Safety Tips For Wildlife Encounters On Your Next Hiking Or Camping Trip

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Camping in the outdoors can be a great activity, whether done alone or with your loved ones. Fresh air, the sight and sound of nature, and escape from our hectic lives are some reasons to go on a camping trip. National parks are one of the most preferred camping spots among people as it gets you close to nature as it can be.

But, such camping trips can also turn into disaster easily. One must remember that national parks are wild places and the natural habitat for wild animals. You are likely to encounter a wild animal on such trips, and such situations can even turn fatal. This blog has provided you with five safety tips to have a safe and enjoyable camping trip.

Carry A Firearm

Having a firearm is essential on a camping trip known to have serious wildlife encounters in the past. That being said, having a gun doesn’t mean that you will kill any wild animals for fun. The gun should only be fired to scare away animals. You can do this by firing in the air. The animals will be scare of the noise and run away. Fire directly at animals, only if the situation turns life-threatening.

Ensure that you have the necessary documents related to the firearm, such as the purchase order, gun insurance from a gun insurance underwriting store or provider, and other related documents, in case of any legal issues in the future.

Avoid Hiking During Dusk and Dawn

Dusk and dawn are the periods when animals are most active. It is usually due to the food search. Thus, if you hike during these times, the chances of encountering wild animals are increased. There are many dangerous wild animals that you can come across, such as bears, mountain lions, and certain types of snakes.

Thus, as much as possible, travel during the daytime and camp and rest during the night-time and early morning to reduce animal encounter chances.

Don’t Get Too Close

In a national park or a forest, you are in the animal’s territory. Most animals don’t like it when others invade their space. They look at it as a threat and can attack you if you try to get close to them. Follow these extra tips if you see a wild animal in your close vicinity:

  • Don’t try to pet animals, especially the young ones. The maternal instincts kick in, and the mother might see it as a threat to her baby and will attack to make you go away.
  • Don’t sneak up on, scare, or provoke animals unnecessarily. Wild animals are highly unpredictable. They will see your actions as a threat to their safety and will either run away or attack you.
  • Avoid feeding animals even if they are non-dangerous such as a squirrel. Even they can attack you for various reasons, such as wanting more food. While they might not kill you, they sure can injure you.

Sight And Sound

Pay attention to any animal sightings, especially those that are difficult to spot and can kill you, such as snakes. Be aware of your surroundings. Use a stick to clear your trail and to spot any animals that might be in your path. Additionally, watch for animal tracks and poop. It can indicate whether an animal has just been inthe area, and you can be extra-cautious.

Similarly, pay attention to smells. Some animals, such as bears, have a distinct smell that can help you identify them from a distance. If you smell something unusual, an animal is likely in your surroundings.

Keep Children’s And Pets Close To You

Small animals like dogs and cats and toddlers can easily become victims of an animal attack if you don’t pay attention. To avoid such situations, don’t let them wander off far from your side. Have your pets on a leash while hiking. Similarly, tie them on a leash when you are camping, or they might roam off on their own.

When it comes to your kids, have them as close to you as possible throughout the trip. Don’t leave their hand while hiking, and don’t let them get out of the tent alone when camping.

In a majority of cases, a wildlife encounter might be a non-issue. The animals may, themselves, walk or run away from you. You should also be prepared and know what to do if an animal encounter goes wrong. We hope that the tips mentioned in this blog will help you have a safe and enjoyable trip the next time you head out in the woods.

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