Critter control: squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and jays

Seeing local wildlife can be one of the many joys of camping. What’s not a joy? Seeing those animals scurry off with your food.
February 09, 2018 01:18 PM

Little creatures like squirrels and chipmunks tend to be more of a nuisance than a problem. Notoriously persistent, they’ll leap, swoop or scurry at any opportunity to grab a bite of your food.

Here’s how to keep them away:

  • More than anything, vigilance is key. Stick near the table while you’re prepping food, and put everything away when you’re not.
  • Use plastic bins for storage. They’re more critter-proof than grocery bags or cardboard boxes.
  • Raccoons are remarkably good with their paws and can easily open a simple latch or a lid. Discourage them by putting something heavy on the lids of any bins, jamming a thin branch through a hooking latch, and stashing items in the car (or bear box) before you leave the campsite or go to bed.
  • Bring some steel wool to stuff into any big cracks or holes in the site’s food box to make it even more critter-proof.


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