What was that noise?
Ahh, isn’t camping blissful? Your day was filled with hiking, swimming, and relaxing in the sun. Your evening was filled with a great dinner cooked over an open fire, and your night was consumed by an amazing new twist on s’mores and sharing stories and experiences of your day with friends and family. What could get better than relaxing under the moon and stars with the sounds of nature all around you?
But not all the sounds of nature are relaxing to hear. Some of them are downright chilling, like the sound of an animal rummaging through your gear and food.
Where did you leave the garbage?
It’s no surprise that animals are motivated by food. They’re always on the look for it, and they will create mayhem to get it if they smell it. It’s a good practice to keep your cooking far away from where you plan to sleep.
Many sources recommend you cook at least 200 feet away from your campsite. But this accounts for more than just cooking. If you’re washing dishes, storing food, or keeping trash, do so far away from where you plan to camp. Clean up as you go, making sure you’re not leaving behind any stray scraps of food.
If bears are a concern where you’re camping, there are waste bins you can buy that will lock in odors of trash so bears can’t smell it or get into it.
Scents are your enemy
Animals have an incredible sense of smell, and it’s not only trash that will draw their attention. If you’re camping, embrace the natural scents we’re all born with.
You can wash but be sure you’re not using heavy fragrances that may attract the attention of critters. Keep lotions and perfumes at home and bathe with unscented soaps. If you absolutely must have your fragrances, use them early enough in the day that the scent will dissipate before nighttime. As with food, follow the same rule for fragrances and store them well enough away from camp. For added protection, seal them up in a bag.
Seriously, is that a bear?
Location matters to critters, and where you choose to camp will determine what kind of animals you may encounter. If you want to stay away from snakes, don’t choose a site that’s too close to water or fallen trees.
If the area is damp, you could see bears and will likely be plagued with mosquitos. When confronted, animals can startle, and if you’re in a confined, wooded area, that could make them feel trapped and angry. It’s wise to choose a clearing if at all possible, or a space just outside the woods if you’re at a public campsite.
You may think camping around trails is a good idea because of all the human traffic they see, but you’d be mistaken. Animals find trails rather handy for getting around as well.
Answer noise with noise
Animals don’t want to see humans as much as humans don’t want to see animals. Most animals spook easily, and if you hear one around your camp, making a lot of noise is a good way to scare it off.
Another way is to use light. Light can be a flashlight shined toward the source of the noise. You can strobe the light to spook the animal. Making noise and flashing a light is a great way to ensure they startle and book it for the hills.
If you’re camping in nature, then you’re in an animal’s territory. That doesn’t mean you have to have an encounter or draw their attention. If you want an animal-free night, it’s best to take precautions, know what animals frequent the area you’re camping in, and know how to protect your campsite from the danger they pose.
Unplanned camping trips aren’t fun. If you find yourself broken down on the side of the road, don’t pull out the tent. Instead, pull out your phone and call for help! With our roadside assistance, you can feel confident in your travels throughout the U.S. and Canada because help is just a call away.