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Cannabis and Camping

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By K. Astre

Whether you already have your social group’s annual camping trip written into your calendar or want to gather your favorite people together for some time outdoors, summer is a good time to get out in nature and soak up the sun before the seasons start to change. Plus, camping with friends and family is a fun way to recharge when you need to take a break and escape the daily grind. Think of it as a mental health holiday designed to calm the spirit and ease the mind — especially if you bring cannabis along to deepen the relaxation.

Smoking or vaping cannabis is one of the easiest ways to incorporate weed into a weekend of rejuvenation. You can bring your favorite go-to strains to enjoy while chilling out or being active. A calming strain can help to decrease stress and anxiety, ease insomnia or enjoy a lazy time around the fire. An invigorating strain can increase your energy, enhance your senses or improve your mood. If you plan on smoking, make sure you have an alternative plan in case it’s way too windy, it spontaneously rains or the environment doesn’t allow you to carry out your original plan. Vapers need to remember to bring a charger to keep their device functioning throughout the camping trip.

Edibles are also a quick, convenient and take up virtually no room when it comes to packing. Plus, since they are usually non-perishable, you don’t have to worry about keeping it cold or the heat making them go bad before you can enjoy them. You can also make your own cannabis-infused food at home to bring with you or bring what you might need with you to make it while you’re there. Try spreading some canna-butter on bread, frying an egg in canna-oil or put a few drops of tincture in some iced tea or flavored sparkling water.

Infused topicals can help relieve post-hike soreness, skin discomfort from too much time in the sun or relieve tense muscles from an uncomfortable sleeping situation for those that are roughing it. If you plan to be out in the elements or exerting yourself, consider mixing your preferred topical into sunscreen or regular lotion. You’ll thank yourself later.

There a number of things to take into consideration if cannabis is going to a part of the camping equation, though. Even in legal states, there are sites that may prohibit smoking altogether or on certain parts of the grounds like where families may be. It’s important to find out the laws where you live and specific consumption regulations for the campsite you plan to attend. It’s in your best interest to be informed. National parks are considered outside of the boundaries of U.S. states, which means smoking in them — even in legal cannabis states — is always forbidden.

For people who will be smoking, safety is the number one issue. Please be certain to pay special attention if it’s a windy day or if there is a lot of dry grass and foliage around. Keep some water near in case of emergencies or even minor incidents where you may need a quick way to extinguish a lit joint or smoldering bowl. Also, be mindful of where you are ashing or discarding your joints, blunts, etc. Embers can easily catch fire and the last thing you want is to endanger others and burn down a forest because you were just trying to have a good time.

Lastly, be careful if you plan on hiking or camping at high altitudes. The drop in air pressure can cause a range of symptoms including shortness of breath when exerting yourself, increased heart rate, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness and headaches. Consuming cannabis while adjusting to high altitudes might be too much for those who have low tolerances or are unfamiliar with how the symptoms will affect them. To be in the clear, stay hydrated and take it easy while you check in with how you feel before going all out with the weed.

Original Publication in CannabisNow