GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - This time of year means many of us will camping in the great outdoors. But a sudden storm, animal bite or illness can ruin what is was supposed to be a fun adventure.

Local camping and RV expert Mike Pearo from Hilltop Camper and RV joined the KARE News at 4 with some tips for making sure your next camping trip is both fun and safe.

1. Be Weather Wise
• It’s so much wiser to anticipate bad weather than to be surprised by it.
• Look at the forecast before your trip and plan or make adjustments accordingly. Go ahead and download the KARE weather app if you haven’t already!
• If tornadoes or straight line winds are in the forecast call around to see if there are campsites available at a campground that has shelters for severe weather.
• If you’re caught by surprise and hear thunder and see lightning, find shelter immediately.
• A large building or a vehicle are your best options.
• Stay away from trees and find an open space.
• Your tent is not a good option if the poles have any metal on them.
• If you can get to a vehicle or if you’re camping in an RV the tires will absorb the electricity if you get hit.

2. Stay Alert
• A little preparation can go along way toward making sure you don’t get lost while you’re out exploring.
• Always let someone know where you’re planning to be - even if it’s just a short hike -- and never hike, bike ride, or venture out alone if you can help it.
• Bring a map, a compass and a small mirror when you go hiking. You can use the mirror to flash around if you get lost, making it easier for people to spot you if they’re looking for you.
• Give your kids whistles to wear, in case they wander into the woods and get separated from the group.

3. Stay hydrated
• Being thirsty is actually a warning sign that you’re already behind in getting enough water.
• If you’re doing any sort of activity and it’s warm out, you should really be drinking water every 15 minutes.
• If you start experiencing headaches, weariness, and you’re feeling dizzy - you’re likely dehydrated.

4. Food Safety
• If you’ve ever had food poisoning - you know it is pretty awful and even worse if you’re away from home.
• Make sure you are keeping your food packed in insulated, waterproof containers.
• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
• Keep raw and cooked foods separate.
• Pack a meat thermometer to make sure you’re cooking raw meat thoroughly.

5. Practice Pest Control
• You are sharing their home, so it’s up to you to be alert about who you might be disturbing.
• Bees make ground nets and wasps are likely to hang their nests from trees. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re hiking.
• You can ease the pain of a sting by applying a paste made of baking soda and a little water.
• What you need to be on the lookout for is an allergic reaction. Don’t leave your Epi Pen behind when you venture out.
• If a person is showing signs of an allergic reaction - like swelling around the bite, dizziness, or trouble breathing - they should be taken to the nearest hospital immediately.
• Keep your campsite clean. Dirty dishes, leftover trash, or food left in the open could attract animals.