While camping is a great way to get closer to nature, you don’t want to get too close for comfort with wild animals. As we move further towards the warmer months, the camping season is in full swing. It is important to respect wildlife while visiting the great outdoors, but you should be sure to take precautions to avoid unwanted confrontations with animals.
Preparing for Your Camping Trip
When planning for a camping trip, it is important to research where you are going. Some of the most important things to note are parking situations, fire warnings, potable water access, and camping regulations. But, it is also vital to research what animals live in that area. Knowing if there are bears, raccoons, and the like can be important in understanding how to prep your gear. Be sure to check if the campground has bear-proof boxes or bear cables. If you are planning to camp along a trail, it is important to know how to keep animals from eating your food.
Smellables while Camping
When camping, especially in backcountry areas, it is important to isolate your smellables. Smellables include food, soap, toiletries, your mess kit, and even the clothes you ate in. These items should be kept in a bear box, hung in a bear bag, or secured in another way that prevents animals from reaching it.
Choosing a Place To Camp
Generally, campgrounds will tell you where to set up your tent. However, if you are thru-hiking or just camping along a trail, it is important to look for signs of animal activity. Deer paths, areas that may be used for dens, and other locations frequented by animals should be avoided when possible. This will help reduce animal encounters.
The Camp Triangle
Another way to avoid animal encounters is by placing your tent outside of the “camp triangle” Your tent should be placed away from your campfire/cooking area, the bear cable, and your cleaning/eating area. Each of these forms a point on the camp triangle. By placing your tent away from the triangle, you help reduce the risk of animal encounters. If a bear or raccoon comes to investigate, they are more likely to leave your tent alone.
Leave only Footprints
When camping, it is important to Leave No Trace. The principles of Leave No Trace help reduce the environmental impact of campers. This also includes protecting and respecting wildlife.
While NY/NJ Wildlife Removal won’t clear a wild animal out of your campsite, we do know the importance of respecting wild animals. Animals should be respected whether they are in your home, or you are in theirs.