A garter snake in the grass
Avoid Snakes During Your Next Camping Trip With These Tips
Snakes are a healthy part of our ecosystem, but that doesn't mean you want them slithering around your campsite. With some basic reptile knowledge, you can coexist in peace.
Four types of venomous snakes are found in the U.S., varying by region and geography. Familiarize yourself with the venomous snakes in your region before you go.
Avoid pitching your tent near typical hideouts like tall grasses and piles of leaves, rocks, and wood. If setting up at night, wear a headlamp; some are more active after dark.
Food left out attracts insects, rodents, and birds, which are snake prey. Always store your food in airtight containers, locked coolers, or in the car with the windows rolled up.
Snakes love cozy hideouts like tents, sleeping bags, or shoes. Seal your tent shut with the zipper tabs towards the top, away from the ground — the higher up, the better.
Keep your shoes in your tent or car and shake them upside-down before wearing them. If you spot a snake, don't threaten it, and give it six feet of space to get away from you.
Snakes will not go out of their way to hurt you but will defend themselves. Notify other people in the area and alert a park ranger, who can safely remove the snake if necessary.