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Camping Safety

Camping is a great way for families to experience our state parks and many remote areas. Enjoy the wonderful smells of nature; the sound of the wind in the trees, birds singing, and other creatures; spend your days hiking, swimming, boating, or exploring; and have fun around a campfire. By taking a few precautions you can ensure a fun and exciting outting with your family or friends.

Fires and cooking

  • Be aware of fire regulations. In drought conditions, fires may be prohibited and you may only use a camp stove. In extreme drought conditions, even camp stoves are forbidden. Check drought and fire conditions.
  • Build fires in a safe area. Open fires should be far away from your tent to prevent ignition. Never use a flame or other heating device in a tent. When camping in a Montana state park or fishing access site, fires are permitted only in designated fire rings.
  • Keep a shovel—even a small camp shovel—near the fire so it's available to use to throw dirt on the campfire. Keep a bucket of water near the fire to help extinguish it when necessary.
  • Know where the nearest water faucet is located to refill the bucket after use. Supervise children at all times when fires are burning or grills are in use. Do not allow children to run or play around the fire ring, even when the fire is not lit.
  • When near campfires, wear snug fitting clothing and be sure everyone knows how to put out a clothing fire—stop, drop and roll.
  • Thoroughly extinguish all fires.


Electric storms can also develop in the middle of the night. To lower your odds, don't pitch your tent near the tallest trees in the vicinity.

Learn how to have a safe camping trip

What to take camping
Learn what to take camping. What you take will depend on where you're going and how long you plan to be away.
Setting up your camp safely
Learn some tips about setting up camp safely.
Returning home from camping
Take care of your gear when you return home so it's in good shape for your next trip.