How To Keep Raccoons Away From Your Campsite? 8 Easy Steps!

Spending a few days in the great outdoors, taking in everything that nature has to offer, is one of the most calming things you can do. Raccoons scavenging around your campground are not one of them, though. This article will provide you with some advice on how to keep raccoons out of your campground so that you may have the enjoyable camping trip you so richly deserve.

The easiest approach to prevent raccoons from entering your campground is to make sure that all of your food is hidden away in hard-to-open containers, such as locked coolers or your car.

Raccoons are often harmless to people, however some have been known to carry rabies and become violent when shocked. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to keep raccoons out of your campsite.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways that you can use to prevent raccoons out of your campsite. Let’s take a look at them!

Will Raccoons Try To Get In Your Tent?

Let’s talk about whether raccoons actually assault tents for camping before we go too far.

The good news is that raccoons seldom ever attack humans and never assault tents, unless for extremely particular situations. Despite their reputation for mischief, raccoons are really more interested in your food than in your tent.

Raccoons are not very aggressive animals, although they have been known to attack humans if they feel threatened or approach too closely.

However, unless you have a ton of food stashed inside your sleeping bag, it’s doubtful that a group of wild raccoons will be invading your tent. Instead, they could take a little stroll about your campground at night (more on that later).

8 Ways To Keep Raccoons Out Of Your Campsite

Here are 7 excellent suggestions for making your campground unpleasant so that the raccoons stay away.

Put Your Food In Your Car

Put all your food in the car—this is the single-easiest strategy to prevent raccoons from stealing it.

It is well worth the extra journey to put all your food in your car before retiring to bed if you’re fortunate enough to be camping at a site close to your car.

Your car is a secure location to store your food unless you are camping in a grizzly bear region (see more about what to do if you are camping in grizzly bear country here).

I know it’s a headache, but worrying about animals sniffing around your campground is a lot more bothersome. The fragrance will draw animals, and they’ll come to have a look even if you lock your food outside your car so they can’t get to it.

Use A Latched Cooler

The next best thing is to use a latching cooler if you don’t want to return to your car.

Unless you’re camping in an area with particularly skilled raccoons, these latching coolers don’t make it impossible for animals to access your food, but it’s unlikely they will be able to open the mechanism.

Since a cooler is thick and insulated, odors are less likely to escape. If the food is out of sight and scent, a raccoon could explore from a distance, but they are unlikely to try to open the cooler.

Use A Bear Canister With An Odor-Proof Bag

It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck if you can’t bring your car or cooler.

In essence, a bear canister is a mobile food storehouse. It is just a large (but portable) plastic container that is tough and challenging for non-human beings to open. The raccoons won’t be able to get to your food as easily as before.

A bear canister’s drawback is that it frequently isn’t sufficient to stop odors from emanating. As a result, animals will continue to investigate your food, but they might be unable to consume it. Make use of an odor-proof bag as a fix.

These odor-proof bags are vital to prevent the scent of your food from escaping and attracting pests.

Where should a bear canister be placed? A bear canister need not be hung up but should be placed outside people’s sight. It is sufficient to store your groceries a short distance from your campground.

Dispose Of Your Trash The Right Way

Don’t forget to dispose of all of your garbage, and don’t leave any food left. Even if it is only a few scraps, raccoons will come and eat it since they can smell it. As they look about your campground for more food, they may start to act destructively if they believe there is food there. Place all scraps in a sturdy rubbish bag, then dispose of them in the camp’s trash cans.

These animals will come to your campground if there are some scraps there. You may double bag it and dispose of it the same way you would with food if your campsite does not have trash cans. Tie it at least 7 feet above the ground or lock it in your car’s trunk.

Speaking of garbage, avoid placing your tent close to a trash can if at all feasible. These items draw all different sorts of bugs and are critter magnets.

Put your waste in those odor-proof bags I described before if you’re in the woods without trash cans.

Last but not least, many people burn their leftover food scraps in the fire, but you must be careful. Putting food on your fire can make animals more likely to visit since your fire is frequently insufficiently hot to effectively exhume the food remnants.

I recommend you not burn the leftover foods. Many individuals choose to do it if they have a very hot fire and are confident it won’t leave anything behind. 

Leave Your Scented Toiletries Behind

Many individuals are under the impression that perfume and scented products may draw animals. Please note that this has not been shown. Although there are just campfire tales to support the fact that many animals have keen senses of smell, it seems logical that they do.

However, leaving behind anything with a pungent aroma (except your bug spray) doesn’t harm.

Don’t Be Scared To Make Some Noise

Like many other wild animals, natural raccoons are not as used to sounds as city raccoons. The sound of you and your friends or family speaking should keep them at bay. If not, try clapping your hands or screaming if you see one. This should scare the raccoons away from your campground.

Never Approach A Raccoon

While raccoons are normally harmless, they have been known to attack if they feel threatened or have a medical condition that causes them to modify their behavior.

If you see one that seems sick or violent, please notify the ranger and let them deal with the raccoon. If you believe a raccoon has rabies, never try to handle it yourself, and keep your dog away from it.

Using Scent Deterrents With Raccoons

Several smell deterrent methods are going around the internet, but the reality is that raccoons are intelligent and determined. If there is food available, they will go to great lengths to obtain it.

Here are some research that I discovered to support the idea that some smell deterrents may truly work:

  • Bird Repellent: In this study, Anthraquinone-based bird repellent discouraged birds from eating maize. Raccoons adore maize, and that’s saying a lot.
  • Raccoon Pee: Yes, using raccoon stench against other raccoons is a thing. More information may be found here. Unfortunately, this has only been tested on mother raccoons nesting in houses.
  • Mothballs: Although mothballs will do nothing outside, they may keep raccoons away in confined settings, as indicated here.
  • Pepper Powder: There has been conflicting research on this, however some data suggests that pepper powder (in this case, habanero pepper powder) can dissuade raccoons.

Scent deterrents, to be honest, make no sense while camping. The area you’re attempting to cover is so huge that you’d have to carry a lot to make a difference, and spraying an entire region with mothballs or pepper powder on the off-chance a rodent shows up is a bit risky.

The wiser thing to do is to keep odors from your own meal from escaping. Put your food in an odor-proof bag or, at the absolute least, keep it away from the campground and never bring it into your tent.

Final Thoughts

While escaping to the vast outdoors is thrilling, you may encounter a few creatures hanging out at your campground looking for a nice dinner, namely raccoons. Most campers have wondered, “How to keep raccoons away from your campsite?” It’s also a problem that most people will have to deal with at some point.

You can keep these pests away from your campground and in their natural environment by taking basic measures.

They’ll never disrupt another camping trip now that you know how to keep raccoons away from your campground! You’ll sleep well knowing that you and your campground are safe.

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