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  • Published on Aug 18, 2015
    Top Beach Camping Dangers in Florida

    Top camping dangers in Florida

    There are many precautions you have to take when camping outdoors.  You have to be aware of weather patterns, wildlife, hazardous environmental conditions and so on.  Depending on your location there are other factors you may need to be aware of as well.  In Florida, many link the dangers of camping to that of swamp wildlife like alligators, and dangerous weather conditions like hurricanes.  While these are of great concern with most camping outings, most people forget about the dangers of beaches.

    Whether you are camping on the beach or near the beach there are a few water safety tips you need to keep in mind to ensure you and your family stays safe.

                    Be aware of any hazards or hazardous conditions that may be posted.  Beach hazards can range from harmful debris and toxic chemicals to high tides and hazardous water conditions.  Beaches close for various reasons, so make sure that you check any websites of beaches you wish to visit or camp at before making the trip.

                    Obey warning flags and signs posted along beaches. Flags are posted in different colors relating to the type of hazard on that day.  Warnings can include surf hazards, current beach closings, and marine life warnings. Visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/cmp/programs/pdf/WarningFlagSign.pdf for the list of warning flags and meanings.

                    Be extra cautious of rip currents when entering the water.  Rip currents are strong currents that flow out from the beach through the surf zone back out to sea.  They can be dangerous to swimmers who are unaware and pull you away from shore.  The most common mistake people make is to try and swim against the current.  The only way to get out of a rip current is to swim perpendicular with the shore until you swim out of the rip current.  This is the leading cause of rescues lifeguards make because people panic and try to swim toward shore rather than out of the current.

                    The last water safety tip is to be aware of sea life.  Manatees, dolphins, various species of fish, and sea turtles inhabit the waters off the shores of Florida.  This also includes sharks, which are typically only harmful to humans when they are out of their element and searching for food.  Most beaches will post warnings or close down when sharks have been spotted in the area.  Also, be aware of sea turtle nests.  Sea turtles lay their nests on the beach and although it may be tempting to approach and touch, stay away from any nests you find. If you happen upon one, contact the local wildlife offices and they will send someone out to rope off the area. 

    If you keep all of these things in mind when camping on or near the beaches this year it will be a most enjoyable experience for you and your family.  Florida is known for its pristine white sand beaches, so be smart and precautious when visiting them . 

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