Tips to Make the Most of Camping and Tailgating Season
By Floyd Miller
It’s that time of year again, when outdoor enthusiasts take to campsites for weekends outdoors. And what sports fan ever turned down an opportunity for tailgating before the big game?When gearing up for that next big event, here are some things to keep in mind:Set UpOne important rule of thumb for both camping and tailgating is to be respectful of those around you. Don’t infringe on anyone else’s territory physically, or audibly. Everyone wants to enjoy their time unhindered, but you can be a friendly neighbor by setting the volume of your music at an appropriate level.The early bird catches the worm, so arrive with plenty of time to set up your space. For campers, that means well before sundown so you can get a lay of the land. For tailgaters, that means beating the crowds so you can get an ideal spot.Power UpHosting a barbecue in your backyard is one thing, but when you’re at a campsite or tailgating, there are other considerations to keep in mind, such as power. You can keep your electronics charged, radio playing and your slowcookers heated with a reliable, portable generator — just be sure you do your research before you make a purchase.Traditional camping generators run at a constant high speed, no matter how much power you’re using. But newer computer-controlled models continuously adjust the engine speed to your power needs for greater efficiency. For example, the PowerSmart Series Inverter generators from Briggs & Stratton are quieter and more efficient than traditional generators and provide smoother power for more sensitive equipment like laptops, cell phones and gaming consoles.When using a generator, be aware that engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can be deadly. Operate the portable generator outside with its exhaust pointed away far from occupied areas. Fuel is flammable so never refuel a hot or running generator. Do not operate a generator in rain or wet weather and use a ground fault circuit interrupter in any damp or wet location.Read and understand the complete list of hazards described in the operator’s manual before using a generator. For more safety tips see www.BriggsAndStratton.com.SafetyWhen being exposed to heat, cold, sun and the elements, take extra safety precautions. Protect yourself with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and bug spray. Pack plenty of drinking water and stay hydrated even when the weather cools.Prepare for unforeseeable events, such as injuries and illness. A basic first aid kit is a must. Before you leave for your trip, do an inventory to assure your kit is well stocked and medications are current.This camping and tailgating season, a bit of preparation can help you stay cool, powered up and safe.