What Animals You Should Be Cautious About While Camping

Brad Robinson
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Animals To Watch Out For While Camping

As mentioned before, anything can go wrong while camping. In this case, it’s natural for us to think about the most dangerous animals that we might encounter while on a camping trip.

So let’s go over a few animals that you should be cautious about when camping.

Bear campgrounds are a great place to encounter a bear.

There are a few safety tips to keep in mind around those bears.

First, your bear spray should be within reach all times. Make sure to practice how to use it!

Second, you should always cook on a fire ring. Bears tend to avoid eating on fire rings.

Finally, keep a clean campsite. Put all of your food away in an air-tight container. You can even hang it from a tree.

You shouldn’t keep any food outside of that air-tight container. Use a camping kitchen for that.

Rattlesnakes are a pretty dangerous animal to run into.

They are a pretty easy snake to avoid though. They like staying in nice, dry areas.

There are some tips to avoid rattlesnakes though.

First, don’t walk through tall grass. Second, make sure you’re not walking on the flat surfaces of a mountain trail. Finally, you should avoid narrow trails.


Contrary to popular opinion, not every bug bite is caused by mosquitoes. When most of your blood has been sucked out by one of those bugs, chances are, you’ve been bitten by a mosquito.

Mosquitoes like to bite during the day and will hide in the tall grass or near a pond or a lake and wait for you to pass by.

They’re the most audacious, resilient, and buzziest of all of the bugs. Once they get close enough, they’ll get all over you, and you’ll start itching in a second or two.

You can repel mosquitoes simply by using an insect repellent that contains DEET. It’s also important that you cover up your arms and legs and use a mosquito net at night.

The best time to be outside while camping is in the morning or in the evening, when mosquitoes are dramatically reduced.


When camping in bear country, it’s always best to make sure you take some extra precautions. A recent study has shown that uncapped food and even toiletries such as toothpaste can attract bears.

Bear’s sense of smell is so strong that they can easily smell food or toiletry items if they are placed close to their hiding spot.

Bears are also particularly attracted to food wrappers and cans. Garbage cans should always be bear safe and set away from all hiking paths or camping spots.

You should also always be very vocal around bears. When you’re hiking in areas known for bear activity, make sure that you make a lot of noise as bears can be deterred by loud noises.

When camping, you should also make sure that you store food properly. Keep it in bear-proof containers and never keep food in your tent as that can attract bears and other critters.

If you are in an area where a bear has been recently sighted, make sure that you camp away from the campsites of others.

You should also keep in mind that stay inside a car is never a valid bear deterrent. Bears can easily jump onto a car during its raven routine when you’re out of the vehicle and hence you should not rely on the vehicle to save you in the event of a bear attack.


As the largest member of Canidae, the wolf is the quintessential big bad predator on four legs.

The gray wolf is slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf of the Great Lakes area.

It can be recognized by its larger ears, shoulder hump, and a greyish-brown "mask" that runs from the snout to the eyes of black or brown wolves.

But that's not all!

Just so you know…

The gray wolf is one of the wild animals to watch out for when camping in the wild.

Even though they are just scavengers, wolves are very famous for killing and eating primates and livestock.

In the case of a wolf attack, the victim will bleed profusely when a crushed artery or vein is reached.

They can run and sprint at speeds of up to 40 mph, so even if you are running, you can’t outrun a wolf.

In case you encounter wolves, you should not challenge them.

It is better to act in the opposite manner to give a show of dominance such as standing upright and looking at them directly while growling.

The predator will most likely realize that its dinner is within its reach in the form of you instead of a deer or a rabbit.


Coyotes are a common predator of smaller animals. Not only are coyotes known for attacking pets and livestock, but they can also stalk you or your children while you are out camping.

The first thing you should do if you are camping in a coyote-heavy area is to cover your tent. Coyotes are sneaky creatures and they will try to get into your tent and hunt you while you are sleeping if they know you are inside.

To keep them out, make sure that your tent has a groundsheet that will unzip on three sides.

You will also want to purchase a sleeping pad that covers the width of the tent and will go under the sleeping bag.

This will keep the coyotes from getting close to your sleeping area at all.


Snakes are the most dangerous animals in the backcountry. They are basically everywhere, and therefore, it is impossible to entirely avoid them.

Always be on the lookout for rattles and rattlesnakes, and slowly look for snakes as you hike up a hill or bushwhack. If you find one, back-off slowly before a defensive strike.

It is better to be safe than sorry. A bite from a venomous snake can kill you in a few hours, so always err on the side of caution.

Snakes mostly hide during the day. As such, night hiking in rocky areas is a good time for snake encounters.

Not all snakes are venomous, but the most venomous snake is enough to put you in the hospital and in some cases, in the morgue.


Alligators are not picky eaters. They will eat any animal in the water: fish, snakes, turtles, birds, and even people. A group of alligators once attacked and killed a Teacup Poodle.

Due to their ambush and predatory nature, they're likely to attack a tent camper. Alligators are most active at night, and they may be disturbed by campers at night or walkers in the day.

So, it is recommended that you do not camp near the water or make sounds whenever you walk in the night and then wait till the morning to start exploring the camp area.

If you or someone gets bitten, move away from the area. Keep your hands and feet together and slowly back away from the alligator, and never run.

Swimming near an alligator may invoke their attack, but dogs tend to act as a deterrent. So, if you bring your dog camping, they will keep you safe.

Feral dogs

Primarily found around populated areas, they can be quite a nuisance to campers especially if you’re in non-developed areas.

Some campers prefer to avoid them completely while others enjoy the company of these dogs, and the friendly ones are brought back on to the campsite for a short time.

Just remember if that dog comes to you, always be cautious. First approach slowly and try not to make eye contact.

If the dog seems aggressive or out of control you should be prepared (if possible) to protect yourself with a weapon like a pepper spray or a stick.


Ticks are sinister little creatures that can make your camping trip a nightmare. While they all don’t transmit any disease, some may transmit Lyme disease or other types of ailments.

Ticks are known to carry at least twenty kinds of bacterial, viral or parasitic agents which make people sick. The CDC reports that over the last twenty years, Lyme disease has spread to all of the United States.

Exercise caution during your camping trip to avoid the possibility of contracting ticks. Try to stay on trails and avoid brush areas. It is best to sit down and change your clothes before entering a tent or vehicle. If you’re camping in a wilderness area, be sure to wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts.

Check your clothing and other articles before returning home to remove ticks. If you’ve returned home with ticks, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.