Remember those cute cartoons where you are in the forest and you see a fluffy bear and he says hello? Yeah, it’s just a cartoon. In reality, this would probably end really bad for you. People are not the masters of the forest, the animals are. Doesn’t matter what we think, nature is always one step ahead of us. And we need to respect that. If we follow some really simple guidelines, we can make our time in nature very easy for us, and for the animals.
Usually, animals will run away from you, they don’t want attention nor to be disturbed. Unless they are very curious and wants to see who is there, in their forest. It’s okay if you see a curious rabbit or a fawn, but what if there is a curious bear or a wolf?
I’ll talk about some very useful tips I follow almost every time I’m on camping. For all these years I never had an encounter with the wild animal, not even with the cute fluffy rabbit.
Never try to pet a cute little animal
I know, it’s cute and you want to feed that little bear with your last piece of sandwich. But, you can easily end as the mama bear’s sandwich. Bear cubs are usually always accompanied by their mama. If you see one, better walk slowly in opposite direction and try not to make any sudden moves. It’s the same with any other baby animals. Deer can be dangerous as much as a bear. Okay, that doesn’t include the rabbits, logically, but you got the point.
Keep your food outside your camping zone
Never keep your food in your tent, or somewhere near the tent. Strong smells can attract many different kinds of animals; raccoons, bears, wild cats, wolfs, or even some birds. The best place you can store the food is a tree, outside of your camping site. You can put everything in the bag and let it hang somewhere where no one can reach. Use a long stick to put it there. But be aware that some wild cats can walk on thick tree branches, so avoid that. Look for something thick enough to hold the bag, and thin enough to keep the wild cats off.
The best way is to use the Bear Resistant Food Canister instead of the bag. Its purpose is to protect the food inside, and some of them can even hide the scent. It will keep animals (especially bears) from your camp as well.
Make a lot of noise while in the forest
As I said, animals don’t want to hang out with you. They want their privacy and they don’t like loud sounds. So, make sure you are loud enough for them to hear you. You can do that while cooking, playing some sports with your friends or family, listening to a music… the list is big. Try not to be blocked by other sounds, such as a waterfall or a river.
Be aware of your surroundings
You need to get know the place you are going to. What kind of animals you might see there and what terrain to choose for your camping site. A flat, open space with low grass is the best place to choose. If you have a tree nearby you won the jackpot. Avoid placing your camp near the river. Animals will often come there to drink water or some of them will come for a hunt. Always have a one or two alternate escaping routes, just in case you have an unpleasant visit of the hungry bear.
If such situation occurs, act slowly and try to walk away without making sudden moves. If you are with the kids, make sure they go first or help them climb the nearest tree. Always let someone know where you are. A satellite phone or this satellite tracker would be of a great help in this situation, cause you can alarm rangers or someone else that you are in danger.
Change your clothes after cooking
If you are cooking, make sure you do that outside of your camping site. After you finish, all clothes you were wearing needs to be placed in a bag and put with the rest of the food in the container. The odor from the clothes can attract animals as well. Also, you should avoid any deodorants or similar sprays cause their strong smell can do the same. Use the same clothes every time you cook, so you can save yourself from changing too many t-shirts or pants.
Bring your dog with you
If you have a dog, he would be happy to spend some time with you in nature as well. At the same time, he could be very useful to keep away wild animals from your camping site. However, don’t let him wander by himself, especially in the night. When you go to sleep, keep him on the leash, long enough to give him some space around the site. If he hears or smells something he will let you know. The same rules for storing your food should apply to his food as well.
Keep your camping site clean and tidy
Don’t let your site be dirty and full of garbage. That can attract a wide variety of animals, insects and some other small scavengers. Clean after yourself and make sure you put the garbage in the separate bag (or the canister) and store it in the same place where your food is (don’t mix them thou). You will throw it away on your way back home. This way, you will respect the mother nature and at the same time, you will make that camping site safer for some other campers who might come there.
In the end
Most of the time you will not encounter any animal, but now you know what steps to take as a precaution. Always think in advance. You should relax and enjoy your camping with the friends or family, but at the same time don’t overestimate the nature. It has its own ways to deal with the people who don’t respect it. Don’t be that person and everything will be just fine.