Camping and wildlife are an exciting topic. The shoes and sandals disappear at night. The trash bags from the previous evening were torn the next morning and the contents were scattered somewhere. Suddenly you have holes in the tent floor or animals crawl over your sleeping bag at night. I have experienced and observed all this on my many expeditions. In cities as well as deep in the wilderness. In principle, almost everywhere where people regularly or even occasionally rest or stay overnight.
Often it is funny at first, but can quickly become annoying and indeed dangerous for the animals and for people. Thus, through carelessness, a conflict quickly arises. We humans almost always bear the responsibility for this. Punished are mostly the wild animals.
A fed bear is a dead bear
Therefore a few tips that you should consider.
- As a matter of principle, do not feed or attract wild animals directly or indirectly: wild animals are curious and can then quickly become defiant.
- Do not leave food or rubbish behind or just throw it away
- Lock food and rubbish so that they are inaccessible to wild animals. This is not only true in areas with bears.
- Do not leave sandals, shoes, rain jackets or socks in front of the tent at night. Young foxes like to play with it and many animals can hide in it.
When selecting a campsite, be alert to the following:
- Do not camp directly under fruit or nut trees or shrubs with ripe berries – these are localized potential food sources for larger game animals
- Do not camp near marker trees in bear areas
- Do not camp on or directly adjacent to game trails
- On paved forest roads, game trails are difficult to identify, but are often used as such. Please search the area carefully.
- If birds (especially ravens and birds of prey) are flying, there are probably young birds on the ground nearby. Similarly, if there is conspicuous behavior by other birds.
- Do not camp over mouse holes, as they will quickly gnaw through a tent floor
- Please avoid areas above or directly next to ant states
- Some wildlife sometimes hide under a tent floor at night and also in open pockets. This is difficult to prevent, but you can watch for it when breaking down.
- If there are free-ranging grazing animals such as horses or cattle in the area, there is a risk that they may accidentally run into the tent or tarp during the night.
Please keep the above points in mind and you will be able to camp in the wild with a clear conscience.
Text & Photos: