How to Keep Raccoons Away From Your Campsite


An Essential Guide to Keep Raccoons Away so You Can Camp Easy

It’s a common problem every camper has dealt with at some point in their life. Figuring out how to keep raccoons away from your campsite is a goal for many of us.

We escape to the wilderness to get closer to nature and respect the world around us. But sometimes, pests like raccoons and skunks can cause trouble.

Everyone should respect and preserve wildlife, no matter what animal it is, but they aren’t welcomed guests to our campfire. Luckily, there are some things we can do to keep them away from our campsite without hurting them.

Not every raccoon is going to stay away from your campsite. But if you follow the right precautions, they’ll learn very quickly that your campsite is not a place they want to be.

Here are some basic steps that will explain how to keep raccoons away from your campsite, your backyard, or any outdoors area you enjoy.

Raccoon meme. How to scare raccoons away from your campsite.

Your Pest Control Toolkit: Items That Help Keep Raccoons Away

Camping isn’t just about the tools and gadgets. But every now and then, someone comes along and makes something super useful. In this case, there are some camping gadgets that are super effective against raccoons.

Using the right camping food storage is one of the most important tools in your quest to scare away raccoons. Make sure you have a locking cooler for your food. This makes it harder for the critters to break in, but for best practices make sure it’s in the trunk of your car at night.

A good camping lantern will help to repel raccoons, as they won’t go near the light.

Bungee cords are a must if you’re not going to be anywhere near your car. These can be used to string your cooler up at night. If you don’t have bungee cords, anything that can hold your cooler up will work. You should hoist it up at least 7 feet high.

If you’re willing to spend a little extra money, you can also invest in a bear canister. They are essentially secure food lockers that bears, and other animals, can’t get into. They’ll provide a safe place for your stuff, but some are heavy, so be sure about which model you buy.

Campsite with RV in background. How to keep raccoons away from your tent.

What is The Best Raccoon Deterrent?

You might not realize it, but an effective raccoon deterrent is right in your laundry room. Fabric softener sheets can be useful for keeping nighttime pests away because they don’t like the smell. They can also hide the scent of food.

Keep fabric softener sheets anywhere you can, including your tent, backpack, and sleeping bags.

Potent spices will also keep raccoons away. This includes cinnamon, ground black pepper, and dried hot pepper. Chili pepper works the best because they really don’t like that smell in particular.

The critters don’t like these scents because it irritates their sense of smell, forcing them to search for food elsewhere.

Raccoons. Scaring off raccoons can be hard when you're camping.

DIY Raccoon Repellent Spray

Try this DIY raccoon repellent spray to secure the perimeter of your campsite. Make it at home before you leave, and re-spray your area every 2 days.

Boil two quarts of water and add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Then, throw in a few hot peppers and an onion. Keep it boiling for about 20 minutes.

Then, strain out the liquid and put it in a bottle to take on your camping trip. Spray the boundaries of your campsite, including plants and trash cans.

If it rains, make sure you go over with the spray again, as it will have washed off.

This raccoon repellent spray also works in your home and garden.

Tent in campground. Scaring off raccoons from your campsite.

Scaring off Raccoons

Okay, so a raccoon skipped through your carefully constructed barrier and made it to the front lines. There are still some things you can do to scare off raccoons!

Raccoons, and other nighttime critters, don’t like light. So if you catch one of these guys lurking for some free snacks, try shining your flashlight on them quickly.

They also don’t like loud noises, so try clapping your hands or yelling.

But whatever you do, don’t approach them or attempt to touch them. This goes for any animal you encounter on your camping trip, whether it’s a chipmunk or a skunk.

If you have children with you, make sure they understand that raccoons can be vicious if you corner them, so keep them away until the animals are gone.

Raccoon in the grass. How to discourage raccoons from invading your campsite.

Important Tips to Remember

There are many things you can do as part of your camping routine to make sure that raccoons don’t see your site as an open invitation for dinner. Here are some more basic tips to keep raccoons away to practice on a regular basis.

Never, ever leave food in your tent! Raccoons are smart creatures and can easily figure out how to get in, especially when all that separates them from dinner is a tent wall.

When you cook a delicious camping dinner, you’re probably not thinking about the smell a few hours later. But, depending on what you cook, the scent can stay on your clothing.

Don’t burn your garbage in your campfire. Not only is this horrible for the environment, but it leaves residue that can smell delicious to animals.

Instead, tie it up in a heavy duty garbage bag and bring it to the campsite garbage bins. Don’t leave any pieces of food on the ground or on the picnic table. Animals can smell these scraps from far away and will come looking for them.

Lastly, leave all of your scented cosmetics and toiletries at home. While eating your shampoo might be the last thing on your mind, raccoons aren’t as picky. They’re attracted to items that have a potent smell, like fragrances.

Save the overly fruity or flowery shampoos for your bathroom at home and bring something less scented with you.

Tent and picnic table on campsite.

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