Although you can have an exciting adventure in the woods, wild animals and other predators can pose a threat. You need to make sure that you keep them away to keep yourself and those around you safe. If you are in the woods or in the wild, you need to know how to handle the wild animals that live in these areas.
You need to keep in mind that there are certain actions that may cause a wild animal to run away or charge. Here is a look at how you can keep wild animals away when you are in the woods.
Keep food out of sight – Bears and other wild animals may encroach your camp site because of food. This is what attracts them the most. This is why it is important to make sure that you keep all food supplies securely packed and out of sight. If you have a cooler, store all your edible foods in it and lock the lid on. For added protection, you can wrap a rope around the cooler a couple of times. Then what you do is hang your cooler at least 9 feet off the ground.
Keep your food out of your tent – Animals, bears in particular, love the smell of peppermint or mint. Make sure that you do not take any food into your tent, including toothpaste, candy, and gum. It is best to leave food supplies in a designated area. Make sure that you include your toothpaste with the food.
Load up on fabric softener – Did you know that animals hate the smell of fabric softener? It’s true! This makes it a fabulous idea to carry loads of it when you are going camping in the woods. Place fabric softener sheets everywhere – your backpack, sleeping bag, tent, and even your cooler. This will give you extra protection and also help in masking the smell of food to keep a variety of curious wild animals away.
Keep the cooking area away from camp site – Make sure that you set up your campsite at least 200 feet away from the cooking area. You should also clean all your food at least 200 feet away from camp. It is also important to make sure that you seal garbage in odor proof bags when you throw things away.
In some areas, you can burn left over food scraps, while in some other regions, you may need to carry all the waste and garbage out with you. Be sure to check and familiarize yourself with rules enforced at your camp site. If the area you are staying in is bear country, make sure that you follow the rules to the letter.
But the 200 foot rule is not always practical, in fact, it rarely is. If you follow the other advice on this page, you should be fine. You should have a weapon on you as well, in your tent and in your car and perhaps even on your person depending on where you are at.
Avoid deodorant, lotions, or anything with a noticeable scent – Food is not the only thing that attracts wild animals. If you are going to use lotions or other creams or cosmetics that leave a noticeable scent, you should make sure that you use them well before noon so the smell can evaporate away before nightfall. Also, use an odor-proof bag to store everything in an area that is far away from the food.
Give animals an escape route – If a wild animal comes into your camp site in the woods, it is important to give them a way to escape. In most cases, if animals have a way to escape the area, they will do just that. Giving wild animals a way to escape is better than making them feel cornered because they may charge and strike you if that is the case.
If the wild animal is a mountain lion, bear, or an adult moose, it could be a deadly fight that puts your life in serious danger. These are large wild animals that are stronger and have horns, strong teeth, claws or hooves to defend themselves. Even if you are not killed, it is likely that you will be severely injured if they attack you.
It is important to know how to keep wild animals away in the woods since it can save you and the supplies/food you have brought with you. It does involve some more planning, time, and thought but it is worth it. With a few simple techniques, you can increase the odds that wild animals do not enter your camp site when you are in the wild and/or forest.