5 tips to keep animals away from your site
There is certainly lots to like about camping: communing with the great outdoors, the chance to (sort of) get off the grid for a while, the hotdogs. But for many, one of the best things about camping is meeting new people. The experience provides a great opportunity to talk to interesting folks you otherwise might never have encountered. However, while you may welcome some campsite visitors to join you for a beer, there are others you will definitely want to stay away. Depending upon where you’ll be camping, there could be an assortment of wildlife in the area, some of which could potentially be dangerous. These tips will help keep them from crashing your camping party:
Familiarize yourself with the area
Just as you will probably research campgrounds, local attractions, and other things before your trip, you should do the same with animals. It’s always a good idea to know what you may run into and how to prepare. If you can’t find information about wildlife on a campground or park website, online forums are often a great place to ask questions and get answers from veteran campers. Even just a Google search on local animals may be all you need to plan accordingly.
Keep things clean
Once you’ve arrived at your campsite, one of the best ways to avoid animal encounters is to make sure you keep it as clean as possible. While one of the perks of a vacation is often not having to do much cleaning, you will want your campsite to be pristine. This means picking up all trash and disposing of it properly, storing food in air-tight containers and keeping it inside your RV, and thoroughly scrubbing cookware.
Do something about the aromas
While some animals are just curious, they’re probably not going to bother you unless they think there’s a meal in it for them. This means that they will be attracted by scent, which is another reason to store food well. Remember, though, it’s not just food that could have them moseying into your camp; things like lotions, soap, and toothpaste can also be strong lures. This is why anything fragrant needs to be sealed up tight. This may also need to include your clothes, as cooking smells can get attached to fabric.
Don’t feed the wildlife
Watching a chipmunk eating a marshmallow might just be the cutest thing you ever see, but please, don’t do it. One little chipmunk may seem harmless, but what happens if he brings that marshmallow back to his home and on the way there bits of it hit the ground? Suddenly, some not-so-harmless animals – like bears, for example – may be alerted to the tasty treats at your camp. On top of that, those crumbs may lead them right to you. So no matter how adorable the wildlife looks, just don’t feed it.
If you do see animals, stay away from them
This may seem obvious, but unfortunately, because we live in a selfie society, people frequently risk their lives for pictures. If you see an animal that could be dangerous, don’t approach it. Most animals that live near campgrounds have some experience with people, and they can be scared off fairly easily. Making a lot of noise, for example, is usually very effective at driving them away. On the off-chance that an animal does come too close, you may want to learn how to handle things.
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