10 Essential Tips Every Camper and Hiker Needs to Know

10 Essential Tips Every Camper and Hiker Needs to Know

04 09 2024

Camping and hiking are perhaps the most popular outdoor leisure activities, and it’s no surprise. Exposure to green spaces has  proven to reduce stress levels, and according to a 2022 survey, 96 percent of campers reported that camping improves their mental health. But as you prepare for your relaxing outdoor adventure, you should also prepare for the unexpected. You never know what kind of wildlife you might encounter—after all, you are entering their home. Follow these 10 tips to help you avoid wildlife encounters and make your next trip a success.

Photo: Dominik Jirovsky | Unsplash

1. Pack the Right Gear

Always carry the essentials like sun protection (i.e. sunscreen and a hat), food, and water, along with a navigation tool, a first aid kit, and a wildlife deterrent like Frontiersman MAX Bear Deterrent. It also never hurts to carry extra food, water, and even clothing.

2. Prepare Ahead of Time

Know your surroundings and familiarize yourself with the area before you leave for your trip. Research online databases and consult with park rangers for the best paths to follow and information on the wildlife you could encounter.

Photo: Sophia Simoes | Unsplash

3.Travel in Groups

There's always safety in numbers. Not to mention, wild animals are often intimidated by larger groups of humans. Try to head out with at least four people, especially when exploring unfamiliar areas.

4. Make Noise

Surprising an animal in the wild can lead to an altercation. Make sure you're heard coming by talking or having bells, a horn, or a whistle on hand. You can also shout and clap if you're hiking in dense or noisy conditions such as wind.

Frontiersman Bear Horn

5. Don't Run

If you do encounter a bear, never run. Instead, back away slowly while facing the animal. Running away can activate the predator's instinct to chase, and you do not want to try to outrun a bear. 

6. Store Food Responsibly

Food aroma is a powerful wildlife attractant. Keep all food sealed and stored in airtight wildlife-resistant containers, and dispose of it properly in designated bins.

Photo: Hans Isaacson | Unsplash

7. Carry Frontiersman MAX Bear and Mountain Lion Deterrent

Bears can run up to 40 mph and mountain lions can reach speeds of 50 mph and jump up to 40 feet, so it’s important to keep your distance if you encounter one of these animals. The  Frontiersman MAX deterrent has a range of 40 feet, providing defense from the greatest distance. This bear and mountain lion spray will temporarily disorient an attacking animal but will not permanently injure the animal, helping you make a safe escape.

8. Watch for Wildlife Signs

As you hike, keep your eyes out for droppings, scratch marks, or signs of recent digging. These signs suggest wildlife might be nearby, and you should stay alert and ready to employ your safety precautions.

Photo: John Thomas | Unsplash

9. Know Safe Camping Practices

If you’re camping overnight, choose a campsite with good visibility and sufficient clearing so you can see if any wildlife approaches. Maintain a tidy camp and avoid wearing scented lotions or perfumes that could attract animals to your sleeping area.

10. Have an Emergency Plan

Have an emergency plan in place. Know the park's emergency contact numbers and how to signal for help, if necessary, and know how to properly use your bear spray.