I hate to admit this, but on a recent camping trip, I had removed the hanging trash bag and replaced it with a lantern, as we needed the light to play cards. I know better, but clearly, I wasn’t thinking and placed the garbage bag on the ground next to me. It didn’t take but 20 minutes for us to receive a “visitor.” I heard rustling next to my feet and looked down to find a very large, very ballsy raccoon. I was startled, which startled the rest of my camping party. I haven’t seen grown men jump onto a picnic table so fast in my life! Fortunately for us, we also startled the raccoon before it could get the trash bag open, so we did not have a horrible mess on our hands, but we could have. Lesson learned. Keep your trash inaccessible!
Food attracts raccoons, bears, skunks, ants and bugs. Keep your campsite clean to avoid any close encounters.
- Take cleansing wipes with you. Wipe down the table and your camp stove after every meal.
- Pick up and throw away crumbs or other fallen or dropped food.
- Do not dump grease, fruit pits or bones on the ground. Either throw them away in a trash bag or burn them in the campfire.
- Wash your dishes and camp stove immediately after every meal. Store them in plastic totes with secure lids. If you are at a drive-up campsite, store the totes in your car, especially overnight or when leaving the campsite.
- Never leave food in your tent.
- Throw your trash out every night before bed in the proper trash receptacles.
Have you had any encounters with critters while camping? How do you prevent unwelcomed guests? Share your tips with others in the comment section.