Home Camping Tips Snake Safety: 12 Tested & Proven Ways to Keep Snakes Away While Camping
Snake Safety: 12 Tested & Proven Ways to Keep Snakes Away While Camping

5 min

September 8, 2023

So, you’re planning a camping trip and want to ensure snakes don’t spoil the fun?

No worries! We got your back! In this article, we’ll share some tested and proven ways to keep those slithery creatures away while you enjoy the great outdoors.

Without further ado, let’s learn how to keep snakes away while camping.

How Do I Keep Snakes Out of My Tent: 12 Effective Methods

First thing first, getting bitten by a venomous snake while camping is rare, so don’t get obsessed with snakes before and during your camping trip.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stats show that only around 7,000 to 8,000 people get bitten by venomous snakes each year in the USA, out of the 40 million campers! And only five people die from venomous snake bites annually.

Now, as promised, here’s a list of effective methods to keep snakes out of your tent and ensure a snake-free camping experience!

1. Stay in the Clear

When picking your camping spot, try to choose an area that is open and doesn’t have tall grass, rocks, or logs nearby.

Snakes love hiding in these spots because it gives them cover and protection. Camping in an open area makes it less likely for snakes to come close to your tent or campsite.

Pro Tip: Snakes like hanging near lakes, rivers, or marshy areas, so if you can, avoid setting up your camp near water sources.

2. Tidy Up

Keeping your camping area clean is crucial. Snakes are attracted to the smell of food, so be sure to dispose of trash and food scraps properly. Store your food securely in sealed containers or hang it in a tree away from your sleeping area.

Pro Tip: Use odor-proof bags or bear canisters to store your food. Not only will it keep snakes away, but it will also prevent other wildlife from scavenging your supplies.

3. Make Noise

Snakes would rather avoid humans if given the chance because they’re shy creatures. Talk, sing, and make noise while walking around the campsite or hiking. This will alert snakes to your presence, and they will likely slither away before you even spot them.

Pro Tip: If traveling in a group, maintain a conversation or play music with a portable speaker. The more noise, the better!

4. Campfire Magic

A campfire adds to the camping experience and helps keep snakes away. Snakes aren’t fans of fire or the warmth it emits, so they tend to stay clear of campfire areas.

Pro Tip: When extinguishing the campfire, pour water and stir the ashes to ensure it’s fully out. You don’t want any remaining warmth attracting snakes later on.

5. Repellents

You can use natural snake repellents around your campsite to make it less inviting for snakes. Some smells, like cinnamon, clove oil, and sulfur, are known to deter snakes from approaching.

Pro Tip: Create a natural repellent spray by mixing essential oils like cinnamon and clove with water. Spray it around your camping area and tent perimeter for added protection.

6. Seal the Tent

Before bed, thoroughly check your tent for any openings or holes. Snakes can be incredibly sneaky and might find their way inside if there are gaps in your tent.

Pro Tip: Bring some duct tape to quickly patch up any small holes or tears in your tent if you find any. It’s an easy and temporary fix to keep unwanted guests out.

7. Use Snake Repellent Plants

Certain plants like marigolds, lemongrass, and garlic emit scents that snakes dislike. Plant these around your campsite to create a natural snake barrier.

Pro Tip: Consider creating a barrier around the campsite when planting snake-repellent plants. This way, you maximize the protective effect and discourage snakes from getting close to any part of your camping area.

8. Create a Snake-Free Perimeter

Lay down a line of fine gravel or sharp mulch around your camping area. Snakes dislike the texture, making it less likely for them to cross over.

Pro Tip: Additionally, use crushed eggshells or pine cones. Snakes won’t like crawling over these textures, providing extra protection for your campsite.

9. Get a Snake-Proof Mesh

If you’re concerned about snakes getting into your tent, invest in a snake-proof mesh. You can place it under your tent’s floor and add more protection.

Pro Tip: Before investing in a snake-proof mesh, ensure it suits the terrain you’ll be camping on. Some meshes may not work well on rough or uneven surfaces.

10. Make a Snake Repellent Spray

Mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then apply it around your campsite. The strong smell will deter snakes from approaching.

Pro Tip: Add a few drops of essential oils like cinnamon or clove to the vinegar and water mixture to enhance the repellent effect. Snakes will be even more deterred by the combination of strong smells.

11. Use Solar Lights

Snakes prefer dark and shady areas, so placing solar-powered lights around your campsite can help keep them away.

Pro Tip: Place solar lights strategically around the perimeter of your campsite to create a well-lit and snake-unfriendly environment. Snakes will be less likely to venture close to your camp with plenty of light around.

12. Keep Pets Under Control

If camping with pets, keep them on a leash or within a designated area. Pets can inadvertently attract snakes or get themselves into risky situations.

Pro Tip: Keep pet food and water dishes away from your sleeping area and tent. The scent of pet food can attract snakes, so it’s best to set up a designated spot for your furry friends

Extra Tips for Personal Safety

These few tips will keep you even more secure and snake-free during your outdoor adventures.

Wear Protective Clothing

Wearing the right clothing is essential when exploring the outdoors, especially in snake-prone areas. Opt for long pants and closed-toe shoes to protect your legs and feet from potential snake bites.

Pro Tip: Consider investing in gaiters or snake-proof boots if you’re camping in an area with a high risk of encountering venomous snakes. These specialized gear pieces can provide an extra layer of protection.

Get Yourself a Snake Stick!

Carrying a snake stick can give you added confidence and safety while hiking. A snake stick is a long, sturdy pole that you can use to push snakes away from your path.

Pro Tip: Practice using the snake stick before your trip so you feel comfortable using it if needed. Remember, the goal is to keep a safe distance from the snake without harming it.

Stick to Trails

Staying on established trails while hiking reduces the chances of encountering snakes. Trails are usually cleared of tall grass and debris, making it less likely for snakes to hide there.

Pro Tip: If you must step off the trail, watch your step and scan the area first. Avoid stepping over rocks or logs where a snake could be hiding.

Educate Yourself

Knowing the types of snakes common in your camping area can be very helpful. So, educate yourself about their habits and behavior to understand what to look for.

Pro Tip: Invest in a field guide or use a mobile app that provides information about local snakes. This way, you can identify them from a distance, determine the harmless ones, and steer clear of them.

What Should I Do if I See a Snake?

If you see a snake while camping or hiking, keep your distance. Stay calm and don’t approach or try to handle the snake. Most snakes prefer to avoid humans and will slither away if they sense you coming. So, give them space and let them go on their way.

If you’re unsure about the type of snake, it’s always safer to assume it’s venomous and keep your distance.

What is the First Aid for Snake Bite?

If someone gets bitten by a snake, you must immediately act and call for emergency help. While waiting for help to arrive, keep the person calm and still; movement can spread the venom faster. Also, try to remember the snake’s appearance, but don’t waste time trying to catch it.

Keep the affected limb immobilized at or slightly below heart level. You should also remove any tight clothing or jewelry near the bite site. Lastly, don’t try to suck out the venom or cut the wound. These methods can make things worse.

How Long Does it Take for Snake Bite Symptoms to Show?

In some cases, symptoms can appear within minutes, while in others, it might take hours. It all depends on the type of snake, the amount of venom injected, and the person’s response. Common snake bite symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, and bruising around the bite area.

More severe cases can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and even paralysis.

What Did Cowboys Use to Keep Snakes Away?

Cowboys were pretty resourceful when dealing with snakes in the Wild West. To keep those slithery critters away, they used some clever methods, such as the following:

  • Campfires: Cowboys relied on campfires not only for warmth and cooking but also to keep snakes at bay. Like any sensible critter, snakes steer clear of the fire’s heat and light.
  • Snake-Proof Boots: Cowboys wore thick leather boots that helped protect their feet from snake bites while they rode through snake country.
  • Clearing Campsites: Cowboys were careful about where they set up camp. They’d clear the area of rocks, logs, and tall grass where snakes might lurk.
  • Snake Repellent Plants: Some cowboys planted certain herbs and plants with strong smells, like garlic and onions, around their campsites to deter snakes.
  • Using Horses: Horses and snakes aren’t friends either! Cowboys knew that horses’ hooves and commotion would keep snakes away.
  • Snake Sticks: Cowboys carried long sticks to gently guide snakes away from their path without harming them when out on the trail.

As you can see, cowboys knew a thing or two about dealing with snakes, and their techniques were both practical and effective.

Related Questions

How to Protect Your Tent From Snakes?

First, choose a clear and open camping spot, away from tall grass or rocks where snakes might hide. Snakes love cozy spots, so avoiding these areas helps. Second, keep your camping area clean and store food securely. Snakes can approach your tent if they smell food, so keep your snacks sealed and the campsite tidy.

Lastly, consider getting a snake-proof mesh under your tent’s floor. It acts as a barrier, giving you peace of mind while you sleep.

Are Snakes a Problem When Camping?

Our advice: don’t worry too much about snakes when camping! While snakes might be around, they usually want nothing to do with humans. They’re shy creatures and would rather avoid us. So, keep your distance if you spot one and appreciate them from afar.

Can Snakes Get Into a Tent?

Snakes can get into tents, but it’s pretty rare. They don’t see tents as cozy hiding spots so they won’t go in deliberately. However, it’s smart to check your tent for openings or holes before sleeping, so zip up your tent completely and seal any small openings.

Are Snakes Attracted to Campfires?

Nope, snakes aren’t fans of campfires. They usually avoid areas with fire and human activity. So, having a campfire is a fantastic way to keep snakes away from your campsite. Enjoy the warmth and the cozy atmosphere without any worries about snakes showing up.

What is the Best Snake Repellent for Camping?

When keeping snakes at bay, you can use natural solutions that won’t harm them or the environment. For instance, you can plant snake-repellent plants like marigolds, lemongrass, and garlic around your campsite. Snakes dislike the scents these plants emit, creating a protective barrier.

Alternatively, create a repellent spray with vinegar and water, adding essential oils like cinnamon or clove for extra potency; spray it around your camping area to deter snakes.

What Can I Put Around My Campsite to Keep Snakes Away?

To make your campsite snake-free, lay down fine gravel or sharp mulch around your area. Snakes dislike crawling over these textures, creating a natural barrier. Moreover, crushed eggshells or pine cones can be added for additional texture snakes won’t like. It reinforces the protective perimeter.

Happy Camping!

Remember, snakes aren’t out to get you; they’re just doing their thing in their natural habitat.

So, be cautious, keep your distance, and follow these simple tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

Have a fantastic time in the great outdoors!

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