One of the main reasons to stay off-grid is to be able to witness and observe the beautiful wild-life which you don’t get the opportunity to see in an urban area. The animals which roam the land are amazing creatures and can be a treat to watch.
Despite this, these animals are wild and can often be unpredictable. So as much as they’re beautiful animals, you also want to be safe around them. You never want to take chances when it comes to wild animals, they’re not trained like household cats and dogs – they still have their natural instincts which they need to survive in the wilderness. You want to be extra careful if you’re staying with your family and kids.
When I refer to animals I don’t just mean large bears, but other smaller animals such as racoons and insects can also be dangerous.
You want to be able to enjoy your get-away without the fear of being attacked or hurt by the wild life. Therefore, I’ll be giving you some valuable advice on how to stay safe from dangerous wildlife whilst staying in a cabin.
How to Know if animals are around your cabin.
They are numerous ways you can identify whether, animals have been near your cabin. Animals often leave signs of their presence. These signs include:
- Animal dropping (Feces/Pellets)
- Overturned Rocks
All animals will need to empty their bowls, therefore leaving droppings in their path. These droppings can be a sure-fire way to tell if an animal has been around. Other animals with hair and feathers will shed little bits off.
Prevent an Encounter
One of the most effective ways in staying safe at your cabin from dangerous wildlife is by keeping the wildlife away from your cabin. Obviously, there’s some wild-life you’ll probably want near your cabin such as birds and cute squirrels however we won’t be scaring them away.
The methods I’ll be explaining will prevent rodents and insects away from your cabin. We’ll preventing animals such as deer from repeatedly returning to your cabin. Such animals are nice to see every occasionally, but not every minute of the day.
How to Keep Wildlife Away from your Cabin
In this section I’ll be providing you with some valuable insight on how you can prevent wildlife from coming directly to your cabin.
Install outdoor lighting
One way to keep animal’s away from your cabin is by installing outdoor lighting. Many animals only hunt at night and in the dark, therefore they’ll stay far away from any light source.
I’ve got a whole article in which I talked about my outdoor lighting system. It involves my set-up as which uses solar power well as numerous other alternatives. This outdoor lighting system is sure to keep wild-life away.
Don’t feed the animals
Feeding the animals can make you feel good as you’re helping the animals out by giving them some food. However, unlike humans, animals don’t have any manners. Once you’ve fed an animal, they’ll know you have food for them and they’ll see you as a food source.
Why is this a bad thing you may ask? When the animals become hungry again, they’ll hang around outside your cabin until you come out. Whenever they see you, they’ll approach you for more food. Whenever they can’t find you, they’ll sniff you out and hunt you down. Overall, they’ll just become a nuisance. You may think that they’re “Loving” you, however in fact, they just want your food.
Attracting animals to your cabin can not only be a nuisance but they’ll also eat any surrounding vegetation and attract more animals. For example, if you were to leave out food for deer’s, predators such as lions will then also be attracted around your cabin. This is an extremely bad idea, as not only will large animals be a danger to you, but also to your cabin. Leaving out food for birds will also attract other animals.
You should also take care in not accidentally feeding animals. Trash that you leave outside will attract animals that smell it. This will lead pests to your cabin. The environment around your cabin can also lure animals to the area. For example, if you have bushes full of berries around your cabin. The only way to deal with this problem is to rid the bush of berries or remove the bush entirely. You should also be wary of trees full of fruit or nuts.
Store Food and Garbage in Containers
The odor of food attracts animals. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you lock your food and garbage up into containers. This will prevent the smell of your food from getting to the wildlife. If an animal can smell food through a wall, they’re likely to cause some damage to your cabin to get to the food. The smell of trash attracts rodents which can fit through the small holes and cracks and if they can’t find one, they’ll make their own.
Contains need to be airtight to prevent smell from seeping through. Cabinets and boxes will only help so much, for effective smell-proofing you should lock food up into plastic containers or airtight bags. Trash should be tied up into bags before placed in a bit and not even that will help too much.
Always take your trash out before it piles up too much. And whenever you leave your cabin – take all garbage along. Like I mentioned in my post ‘What to Do Before Leaving Your Cabin’, you should take all food with you unless it’s in a can when you leave your cabin for a considerable amount of time.
Prepare for an Encounter
Whilst you can do as much as you can to prevent an encounter with wildlife. Unless you’re never leaving your cabin, you’ll have to deal with an encounter eventually. If you’re ill prepared, you could be harmed. To keep yourself save you need to prepare for an encounter, know what to do when you’re put into certain situations.
What to do if encountered by wildlife
Knowing how to do with encounters with wildlife can end up saving your life. It’s vital to have such survivable skills in such an environment. Dealing with harmless animals such as birds and deer’s is easy, but when it comes to large animals with an instinct to kill, you’ll need this valuable information.
- When you identify a small baby animal, there’s likely to be a mother in the nearby vicinity. This means that if you see a baby bear, you better get the hell out of that area unless you want to meet mummy bear.
- When you encounter animal, always face it whilst slowly backing away slowly. You don’t want to lose sight of a dangerous animals, that’s how you get surprise attacked. You also don’t want to go straight towards it.
- If you encounter a moose, you’ll want to make yourself seem as large as possible. You should also shout as loud as possible, it’s important to make sure that you’re the alpha-male in the situation and not food.
- If you encounter a mountain lion, do the same. Make yourself as large as possible. If you look small, they’ll think you’re prey.
- If an animal spots you, back away slowly without panicking. Most animals want to avoid trouble as much as you do.
- Never turn your back on an animal, you never want to lose track of it. Also, many animals have the instinct to chase their prey that have their backs turned.
These are just a few ways to prevent being attacked or hurt. However, what if there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, and you’re being attacked?
When facing against a moose, you should know that their main method of attack is through charging. Signs of a moose preparing to attack are:
- Laying its ears back
- Smacking its lips
- Clicking its teeth
- Whipping its head back
When a moose displays signs of it preparing for this attack, you should run immediately. It will be faster than you in a straight line, however you should be able to maneuver out of it’s way if you’re fast enough. Use objects such as trees so that you’re not vulnerable to a charge.
If the moose manages to charge you and knock you to the floor, you should assume the ‘fetal position’ and protect your vital organs. The moose may damage you, stomping down onto you however with some luck, you’ll survive the attack the minimal injuries.
How to survive a Mountain lion attack? You need to make yourself look big, otherwise a mountain lion will mistake you for prey. You cannot show fear, you cannot look weak. However, this doesn’t mean you should charge at it throwing punches, you should back away slowly whilst facing it.
If this doesn’t work and you find yourself in a wrestle, you have no choice but to fight. The fetal position won’t save you against a lion. Also, don’t play dead; this is an extremely stupid idea against a mountain lion. A mountain lion wont simply leave you alone when you’re dead, it will continue to maul you chew you to bits. To win a fight you’ll have to inflict as much damage as you can, fight dirty and use any objects that you have in your vicinity.
How to survive a Black bear attack? If you stumble upon a bear in the wilderness and it charges at you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to attack. Sometimes bears will charge to scare you away, most of the time they don’t want to fight. You shouldn’t put your back to it and run away, you never want to turn your back on any animal. Face the bear, whilst you back away.
If the bear doesn’t stop and it attacks you, there’s no point trying to run away. A bear is by far faster than any human, so they will catch you. Don’t even bother trying to climb a tree, as they will climb is faster.
The only thing you can do, similarly to a mountain lion encounter, is to fight. The fetal position won’t save you against a black bear. Use everything and anything in your power to inflict as much damage as you possibly can. Gauge it eyes out with your thumbs and sticks if you must. Always aim for it’s nose and face, this is its weak spot. If you’re staying in a location inhabited by bears, I’d highly recommend you invest into some bear spray. It’s extremely cheap and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I recommend this bear spray.
How to survive a Grizzly bear attack? As similar as a grizzly bear is to a black bear, there is one main difference which you’ll want to take note of. This important note is do not fight back, it’s a much better idea to play dead. Fighting against a grizzly bear is a bad idea as it will only aggravate the bear more and cause it to become increasingly angry. Grizzly bears are not only much bigger than black bears, but they also have much larger claws that will tear you to pieces.
You should act dead as if you’re being arrested, hit the ground face first with your hands protecting the neck and stretch out your legs.
How to survive a Wolf attack? If you find yourself in a face-off with a wolf, don’t make contact eye contact with it – they will see this as a threat. Don’t stare it in the eyes but keep facing it, like I’ve said numerous times, you should near turn your back on an animal. Whilst facing it, slowly back away.
Make yourself seem as threatening as possible by making loud noises (Shouting) and make yourself look as big as possible (Stand up straight and pump out your chest). Hopefully this is enough to make the wolf not want to fight.
If this doesn’t work and the wolf continues to attack you, you should fight back. Just like you would with a black bear, aim for its nose and face. Inflict as much damage as you can until you see a chance to get away, if you’ve hurt them enough, they won’t chase you. There’s no point running as a wolf will easily outrun you. Another way you could survive a wolf attack is by climbing a tree, they’re not great at climbing and will eventually leave you alone.
Carry weapons and defensive items
You should always be prepared for anything, carrying a weapon will greatly increase your chances at survivable if attacked. Most large animals will be bigger than you and equipped with claws and teeth. Compared to a bear or a mountain lion, you’re extremely ill prepared naturally, which is why it’s a good idea to carry something to give you an advantage or at least even the playing fields.
Anything’s better than nothing, a large stick could be used to beat an animal over the head with or poke them from a distance. Therefore, a walking stick could be a good idea. As lot of hikers will carry one for stability but they can also be used in a defensive manner.
As I mentioned earlier, it would be a great idea to carry some bear spray if you’re staying in an area with bears. This is very effective way to deter bears and can end up saving your life. Bear spray is very cheap and is something you should purchase.
If you ‘re staying in a potentially dangerous area, it could be a good idea to carry a firearm. A firearm is extremely likely to safe you in most encounters. Though you should remember that your firearm should only be used in a life or death situation. If you do not have the proper licenses and you must shoot an animal, you’ll have to report it to your local authorities. If you have a good enough reason, you’ll be fine. Whereas if your reason is not legitimate, you can be punished severely.
Another way to protect yourself is to carry a knife with you. Often I carry a military pocket knife with me so for convenience however they can also work well for self-defense in the wild. I’ve produced a list of the best military pocket knives. As mentioned in the previous point, it’s important to ensure you’re in accordance to the law regardless of the weapon your decide to carry.
How to Get Rid of Nuisance Wildlife
The environment around your cabin can lure animals into the area. Bushes full of berries around your cabin can attract animals to stick around for food. The only way to deal with this problem is to bare the bush all of it’s berries or remove the bush completely. Trees may drop nuts and acorns which some animals may eat.
The smell of food can lure animals. So, you should lock up your food and garbage up into containers. Also, don’t let your garbage stack up too much, dispose of it as soon as possible. This will prevent wildlife from being able to smell your food.
Keep animal’s away from your cabin with lighting. Lots of animals will stay clear of light when hunting for food and roaming around at night to avoid predators. You can install outdoor lighting to light up the area around your cabin.
I hope this article has informed you on how you can stay safe from dangerous wildlife at your cabin. If you’ve got any further quests or any tips on how I can improve the article, feel free to leave a comment for me to read.