Camping can be a majestic experience…being outdoors, in nature and being able to finally relax from everyday life.
However, those who do go camping should not think that they are completely safe while outdoors just because there are no other people around.
There are plenty of safety concerns that are going to be found while camping, including the animals that are native to the area.
Not only could some animals be a danger to you, but you could be a danger to these animals as well. When you go camping remember that you want to ensure that you are leaving your camping grounds just as they were meant to be left, you don’t want to disrupt the nature that is at this site.
This is why you should do whatever you can do to ensure that you follow these wildlife safety tips while camping…not only for your safety but the safety of these animals!
4 Wildlife Safety Tips to Remember
Tip 1: These wild animals are not pets!
This cannot be overstated enough! The baby Raccoon may be adorable, but they are not meant to be domesticated and live in your home as though they are your everyday house cat.
Too many people try to pet these wild animals, feed them or do something else that takes the ‘wild’ out of these animals.
In addition, when you try to do this you are always risking these animals from getting too comfortable around humans and coming into campgrounds, causing a nuisance!
Tip 2: Always secure your food
When camping, you always want to secure your food so that wild animals are not tempted to come to your camp. How can you do this? Here are a few tips:
- Don’t leave food on picnic tables or out in the open where it can be smelled. Remember, animals have a better sense of smell than humans do, so they can smell this food from a much further distance!
- Use coolers to store items into as these are plastic and can ensure that the smell of the food is hidden.
- Never put the food in your tent or RV, as you never want to have food where you are sleeping!
Tip 3: Secure trash away from the campsite
While camping you are going to have trash, and trash can attract a ton of wildlife including bears, possums and other wildlife that are attracted to the scent of garbage. Here are a few rules to follow when dealing with trash:
- Be sure to place this into bags that you can seal.
- Dispose of this bag as soon as possible. If the campground provides a dumpster, use this every night before going to bed.
- Hang trash from a tree if you intend on using this again or if there is nowhere to dump it. Be sure that you hang this several yards away from your campsite in the event that a bear decides to investigate.
Tip 4: Keep your family pets around you at all times
If you are camping with your family pet, be sure that you are keeping them with you at all times so that they are not getting around wild animals.
Remember that wild animals do carry diseases and rabies that can transfer to your pets. Tip: be sure that you are having your pets vaccinated and they are up to date when you go camping.
What to Do if Animals Come Into Your Campsite?
In most scenarios, wild animals are going to stay away from you while camping simply because you are something unfamiliar and they are naturally scared of you.
However, there are times in which wild animals can venture into your campsite by accident or because they smell food that you may have.
So, what do you do if you are approached by a wild animal at your campsite? This really depends on the type of wild animal that you are dealing with. Here are some common wild animals and what to do if you see one:
- If a grizzly bear wanders into your campsite, start talking loudly, the bear will see that you are a human and simply leave. Other times, people have had to back away slowly when they realize that the bear is aware of humans and is simply not scared. The key is to back away and keep backing away until you can no longer see the bear, never turn your back on them.
- If you see a black bear, these are often not as aggressive as a grizzly bear. In most cases simply letting it know of your presence will be enough to send it back into the woods.
- What about bear spray? There are some sprays on the market that are meant to keep you safe while outdoors and a bear is in the area. This could be something worth carrying when you are outdoors as it has been shown to be more effective in getting a bear to leave you alone.
- Wolves are also something to be aware of! If you do come into contact with one of them, stay calm and start to back away from the animal. Make sure that you do not corner this wolf, and there is a way for it to escape. If the wolf approaches you and doesn’t seem scared, you will want to wave your arms and appear larger as this is going to make the wolf think that they are taking on something much bigger than they are, which often makes them leave.
- Encountering a skunk is no fun! As it almost always results in the skunk spraying and you having to deal with an odor that no amount of soap will take care of. The good news is that you will smell the skunk before you see it. If you happen to come across this animal, do not corner it. Your best chance is to simply run the other way so that you do not get a direct hit of skunk spray!
- Raccoons are adorable looking, but they can be rather mean! The good news is that these scavengers are often skittish when it comes to humans. If you run across one in your camp, making a good deal of noise will often scare them away. Remember that when it comes to rabies, raccoons are often the carrier so do not let it scratch you or bite you. If this does happen, be sure to get to a hospital as soon as you can.
The good news is that most animals are going to steer clear of you. However, that doesn’t mean that you may not come across these animals while you are out on a hike.
If you stay to the paths that are designated, while you may see these animals, they are going to be more scared of you than you are of them.