Whether you’re camping with your family or find yourself in a survival scenario, your camp should be a location where you can find protection and security while also recharging your mind and body to face any obstacles that may arise.
Mother Nature, on the other hand, may have different intentions for you. Your sanctuary can become a magnet for a number of different animals and insects, but also Mother Nature’s wrath, so much so that your peaceful night’s sleep might turn into a horrific nightmare. However, this can only happen if you are unprepared.
You can safeguard your temporary base of operations and enjoy a good night’s sleep by taking some common sense precautions, knowing the general features of the surrounding area, and by bringing critical gear and equipment.
Some of the world’s tiniest animals can cause excruciating discomfort, irritation, and, on rare occasions, life-threatening infections. These bugs, as most people call them, are part of a family with a wide array of insects, spiders, scorpions, and bees that may ruin a night beneath the stars.
Constant mosquito and fly bites can interfere with your ability to sleep. Scratching and swatting at the nonstop barrage of flying, biting insects can actually keep you up all night.
As a result, your mental and physical capacities will be severely impaired the following day, causing you to make poor decisions, become increasingly angry, and decrease your basic motor skills.
Avoid all these issues, as well as some acute itching, by taking bug repellent and outfitting your tent, hammock, or sleeping bag with mosquito netting. These two simple, common-sense remedies will provide you with a restful night’s sleep.
Other options also exist for insects that like to attack from the ground. If the weather permits, mark out a square section of land for your camp and set fire to the ground-level leaves for a controlled burn.
Ticks, mites, spiders, and other crawling creatures that may be present where you choose to pitch your tent will be eliminated. This will also help temporarily warm up the freezing ground in the fall and winter.
Before building a fire in the woods, exercise extreme caution. The phrase “controlled burn” denotes exactly that. Maintain a small and controlled fire.
A raised tent or hammock is another alternative for avoiding ground-dwelling insects. You almost remove the chance of meandering spiders or scorpions making a bed within your boots or clothing by keeping yourself and your things well above the ground.
This is also effective against snakes looking for a comfy place to rest within your stuff. Why risk an encounter when you can simply stay above the problem?
If a snake does enter your humble abode and bites you, you need to be prepared, and you should know what to do.
If you are unsure whether the bite was caused by a venomous snake, be calm, lie down, and remain still. This slows the movement of the poison throughout the body.
In preparation for probable swelling, remove any tight clothing or jewelry. Maintain body temperature and seek medical attention as soon as feasible. Do not use a tourniquet or ice pack, do not suck out the venom, and do not attempt to trap the snake.
In terms of bees, keep an eye out for nests in neighboring trees. Rustling trees while building up camp may disturb the colony, putting you in a potentially life-threatening scenario.
If a swarm of bees attacks you, seek refuge immediately. If there is no nearby shelter, cover your body with whatever you can find until the bees disperse and depart the area.
Avoid dashing into lakes or rivers since bees can be quite patient and will frequently wait for you to surface before administering their terrible stings.
If you do get stung by bees, remove the stingers as soon as possible (wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets leave no stinger). To reduce the stinging feeling, apply an ice cube or a cold compress, and take pain medication orally.
If itching occurs, antihistamines can be given, but be aware that they can cause drowsiness. If you have difficulties swallowing or if the stung area expands or becomes infected, see a doctor right away. Of course, if you have a known allergy to bee stings, keep your allergy meds on hand.
A bear’s sense of smell is so acute that it may discover potential food sources up to 20 miles away. Your harmless dinner could become an invitation for a bear to visit your camp, with potentially disastrous consequences.
Extreme vigilance and precautionary measures are required to drastically limit your chances of being visited by a hungry and nosy bear. Understand what attracts them first, and then reduce the tempting treats that urge bears to visit unsuspecting camps.
Of course, human food is at the top of the list, but so are pet food, cooking vessels, cosmetics, hand lotions, toothpaste, bird seed, and, believe it or not, unopened soda beverages.
All items should be kept in a bear-resistant storage box that is elevated at least 10 feet (higher is best) above the ground. Allow at least 5 feet of spacing between vertical supports. If you have a vehicle nearby, you can also store food in the trunk.
Tents, Styrofoam or plastic coolers, and thin-walled campers are not bear-proof and provide little protection against a bear’s tenacity.
Furthermore, never cook near your sleeping spot, especially if you are deep in the woods. Allow at least 50 to 100 yards between your cooking area and your sleeping rooms.
People frequently underestimate bears’ smell, and even the smallest pieces of snacks in your tent can attract bears.
If a bear does join your camping party, you can decrease engagement with it and convince him to go on its way. Bear spray, which is similar to pepper spray used for self-defense, is frequently quite successful at stopping a charging or attacking bear. Always keep it close at hand.
A pistol, a strong flashlight, and an air horn can all be used to scare away a curious bear.
Another forest animal drawn to camp meals, the raccoon, carries the risk of rabies, so stay as far away from them as possible.
Because they hate the smell of chili peppers, scattering cayenne pepper around your campground can help keep these creatures, as well as squirrels and other small mammals, at a distance. Apply every few days again and after rain.
A raccoon bite is not fatal in itself, but the danger of rabies exposure is. Scrub the bite wound vigorously with antiseptic soap and water right away and get to medical personnel as soon as possible.
If the animal was rabid, the sooner you obtain medical help, the better your chances of survival. And while capturing the animal will aid in determining whether rabies is an unpleasant result of the bite, only do so if the scenario permits.
Small animals can be deterred from your outside living area by making loud noises. When the animals come very close, air horns, hand claps, or a quick, forceful cry can be employed as a final resort.
Unwanted guests to your campsite do not all arrive on four (or more) legs. Unfortunately, depending on your specific survival situation, humans can be the greatest threat to both your valuable goods and your life.
Keep in mind that the following precautions are mostly required in emergency scenarios that may arise as a result of societal or economic collapse or in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster. They are not always applicable to a typical outdoor camping vacation.
Basic necessities, such as food and clean drinking water, are few in these survival scenarios, and the despair of those who lack these resources is great. This is both human nature and an inborn tendency for self-preservation.
When malnutrition or dehydration threatens, the line between good and wrong becomes hazy. However, just because someone has a valid reason to steal from another camp doesn’t mean you have to allow it to happen or be a sitting duck for those looking to steal your things.
There are clear steps you can take to avoid this happening. The first line of defense is to locate your camp correctly. Never make camp along a well-traveled trail and step away from the beaten route and into an “uncharted” area.
Yes, the route to your destination may be more difficult and time-consuming, but the payoff of seclusion will be well worth it.
Next, make an effort to fit in with your surroundings. If you’re camping in the woods, utilize camouflage tarps or tents or a camo cover that can be draped over your brightly colored tent to help it fit in.
Finally, if or when others invade your camp, you must be prepared with a firearm, knife, or blunt weapon. If your life or the life of a loved one is in danger, do whatever means necessary to protect yourself.
Mother Nature’s wrath
Nature’s wrath is another outside opponent you must face and overcome. This invading intruder packs a powerful punch and, even at its weakest, may make your night sleepless and exceedingly uncomfortable. At its worst, it can completely destroy your camp.
Depending on your location, you may experience unending rain, culminating in flash floods. Sleet or snow, as well as strong winds, are also possible.
You must be prepared for such natural threats by having the necessary supplies on hand, as well as understanding that nature should never be underestimated.
In locations prone to strong rainstorms, setting up camp too close to a river’s side might be disastrous. Flash flooding can cause fast-moving rivers to form in locations that you believe were above the waterline.
If you’re lucky enough to have escaped the assault, your miscalculation could result in your provisions and tent being carried away, leaving you empty-handed in the harsh outdoors.
You are never alone
When you go camping, you completely become a part of the environment. As a result, you will come into contact with many of nature’s species during your outdoor stay.
Whether they are motivated by hunger, curiosity, or other factors, you should always have a strategy in place to deal with any of these intruders that come your way. You not only give yourself peace of mind, but you also give yourself the ability to survive and effectively thrive while in Mother Nature’s backyard.
Other resources for preppers and survivalists:
Top Tips for Camping in Winter
If you see this plant, don’t touch it!
Camping Survival Skills you need to practice