattended, even for a moment. The best way to avoid this kind of problem is by making sure everyone in your group knows how to extinguish their own fires using water or dirt (never sand or ash). This is why having at least one bucket nearby at all times is so important; use it whenever you’re not tending the flame yourself.

Another common mistake people make when building campfires is using fuel that isn’t appropriate for outdoor cooking or heating needs such as gasoline or kerosene! These kinds of liquids should never be used when starting fires because they could explode if there’s too much wind around them (which happens more often than most people realize).

If possible, bring an extra bucket filled with water just in case some sparks fly away from the main body of flame into dry grass nearby: these tiny embers might start another fire that could spread quickly throughout miles upon miles worth acres worth acres worth hectares worth hectares worth kilometers worth kilometers worth…

“Fair” Skinned People Don’t Need To Worry About Sunburns Or Sunstroke.

You may have heard that fair skinned people don’t need to worry about sunburns and sunstroke but this is simply not true. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with over 3 million cases diagnosed each year. And even though it’s much more common among white people than those with darker skin tones, it can still be fatal no matter how light or dark your complexion might be.

So what should you do? Protect yourself! Use sunscreen and clothing when outdoors, avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm (when it’s strongest), wear sunglasses and a hat when outside during peak sunlight hours, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re sweating or swimming in water…the list goes on!

With these safety tips under your belt, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying outdoor adventures without fear of getting burned or suffering from heat stroke.

You Don’t Need To Worry About Environmental Dangers When Camping Or Hiking Because They Are Rare

It’s also important to note that environmental dangers are just as real as physical ones. You can get sick from drinking water, eating food, touching things or breathing the air. And don’t forget about the sun!

The truth is that people are always at risk of getting sick while camping or hiking. If you think otherwise, here’s a fun fact: there’s no vaccine against norovirus the most common cause of food poisoning in North America and it only takes 20 minutes for symptoms to start showing up after exposure.


We hope this post has helped you understand the importance of staying safe while camping. There is a lot to think about and take into account when we go outdoors, but with these tips and tricks in mind, you’re on your way to having an amazing experience!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on camping myths and camping safety that you may find helpful:

Camping Myths Debunked: Don’t Let These Misconceptions Keep You From the Great Outdoors: This article breaks down common camping myths and provides accurate information so that people can make informed decisions when camping.

10 Common Camping Mistakes You Need to Avoid for Better Camping Safety: Whether you’re new to camping or a seasoned pro, it’s easy to make mistakes. This article highlights ten camping safety mistakes that you need to avoid.

7 Camping Myths That Just Won’t Die: This article explores seven common misconceptions about camping that refuse to die. Get the facts to help you have a better camping experience.


What are some common camping safety mistakes to avoid?

Some common camping safety mistakes to avoid include not properly storing food, not having a first-aid kit, leaving a fire unattended, setting up a tent in an unsafe location, and not wearing appropriate clothing.

How do I keep myself safe while camping alone?

To keep yourself safe while camping alone, you’ll need to be extra vigilant about hazards such as wildlife, extreme weather, and injuries. You can reduce risks by being familiar with your camping location, staying in contact with others, and packing necessary safety gear.

What camping myths exist?

Many camping myths exist, such as that it is dangerous to sleep in a tent during a thunderstorm, that bears are attracted to menstruating people, that moss always grows on the north side of trees, and that carrot tops are good for starting fires.

How can I stay warm while camping in cold weather?

To stay warm while camping in cold weather, you should wear appropriate clothing, use a warm sleeping bag, insulate your tent, and stay active. Eat high-calorie foods and avoid alcohol, which can lower your core body temperature.

What should I do if I encounter a dangerous animal while camping?

If you encounter a dangerous animal while camping, stay calm, and make yourself appear larger by standing on your tiptoes, raising your arms, and opening your jacket. Don’t run away or turn your back on the animal. Speak loudly and firmly, and slowly back away to a safe distance.