Things To Do While Camping

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Animal Tracking



Few experiences are more thrilling than watching wild animals while camping.  The ability to be able to see wild animals in their natural habitat gives a kind of  awe inspirng force to all those who witness it.  Unfortunately, the increasing disconnect between humans and nature has led to a near abandonment of the skills necessary to do proper animal tracking. The good news is the basic skills of a tracker can still be learned.  Here, is a list of some suggestions to help increase your chances of finding the wild animals.


1.       Research the area to determine what wildlife live in the area.  This can be accomplished by doing some basic searches on the web, asking the locals or even talking to that region's game warden.


2.       Once you determine what wildlife live in the area.  You want to learn a number of distinct facts about them.  Purchase a good animal book that has a lot of visual diagrams and pictures.  You will want to bring this with you on your trip.  Our recommendation can be found in our camping books section.  The facts you are trying to learn should include:

a.        What type of tracks do they make and how much do they average in weight?

b.       What type of food or plants do they hunt or eat?

c.        What type of home do they make?

d.       Where type of straddle, stride, and gait do they make?

e.        What does their scat (waste deposits) look like?


3.       Determine what methods you want to use to see the animals.  There are essentially three ways to see animals and their by-products in the wild:

a.        Using tracking tools- using different scents or calls to entice animals to come into the area.

b.       Stalking wildlife- is essentially sneaking up on animals by wearing camouflage and adjusting your walking style so to not startle the animals.

c.        Observing wildlife- setting up a blind in the areas where the animals are likely to go.


4.       Bring a good set of binoculars to help aid you in viewing the animals.


5.       Avoid quick sudden movements because these can startle the animals and if you have to use the restroom, try to go down wind to lessen the chance of the animals catching the scent.


6.       Sometimes it is very difficult to actually see certain animals.  In these instances, it can be very satisfying to locate their tracks, bedding area or other animal by-products.  This can be best accomplished by looking near watering holes or along game trails.

a.        Watering Holes: animal tracks can be found around the rim of the watering hole as animals come down to get a drink.

b.       Game Trails: animal tracks are easiest to find in mud, sand, or snow.


*If you are looking for some fun camping activities, be sure to check out List of Camping Activities.


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