How to Avoid Skunks When Camping

Last year we discovered that we love camping. You might recall that we took an RV Trip which was amazing! We were new to camping. For sure we had done camping many times and stayed in a yurt before too. Because we were newbies we did some research on wildlife and camping tips and tricks. One of the things we read about was avoiding bears when camping in Ontario’s Parks and what to do if you encounter one. And, of course, we also read about how to avoid skunks.


If you are camping around forests, wooded areas, rivers or streams, in Ontario Parks or National Parks it is likely that you will come across skunks at some point during your trip as these are the types of habitats in which they live. Obviously everyone knows not to mess with bears and even novice campers know keep the food secured, but what about skunks?


Avoid Smelly Critters When Camping

One of the reasons people go camping is to get close to nature, and destress, but unexpected and unpleasant wildlife encounters can put a kink in your plans if you aren’t careful. You probably don’t want a skunk hanging around your campsite. However, avoiding an unwanted visit from a skunk is not as difficult as you might expect. Here are some tips on how you can avoid or repel skunks while on a camping trip.

Use dog and cat repellent

The same products that work to repel cats and dogs also work on skunks. Many people buy these products to stop other people’s pets from fouling up their gardens. Cat and dog repellents can easily be bought in pet stores and taken with you on a camping trip to deter skunks.

Get rid of your rubbish

Skunks are attracted by the food that many campers leave outside their tents. It is an easy meal for them. One of the best ways to avoid a visit from a skunk is to get rid of any food waste, both inside and outside your tent. This will make the skunk less interested in your camp in the first place and more inclined to find food elsewhere.

Use vinegar as a repellent

The noxious smell of vinegar has been known to deter skunks. This is a cheap way of avoiding skunks coming near your tent. Simply soak some old rags in vinegar and spread them around the outside of your tent. This should warn the skunks away.



Because they are nocturnal animals, skunks prefer to stay away from well lit areas. By keeping the area around your camp well lit, you should also avoid the problem of a late night visit from a skunk. One word of warning though, avoid using lights with naked flames on overnight as these are a fire hazard. Instead, look for battery operated lights.

Home-made repellent

It is also possible to make your own skunk repellent without having to go to the expense of buying one. Add half a jalapeno pepper and two tablespoons of cayenne pepper to one quart of water. Boil the mixture for about twenty minutes, before removing the jalapeno pepper and adding the mixture to a spray bottle. This can then be used to spray directly at any skunks who come near your tent in the night.

Pitch a Tent Not a Fit

Camping is meant to be enjoyable. With a few easy habits and tricks you can avoid unwanted encounters with skunks and other critters.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.