How To Keep Snakes Away When Camping?

If you are somewhat like me that get goosebumps after just thought of snakes, then you are at the right place. Avoiding snakes while camping can be tricky, but with the right preparation and precaution, you don’t need to worry.

Before we dive deeper into the topic, it is crucial to know that snakes don’t attack unprovoked. So that we break all illusions that the horde of snakes will surround your campsite while you are sleeping.

Here are tips to keep snakes away from your campsite.

Choose a snake-free campsite

Snake Free Campsite
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When looking for a campsite, take some time to research whether the area is known to have snakes. If it is, you can either try to find a different campsite or prepare yourself. For instance, if the campsite is not snake-free, you should inspect the area where you plan to pitch your tent thoroughly.

There are a few snake-free areas in the US, including Glacier National Park in Montana and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. However, there are several dangerous areas where you should extra cautious, including the Mojave Desert in California and the Everglades in Florida.

Here are a couple of handy tips for avoiding snakes:

  • pick campsites located in the north as the snakes habited in colder climates aren’t usually that venomous compared to snakes in the dry and hot climate. For instance, Andalucia is known for Lataste’s viper snake, which is very venomous.
  • snakes like rocks and shade in general, so make sure there are not any wet and shady places around your campsite as it is where the snakes could hide.

What are the ideal snake habitats?

The ideal habitat for a snake depends on the species’ specific needs. For example, some snakes require a warm and humid environment, while others do better in dry climates.

To shed their skin, many snakes also need access to water, either for drinking or soaking. In general, the best habitats for snakes provide plenty of hiding places and areas to escape the heat or cold as needed.

Keep your campsite clean

Cluttered and messy areas attract snakes as they provide a perfect hiding spot. Most snakes love places like rock piles, sleeping bags, shoes, or any quiet place. So, ensuring your campsite is clean reduces the chance of snakes hiding around.

We usually get a small and cheap tent (you can find them under $100) with us that will serve as storage for gear. You can pack all the gear in that tent, so you don’t have to worry about having gear and other things around the campsite-

Here are some tips to keep your campsite clean:

  • Pack out all of your trash. Leaving garbage attracts animals, including snakes.
  • Store food and drinks in sealed containers. This will help keep pests like raccoons and bears away from your food. It will also help keep snakes away, as they are attracted to the smell of food.
  • Dispose of food waste properly. Do not discard food waste near your campsite. Instead, bury it or pack it out with you.
  • Take care not to damage trees and plants when setting up your campsite. Damaging plants can create a perfect hiding spot for snakes (on top of leaving a negative footprint).

Make noise

clap your hands while hiking to avoid snakes on a trail
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Snakes tend to find quiet areas. So, making noise around your campsite will help keep them away. Here is what you can do:

Play music: Playing music loudly will help keep snakes away.

Talk loudly: Talking loudly or shouting will also help keep snakes away.

Bang on pots and pans: This will create a loud noise that will deter snakes.

Use a battery-operated alarm: This can be placed near your tent or campsite to deter snakes from entering the area.

Use a stick to percuss the ground in front of you and make noise as you walk. If given the chance snakes will move out of your way, you just don’t want to surprise them.


Dress properly

When camping in an area with snakes, it is important to dress properly. Wearing long pants and closed-toe shoes will help keep you safe if you experience an encounter.

It is also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing. This will make it easier to spot a snake if one is near you.

If you are hiking in an area known to have snakes, be sure to wear proper footwear. Wearing boots will protect your feet and ankles from snake bites.

Pack snake repellents

Commercial repellents are pretty dangerous for humans due to chemicals, so the option we always recommend is completely natural. If you don’t have ingredients or time, you can get the snake repellent, which is quite effective.

Peppermint or any essential oil effectively repels snakes, so consider adding drops around your campsite and gear.

What is the best DIY snake repellent recipe?

Here is a quick recipe for making an effective and natural snake repellent at home.


  • 0.5L of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • One tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap
  • Ten drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil (you can use any essential oil)

Do not leave food out in the open

As mentioned earlier, snakes are attracted to the smell of food. So, it is important to keep food and drinks in air-tight containers. If you’re cooking at your campsite, dispose of food waste properly. Do not leave food out in the open, as this will attract snakes (and other potentially dangerous animals).

Check your tent before getting in

Before going to the tent, be sure to check your tent for snakes. It is also a good idea to keep a flashlight near your bed in case you need to check for snakes during the night.


Campfire with friends
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One simple precaution to repel snakes away from your campsite is to build a campfire whenever possible. Not only will this provide warmth, fun, and light, but the smoke will also help to keep snakes away from your campsite. 

Having campfire drinking games will surely make some noise and keep snakes away.

Get a snake bite kit

Bring a snake bite kit if you are camping in an area with snakes. A snake bite kit is a small, portable kit that contains the supplies you need to treat a snake bite. The kit should include a small container of antivenom, a tourniquet, and instructions on how to administer the antivenom.

In addition, it is important to have a cell phone with you so that you can call for help if necessary. By being prepared, you can help to ensure that a snake bite does not ruin your camping trip.

What to do if you see a snake?

snake on the hiking path
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If you see a snake while camping, it is important to stay calm and avoid panicking. Here are some tips on what to do if you encounter a snake:

  • Do not approach the snake. If you see a snake, give it a wide berth and steer clear.
  • Do not try to capture or kill the snake. This is extremely dangerous and should only be done by trained professionals.
  • If you see a snake on your campsite, gently prod it with a stick to encourage it to leave the area.

What to do if bitten by a snake while camping?

If a snake in snake country bites you, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Here are some tips on what to do if snake bites happen.

  • Remain calm and avoid panicking
  • Apply firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.
  • Immobilize the affected limb and keep it lower than the level of your heart.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet.
  • Seek medical attention immediately. If possible, have someone else call for help while you wait for medical assistance.

Final words

While snakes can be dangerous, there are several things you can do to keep them away from your campsite. By following the tips in this blog post, you can help to ensure that your camping trip is enjoyable and safe.

It is important to stay calm and not move if you encounter a snake. In 99% of cases, snakes won’t attack you unprovoked and will just move away.

About Antonio

I’m Antonio, a passionate traveler, and outdoor lover who’s running this website. I started this site to share my passion for camping, traveling, and bikepacking.