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Camping safety

It is important to be aware of any potential dangers and take care of yourself when camping.

Safety tips


  • Plan carefully and make sure your vehicle(s) and equipment are in good working order.
  • Read signs and information carefully. Pay attention to any safety warnings.
  • Supervise children, especially near water and in areas with potentially dangerous wildlife.
  • Don't assume water is safe to drink. Boil or treat water before use.
  • Keep your food in locked containers or in your car to keep it safe from wildlife.
  • Take extra supplies in case you get stranded by sudden weather changes.
  • Wear protective clothing to avoid sunburn, bites, scratches and stings.
  • Never feed or provoke wild animals—be wary of wild animals in the area.
  • Be alert for sudden weather changes, particularly storms and cyclones. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
  • Only light camp fires in parks where it is permitted. Many national parks do not allow open fires.
  • Extinguish fires whenever you leave your campsite unattended; use water, not sand (it retains heat and can cause severe burns).
  • Never use portable gas appliances in your tent or van.


  • Carry a marine band radio and transceiver as many places are out of range for mobile phones.
  • Be aware of tidal variations and strong currents—anchor boats securely.

Checklist for campers

  • Waterproof tent, poles, pegs and mallet
  • Fuel stove, fuel supply and waterproof matches
  • Bags for rubbish and storage
  • Drinking water
  • Sufficient non-perishable food and other supplies
  • Cooking utensils
  • Sleeping bag and mat, or a swag or other bedding
  • Suitable clothing and sturdy shoes
  • Wet weather gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Hats and sunscreen
  • Suitable first-aid kit
  • Binoculars and camera
  • Map, brochure and compass
  • Torch for walking at night
  • Broadcast radio (for weather forecasts) and spare batteries
  • 2-way radio and extra fuel (if camping in remote places)

Campfire safety

Did you know that as little as one second of contact with a campfire 70 degrees or hotter will cause a 3rd degree burn? Or that most campfire burns are caused by contact with hot embers the morning after a fire?

Campfire safety is important, each year a number of children are admitted to hospital burns unit from campfire related burns.

Related information

View more information about gas safety.

Last updated
25 September, 2014
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