While it’s impossible to guarantee that you will never see a snake while camping, there are some things that you can do to minimize your chances.
This article will discuss how to keep snakes away when sleeping on the ground while camping in snake territory.
8 Tips To Keeping Snakes Away
Most people’s fear of snakes is based on myths and Hollywood movies. The truth is, most snakes are not interested in humans and would rather avoid us if given the chance. That being said, there are some things that you can do to make yourself less attractive to snakes.
Sleep On A Raised Platform
When camping, it’s important to take steps to avoid encounters with snakes. One way to do this is by sleeping on raised platforms, such as cots or tents with elevated floors. If you are sleeping on the ground, stay away from piles of debris or areas that are likely to harbor snakes.
Another way to keep snakes away is by using a snake repellent. There are many commercial snake repellents on the market, or you can make your own by using essential oils. Apply the repellent to your skin, clothes, or camping gear to deter snakes from coming near you.
Strong essential oils such as cinnamon oil, clove oil, and eugenol have been found to be effective at repelling snakes.
You can also try pouring white vinegar around your tent area as a DIY snake repellent. A snake can absorb liquids; the vinegar will help repel snakes from getting inside your sleeping bag.
Avoid Rock Piles, Tall Grass, And Thick Vegetation
Most snakes’ natural habitat love to hide and escape from the sun on a hot day in rock piles. When looking for an area to pitch a tent, look for an open camping area. If you must camp near a rock pile, keep your distance and avoid disturbing the rocks.
The same rule applies to camping near tall grass, thick vegetation, fallen trees, etc. All of these areas provide the perfect hiding spot for snakes. Find open dirt or short grass area to improve your chances of having a snake-free campsite.
If you can’t avoid camping in these areas, be sure to take extra care when walking around and check your gear before using it.
Snakes are typically shy creatures that will avoid humans if they can. One way to deter snakes from coming near you is by making noise. Singing, talking, or even clapping your hands can help to keep snakes away.
Be Careful When Hiking
If you’re hiking in snake country, be sure to avoid encounters with these reptiles. Wear long pants and boots, and stay on well-worn trails whenever possible. If you see a snake, give it a wide berth and do not attempt to capture it. Please stay on the trail as much as possible; snakes don’t like exposed areas where they feel threatened.
Store Your Food Properly
Anything that will attract rodents (food source) will attract snakes nearby.
Keep your campsite and sleeping area free of food that can attract rodents at night. Leaving human food on the floor will attract prey species, which will attract snakes seeking a meal. Never leave your trash near your sleeping area overnight.
Properly dispose of food in a sealed trash bag and put them in a designated trash area, away from your campsite.
Inspect Your Tent Before Entering
When returning to your tent after being away, take a moment to inspect the outside and inside of the tent for snakes. If you notice a hole in your tent, use duct tape or a tent repair kit to prevent snakes from entering your tent.
Shake Your Sleeping Bag Before Using
Before hopping inside your sleeping bag at night, give it a good shake. This will help dislodge any snakes that may have gotten inside your sleeping bags.
Make Sure Your Pets Have A Good Recall
If you’re hiking with your dog without a leash, make sure your pets have a strong recall. Dogs have been known to encounter snakes and get bitten in the process.
How To Identify Venomous Snakes
If you’re camping in an area where snakes are present, it’s important to identify snakes found in your area. There are many different ways to identify a venomous snake, including the shape of its head, the color and pattern of its scales, and the way they move.
Look up common snakes found in your area, and find pictures of them online. The most common snakes in our area are rattlesnakes, which are easy to identify due to the rattle at the end of their tail.
How To Treat A Snake Bite
If a snake bites you, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. Try to remember the color and shape of the snake so that you can identify it later.
If you are unable to get to a hospital right away, there are some things you can do at home to help reduce the effects of the venom. Always have a first aid kit with you. Apply a bandage over the bite, and keep still and calm.
If available, apply a cold compress over the bite. Do not attempt to cut or suck out the venom. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if a venomous snake has bitten you. Treatment will vary depending on the type of snake that bit you but may include antibiotics, antivenom, and pain relief.
There’s no question that you will encounter animals when you are out in nature. Some you will want to see, some you won’t. So it’s best to be prepared for all situations, and knowing how to keep snakes away when sleeping on the ground while camping is just one way to stay safe in the wilderness.
Always take caution as there are many animals that roam around. Snakes are one type of animal that can go unnoticed until too late. By following the tips above, you can help to avoid encounters with these slithering creatures.