If your dog or cat is camping too, take their needs into consideration.
- Bring a leash.
- Pets should wear a collar with tags that include your name, address, and phone#.
- Always have plenty of cool water for drinking.
- Bring any regular medications they take. Remember to bring a familiar toy or blanket to help them adjust.
Coping With Camp Pests
- Don’t hike alone or after dark. Whistle, sing or otherwise make loud noises when traveling through known bear country. A bear that hears you will nearly always move off the trail.
- If you see a cub, back off; never get between a cub and its mother.
- Stay as clean as possible, avoid scented shampoos and deodorants, and don’t sleep in the clothes you wore all day and cooked in. Instead, hang them away from camp, along with your food.
- Remember that a tent affords more protection than sleeping in the open. Keep a flashlight and a noisemaker handy.
- Most importantly, don’t provoke a bear by approaching the animal for photos or a better look. According to the National Park Service, if you run into a bear, avoid eye contact (which might be interpreted as a threat), talk softly and walk away, while dropping something that might distract the bear.
Other Camp Critters
At best, the occasional camp pest is a simple nuisance. At worst, they are downright dangerous. Mice, chipmunks, pack rats and squirrels are naturally attracted to shelters but will do no harm if they find nothing to eat. Canada jays are likewise drawn to shiny objects and pose no real threat if you operate and maintain a clean camp.
Avoid problems with skunks, raccoons and porcupines by properly disposing of garbage and putting away all food, especially strong smelling food like bacon grease. Most nocturnal camp pests can be scared off with a flashlight and noisemaker.
However, small animals may bite campers who try to pick them up. When threatened, skunks and porcupines defend with tools other than tooth and claw. Always avoid a direct confrontation, and walk away from any emboldened animal- it could be rabid.
Source: The Camper’s and Backpacker’s Bible — Tom Huggler, Author.
For more information on animal safety, visit:
Camping and Wildlife
Camping with Pets
Dog Tip- Hiking, Camping, and Swimming With Your Dog
Safety Tips While Camping With Pets
For more information about safe camping, a “Camp Safe. Camp Smart.” brochure is available from the Portable Propane Product Safety News Bureau, P.O. Box 45002, Cleveland, OH 44145, or call toll-free 1-888-CAMPHTR (226-7487).