Ensure your safety in the woods! Encounters with wild animals are either perilous or discomforting. Read this guide that teaches you how to keep wild animals away while camping.
Understand that the campgrounds, especially those that public organizations don’t maintain, aren’t your domain. The forest, marsh, or any other campsite is home to wild animals.
That’s why you should be wary. Though chances are slim, wild animals can potentially injure or kill you. For this reason, don’t head out without knowing how to keep them away.
So how do you keep wild animals away from camping? That’s easy, just camp with a lot of people and you’re good. However, if you want to camp alone, keep reading because you’ll know how to ward off foxes, bears, moose, and other kinds of wild animals that might ruin your camping trip.
How to Keep Wild Animals Away While Camping
1: Keeping Bears Away
Bears top the list of the most dangerous animals that you’ll encounter during a camping trip. They’re unpredictable, so you never know what might happen upon encountering them. With their sharp claws and long, sharp canines, it’s easy for bears to inflict you with grave wounds.
When is the Highest Chance of Encountering Bears?
Bears usually come out at the beginning of spring, just about when food such as fruits and meat become readily available for them. Male bears get out of their dens in mid-March. Females, on the other hand, come out of their dens in mid-April.
It’s best to avoid camping on campsites on woodlands during the previously mentioned months. After waking from their long slumber, most bears are very aggressive as they are hungry.
Bear attacks are common during July and August. This might be due to the frequent roaming of the bears in different areas to look for a mate.
How to Keep Bears Away While Camping?
Bears can easily rip you to shreds. A single swing from them can easily cleave some of your flesh, causing severe bleeding. Of course, this is only one of the injuries that bears might inflict you with. So, keep your campsite bear-proof. Here’s how you do it.
Don’t Leave Food out In the Open
Always put your ratios in odor-proof storage when camping. Bears are attracted to food. Their sense of smell is stronger than that of a bloodhound. That’s why they can sniff the faintest aroma of food from miles away.
You’re in trouble if the bear that decided to visit the campsite has just emerged from hibernation. It will not think twice about eating your food. What’s worse is that it may even invade your tent to search for more.
Did you bring a pet with you? If that’s the case, know that its food isn’t exempt from the bears’ appetite too. All bears wouldn’t mind eating pellets, bones, and other kinds of pet goodies available.
Bears wouldn’t mind scavenging for food. That’s why always clean the tent after eating. Don’t leave any crumbs or traces of leftovers near the campsite because these can attract bears.
Don’t Use Sweet Smelling Insect Repellents
Bears love sweet-smelling things. Of course, this isn’t only food but also other commercial products, such as insect repellents. Insect repellents effectively release particles into the air, which bears can easily sniff. And once these particles carry agreeable fragrance, the bears will find the source of the tent without thinking twice.
Examples of insect repellents that you should avoid using in non-bear-free campsites are honey-scented insect repellents, flower-scented insect repellents, caramel scented insect repellents, etc.
Put Ammonia or Apple Cider Vinegar Outside
Bears don’t like ammonia and apple cider vinegar. The smell of these liquids just feels too strong for their nose. That’s why these can effectively mask the odors that bears find attractive. To use ammonia and apple cider vinegar, just get an open container and hang it outside.
In Case You Encounter Them Face to Face, How Do You Keep Bears Away?
It’s the moment of truth. A bear found its way into your campsite. Life isn’t a movie, so always assume that this bear isn’t as harmless as Winnie The Pooh. Avoid being frozen with fear. Muster your courage, grab a pan or any other utensil that produces a loud sound, and start banging like crazy.
But why do this? Loud noises make a bear surprised and, in effect, make it less curious about the goodies that you have. Doing this is easier said than done. However, don’t stop banging those utensils as if there’s no tomorrow because it will save your life.
DON’T RUN! Running will just aggravate the situation. Also, thinking that you can outrun a bear is wishful thinking. Though it looks flabby, it is surprisingly agile. A bear’s maximum speed, when running, ranges from 30 kph – 50 kph ( yeah, a bear is faster than your average electric bike or electric scooter).
2: Keeping Moose Away
The moose is a docile animal. It will just idly watch as you do things on your campsite. However, there are moments when the moose becomes very aggressive. Moose attacks are rare. However, a full-on confrontation with a moose will result in a one-sided match where you’ll likely end up dead.
When Is the Highest Chance of Encountering a Moose?
A moose might find its way into your tent during September, October, and November. It’s more likely for males to go near your tent than females. This is because these months are when the male moose look for a mate before winter arrives.
Autumn encounters with a moose are highly dangerous. This is because its horns are sharp and wide. Pair this with its edgy mood during such time, and you’re in for a perilous moment if you encounter one.
Coming in contact with a moose isn’t as common as bear encounters. Moreover, attacks aren’t as common too. Nevertheless, you should still employ precautions when camping in an area with a high moose population. A rampaging moose won’t stop until it gets you.
How to Keep a Moose Away while Camping?
Keep a Dog with You
The only way for you to prevent a moose from coming is to get Have a dog as a companion. It’s hard to detect when a moose is nearby because its movements are very discreet. That’s why you need a warning device, like a pooch, for example.
After confirming that a moose is present, it’s best not to panic and watch it closely. Usually, a moose will just mind its business; however, if it doesn’t and attempts to go near the tent, be vigilant for these signs, which indicate that a moose is going to attack you.
- moose keep staring at you
- starts flexing its horns
- scrapes one of its front hooves on the ground
- makes a loud snorting noise
What to Do if the Moose Is Acting Aggressively?
If the moose is displaying the behaviors on the above bullet, then it’s time for you to act. Just like a bear, you can never outrun a moose. Instead of running mindlessly, look for a thicket where you may insert yourself or a tree that you can easily climb.
3. Keeping Wolves Away
Encountering wolves is an immediate red alert. They’re not visiting the campsite just to watch you do your thing. They’re present because they want to make use of the food that’s available to them. What’s even worse is that they come in groups. You will only see 2 at first. Later on, another 3 joined the group. Eventually, without noticing it, you realize that a pack is now baring their fangs at you.
When is the Highest Chance of Wolf Encounters?
Encountering wolves is very rare. That’s why you shouldn’t worry a lot about encountering a pack when camping in a wolf country. Most of the time, wolves love to stay away from humans. It’s common for them to keep their distance from a campsite and head to other locations to look for food.
How to Keep Wolves Away?
Don’t Bring Bloody Food when Camping
Never attempt to bring bloody food when camping in an area where wolves are common. Fishes and meats – clean these first at home and let their blood drip off. Blood attracts and makes wolves crazy.
Don’t Leave Utensil’s Dirty
Dirty utensils attract wolves too. That’s why you should clean the pan, grills, skillets, and other utensils before doing anything else. If not cleaned, the smell from these makes the wolves think that an adequate food source is nearby. A pack will then search for the source and reach your tent.
Keep a Fire Burning
Wolves are suckers against fire. That’s why a campfire should be near the tent, even if you have LED lights with you. Of course, the campfire shouldn’t burn sloppily. Use a lot of firewood so that it rages brightly. Ideal firewood to use is maple, oak, ash, and birch.
By the way, you may also try smoking off the wolves away from your tent. Wolves hate smoke because it stings their nose and eyes. This method is very useful if you can’t make a bright campfire. To make a thick smoke, you may use slightly moist dead leaves, grasses, and fallen branches of surrounding trees.
What to Do if a Pack Of Wolves Surround You?
Look for a nearby tree and slowly make your way to it. Face the wolves and gradually walk backward to go to it. After that, climb the tree with all your might. Wolves can’t climb trees. Moreover, being on top of a tree provides you height advantage.
If a tree isn’t around, then make a sound noise and stand tall. Doing this can confuse the wolves and, thus, remove their interest or curiosity in you.
4. Keeping Skunks Away
A spray from a skunk puts an immediate end to your camping trip, no negotiations asked. Skunk spray smells so horrible that a tent or any other camping gear that receives it becomes useless. A skunk cannot kill you. However, its spray can be the death of your camping trip.
When Is the Highest Chance of Encountering Skunks?
Skunks are active throughout the year. They’ll venture to your tent at night to look for scraps of food and other objects that they can nibble on. When camping, it’s possible for at least 2–3 skunks to come and visit. Skunks are harmless. However, surprise or scare them, and you’re in for a nasty time
How to Keep Skunks Away?
Skunks hate the smell of mothballs. To use mothballs against skunks, put one piece on each corner of the tent. If you have kids or pets camping with you, hide the mothballs to steer clear of poisoning-related accidents.
Skunks don’t like the smell of vinegar too. To ward of skunks using this, bring a few pieces of unused cloth or fabric and soak them. After soaking, look for a tree or any other high-standing object on the campsite and hang the cloth or fabric. You don’t want to keep these near your tent because the sour aroma is hard to bear.
5. Keeping Chipmunks Away
Squirrels look very cute. However, they can also wreak havoc on your campsite. They might tear the sides of the tent, steal your rations, or make the surroundings messy.
When Is the Highest Chance of Encountering Squirrels?
You’ll likely encounter squirrels when camping in the fall and spring. All that reaches your tent will try to get their paws on the food that you have. If you let them be, squirrels will gobble all of your rations up or make holes in the tent. Squirrel attacks can happen but are always rare.
How to Keep Squirrels Away?
Pound Garlic and Spread It around the Tent
Squirrels don’t like the pungent odor of garlic. That’s why it’s a very effective natural repellant for them. To use it, you just have to pound few cloves and spread them around the tent. However, be careful not to spread too much because the smell might penetrate inside.