Wildlife Safety: How to Stay Safe When Encountering Wild Animals

Rilor Staff
Update: July 9, 2022
Table of Contents

The outdoors are a fun place to be with. Whether you are in Alaska's Home Spit Campground or Wisconsin's Devil's Lake State Park, you always have the opportunity to explore and experience the best that nature has to offer. 

But at the same time, I always remind people that we are not the only inhabitants of these areas. In fact, we are just visitors. Outside the concrete jungle, we are not the native creatures. 

Hence, it is essential that we know how to act and deal with local wildlife. In this way, you will remain safe throughout your trip. At the same time, it also protects these animals and insects from human-related damages. Keep in mind that the outdoors are their home, so we should respect and preserve it at all costs. 

How To Stay Safe From Wild Animals While Camping?

One interesting fact is that these animals--even the dangerous ones--tend to avoid humans. But they always pose a threat if you somehow trespassed their territory. Here are some of the things that you can do to prevent unwanted occurrences from happening. 

Don't Feed Wildlife

One mistake that many outdoor goers commit is feeding wild animals. While the act seems benevolent, it does harm you and the animals. 

For instance, if you go near an animal to feed it, it might attack you. After all, these beings aren't really aware of your intentions. They act on their basic instinct that if you approach them, you are threatening them. This also calls for basic food storage so that these animals won't steal and scavenge your campground for food. 

Feeding animals also endangers them. You see, feeding them will cause the wildlife to be dependent on humans when it comes to their provisions. If they get used to it, they will lose their hunting skills, which could threaten their survival.

Keep A Safe Distance

Another way of ensuring your safety is to ensure that you don't get too close to these wild animals. During the night, it is advised that people should never try to approach any animals. 

At this point, you should adhere to the rule that you should stay within the prescribed trails and routes. Don't go to areas where you are prohibited from going because it is likely that these places are where animals dwell. If you trespass on their territories, they will inevitably attack you. 

Once you encounter a wild animal, it is essential that you keep your distance from them. Don't get tempted to approach them because that could end up in a fatal tragedy. These animals are always cautious in the presence of humans, so if you get too close to them, they will certainly attack you. 

If you encounter young or baby animals, do your best to avoid them. There's a good chance that its parents are just nearby, and that could lead to an attack. 

Look For Animal Tracks And Residues

When you are exploring, make sure that you remain keen on your surroundings. Specifically, you should be on the lookout for animal tracks and droppings. These are traces and tell-tale signs that animals are nearby. 

If you see them, make sure that you exercise caution. If you see them, try to maintain a good distance from them. Before your trip, you might even want to learn to distinguish different droppings and tracks of animals. In this way, you will know what you are dealing with, and that could be a potential life-saver. 

Create Sound

One of the interesting means of preventing a wildlife attack is creating noise. It is a tested-and-proven method of ensuring that you will never get blindsided by these creatures. 

You see, there's a possibility that you will surprise or startle wildlife while you are at the campground. And that would cause these creatures to attack you, especially if they think you are a danger. 

To alert them of your presence, you need to create noise. Doing this will notify nearby animals that a human is present. In turn, they will try their best to avoid you. Moreover, talking moderately would let these animals know that you are not prey. 

Of course, allow me to emphasize that provoking wild animals is fatal. Don't try to surprise them, either!

How To Deal With Certain Animals While Camping?

It is important that you exercise caution, even if you are camping or hiking in established state parks, national parks, and protected areas. While your environment seems endearing and charming, there's still a possibility that a dangerous animal could be lurking there. 

By following the tips I've listed below, you will be able to practice animal safety and ensure that your trip will end up with no unwanted incidents. 

I mentioned that being able to identify animals is essential in dealing with them. Hence, I made a short list of the possible creatures that you can encounter on your trip and the very practical means of how you can protect yourself from them.


If you are camping in bear country, it is essential that you pack bear sprays, bear boxes, and other amenities that could deter them. As much as possible, you should never get in their way. The farther you are from the bear, the better. Don't ever think that you can tackle one because that's not really going to happen--unless you have brought a gun with a cartridge that can topple large game animals. 

Do the following if you have encountered a bear:

  • Talk calmly; never scream or create unnecessary noises and movements
  • Don't look small; make yourself appear bigger
  • Try waving your hands over your head
  • Walk sideways and don't turn back and run
  • Don't climb a tree 
  • Don't go near the cubs

Essential Tips For Backpacking And Camping In A Bear Country

Talking slowly while waving your hands above your head will let the bear know that you are a human and not prey. It is also essential that you don't create cacophonous noises because that will aggravate the bear, causing a chase-down that you will never win. Grizzly and black bears are efficient climbers, so there's no point in climbing trees to escape them. 

If possible, move to a higher ground slowly so that you'll appear bigger. If the bear is not moving, slowly move sideways because it will not threaten the bear. If the bear starts attacking you, prepare the bear spray. You can also play dead by lying back. Your hands should protect the back of your neck, and your elbows should be on your face. 

Here's how you can survive a bear attack!


Snakes are easier to deal with than bears. Because, unlike bears, snakes don't move that fast. The only bad aspect when it comes to these snakes is that they can strike you the least you expect. Snakes move silently, and while they aren't naturally aggressive, they can still bite you if you trespass their territory. 

When you see a snake, try to back away as slowly and silently as possible. Don't startle snakes by making unnecessary, sudden movements. Always check the rocks and logs you sit on. There might be a snake hiding beneath them. 

If you got bitten, seek medical attention right away. 

Watch this video to learn the basic first-aid for snake bites.


A moose might seem harmless. But they can become aggressive and put you in danger. 

If you encounter a moose in your way, the best thing that you can do is to keep a safe distance. Similar to other animals, moose aren't naturally aggressive. But it is a dangerous animal, especially if it becomes defensive. 

Back away if the moose is not charging you. If it does, run as fast as you can. If you can find a spot where you can take cover, then go there right away. 


It is essential that you are wary of the wildlife around you. Before you head to the campground, make sure that you do your research so that you'll know what wildlife is inhabiting the area. Always follow the guidelines of the campsite, as well. They are designed to keep you and these animals safe. 

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