When you go camping in the great outdoors, you could expect to see bears, but they won’t be Yogi and BooBoo. Even if bears are not a threat where you’re camping, other nosy and possibly dangerous critters might be. You can’t stop run ins with wildlife altogether, but you can learn how to critter proof your camping spot as much as is possible.
When you are camping it is best to just leave the wildlife alone if you do encounter any. If the animal is a squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, or even a opossum, of course you can observe them, but don’t try to feed them. It’s likely those animals will scamper away, but in campgrounds or state and national parks, some animals can become accustomed to seeing humans and be less afraid. That doesn’t mean they aren’t carrying germs and diseases, even rabies in some critters.
Deer are beautiful animals that appear gentle, but they can also bite and kick. They carry ticks that are dangerous too. Bears can be extremely dangerous, especially a mother bear with cubs. Wild cats, coyotes, and wolves are other animals you could encounter depending on where you choose to camp.
Tips For Keeping Animals Away
1. Most wild animals are naturally afraid of fire, so keeping a campfire going in your camp can help to deter them.
2. Making noise in camp is another way to keep animals from intruding. You can leave a battery operated radio playing low while you sleep if you like.
3. Everyone knows that you can’t leave food lying around your campsite. You must keep it locked in a sturdy storage container. In fact, some state parks require you to use a food locker. It will prevent animals from getting to your food and possibly prevent you from being harmed by a hungry animal.
4. If you don’t have a food storage locker, you might try putting your food in a duffel bag or other sturdy sack and hanging it from a tree limb off the ground.
5. Some state and national parks will also recommend that you do not leave food and other smell good items stored in your car if there are bears around. Bears can really do a lot of damage to a car when they smell food or other enticing odors.
6. Items like toothpaste, deodorants, and perfumes can attract animals too, so keep these items in an appropriate storage container as well.
7. Prepare and eat your food a distance away from your sleeping tents. It doesn’t have to be a great distance, just 20 or 30 ft might help.
8. Keep your trash well away from your campsite. If you are in a state park or campground, they will likely collect the trash, so always put trash in the designated place. In the wilderness it will be up to you to take care of your trash.
9. This trick might not appeal to everyone, but if you are camping in a remote wilderness area and there are dangerous animals around, you can urinate close to your camp perimeters to help spook intruders away. Animals have a keen sense of smell for more than just food!
10. If you catch and clean any fish, do it at the water’s edge, but well away from your campsite.