In a previous tips article, we mentioned some of the not-so-friendly faces you’ll most likely encounter while on an outdoor adventure. Maybe a wolf, or a shark…or worse yet: a rabid raccoon. Those ‘coons. Pesky little things they are. Unfortunately, for us, they always seem to find a way to our camping grounds. Before you end up face-to-face with a frothing beast, maybe it’s time you learned how to prevent these oh-so-lovely animal encounters. Sorry, your fighting skills leave little to be desired:
1. Keep a clean camp
It’s highly advised that you wash everything after it is used: this includes pots, pans, and any utensils. Also make sure to seal all your food in airtight containers, which you should then store in animal proof canisters – you know, for extra measure. Another option is to suspend your food, using bear wire. Just don’t do it directly over your sleeping bag; we suggest a few trees over.
2. Get rid of the evidence
Any trace of garbage or leftover food will bring uninvited guests. Get ride of the lasting evidence of last night’s chicken noodle soup by treating it just how you would treat your food: store it in containers or suspend it with bear wire.
3. Leave food away from your tent
Please don’t make this rookie mistake. We don’t want to have to get down to the gory specifics. Don’t even sleep in the same clothes you cooked dinner in. Don’t take them in the tent with you either. Just don’t.
4. Do not feed the animals
I know, I know – she’s cute. But resist the urge to pet and feed the wildlife, even if they seemingly appear harmless. Feeding a squirrel is an open invitation for a cougar to take refuge in your campsite.
5. Fabric softener is your best friend
Animals do not like the smell of fabric softener (we can’t imagine why), so bring tons of those little sheets with you and put them everywhere you can: your tent, your backpack, sleeping bag, even in your cooler. This is mask the smell of any food you have.