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How Should You Act Around Wildlife When You’re Camping?
Whether camping in a tent or staying in a luxury RV, campers often spend most of their time outside hiking the local trails, cooking over the fire with a great cooking pot and enjoying late night chats underneath the stars.
While spending all of this time in the great outdoors, there’s bound to be an encounter with the local wildlife. So it’s important to not only stay safe while camping, but know what to do when encountering wildlife while camping.
This guide offers insight into what campers need to know about the do’s and don’ts of interacting with wildlife while camping.
Keep An Eye Out For Wild Animals
Prior to heading to a new campsite, campers should take the time to learn about the area and become familiar with the types of wildlife that call the region home. Once they are at the campsite, they need to remain vigilant at all times. Wildlife tend to approach when they feel that someone is in their territory, or if they believe there is a new food source available. Campers need to do their best to keep wildlife at bay in order to keep everyone safe.
Keep a Close Watch on Children and Pets
Young children have a tendency to drift away from the campsite as they explore the world around them. Parents who are bringing their children camping need to warn their children about wildlife and keep an eye on them at all times when they are playing near the camp. In addition, all pets in the campsite should be leashed. This prevents them from wandering off and getting into trouble with any wildlife that calls the area home.
Only Take Photographs From a Safe Distance
Many campers make a hobby out of photographing the animals that surround the campsite. While this is a great way to commemorate the camping trip, it’s important that people keep safety as their top priority. Using flash is not recommended, as it can startle or even harm the animals. In addition, all photographs should be taken at a safe distance. Experienced photographers should bring a zoom lens with them. A zoom lens will help get a great shot without forcing them to get too close to an unsuspecting creature.
Do Not Approach Wildlife In or Around the Campsite
Wild animals who live in the forests and near the rivers may not be predictable. They may also not be used to human neighbors. It may be tempting to approach wildlife, but it is a very dangerous thing to do. The animal will more than likely become scared, and could attack in order to protect itself.
Do Not Feed Wild Animals
Most people have the best intentions when they offer food to a wild animal, but this is not a good idea. Feeding wild animals encourages them to continue to come to the campsite in search of food, which can put everyone in danger. In addition, most human food is not the best source of nutrition for animals. By feeding animals, campers can negatively impact their health. In addition, this may force the wildlife to become dependent on humans for additional food.
Take Preventative Measures
If you’re hiking or camping in bear country, you should take certain precautions to avoid unwanted wildlife encounters. If you’re camping and have food, you should put it in a bear hang to keep it out of the bears’ reach. And if you’re hiking, you should also have bear bells and bear spray on hand. These can be good ways to avoid bears while hiking.
By taking these safety precautions, campers will be able to have a fun and enjoyable camping experience. Campers can enjoy their natural neighbors. But while enjoying camping, they will not be risking their own safety or the safety of the animals that surround them.