How To Keep Snakes Away When Camping

Camping is one of the best ways to get in touch with nature, but it can also be a scary experience if you encounter a snake. Snakes are all around us, but they tend to hide away during the day and often come out at night when they are most active. If you want to go camping outside, there are some things that you can do to prevent snakes from intruding on your campsite.

Ways to Keep Snakes Away While Camping

Here are a couple of things you can do to help keep snakes away from your tent when camping:

Be aware of where snakes like to hide

A snake can see you long before you see it because of its excellent vision. This allows them to spot prey from far away while keeping an eye out for predators like birds or cats.

Choose to set up your camp away from rock piles, heavily wooded areas, outcrops, or areas next to water sources if possible. Instead, choose an open space with short grass with good visibility so you can easily see any snake entering your camp area. 

Choose a snake-free camping location

If you want to minimize the likelihood of coming into contact with a snake while camping, consider camping in an area where there aren’t any snakes. This may seem obvious, but many overlook this aspect when planning their getaway trip. As much as you remember how beautiful nature can be, always keep in mind how dangerous it can be.

Use a snake repellent

Snake repellents are chemicals or natural substances that repel snakes from your campsite. They range from commercial products to homemade concoctions. Still, their effectiveness varies widely depending on the type of snake you’re trying to keep away and how much you use.

Alternatively, use a flashlight when walking around your camp at night to increase visibility and make it harder for snakes to sneak up on you undetected.

Store your food properly

Food is another item that can attract snakes to your camp. While snakes are not interested in your meals, they are more likely to come in search of rodents and small mammals. Your best bet at avoiding this is to store food in a rodent-proof container, such as a cooler with hard sides.

If you decide that you want to use a regular old plastic grocery bag, do not leave it unattended. It’s also good practice to double-bag or triple-bag if possible. Another option is to use an airtight container, like a Ziploc bag or Tupperware. Make sure the seal on these containers is tight so rodents cannot get inside them and make off with your delicious feast.

Keep your campsite clean

Dirt attracts rodents and creates the perfect hiding spot for snakes as well. Piles of branches, leaf piles, shrubs, stacks of wood, and open containers are prime hiding spots for snakes. Snakes spend a lot of their time looking for cozy, warm areas to curl up in, and making sure your campsite doesn’t have these areas will help keep them away.

Be loud in camp or on trails

One of the simplest ways to keep snakes away from your tent area is to make a decent amount of noise while you’re there. Snakes and other animals can sense vibrations, so you must tell them when you are coming or going. Rattling pots, banging on pans, or being loud around the campfire will most often do the trick. Conversations with friends or sitting down and playing an acoustic guitar are excellent ways to avoid unwanted visitors.

Check your tent before going inside

If you are using a flashlight, shine it around the inside of your tent to ensure that no snakes are hiding in there. Do not touch anything or put your hands anywhere in case something dangerous lurks.

What Should I Do If I See a Snake?

You can follow a few tips if you encounter a snake while camping. First, if possible, try to avoid the snake. If this is not an option or if the snake is threatening you in any way, then here are some things to remember:

Move slowly and wear proper footwear

When hiking, the best way to avoid stepping on a snake is to move slowly and wear proper footwear. You should wear boots or shoes that cover your feet and ankles, long pants, gloves, a hat with brim, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved shirt. This will keep you protected from an accidental bite in all directions.

Don’t approach snakes

If you see a snake, don’t try to catch or kill it. Snakes are fast and can bite you in defense, so they are best left alone. The best thing to do is back away slowly if you can. In most cases, snakes are more afraid of humans just as we are of them and will be happy to leave if given the opportunity. When backing away from the snake, keep an eye on it so as not to surprise it or cause sudden movements that would startle it into striking out at you.

Treat all snakes as dangerous for your safety

In general, you should treat all snakes as dangerous for your safety. Snakes can be unpredictable and may attack if they feel threatened. Avoid picking up or moving dead snakes since their fangs still store venom that could cause envenomation if it pierces the skin.

Baby snakes are just as venomous and dangerous as adults. Although they may appear harmless, baby snakes can still pose a severe threat to you and your family or pets.

Pack a first-aid kit

For starters, be sure to pack a first-aid kit. It’s essential to have in case of snake bites because you can use the items it includes to help deal with them. You should include pressure bandages and other things that can be applied to the bite site, delaying the venom. At the same time, you evacuate yourself or receive treatment.


The best way to keep snakes away from your campsite is to be aware of what you are doing. Be sure to check for snakes before entering your tent, move slowly, wear proper footwear, and don’t provoke or approach any snake you see in the wild. Most importantly, always have a first-aid kit on hand.


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