There are more than 3,600 snake species across the globe. The US alone is home to more than 50 species. Any camper should, therefore, expect to find them in most ecosystems – unless you restrict your camping to Iceland, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Snakes can bite or may not bite. They could be venomous or not. But irrespective of all these, you don’t plan to entertain unwanted visitors in your campsite, do you? Interestingly, you can easily keep them away by preparing adequately. You will also need to observe personal and campsite hygiene and take note of the measures that we discuss here.

Top 6 Ways To Keep Snakes Away From Your Campsite

Not many snakes will bite without any provocation. These crawlers are not like most bugs that will find it easy to attack at will. They would instead choose to slither away than to start a confrontation. But the sight of them isn’t pleasant. That’s why many campers prefer to avoid them.

How can you keep snakes away? Let’s begin the countdown!

Check Your Tent

It all begins with your preparation. When you prepare for a camping trip, one of the essential considerations is shelter. Ensure that the tent netting isn’t ripped. 

Again, take a close look at the zippers and find out whether they close up entirely or not. You will also need to sew up torn sections. Any opening will allow marauding snakes into the tent when you sleep or when you are out of the campsite.

If you have a phobia for snakes, then the reptiles will probably be the most unwelcome visitors in your campsite. Of course, most people are. Your tent is going to be your living room, bedroom, and, maybe, your kitchen too. Ensure that it closes fully but leaves you with sufficient ventilation.

Choose The Right Campsite

Snakes and bugs thrive nearly everywhere. However, there are areas where they are more prevalent than others. You will need to be careful when choosing a campsite lest you invade snake havens.

You are most likely to find snakes in areas with more outcrops or near rock piles. Snakes are also more prevalent in areas with a lot of deadfalls. Clear any clutter if you can.

Besides, snakes use water sources for hunting and smooth locomotion. So, choose campsites that are not too adjacent to water sources. Snakes are very secretive – they prefer areas where they can easily hide. Those are areas that you should avoid.

So, set your campsite in areas that are expansive and have a lot of open space. If there is grass, then ensure that the grass is very short. Snakes can’t afford to expose themselves out in open spaces.

Store Your Food Properly

Yes, we are talking about your food items. But don’t get this twisted, we don’t mean that snakes will invade your campsite for human food. They won’t, because they have no interest in your feed.

But you still need to keep your foodstuff and food wastes properly. Improper keeping of foodstuff and food waste will attract rodents, amphibians, and insects. So, mice, cockroaches, grasshoppers, toads, frogs, flies, critters, and other insects will flock your campsite.

Is there a better meal for snakes than these bugs? If you attract rodents, insects, and other bugs to your campsite, snakes, too, will come hunting for them.

Don’t litter the campsite with garbage. Instead, keep food in airtight containers or dispose of them in a dumping station if you can access one.

Natural Repellants

As mentioned earlier, snakes fear us just like we fear them. They will run away or stay in their hideout when they find that there is a presence of human life.

But how will you let them know that you are around without provoking them? This sounds pretty complicated, yet simple.

Ensure that you carry some white vinegar. Pour white vinegar around your campsite or along the perimeter of your tent. Snakes won’t slither over it.

Snakes can also smell human hair. So, why not splash hair around your camp? You can easily get the hair from your hairbrush. White vinegar or human hair will alert snakes of your presence and keep them away.

Personal Care

Two things about us attract insects. Firstly, it is the heat and resultant sweat. Another thing that attracts insects is perfumes and other scents. You indirectly bring snakes closer when you attract insects to you or your campsite.

Therefore, you need to keep yourself cool to avoid heat and sweat. You can also rush for a quick shower whenever possible.

As for perfumes, soaps, and deodorants, stick to unscented options when you are out camping. You can always go back home and use your scented favorites. It is better to keep safe than feel nice.

Chemical Deterrents

The tips mentioned above will help you keep snakes away. However, just like you can keep away mosquitoes from your campsite using chemical repellants, there are deterrents that you can use to keep snakes away.

The problem comes to making the right choice. With so many options available to choose from, not every brand is trustworthy.

And do chemical snake repellants work? That’s a big question. Firstly, ignore products that contain Sulphur as an active ingredient. They aren’t effective. Again, products that contain naphthalene are harmful to wildlife.

Use sprays or liquid repellants that are tried and tested. Any bug repellants will also keep snakes away as they won’t come preying.


Keeping snakes away from campsites is vital for both recreational and professional campers. While this guide isn’t your ultimate protection against snakes, it comes with exclusive tips to help you stay cautious around snake burrows.

But what do you do when you spot a snake at your campsite? Stay as calm as possible and do not overreact. You risk triggering them with sudden movements.

And always maintain proper dress codes that minimize chances of getting bitten by snakes. Consider pants over shorts when camping in snake territories as they provide better coverage. Cover ankles, lower legs, and hands. And be careful not to step on a snake as you traverse the environment.

Kelvin Mwathi