It may sound funny and interesting in theory, but running into and having to deal with wild animals during your camping trip is no fun at all, and it can be really dangerous for both you and that animal. To help you have a fun and safe camping trip, we’ve provided you this guide with some of the most important animals camping tips and tricks, especially if you’ll be wild camping.
Food And Other Tasty Smells
Camping animals are most often attracted by a various number of different smells and senses. Although not pleasant, running into mice, rats or other rodents is not as dangerous as having to deal with a bear searching for the source of that smell. But, it’s not only trash that will draw their attention. Bears can be attracted by many other things, like hard-smelled toothpaste, soap, lotions, or even bug sprays. To keep the bears away there are a few different tips and tricks:
- Keep your food, gear, and other smelly supplies in your hard-sided vehicle (trunk, the cab of a pickup truck, fifth wheel storage space, or a pickup camper).
- Use a certified camping food storage container for your food and possible leftovers. These can be purchased at most of the camping stores.
- Place it in a bag and hang it at least 10 feet from the ground, if there are no other options. Ideally, this should be done outside of the camp and between two trees.
First Line Of Defense
Before you reach your destination, make sure to buy a flashlight and bear spray. These two should always be within a hand reach, especially during the night time. The flashlight can be used to help you see during the nighttime, but it can also be used as a tool to chase away wild animals. On the other hand, bear spray is one of the strongest weapons against bears and can easily mean the difference between life and death. And make sure to have a first aid kit.
Bring The Pedal To The Metal
You may have heard the story about the woman from Duncan, Canada, who chased away a cougar by playing Metallica’s “Don’t tread on me” over her phone. If you’re not into heavy metal, don’t worry, you probably won’t need it and all the basic camping sounds will most likely be more than enough to keep the wild animals away from your campsite. However, if you are a heavy metal fan, playing Megadeth’s “Shewolf” or “Bestial Invasion” by Destruction combined with aggressive headbanging will put the whole situation under an “epic” mark. The bottom line is – the noise will chase away the animals.
Beware Of The Snakes
Snakes are another camping danger you could run into. Some are venomous, others are not, but if you don’t deal with them regularly, you probably won’t know how to tell a difference instantly. If the area you’ll be camping in is rich with snakes, there are a few things you should do to keep yourself safe:
- Snakes most often hide under logs, rocks, or bushes and tend to run away if their shelter is being moved.
- Snakes attack when afraid, so if possible, try to avoid them. Walking away should be enough to keep you safe. If going back is not an option, then you should go around the snake.
- If the snake starts to run away, don’t chase it or try to grab it.
- Don’t panic! The snake wants to get away from you as much as you want to get away from it.
- When hiking through an area with high grass, lots of logs or rocks, you should wear strong boots, while you should also wear thick gloves if you have to move rocks, logs, brush, or anything other that can be used as a snake shelter.
Don’t Let Your Pets Loose
Camping with pets has many perks, but it also brings additional cause for caution. To avoid any unnecessary problems, make sure to keep your pets near. Don’t let them roam around freely and keep them on the leash all the time. You could also visit a pet shop and ask for a spiral stake you’ll put into the ground and let your pet move while making sure it stays close. You could also check out the best dog camping gear.
Don’t Come Near The Animals
The easiest way to avoid any confrontation is to keep the distance between yourself and the wild animals. Most wild animals camping attacks occur when they either search for food or they feel endangered. By keeping the distance you’ll give them space to flee from the area without provoking their reaction.
Change Your Clothes
As we’ve already mentioned, bears and other wild animals are most often attracted by the smell of food. As you cook and eat, the smell of food stays attached to your clothes. That is why you should change those clothes before you hit the sack. Wearing new clothes to bed won’t only feel fresh, but you’ll also be able to place your food-smelling clothes into a bag or a container you’re later close and this way lower the chance of any unwanted night visitor.
Most of the animals camping attacks happen due to a lack of knowledge and information about the area you’ll be camping. That is why you should gather all the information about that place before your trip:
- Use the internet to learn about that place from its website or by Google research.
- Read other user reviews and experiences on specified websites, forums, or blogs.
- Check out video tutorials on Youtube, if they exist.
- If you have any other question you can’t find an answer to, find the phone number of the wanted campsite and call it. You’d most likely get the ranger office and they’ll be able to provide you with all the needed information.
- Learn about possible dangerous animals and purchase things needed to stay safe.
Don’t Be Afraid
If the campsite exists, that means all needed measures have been taken to keep the campers safe, so there is not a reason to be afraid or to let the possibility of encountering a wild animal keep you away from nature. However, to stay safe, take this topic seriously and do everything you can to help the efforts to keep that camping site safe. Remember, you’re the visitor on their land, not the other way around. Respect nature, respect the safety measures and don’t fool around with it and there shouldn’t be any problems.
Keep Your Campsite Clean
Last but not least, always do your best to keep your campsite as clean as possible. That includes washing the dishes instantly after your meals, putting the garbage into a bag and keeping it away from the campsite before you go and throw it where it should be thrown, cleaning after yourself… This way you’ll not only lower the chance of attracting the animals, but you’ll also make sure those campers that come after you have a pleasant beginning of their journey. Also, learn about different types of campsites.
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Camping is one of the most fun activities, but it doesn’t take much for things to go south, especially if you run into any kind of wildlife. With this article, you’ll easily avoid a possibly dangerous and stressful situation, while also you’ll know what to do to stay safe and sound if it does happen, which is, at the end of the day, by far the most important.
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