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Avoiding Animals That Can Eat You

Updated: May 18, 2023

Whether you're an experienced outdoor enthusiast or a casual nature lover, encountering wild animals can be an exhilarating and potentially dangerous experience. While many animals are generally docile and uninterested in humans, there are a handful of creatures that could pose a threat to your safety if encountered in the wrong circumstances and would love to eat you.

Your primary goal with Wildlife photography is to not avoid but to seek out the animals. But in some cases, you may want or need to avoid them. In this blog post, we'll go over some tips for avoiding animals that could potentially eat you, and how to stay safe while exploring the great outdoors.

Avoiding Animals in Camp
  • By hanging at least 10 to 15 feet above the ground and 4 feet from top and side supports or storing in approved, bear-resistant containers.

  • Select food in individually sealed packages. Plan meals carefully to prevent leftovers.

  • Store pet food, livestock feed and garbage the same as food. Never bury it; pack it out.

  • Strain food particles from dishwater using a fine mesh screen and store them with garbage. Dump dishwater at least 100 yards from your sleeping area. Food odors may attract bears and other animals.

  • Prepare and eat food 100 yards from your sleeping area.

  • Keep sleeping bags and tents completely free of food, food odors, and beverages.

  • Store personal items (such as deodorants, toothpaste, soap, and lotions) with food and garbage when not in use. Any odorous products may attract bears.

  • Camp in open areas away from trails, thick brush, berry patches, spawning streams, game trails, or carcasses. Sleep in a tent for increased safety.

  • Keep a flashlight and bear spray readily available.

  • Wash your hands after cooking, eating, or handling fish or game. Minimize odors.

  • Do not sleep in the clothes you cook in.

Rehearse what you and others in your group will do day or night if a bear appears in your camp or while you're hiking. Review local regulations.

Avoiding Animals Hiking

Make Noise: Talk, sing or clap your hands to let a bear know of your presence. Don't rely on bells, usually, they are too quiet. Shout often, especially when traveling upwind, near streams and waterfalls, or when you cannot see the path ahead. (avoid thick brush).

Be Alert: Watch for bear signs such as tracks, droppings, diggings, rocks rolled over, scratch marks on trees, and logs torn apart. Carry binoculars and scan ahead periodically. Don’t listen to music using earbuds.

Don't Hike Alone or at Night: Bears and cougars are most active at dawn, dusk and night, but can be encountered at any time. Groups of three or more people tend to make more noise and appear more formidable. This makes groups safer than solo hikers. During summer months Rattlesnakes tend to be active during the early morning and evening.

Stay on Trails: for your safety and to protect the habitat.

Avoid Carcasses: Report dead animals to the nearest ranger station. It is very risky to approach a carcass; a bear may be just out of sight, guarding its food.

Avoid Odorous Items: Leave foods and beverages with strong odors, scented deodorants and lotions, and other odorous items at home. A bear’s acute sense of smell can detect odors from great distances. Dry foods are both lighter and less smelly.

Stay with Your Gear: Don't leave your packs, food, or beverages unattended; even food or beverages stored underwater may attract bears.

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