How To Keep Animals Away While Camping

Posted on: 26 February 2018

Camping is a great chance for you to get in touch with nature and spend time with friends and family, but you need to be aware that the pests that you encounter while camping can be more disruptive than the pests you would encounter in your yard. Raccoons and squirrels can get into your food supplies and leave you hungry for the entire trip, whereas bears and other larger pests can do the same while also representing a safety threat. In order to keep animals away while camping out under the stars, there are a few steps that you should take.


Though it may seem odd or counter intuitive, the chemical smell of fabric softener will discourage animals from getting to close to your campground. This means that you should wash all of your fabrics immediately before you head out for your trip, but you should also take fabric softener sheets with you and hang them up around the perimeter of your campsite (and around your food supplies as well, if necessary). Alternative methods include spreading chili pepper, which will discourage pests due to its heat, or commercial deterrents available at most hardware stores, which use a mixture of chemicals and natural ingredients.

Food and Trash Cleanliness

In general, the best way to keep pests away is to not give them a reason to come near you. This means that you should take care to keep your campsite as clean as possible. Don't let food packages and waste pile up, and be sure to seal your garbage bags tightly within a locked receptacle or enclosure like a bear box (double bagging doesn't hurt either). You should also keep all of your food in locked containers within your car or another area that will seal the scent of food in.

Lanterns and Flashlights

While it may not be as effective at keeping animals away as the above two methods, ensuring that your campsite is properly lit, either through battery powered lanterns or lights, and ensuring that you always have a flashlight on you, may be enough to discourage any curious animals from getting too close. Quick flashes of light from a flashlight can spook an animal away, and at the very least can give you an idea of what type of animal you are dealing with so that you can make better informed decisions about how to keep them away.

Talk to a pest control expert for more direction on keeping pests away at home and while you're camping.