7 Things To Do When You Get Sick While Camping

I went on a camping trip a few years back, and while going on a day hike, I realized that I started feeling a little heavier. I wasn’t sure what was happening and started wondering if I had enough sleep the night before.

I toughed it out, but when I got back to the campsite, I noticed that my nose was stuffed. I had gotten sick. Unfortunately, it was just the first day of the camping trip, and we had three more days to go.

I decided to stay, as I did not want to get a ride home with one of my friends. I figured that I could still enjoy the camping trip if I take it easy. I would just need to take care of my health and keep myself busy at the same time. I would not be able to participate in all of the camping activities, but I brought along some books just in case I got bored. In this case, I was going to need them.

Hear some of the tips that I learned while being sick on a camping trip.

7 Things To Do When You Get Sick While Camping

1. Prepare a First Aid Kit Before Going on Your Trip

first-aid-kit-camping | Camping Fever: What To Do When You Get Sick While Camping

There is just no way of telling of what you will face in the wild. This is why first aid kits are essential to trekking to where immediate medical care is not available. Kits must be composed of bandages, gauzes, disinfectants (like alcohol or betadine), and medication for various conditions–this includes medicine for fever, bad stomach pains, and antibiotics (if possible). 

Don’t forget to stock up on your Vitamin C. It can make you feel more energized and help build up your immune system. 

2. Keep yourself Hydrated

Camping Fever: What To Do When You Get Sick While Camping

On a camping trip, you have likely brought along some potable water. Make sure to make use of it and keep a water bottle handy. Keep filling up on fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Filling up on water will help you keep your energy up. Dehydration can cause you to be tired, and being sick exacerbates the situation.

If possible, drink a lot of hot beverages–whether it’s tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate, your choice! Hot drinks will help calm you down and stop you from freezing in your sleeping cot. At times like these, I love to sip on tea. It has calming ingredients that reduce headaches and sore muscles and has more health benefits than caffeine or chocolate. 

3. Don’t Forget to Eat

You need to eat as much food as you usually would if you were not sick. Even if you don’t feel like eating, you must force yourself. If you can’t keep anything down, it is time to leave the campsite and see a doctor.

Camping Food

If you feel a bit of nausea, try to eat bland foods such as potatoes and rice. The fever will cause you to use up more calories. As they say, ‘Starve a cold, feed a fever.’

We would argue that you have to feed yourself as much as you typically would, even if you have a cold, but more so if you have a fever. Eating plenty of food will help keep you warm at night. Otherwise, your body will be burning its body fat.

4. Take it Easy

7 Things to Do when you get sick while camping

There’s no need to participate in all of the fun camping activities your friends are doing if you don’t want to. Even if they try to talk you into it, be firm and let them know that you are sick. You can rest inside of your tent and a sleeping bag while reading a book. Or sit by the campfire with everyone else at night. Just don’t use up all of your calories by going hiking or swimming.

5. Occupy Yourself

7 Things to Do when you get sick while camping 3

It can be tempting to just lay in your sleeping bag and think about how sick you feel. Make it a point to keep your brain going. Since I had brought along some books, I stayed in my sleeping bag reading them. They kept me feeling well and happy, my mind not being on my fever. 

6. Catch up on those Zzzs! 

Once you run out of things to keep your mind moving, take a nap. 

Camping Fever: What To Do When You Get Sick While Camping

The best way to break free from a fever is by drinking lots and lots of fluid and sleeping. Rest can restore your energy and relieve muscle tension. It also builds up your immune system to get you back up on your feet in no time. You can sleep all day if you want to, as long as you keep yourself hydrated and full. 

If sleep does not come as quickly as you’d like, you might want to calm yourself first with a cup of tea or a massage on those tense muscles. Not only will it make you more drowsy, but you’ll also wake up feeling so much better. 

7. Know when it’s time to Step Back

Camping trips take a lot of preparation, and suffering from a fever during the trip takes away all the fun. Everyone would rather go out in the wild and enjoy the weekend, so I understand if you’d push yourself to participate in the activities you’ve planned. Let me tell you this, though. It’s not going to end well. 

7 Things to Do when you get sick while camping 2

Take a second to assess what your body can and cannot take. (A little reminder, no strenuous activities!) Can your body take hiking on easy trails, or should you just sit it out and wait for the bonfire? These are things you should consider. 

It might be best to cut the camping trip short if you still have not broken out of your fever even after resting and filling up with fluids. You might also want to seek professional medical care once you’re back in the city. Don’t feel bad about it; you can always come back when you’re feeling well-rested and energized. 


Getting sick while camping happens more often than you might think. Usually, a pre-existing virus will rear its ugly head while you are spending your energy hiking and being out in the open air.

Make sure to take care of your body as well as your mind. As soon as you know it, you will be back home recuperating. If you have the flu, it might be best to get back home early as this is a more severe condition than just a cold. You, alone, know exactly what your body needs. Listen to your instincts and follow them! 

If you have any tips on camping while you are sick or any stories about this happening to you, please leave them below, and we will include them in this review.

You may like to read: How to Remain Calm During A Camping Crisis 

Leave a Comment