It's an aspect of the great outdoors that a lot of people are afraid of. Wild animals are out there, and they can come across your camp at unexpected times.
This can be frightening for some campers, but we're here to tell you that it shouldn't be. There are several measures you can take to avoid wild animal attacks whilst you're camping, both before and during your camp.
We've outlined these 10 key tips so that you're as prepared as you'll ever be to avoid wild animal attacks during your camping trip. Once you've read through these tips, you'll be ready to prevent and focus on what matters when camping - having a grand old time!
1. Preventing Wild Animal Attacks: Be Aware of Signage
In the majority of hiking and camping areas, signs will have been erected to warn of any wild animals in the area.
The first way in which you can prevent animal attacks is to take note of any signs or trail markers that you come across with these warnings or safety measures. Many of these signs will at the bare minimum inform you about wild animals, and influence you to follow the remaining tips in this post.
Some will even include specific advice, dependent on the animal in question. You should always follow this advice to keep yourselves safe when hiking or camping in these particular areas.
2. Read Up Before You Depart
Another great way of getting information exists before you even start camping or hiking. You should read up on any bear safety information, or other wild animal information before you depart.
By reading this post you're already making an excellent start! The more you read up on wild animals, the better prepared you'll be to avoid anything happening. Make sure you're knowledgeable and have done all you can in the form of research before you start on your adventure.
Places like the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone make it their mission to inform about grizzly bears and wolves in the wild. You can find specific information on those animals as well as others at other relevant information centers if you know you need to read up on a certain wild animal.
3. Clean-Up When You Leave or Sleep
One of the main things that attract wild animals to a campsite is garbage or clutter. That's because they can smell the presence of people due to the fact they haven't cleaned up after themselves.
This is the first and arguably most important tip you need to take on board to prevent wild animal attacks. You must clean up after yourselves, both before you sleep as well as before you leave your campsite.
Not only that, but you should be cleaning regularly throughout your camp to ensure there isn't too much around that could attract wild animals. Make sure any garbage you have is properly disposed of also, otherwise it could still attract wild animals to you.
4. Keep Any Food in Locked Containers
Food is the most likely thing on your person to attract wild animals to your camp. This is of course due to the smell and the fact that these animals, like us, need to eat.
To avoid attracting wild animals via your food, you should keep any food you're not immediately eating in a locked container. This prevents the smell from attracting wild animals. You can actually purchase wildlife resistant containers, which are preferable if you can get hold of them.
5. Wash Clothes After Cooking
But your food isn't the only thing that can hold smells that wild animals find alluring. Once you've been cooking in your clothes, these smells can get stuck to your clothing and attract wild animals to your camp. This is particularly common as you sleep.
To avoid this, make sure to wash your clothes after you've done any cooking and change into new clothing. This sounds like a hassle, but its the only way to ensure you are completely safe from potential wild animal encounters.
If you'd rather not wash them, you should at least change out of them and secure them in a container.
6. Be Smart About Cooking
Another key tip in regards to food whilst camping is to think about what you're cooking. Try not to cook anything that will give off too much of a smell, such as fish.
Make sure you also don't make way too much food for you all to eat in one sitting. The less food you have leftover, the less likely it is that a wild animal will catch the scent.
A top tip is to cook frozen or prepackaged foods where possible, as these can be made quickly. Make sure you use oil also when it is needed so that you're not getting too much food stuck on your pans.
7. Clean After Cooking
Just like with keeping your campsite clean, you need to keep your cooking materials clean after use also. Wash them out thoroughly after every time you cook, to avoid any smells lingering.
Make sure you boil some water as you eat, as this can be used to help wash your pots up afterward. Also keep any dish liquid to hand, as this will make the process of cleaning much quicker.
Anything you can do to speed up the process will keep you safer, as smells won't be lingering for wild animals to catch them.
8. Pack Appropriately
To avoid wild animals you need to make sure you pack appropriately. Only pack the essentials that you need for your trip.
You should always make sure you carry a torch, just in case anything does disrupt your camp throughout the night. You also need to ensure you have items we've already mentioned in this list, such as dish liquid and food containers.
Try to pack as light as you can when you're camping. The less you are carrying, the fewer things are more likely to attain a scent and attract wild animals.
If you're camping with your car nearby, remember that it can be a good place to store items safely. Just make sure that you lock it up!
9. Look After Children When Camping
Camping with children can be considerably more challenging than if you're camping alone or only with adults. They love camping, and it can be a great way to teach them about the wonders of nature, so you should absolutely take them along, but when you do make sure that it's safe.
You should check the pockets and bags of your children after you've sorted your own out. This is to check that nothing needs washing, that food is properly contained, and that they've properly disposed of any rubbish that could otherwise attract wild animals.
You need to be more attentive than you usually are when you're camping, to keep all of you as safe as possible. Remember to keep reminding your children of these rules also, so that they can actively help you follow them themselves.
10. Be Noisy When You're Hiking or Around Your Campfire
When it comes to bears, they don't like to disturb people who are making a lot of noise. If they can hear you in their area, chances are they are likely to stay out of your way.
Whilst you're hiking you should play music or sing songs with each other, to ensure you are making enough noise to dissuade bears from approaching. This is also a great excuse to sing campfire songs together after dinner.
Remember that bears will rarely choose to interact with humans. Often, they're only doing so because they can smell food, or because they weren't even sure we were in their territory.
By making enough noise, you should alert them to your presence and make them stay away as you camp.
Where Can I Find Out More Camping Tips?
There you have it, 10 of the key tips you need to follow to avoid wild animal attacks whilst camping.
But there are so many more camping tips than these! From essential survival tools to the best picnic tips, there are many more tricks you need to know to become a camping master.
If you're interested in finding out more, make sure to take a look at all of our previous blogs about the great outdoors. The more you read through, the better prepared you'll be for the camping experience of a lifetime!
If you do have any questions not covered by our posts or are looking for a specific product, make sure that you contact us directly. Our 24/7 customer support team will be on hand to answer any burning questions you have about camping, so you can focus on getting excited about the trip.