Camping When Sick

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Written By Jay Clatworthy

Off Grid Camping contributor.

Camping When Sick

What to do when you get sick while camping?         

It is vital to remember that anything can happen at any moment, especially when going on camping trips. One of the most underrated circumstances campers face is getting sick. 

You may take this occurrence lightly; however, it is way more challenging especially in the wild, primarily because of the limitations in terms of access to medications and health facilities. Nonetheless, there are certain things you may do that can instantly improve your situation.

Eat

Whenever you feel sick during your camping trips, it is advisable to eat as much as possible. Eating will help you gain the strength your body needs in fighting any illnesses that make you weak.

Certain foods are beneficial, and some will worsen the situation. It is always crucial to avoid sodas and junk foods known to be unhealthy, as this will not improve your condition. It is preferable to consume healthy meals and snacks that can help your body heal, such as hot soups, warm beverages, and fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and nutrients to boost your immune system.

Rest

Resting is essential in recovering from sickness. It helps boost your immune system, giving your body the energy it needs to combat illnesses. When you get sick, it is crucial to avoid engaging in any physical activities, especially that, at this point, your body is at its weakest. 

Without enough rest, you will only prolong your sickness. As a result, you would not be able to enjoy the rest of your trip. It may take a day or more to feel better. However, if you think there are no improvements in what you feel, it may be necessary to head home and consult your doctor. Your health should always be prioritized first. After all, you can always reschedule your trip.

Hydrate your body

Being sick increases your risk for dehydration. It is vital to drink plenty of fluids to hydrate yourself when camping, whether you’re ill or not. 

The primary and most advisable fluid to consume at this time is water. Some beverages you can consider may include natural citrus fruit juice, energy drinks (rich in electrolytes), and warm natural tea. In addition, beverages to avoid are caffeinated ones, including coffee, sodas, and alcohol, as this will make you dehydrated.

First aid kit with medication

When going out on long camping trips, one of the essentials you must pack is a first aid kit with medications. This is highly advisable, especially for unexpected events. A first aid kit’s primary purpose is for treating injuries and dealing with health problems. 

One thing you should always add to this kit is medications, including flu tablets, personal prescriptions, diarrhea medication, antifungal cream, antihistamine, acetaminophen, and eye drops. These are vital because they are the usual medical problems that occur during camping. 

Find comfortable shelter

Whenever you feel that your sickness intensifies and you are no longer comfortable staying in the wild, it is best to go home or visit the hospital. Keep in mind that the only person who knows your body’s limits is none other than yourself. 

So, if you feel like you can’t be treated with the resources you have at your site, it is a sign to leave before any unwanted event occurs.

If ever you are camping with your friends or alone, you must seek assistance from anyone around to guide you on your exit back home. This procedure is a must to ensure your safety and well-being.

What are the best camping foods for a sick person?

Whenever you get sick, one of the things to look out for is the food you will be consuming. Some foods are perfect for the situation you are in, and others can worsen your condition. 

This provision is why the meals you take significantly affect the period your body can fully recover from any illness it has been fighting. It is vital always to drink as many fluids as possible to avoid getting dehydrated from the fluids your body has lost during this healing process.

Soup/Broth

In times of sickness, soup and broth are some of the highly recommended meals to consume. This is because they can loosen the mucus that clogs your lungs, throat, and nasal passages—resulting in feelings of relief and lesser inflamed sensations.

Fruit

Fruits are a great source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can improve and sustain our general health, significantly strengthening our immune systems. Most fruits are rich in vitamin C. Some contain anthocyanins that prevent inflammation and function as an excellent booster for the immune system. 

They are also antiviral, which help fight off viruses and infections, making fruits a must-have whenever you feel under the weather. During this time, fruits to consider include bananas, avocados, and berries. 

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, specifically iron, vitamin C and K, and folate. They are also rich in polyphenols, an organic compound that acts as antioxidants that protect and prevent damaged cells. This compound also helps prevent inflammation. In addition, vegetables are easy to prepare and can be mixed with your soup.

Oatmeals

Oatmeals are one of the most convenient foods to prepare and are very compact. They are full of vitamins and minerals, including calories to fuel up your body when sick. 

Oats are full of fibers that help prevent and decrease inflammation and provide relief when you feel constipated. A tip to remember is not to settle for artificial flavors; it is better to choose whole oats and add fruits and honey afterward to enhance their flavor. 

Tea

Honey, tea, and ginger are excellent natural remedies for sickness. Honey is an antibacterial and, at the same time, antiseptic treatment for open wounds and burns. 

It also helps boost your immune system. Another natural remedy to have when you get sick is tea. Similar to broth and soup, tea can relieve any feelings of congestion in your nasal passages. It is vital to avoid any tea with caffeine content to prevent dehydration. The last natural remedy we have is ginger. This is a beneficial herbal medicine that prevents nausea when you feel sick. 

Spicy food

Spicy food is considered by many as an excellent decongestant by many people. The spicy sensation you taste when eating is due to the capsaicin content. Capsaicin is effective in clearing out the mucus that clogs your nasal passages. However, you should still be careful before consuming any spicy food if you can’t tolerate it. 

What are the common symptoms you can get when camping?

Fever

Fever is a common issue during camping. Symptoms may include headache, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and a high temperature. This illness is easy to treat if you have the proper medication, enough rest, plenty of water, and practice good hygiene. 

However, it is vital to assess whether or not to continue with your camping trip if you can’t handle the discomfort because you are the one who knows your body’s limits the best.

Sore throat and cough

Sore throat and cough are mainly due to an infection in your throat which may cause discomfort and pain. Symptoms you may experience include pain and discomfort caused by inflammation and the presence of mucus.

When camping, there are plenty of natural remedies in treating sore throat and cough. These remedies include gargling water with salt, herbal tea to loosen up mucus, and avoiding acidic foods that may worsen the case. 

Headaches

Headache is something commonly experienced by many people. This feeling typically is a crushing sensation happening on the top of your head, which is mainly due to stress build-up.

They require no prescription, and medications are very affordable. When you are camping and experiencing headaches, it is advisable to rest to relieve the pain.

Diarrhea/vomiting

When camping, diarrhea and vomiting can usually occur, so it is crucial always to be prepared. 

The most effective and efficient way of treating them is to take antidiarrheal medications and drink as many fluids as possible since your body is excreting plenty of fluids during this time, leading to dehydration.

A natural remedy to consider when experiencing this condition is to drink tea, preferably rich in ginseng, as well as honey.

Infections

When camping, infections can arise, and this can be a serious problem. The cardinal signs of infection include inflammation, redness, swelling, increased body temperature, and pain. 

Never hesitate to leave the camping grounds and immediately visit a nearby hospital if you sense an infection. Your physician may prescribe antibiotics to treat it, depending on the outcome of the diagnosis.

How to prevent sickness when camping?

Although sickness often occurs when camping, there are still effective ways and precautions to reduce and prevent the chances of being sick.

Keep your surroundings clean

It is a vital responsibility to keep your surroundings clean, especially when camping. Possessing knowledge in disposing of your garbage properly is an effective way to prevent unwanted diseases.

Proper hygiene

Observing proper hygiene is the most effective method to prevent illnesses during your camping trip. It is crucial to shower regularly, brush your teeth after every meal, and sanitize your hands frequently. These precautions avoid any bacteria build-up in your body, thus preventing diseases.

Sterilize and wash the utensils carefully

One of the portals of entry of bacteria to our body is through the mouth. Our utensils can serve as a vessel for bacteria to enter our bodies and cause illnesses. 

It is not just enough to have fresh meals but also to keep an eye on our utensils and ensure that they are properly washed and stored to avoid any unwanted illnesses that may ruin your trip. 

Clean drinking water

Camping is one of the most dehydrating activities, so it is vital always to guarantee that the water you drink is clean. Some of the precautions to observe in ensuring that the water you are drinking will not be contaminated include:

  • Storing water in a properly sealed container
  • Placing the water container away from direct sunlight

If you are unsure if the water you have is safe from bacteria, parasites, and viruses, it is essential to boil it for at least 20 minutes under 100 degrees Celsius. In doing these precautions, you can stay safe and hydrated throughout your venture.