How To Keep Snakes Away When Camping: 5 Expert Tips

Last Updated:

I love the outdoors and camping, but I hate snakes! If you're like me and want to know how to keep snakes away when camping, follow these 5 tips.

keep snakes away from your campsite

The Outdoor Authority may receive commissions for links included in articles to affiliate partners. Each of our recommendations is proudly backed by research and testing.

My Top Choice

Ortho Snake B Gone

I hate snakes.

I hate them so much that I even refused to put a picture of one in this post.

So I definitely want to keep snakes away when I’m camping.

Far away. Somewhere else. Anywhere but my campsite.

I’ve spent most of my life exploring the outdoors and I know that snakes play an important role in the eco-system. I also practice “leave-no-trace” principles whenever I’m camping.

So I would never suggest you harm or hurt a snake or any other creature when you are camping.

These are 5 tips to keep snakes away when camping, not hurt or kill them.

Ways To Keep Snakes Away From Your Campsite

1) Choose The Right Campsite

When planning a camping trip, consider the types of animals that live in the area and pick an environment that is less likely to be home to snakes. Research different campsites and look for one located on a dry open field instead of near forested areas or swamps. Make sure to read reviews from other people who have stayed at the location before, so you can make an informed decision about where you choose to camp.

Although I prefer to pitch my tent near water because I LOVE to go for a swim, camping near water sources during hotter months is more likely to lead to snake sightings. So you may look for spots away from water sources such as rivers, ponds and lakes since these are common snake shelters during summer.

Also, pitch your tent as far away from bushes, water, and long grass as you can. This will reduce the chance of a snake coming into contact with it. When setting up your campsite, scan the ground closely for holes in the soil or crevices between rocks where a snake might hide inside. Make sure that there are no branches or dead leaves around that could give cover to any potential intruders.

Another factor to think about when picking a campsite is accessibility: it’s important that your tent or RV can get close enough for easy setup without being too close to potential snake-dwellings like tall grass and bushes. When in doubt, opt for higher ground as this will lessen your chances of having any unexpected critter neighbors during your stay!

2) Store Your Food Properly

Storing food properly is essential for keeping snakes away from your campsite. It’s important to put all your food in airtight containers and store them away from the campsite.

Doing this may help prevent rodents, which are a source of attraction for snakes, from visiting the area. Additionally, make sure to take out any trash bags or leftovers when you leave the camping spot.

3) Keep A Tidy Campsite

Keeping a tidy campsite is an essential rule of camping. My experience tells me that snakes love to come around cluttery areas and will use them as a hiding spot.

Keeping your surrounding area clean and neat can help you avoid snake encounters. It’s important to neatly store items such as backpacks, tents, chairs, firewood, coolers and anything else that could potentially attract a snake or be used as shelter for them.

One of the most important things to do when camping is to remove any potential hiding spots for snakes. This includes raking away dead leaves, sticks and rocks that give cover. Make sure you clear away tall grasses or bushes. Snakes like cool and dark places during the day, so if there are any overhangs nearby, it would be wise to move your tent farther away from them.

4) Use DIY Natural Repellents Like Vinegar

Using natural repellents such as vinegar can be another effective way to prevent snakes from entering your campsite. Vinegar has a strong smell that snakes cannot tolerate and will drive them away when applied around the perimeter of the campsite. You can also mix with water in a spray bottle and mist over or near where you are camping to keep those slithery reptiles away!

Always make sure that you never spray directly on any vegetation when using vinegar, as it may cause damage. Additionally, spraying too much might also attract bees or other insects so keep this in mind and use it cautiously. Finally, reapply every few days for maximum effectivity as the smell will eventually dissipate over time.

5) Use Commercial Snake Repellents

If you’re looking for a way to keep snakes away from your campsite, using snake repellents is a great option. Snake repellents can come in the form of sprays, granules or liquids that must be spread around the perimeter of your camping area.

These products often contain ingredients such as garlic oil, clove oil and peppermint oils which naturally repel snakes. Be sure to read product instructions thoroughly before use and follow all safety guidelines on the packaging.

Reacting To A Snake Sighting In Your Campsite

If you do come across a snake while camping, it is important to remain calm and know how to properly respond. If you’re like me, your first reaction is to scream and run. Try your best to remain calm and remember these tips.

Remain Calm And Avoid Sudden Movements

As exciting as it may be to spot a snake, it’s best to remain calm and avoid sudden movements. This will give the snake enough space to move away from you and your campsite without having a negative reaction. Unexpected actions might cause the snake to become defensive and attack, so it is crucial that you stay still and keep quiet in this situation.

If possible, slowly retreat away from the snake’s proximity while always being aware of its location. Do not corner or chase the snake as this will increase stress levels on both ends which could result in an undesired encounter. Instead, focus on being alert yet passive; any drastic disturbances should be avoided at all cost!

Do Not Corner The Snake

If you spot a snake while camping, remain calm and avoid any sudden movements. If the snake is feeling threatened, it might attack and this could be very dangerous.

Related: How To Keep Raccoons Away From Your Campsite

Stay At Least 6 Feet From The Snake

If you come across a snake at your campsite, the most important rule is to stay at least 6 feet away. This will help ensure that you and your family remain safe from any potential danger the snake may pose.


Camping with family can be a wonderful experience – but only if you take the necessary steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from venomous and non-venomous snakes. By choosing a snake-free camping location, avoiding forested or bouldery terrains, storing foods properly, keeping the campsite clear of debris and using natural repellents like vinegar as well as snake repellents, you will have taken the steps needed to ensure that your campsite remains free of snakes.

If you ever do encounter a snake at your campsite, remain calm and use deterrents to encourage it to leave quickly. With these tips in mind, you can focus on having fun during your family camping trips instead of worrying about snakes!

Photo of author

Thomas Coleman

Thomas is a lifelong camping, fishing, and outdoor enthusiast! He is proud to be an Eagle Scout and treasures every moment he gets to spend with mother nature. He has been camping in 14 states, 3 countries, and 2 continents. When not blogging about camping and the outdoors, he enjoys photography, playing guitar, and traveling with his wife.