If you’re a fan of family camping trips, it’s likely that you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Whether you go camping near a lake, in the woods, or in your own backyard, there’s always something new to discover. In fact, according to the 2014 American Camping Report, a whopping 99% of camping participants said they were likely or very likely to camp the following year, which explains why people return to family campgrounds in Ontario, New York, and Michigan year after year. But even tent camping veterans might be surprised to learn the follow six camping facts. How many of these did you already know?
- Crickets can calculate the temperature
You don’t always need a fancy gadget to tell you how hot or cold it is. During the spring and summer months, you can calculate the temperature by listening to a chirping cricket. Simply count the number of chirps you hear in 14 seconds. Then, add 40 to that number to find out the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.
- Canada has an amazing number of insects
When you visit campgrounds in Ontario, you won’t find just crickets! In fact, Canada is home to approximately 56,000 different species of insects. While most bugs are harmless, you will want to protect yourself while camping. Use insect repellant and wear light-colored clothing in order to spot mosquitoes and ticks.
- Lyme disease takes longer to take effect than you’d think
Lyme disease is a fairly common threat and can be serious if left untreated. In 2009 alone, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme were reported. But if you find a tick early enough, you could be in the clear. Ticks need to be connected to their host for at least 36 hours in order to pass on the disease. That’s why it’s so important to monitor carefully — and often — to prevent this disease from spreading.
- Raccoons may sound like cats, but you shouldn’t cuddle them
You’d be right in thinking that raccoons remind you of house cats. In fact, they can actually purr! They usually do this when they feel content or safe. But they can cause harm to your campsite, and in rare cases, they could carry infectious diseases. In general, it’s important to keep them well away from your campsite altogether. Don’t leave food out and make sure that all garbage is kept in a tightly-closed container. You can also use repellants or cayenne pepper to make sure they stay away.
- Your campfire may be a hazard
Although it can keep you warm during the cold nights you spend at campgrounds in Ontario, you should be aware that your campfire may be a real safety hazard. A fire that’s been burning for a few hours can exceed 900 degrees Fahrenheit! Make sure you have easy access to a water bucket and other fire safety protection in case your fire starts to get out of control.
- Camping can relieve stress and depression
You might think that camping and hiking trips are only good for your physical health, but they’re also great for your mental and emotional well-being. When you raise your levels of oxygen, serotonin, and melatonin — which happens when you partake in outdoor physical activities — your stress level will automatically decrease. Plus, it’s difficult to be upset when you’re partaking in an enjoyable activity. It’s one of the best things we can do for our bodies, our minds, and our spirits.
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