Camping offers such a unique experience and there’s something truly magical about leaving the city behind and getting in touch with nature. But it’s important to remember that you are sharing that beautiful natural landscape with a lot of wildlife. In a lot of places, you don’t really need to worry about the wildlife because it’s not dangerous and most animals won’t approach you. However, camping can get very dangerous in certain places if you don’t know how to coexist with the local wildlife.
If you are camping in an area where there are a lot of poisonous snakes or bears roaming the local area, it’s vital that you plan accordingly. You need to know how to camp properly so you can avoid upsetting the local animals and damaging their habitats. It’s also important that you know how to stop yourself from getting into any dangerous situations. These are some of the most important things you should know if you are camping in an area with dangerous wildlife.
Do Your Research
Knowing what kind of wildlife is in the area is key to being prepared, so do your research before you set off on your trip. Read up on all of the local species in the area so you have an idea of what you might encounter. This will give you a great checklist of animals to look out for and prepare you for the dangerous ones that might be lurking around. In some cases, it will give you an indication of the spots that you shouldn’t camp in at all because they are simply too dangerous. During your research, you will also find lots of information about preventing animal attacks and protecting habitats, so make sure that you are thorough.
Get The Right Gear
Once you know what you are dealing with, you can start buying the right gear to prepare yourself. When you are picking a tent, you should always consider the local wildlife and which sleeping position is best. For example, if there are a lot of poisonous bugs or dangerous snakes around, an elevated sleeping position is much safer. You can get some great roof top tents that will sit on top of your vehicle so you have plenty of space between you and any nasty critters that might get into your tent in the night. If you are in a heavily forested area, you may also want to consider a tent that straps to the trees so it can be elevated above the ground. However, these can be quite tricky to put up, so make sure to practice at home first if you can.
As well as the tent, you need to buy some extra protective gear in case you encounter any dangerous animals. If there are snakes in the area, always wear snake boots to protect yourself from bites. You need to take pepper spray with you if you are camping in an area where bears have been spotted. Even if you are quite far away from their known spots, there is still a chance that you will encounter one, so always be prepared.
It’s not just snakes and large predators that you need to watch out for either. Small insects, like ticks and mosquitoes, can be very dangerous too. Make sure to take some insect repellent with you so you can avoid any bites. Even if they aren’t life threatening, they are very annoying and uncomfortable, so stock up on insect repellent before you go.
Maps are important as well, not only to stop you from getting lost, but also to make sure that you don’t accidentally wander into a dangerous area that is filled with bears or other large predators. When you are doing your initial research before your trip, you can mark all of the dangerous areas on your map and plan a route around them if you want to go exploring.
Be Careful With Food and Trash
One of the best things about camping is cooking up some delicious food on your campfire under the stars, but remember that food attracts predators so you need to be very careful. Obviously, it’s never a good idea to feed any of the wildlife that you encounter because they are likely to follow you back to your camp and even if they are not dangerous, they may attract large predators. Feeding animals is also potentially harmful to them because you don’t know what their diet should be like and what ingredients they are allergic to.
Proper food storage is essential when you are camping close to wildlife. If you leave things out or you put it in containers that are not airtight, animals will be able to smell it and they will approach the camp. Even if they are not dangerous to you, you may still wake up to find that all of your food has been stolen. But you should be fine as long as you use wildlife-proof containers for all of your food. Some places require you to bring a bear canister for your food, so make sure to check before you go.
Any food that has been left in the trash can attract wildlife as well, so make sure that you have a secure container for any rubbish as well. When you leave, always make sure that you take your trash with you so you don’t damage habitats.
Never Approach Wildlife
If you spot a bear while you are out hiking, it’s not likely that you are going to approach it. However, people often try to get close to other animals that they don’t consider to be a threat. The thing is, most animals will bite and kick to defend themselves when they feel threatened by somebody approaching them in their natural habitat. It is also incredibly distressing for the animal, so even if they don’t harm you, it’s still never a good idea to approach them. If you want to take photos of some of the incredible animals that you encounter in the wild, always do so from a safe distance to make sure that you are not upsetting them.
Seeing the amazing wildlife is one of the amazing things about camping, but it’s important that you follow these tips to make sure that you are safe and you don’t disrupt natural habitats.