The only time you should run from a wild animal is when you are certain you can make a getaway. Wear thick clothing to help protect yourself in the event that you do injure yourself, fall down a cliff, or get bitten by a wild animal. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Of course you should study the area and stock up on gear, but you should also know how to keep animals away when you make camp for the night. Camping can be a great experience, but you don't want to share it with the local wildlife. To keep your food protected while camping out in the great outdoors, try bringing along a cooler, a cloth or nylon sack, a sock, some rope, and sealable, waterproof plastic bags. Mosquitoes are deterred by the following: Rodents, which includes squirrels, chipmunks, moles, mice, and skunks, are repelled by the following: These masked bandits are known for disliking: No one wants to wake up to the sound of a bear outside their tent. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to keep your family camping trip safe and secure from potentially dangerous animals. These animals can attract snakes. 3) Under no circumstances feed wild animals wild camping. I generally just carry a pistol or revolver, but occasionally will bring the shotgun along. 2. Seal uneaten food in airtight containers stored in bear-proof canisters, or suspend it from a bear wire away from sleeping areas. For information on the wildlife in the area, you can seek out tips from the local park ranger or wildlife official. I understand that I can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. If you aren't a gun guy, I would recommend bear spray. They aren’t your pets and they aren’t kind as kind as they can be cute and innocent-looking. Seriously. Tie each end of the rope to a rock so it’s easy to throw over a branch. Keeping yourself cool and dry at your campsite is important if you want to avoid mosquitoes. Our 5 tips to help protect the environment while camping. Play dead if you’re attacked by a brown bear. It’s not only trash that will attract a bear; toiletry items such as toothpaste, soap, lotions, deodorant or bug sprays (especially citronella) should be secured from bears as well. How to protect yourself from wild animals ... a couple encountered a cougar while hiking in California's Sequoia National Park and another cougar was spotted in a neighborhood in Tooele. 1. Essential items that can deter wild animals and protect your family include: Locking cooler — Animals aren’t stopping by your site to sing around the campfire or toast marshmallows — they’re in search of a hearty meal. You’re aware of how to handle food while camping, and you know the extra steps to take to make sure you can sleep undisturbed by fauna. Even if you've brought weapons along to protect yourself, it's usually better just to give these animals a wide berth. Keeping animals away from your campsite. It might seem strange, but being loud will keep many of the furry creatures out of sight. 7. Flashlights can always be useful to help find things and point you in the right direction when walking at night. 1. It’s OK if you never learned that in class — we’ve got everything you need to know covered here. If your cooler is on its last leg and you are looking for an upgrade, there are always certified bear tested coolers that are sure to keep your food and beverages cold and the bears locked out. You can get a couple of animal sprays such as bear sprays. Store your food in a locking cooler, then wrap it in rope for extra protection. Stay Away From Cubs and Piglets Perhaps the most potent threat to most wild animals is when humans and other animals, in general, get too close to their babies. If you can find a place with a constant breeze, that will help keep insects away. The sounds of the campfire crackling, voices, and other man-made sounds like car engines usually do the trick in scaring off wildlife. Make sure there are trees nearby so you can hang your cooler, backpack, and garbage bags. This includes marshes, still water, and the bottoms of valleys. If snakes are a high concern of yours in a particular area, consider wearing sturdy boots and gloves when moving such things. Blue Ridge Outdoors is your guide to fly fishing in the Southeast, moutain biking in the Blue Ridge and adventure travel from the Highlands to the Piedmont. Snakes aren’t attracted to the smell of food, but flies, toads, and mice are. If this isn’t something you can do, make sure to use anything with an artificial smell in the morning, so the smell has a chance to dissipate by. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Of course, the number one thing animals will be drawn to is your food. You won’t get scratched up as much if you do happen to fall, and an animal will have a much harder time piercing your skin if it tries to bite you. When camping or hiking, don’t let them wander off. Many established campgrounds throughout the Blue Ridge feature bear resistant trash receptacles to reduce the chances of bears smelling any types of food odors. Stock up your packs with flashlights and bear spray to keep in the tent at night. Animals To Look For While Camping. The flashlight will provide you protection during night time. You can use these tips for any kind of camping trip—from car camping to backpacking to hunting. Camping can be an amazing adventure if you’re properly prepared. Otherwise, your otherwise friendly encounter with a deer may end in disaster for you - and not from the deer. Clean up any pet food or animal feed on or near your property Since mountain lions bury their meals, stay away from carcasses while hiking. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to keep your family camping trip safe and secure from potentially dangerous animals. If you are wearing a jacket, raise it above your head. Getting outdoors for a camping adventure is an enjoyable, freeing experience that is almost never dangerous, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared in the event of an unlikely guest. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and can distinctly smell the food even hours after you’ve left? Sign up to learn about new products, upcoming events, and other news from the, The GORE-TEX Brand may use my email address, provided above, to send me relevant marketing communications, based on my preferences. ... Make sure the bag hangs down a few feet from the branch to prevent smaller animals from crawling out on the branch to get it. Now, there are certainly times where animals are stalking you and wanting to attack. Make sure to be incredibly clean. When we venture into the wild, and into the habitat of black bears and grizzlies, it’s important to take a few precautions that will protect us and bears. Take a … Speaking of smell, wolves are extremely good at detecting other animals, particularly ones that aren’t part of their pack. It may not sound pleasant, but avoiding these things can keep you safe. While it is an exciting moment, it is important to remember that bears in national parks are wild and can be dangerous. After you pack up your food, garbage and clothes, wash your hands meticulously to get rid of lingering odors. To keep these pests away, bring items that repel them! If your campsite doesn’t have a way to take care of trash, bring strong garbage bags with you. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners. Don’t lower your guard because you are out on the open in the forest. Never use the same tree as other campers — this will make it a target. Always make noise while hiking. Here are 2 tips on how to protect yourself from bears when camping. Good hunting and camping habits dictate that you should wear colored clothing. Thoroughly wash all cooking utensils after use. This will keep it safe from skunks, racoons, snakes, bears, and other animals. Whenever you head out in the wild you are literally at the mercy not only of the elements but also the different creatures or wild animals you should be cautious about that make the wilderness their habitat. Extreme protection for firefighters, police, and other professionals. They can also cover the smell of food. 9. When brushing your teeth, make sure that you don’t spit anywhere near your campsite. Any unnatural smell can bring a wild animal to your campsite, so using things like deodorant, lotion, toothpaste or soap can be dangerous. These cookies do not store any personal information. A lot of times, wild animals are merely curious as to what you are and what you're doing. Sing, clap your hands or talk while you walk. An easy fix is using unscented towelettes to wipe yourself down. Watch your food. All that’s left to do is enjoy your trip! Get on the ground and lay flat on your stomach. How to Keep Animals Away From Your Campsite. If there isn’t a tree available, take your belongings away from camp and hide them in the woods, use a bear-box if one is available, or put it all in your. Keep your animals and pets safe while unattended. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. If you notice the animal stalking you and you are unable to walk away, make yourself as intimidating as possible. While these circumstances are extraordinarily rare, it is better to be prepared than to make a wrong move. Eliminate odors from food and supplies. Wild animals generally do not come close to the light. Choose a flat, open area with low or no grass to keep snakes and bugs away. The easiest way to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning while camping is to always keep stoves and grills outside of your tent and away from your shelter. While camping in the desert you'll want to keep a watchful eye out for these creatures. This goes for the kids, too. How to Protect Food from Animals While Camping. Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for any visitor to a national park. Set up your tent or sleeping area at least 200 feet from where you cook, store items with artificial smells, or where you drain the water you wash in. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Sign up to learn about new products, upcoming events, and other news from the GORE-TEX brand. With that said, if you have close-by neighbors, don’t cause a full out ruckus. If the smaller wild animals come around, the general rule is to not entertain them. Consider a bear proof cooler, especially for car camping. Cooking food with strong smells can attract bears from far away since their sense of smell is much more acute than ours. Knowing this, here are some tips for choosing the best campsite possible. Never eat inside your tent, as the scent of food can linger, and never leave food unattended, even if you’re only going to be gone for a few moments. For example, camping in a cabin provides you with full beds and bunk beds, while sleeping in a tent will require you to bring an air mattress, sleeping bag or other accommodations. Take Steps to Prevent Attracting Wildlife into Camp: Keep a clean camp. Learn how to keep animals out of your campsite here! Do not get close to an animal carcass. Water is attractive to snakes, mosquitoes, raccoons, and. To decrease the risk of tick bites, choose a camping spot in a dry, sunny location. To deter these creatures, consider the following repellents: Most animals dislike the smell of fabric softener sheets, the kind you use in your dryer. Depending on the region you chose for your camping trip, you can encounter the following animals that could be dangerous: Cougar — Also known as mountain lion, albeit much smaller and less aggressive than the African cat. With that said, I’m here to provide you with some solid camping advice on how to deal with wild animals near your campsite. Fire — it also eliminates moisture and darkness, Light (for nocturnal rodents, like skunks). Twyggy nailed this one, the best defense against animals is to understand them. GORE-TEX, GTX, SURROUND, C-KNIT, PACLITE, OPTIFADE, CHEMPAK, CROSSTECH, PYRAD, PARALLON, GORE-SEAM, GORE WINDSTOPPER, GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY, and GORE and designs are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Stop by the store and grab the basics. Find a spot at a distance from any trails, since animals use them as well as humans. There should be a water source near enough for hydration, washing and cleaning, but far enough away to avoid the animals seeking it out — about 200 feet should be good. Employment: Jobs at Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. Many bugs are attracted to body heat and sweat, so keeping cool while camping can go a long way toward making yourself less attractive to insects. Wild animals have an specific diet and feeding them with food they are not used to could affect their health. Here’s how to cook, eat, and clean up after yourself properly: There are a few other measures you can also take to avoid unwanted animal guests: Now you know all the tricks to keeping animals away from your campsite. Your campsite, that is. Also, it is strongly recommended you keep fire close to the camp. Raccoons can be scared off by clapping or other loud noises. Once you’ve picked a campsite, there are other measures you should take to ensure that animals aren’t interested in visiting. Although wild animals may seem like an obvious danger, it's not very likely that you'll be killed by them. Staying on the path and in … This means knowing where specific animals like to make their home. To keep it real, this means they can smell your dog. Black bears roam all over the Blue Ridge Mountains with a population of 300,000 in the U.S. alone, making them a common concern amongst campers. If you’re having trouble doing this with one tree, you can hang a rope between two trees at least 16 feet apart. Shout often and avoid thick brush. level 2. Hang the cooler at least 20 feet off the ground and at least 8 feet from the trunk of a tree. If a big animal comes around on the other hand, the general rule is to keep away. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. When it comes to snakes, be particularly careful if  you move logs or brush as most snakes get to moving when their environment is tampered with. Enclosed areas can make them feel trapped and cause aggression. You could keep them in a hard-sided vehicle, a certified food storage container, or put it all in a bag and hang it between two trees at least 10 feet from the ground. It is common for hunting season and camping seasons to overlap. When we set off for a remote, forest-y location to spend the next few days relaxing with the RV or unwinding in a tent, there will be animals to look for while camping. Here are five tips to protect yourself from wild animals in the forest. To keep your food, supplies and gear away from bears, there are several different ways to keep them out of a bears reach. In case an animal does come to your camp, you want to make sure you have something to protect yourself. Although RVs and cabins offer more amenities and safety compared to tents, about 60% of campers still report opting for tent camping . Remember that you are not the only one camping and animals can be affected as well with human waste. Spread … Continuously making an effort to scrub pots and pans and picking up trash throughout the day’s adventures will work wonders in making it less of a task to keep your site pest free. This will leave your campsite smelling as much like nature as possible. Don’t bury your trash because animals can dig it up, but don’t burn it either — burning can produce toxic smoke and leave behind toxic residue. Wear different clothes cooking and to bed. How To Protect From Dangerous Animals While Camping. You can make sure to pack things that ward off specific animals (hint: ammonia does the trick for most of them!). It will help keep the moisture away. Most animals will scare off easily from a far distance. © Copyright 2020 W. L. Gore & Associates GmbH. Elk, deer, coyotes, lions, and feral hogs among other beasts are known to fight with their last breath as they protect their young ones. I have found after research that a battery powered strobe light keeps the animals and critters away after my fire has burnt out and I am asleep in my tent. Wooded areas are good homes for mosquitoes, other insects, snakes, raccoons, and bears. Do not hike off the trail or at night! Fallen trees, piles of locks, leaf piles, and rocky areas are friendly to snakes and insects. For additional relevant details, I can review the. Camping Advice For Dealing With Wild Animals Near The Campsite. Step 4: Bears will stop at nothing to get your food. Store your “cooking clothes” in an airtight bag or container to reduce the risk of any wildlife catching a whiff. Another part of campsite cleanliness is making sure that you don’t leave any of your things out at night, even if they don’t contain food. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Black bears roam all over the Blue Ridge Mountains with a population of 300,000 in the U.S. alone, making them a common concern amongst campers. The same happens in the wilderness. All it takes is one wrong move in the woods and you could have an unwanted guest at your campsite. 5 Walk in the center of trails and clearings. Double-bag your trash and hang the bags as high as your cooler. Be certain that shiny objects like aluminum foil, tin cans, jewelry, keys, and cutlery are stored out of sight, as they can attract raccoons. Find a spot at a distance from any trails, since animals use them as well as humans. A place with some elevation will be helpful in case it rains. They have a lot of information about the animals in the area and usually have very good two or three sentence explanations of … Try to get distance slowly, step by step, until you are at a resoanably safe distance. One of the sharpest tools you can have up against wildlife is knowledge and familiarity with the woods you will be setting up camp in. An open area will also protect you in case an animal wanders in. Human voices — leaving a radio on while you sleep can keep them away. If you want the best protection, keep your clothes layered. For others, like bears, be sure to research how to defend yourself in case of aggression or an attack. Be careful to not startle a female bear with cubs. If you go camping in a state or national forest, talk to the park rangers. The best way to keep animals away from your campsite is to pick an ideal place to camp. Take a pack with you in your camping supplies and put them everywhere: in your cooler, tent, sleeping bag, and backpack. Definitely not necessary, but it is a precaution that might be suitable for some. 2. Wild animal encounters cannot be avoided when you’re out in the wild, and when you’re camping outdoors too. An alternative to always holding the other end of the leash is buying a spiral stake to put in the ground to keep the pup close by while granting him or her a little freedom to roam. Cooking smells cling to fabric and can attract bears, making the clothes you wore while making dinner not the best pajamas. Dampareas are natural homes for insects, and bears like to eat the vegetation that grows there. Tall grasses are good homes for snakes and insects. Yell, make a lot of noise, and stand your ground. Bring a weapon for self-defense Even if you think the landscape is safe and asked the veterans if there are wild animals in that area, always be prepared. You know how to choose the right spot to make camp. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. It's unlikely you'll be killed by a wild animal if you keep a safe distance. Eliminate odors from food and supplies. Keeping your provisions safe will decrease the risk of animal attack, and make your journey out into nature a fun experience. For others, like skunks ) recommend bear spray your head brought weapons to! At night to attack are wearing a jacket, raise it above your head each end of the website function. To give these animals a wide berth serious injuries and death have an unwanted guest at campsite. Things and point you in case an animal wanders in but it is important if you never that. Or national forest, talk to the camp can attract bears from far away since their of. Established campgrounds throughout the Blue Ridge feature bear resistant trash receptacles to reduce the chances of bears any. A couple of animal attack, and when you ’ ve left your clothes.... — leaving a radio on while you walk water is attractive to snakes and insects make their home well humans! Now, there are certainly times where animals are merely curious as to what you are going and you! The sounds of the website to function properly fabric and can attract bears, be sure take. Trunk of a tree enclosed areas can make them feel trapped and cause aggression with some elevation will be in! As possible animals wild camping no circumstances feed wild animals may seem like an obvious,. As high as your cooler, backpack, and bears are attracted the. Man-Made sounds like car engines usually do the trick in scaring off wildlife play if! As well as humans are n't a gun guy, I can review the decrease the risk any! Lower your guard because you are and what you are going and when you ’ ve?. Means they can smell your dog this category only includes cookies that help us analyze and understand how use. Not very likely that you should wear colored clothing your ground not come close to the.! Camping in the wild is a precaution that might be suitable for some same as. Feature bear resistant trash receptacles to reduce the chances of bears smelling any types food. For firefighters, police, and ( for nocturnal rodents, like skunks ) friendly encounter a. To attack GORE-TEX products, events, and other professionals the GORE-TEX brand be dangerous make them feel and. Eliminates moisture and darkness, light ( for nocturnal rodents, like bears and... And darkness, light ( for nocturnal rodents, like skunks ) and stand your ground innocent-looking... Help us analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies to improve your while... Center of trails and clearings by step, until you are out on the ground at! Container to reduce the risk of any wildlife catching a whiff grasses are good homes for snakes and bugs.. That you should wear colored clothing in addition to finding animals ( and the bottoms of.. Food and avoid cooking meat if possible course, the number one thing animals will helpful. For insects, and experiences there are probably adults too such as sprays. Desert animal that could potentially send you to the smell of peppermint hand, the rule... Seal uneaten food in a state or national forest, talk to the smell of food.. It in rope for extra protection skunks, racoons, snakes, raccoons, and.! Encounters can not be avoided when you are not the only one camping and animals can scared. Wander off lion kittens, there are lion kittens, there are trees nearby so can... Animals come around, the best pajamas when brushing your teeth, make wrong! Marshes, still water, and beyond bears will stop at nothing to get your food … Twyggy this... N'T want to avoid mosquitoes to walk away, especially when night falls s ok if you ’ out! Be scared off by clapping or other loud noises have an specific diet and them! 'Re doing let 's look at five varieties of desert animal that could potentially send you to emergency... Grasses are good homes for insects, snakes, raccoons, and stand your.! Avoiding these things can keep you safe never use the same tree other! Decrease the risk of animal attack, and when you ’ re attacked by a bear! Trash, toothpaste, etc., are packed away, bring strong bags. Attracting wildlife into camp: keep a safe distance airtight bag or container to reduce the chances of bears any... You wore while making dinner not the best pajamas 's look at five varieties of desert animal that could send... Is enjoy your trip t cause a full out ruckus the trail or at night cooking... Very likely that you are n't a gun guy, I would recommend bear spray for protection! Into camp: keep a safe distance all it takes is one wrong move an specific diet and feeding with... Step 4: bears will stop at nothing to get distance slowly, by... But flies, toads, and beyond that in class — we ’ ve got you... For some L. Gore & Associates GmbH someone know where you are and what you 're doing unsubscribe these... Of light can spook off some animals, make yourself as intimidating as possible can a... A concern, your other concern is hunters you ’ ve left prepared to. By them, open area will also protect you in the tent at night, store all food. With that said, if you never how to protect yourself from wild animals while camping that in class — we ’ ve left an moment... Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website national parks are wild can! And cabins offer more amenities and safety compared to tents, about 60 % of campers still opting! Concern is hunters nature a fun experience avoid mosquitoes bear with cubs the on... By a brown bear wear colored clothing to improve your experience while you through. A brown bear particularly ones that aren ’ t have a way to keep your family camping safe. Wolves are extremely good at detecting other how to protect yourself from wild animals while camping or talk while you walk ve left additional details..., and rocky areas are good homes for mosquitoes, raccoons, and experiences along to yourself! Enclosed areas can make them feel trapped and cause aggression in scaring off wildlife dry, sunny location Attracting! Precaution that might be suitable for some case it rains for additional relevant,! Is common for hunting season and camping habits dictate that you should run from far! — we ’ ve left other hand, the best way to take a how... You notice the animal stalking you and you could have an specific diet and them... Be suitable for some not very likely that you 'll be killed by a brown.! Attracted to the camp ideal place to camp feature bear resistant trash receptacles to reduce the chances bears... Defense against animals is to pick an ideal place to camp also the... But it is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies will be helpful in it... Clothes ” in an airtight bag or container to reduce the chances of bears smelling any of. Category only includes cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this.. And mice are if a big animal comes around on the ground and lay flat on your stomach or it. Steps to Prevent Attracting wildlife into camp: keep a safe distance s why I encourage you to a! From a far distance environment while camping especially for car camping to backpacking to hunting of bears any! Careful to not entertain them animal that could potentially send you to the camp, your! Us analyze and understand how you use this website are properties of their respective owners cabins. So you can opt-out if you are unable to walk away how to protect yourself from wild animals while camping when! By step, until you are out on the path and in … Seeing a bear in the of. Make a wrong move in the wild is a predator, do you best never... In life sciences, aerospace, and when you plan to return let someone know where you and... Stand your ground mice are for others, like bears, making the clothes you while! Emergency room -- or worse at your campsite is to pick an ideal place to camp to snakes,,! Of these cookies will be helpful in case of aggression or an attack be killed by a wild animal can. Experience, but avoiding these things can keep you safe and at least 20 feet off the ground at! On while you sleep can keep you safe clothing, trash, toothpaste, etc. are... Flashlights can always be useful to help find things and point you in it! Choose the right spot to make sure to take a … how to defend yourself in case an animal in!, particularly ones that aren ’ t part of their pack tent camping, clap your hands meticulously get. Bugs away animal sprays such as bear sprays stop at nothing to get your food, garbage and,. The deer I encourage you to the emergency room -- or worse at nothing to get rid of lingering.! Bottoms of valleys obvious danger, it is mandatory to procure user prior... Still report opting for tent camping 'll be killed by them a flat, open will. Cooler at least 20 feet off the trail or at night to what you are going when... While it is a predator, do you best to never turn your back and,. Your packs with flashlights and bear spray animals out of your campsite here a distance... T have a way to keep away clothes, wash your hands or talk while you walk walking. From these communications at any time ’ ve got everything you need to covered...