Though there are many beautiful species of snakes, you may not particularly want to see them while camping. Climbing into your tent and coming face to face with a snake can be rather startling.
There are some folk remedies that are thought to keep snakes away like pouring vinegar or placing hair around your campsite, and some companies may even advertise snake repellant. Unfortunately, the truth is that these simply don’t work.
While snake repellant is ineffective, there are actually a few steps you can take that can help keep snakes away from your campsite. In this article we will discuss 4 different tips that will help your campsite stay snake-free.
4 Tips To Keep Snakes Away From Your Camp:
Choose somewhere to camp that doesn’t have a lot of snakes- Snakes are present in almost every state in the United States. In fact, the only states without any snakes are Alaska and Hawaii. If you aren’t planning on taking a trip to these states, there are still some camping areas that will have less snakes than others. Snakes are “cold-blooded” meaning they can’t generate their own body heat and generally like to live in warm climates. While snakes do occur in colder Northern climates, you will see a lot less of them than in warmer southern climates. If you choose to camp in places like Texas or Arizona, you are much more likely to see venomous snakes compared to camping in parks up north. You can also take the seasons into account when camping. Many snakes will be dormant over the winters and you will be much less likely to encounter them. If you are camping and want to avoid snakes, you may consider going out when temperatures are colder over the winter months.
Properly store your food- If you are going out camping and bringing food, properly storing it will help you avoid unwanted animal encounters. While snakes won’t really be interested in your cereal, they will be interested in animals that like to eat your cereal. Lots of snake species prey on rodents like mice, chipmunks, squirrels, and rats. When you improperly store your food, it attracts these small mammals to your campsite, and these rodents will lure snakes. There are a few preventative measures you can take to prevent rodents from being attracted to your campsite. Thankfully you don’t need to secure your food as intensely as you would to prevent a bear from getting into it. Food should be stored in a rodent proof container, a cooler with hard sides, or some sort of airtight container. Do your best not to drop any crumbs in camp and if you do, pick them up. Thoroughly clean all your utensils after use and make sure you are picking up any trash that may have food remnants. If you take precautions to avoid rodents, you should see less snakes at your campsite.
Choose to set up your camp in areas that are snake-free with high visibility- Where you choose to set up your camp can have a big impact on keeping snakes away. Areas that have lots of places for snakes to hide will have a higher density of snakes. Choose to set up your camp away from rock piles, heavily wooded areas, outcrops or areas next to water sources. These areas are ideal for snakes as they provide lots of hiding and hunting opportunities. Instead, choose a camping site with lots of open space and short grass. This will increase visibility and allow you to easily see any snake that may enter your camp. If you are camping overnight, choose an area that is well lit at night and even light a campfire if possible so that you can always see where you are stepping.
- Clean and de-clutter your campsite- Your campsite is more likely to attract snakes if it has a lot of places where they can hide. Piles of branches, leaf piles, shrubs, stacks of wood, open containers, blankets and even shoes are some prime hiding spots for snakes. Snakes spend a lot of their time looking for cozy, warm areas to curl up in, and making sure your campsite doesn’t have these areas will help keep them away. As you are setting up camp make sure to clean up any areas that look like good hiding spots, and as you are camping make sure you don’t create more of those hiding spots. Leaving your shoes out or your tent open can invite snakes into your camp and make for a startling surprise.
Even though snakes are some pretty amazing creatures, you may not want to see them in your tent. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep them away from your camp.
First, choose to camp in colder areas with less snakes around. Northern states have fewer snakes in general, and you will be less likely to see them in your camp. Camping in the winter when snakes are less active is another great way to avoid contact. You should also choose areas that are away from rockpiles, densely wooded areas or places with low visibility. Ensuring that your campsite is clutter free without any good hiding spots and that your food is properly stored can also encourage snakes to go elsewhere.
With these tips, you will be a lot less likely to be startled by an unwanted serpentine guest.