1. Can You Deter Raccoons From Your Campsite With Strong Smells?Raccoons have a very acute sense of smell that they use to find food. Strong odors, such as pepper, interfere with this sense and may be irritating to the raccoons, so they may be more likely to stay away from the area when the smells are present. However, it is not a good idea to use scented sprays or objects as a deterrent against raccoons. For one thing, even if the smells are effective at keeping raccoons away, they could attract other forms of wildlife. Furthermore, the products you use as raccoon deterrents could contaminate water supplies or damage vegetation around your campsite.
2. Can Raccoons Open Coolers?You may think that your food is safe as long as you store it in a cooler. However, raccoons are known to be able to open trash can lids by themselves. Most coolers do not offer any more of a challenge than a trash can lid, and some may offer even less. If raccoons can smell the food inside the cooler, they may try to open it up and investigate. If you choose a cooler with a lid that locks, it may be effective at keeping raccoons out.
3. Can Raccoons Open Zippers?There have never been any studies testing raccoons' abilities to open zippers, so it is difficult to make a conclusive statement either way. However, raccoons have very dextrous paws. Their nimble fingers each have a sharp claw at the end. Raccoons are highly intelligent creatures with demonstrated problem-solving abilities. They can also be extremely tenacious in trying to get food. Given all these facts, it is possible that they could figure out how to open a zipper. You probably do not want to be the first person to find out whether raccoons can open zippers. If you avoid keeping any food in your tent, you deny the raccoons a reason to make the attempt.
4. How Do You Keep Raccoons Away From Your Campsite?Raccoons are most likely to visit your campsite looking for food. Here are some ways to discourage them from making a visit:
- Store food securely in a container with hard sides. A locking cooler might be one example of such a container, as are bear boxes or canisters. Check local regulations that apply to the campsite to find out if food can be stored in your car.
- Keep the campsite clean. Clean up any spills or crumbs and dispose of all garbage in approved campground receptacles. If you are not at a campground, the same types of containers used to store food can also be used to store garbage until you can dispose of it safely. Obviously, you probably want to have two separate containers: one for food and one for trash. Do not store either food or garbage in your tent.
- Never feed raccoons or other wild animals. Wildlife has a healthy distrust of humans that helps to keep both humans and animals safe. Animals that associate humans with food lose that fear and can become very aggressive toward humans in the future.