How To Keep Snakes Away From A Campsite?

Do you get chills when you see a snake on the TV as I do? You love to camp but are afraid of snakes coming near your campsite or even worse, in your tent?

avoid snakes while camping

You must know that going outdoors means going to a place where animals live and serpents are just one of them. They can be found in the woods and other hidden areas where they have their peace for resting.

Considering that some of these reptile bites are poisonous, most people are scared to go out camping. If you are one of them, that shouldn’t be the case as you can repel them.

I will show you how to keep snakes away from a campsite when you enjoy the great outdoors.

How to keep snakes away when camping?

If you fear these reptiles then the last thing that you would want is to find one of these creatures in your tent.

You won’t be comfortable and your instinct would be to try and hit it with a stick to chase it away from your tent. However, these reptiles see such movement as threatening and they can strike back.

You can get a painful snakebite. If you don’t have a first aid kit near you, the result could be fatal. As a camper, you should, therefore, find ways on how to keep them away and I will share my tips on how to do that.


A phobia of snakes (ophidiophobia) is one of the most common phobias among people. Did you ever ask yourself why do you even fear these limbless reptiles?

See the short video that explains how to overcome the fear of snakes.

1. Camp away from snake zones

The first thing that you will have to do to make sure these crawling creatures don’t find their way into your tent is to choose a campsite that is far away from their living zone.

They usually hide under rocks and thick vegetation. Avoid such areas when choosing a pitching place for your tent.

Avoid rock piles

Avoid rock piles as much as you can and the areas with plenty of deadfalls as these are prime snake hiding areas. You should also avoid setting it close to water sources as serpents use such areas for hunting.

Use an open place for pitching a tent

The best area to set it would be an open place with short grass. Serpents are secretive animals and they will stay away from open and expansive lands.

You can bring a machete so you can clean the area out for setting up the tent and to clear the vegetation while you hike through the woods.

Set a campfire

Are snakes afraid of fire? If your campsite permits, you can set one up to scare them away. Here are my techniques to set a campfire and stay safe from these reptiles.

camping fire

2. Store your food properly

The way you store your food will also determine if you will attract them to the campsite or not.

These reptiles aren’t interested in your food but the rodents that snakes feed on are. They will come to your tent to feed on the rodents if you have not stored the food properly.

Use air-tight bags

You should, therefore, make sure that you store all your food in air-tight bags to seal in the smell. You should keep properly packed food in a sealed container and keep the container away from your sleeping area.

Take care of the trash

Be careful when handling your trash as you could attract all manner of rodents when you don’t store it properly. Keep your trash in a trash bag and seal it properly before taking it to the designated trash area.

Don’t leave trash outside your tent even if you have sealed it properly. It will still attract rodents to your tent and eventually serpents.

These animals are not the only ones that can disturb you. There are bears and bugs that can ruin your camping trip so take my advice on how to repel bears and bugs.

3. Seal holes in your tent

How to keep snakes out of a tent? You don’t want them to enter your living area. They will use any openings in your tent to get inside. You should make sure that there are none of them.

Check the tent and zippers

Before you go to the campsite, spread your camping tent on the floor to check if there are any holes in it. 

Seal any holes that you may find and you can use a repair kit or duct tape to do that. They could also use openings on your zipper area to get in. You should make sure that the zipper closes properly.

Replace any damaged zipper or apply some lube if it gets stuck. Take the repair kit with you for the minor damages that may occur when you are out there.

A tree branch may fall on your tent and tear the canvas and this will leave you exposed to serpents and other dangerous animals.

When this happens, you will use the repair kit to fix your tent and boost your protection. Here is a clue on how to fix your tent floor.

4. Apply snake repellent around your campsite

Apply a snake deterrent around your campsite that will ward them off. These products have chemicals that they hate. Spreading it around your camping tent and surroundings will prevent them from coming into the area.

Where to buy snake repellent? Where can you buy the Snake Away product? If you want to protect your camp from them you can buy snake repellent on Amazon, Walmart, or in other specialized stores.

The majority of these repellent products come in a form of granules that you sprinkle around the campsite and a tent. These granules temporarily disrupt the animal’s sensory reception.

Best snake repellents to get

What is the best snake deterrent? These are one of the best snake repellents on the market that people get when they choose to have a snake-free adventure in the outdoors.

Will a campfire keep snakes away?

Yes, they are afraid of fire so it should keep them away. They also don’t like the smoke so make sure to add some leaves and moss on it to keep the smoke present.

camping fire in nature

Set a campfire in the evening so you will have a heating source close to the tent and stay secure from the reptiles. When picking firewoods consider the fact they can hide inside so be careful.

Home remedies for snakes

You can use some home remedies to repel them. They won’t cost you much while you will be safer from these reptiles.


One of the options to keep them away is using powdered sulfur. If the snake will go through it her skin will get irritated so they will avoid it. While applying it around the campsite wear a mask as it has a strong odor. Sulfur is one of the best snake deterrents that is commonly used as a deterrent for snakes.


This is a common ingredient for most snake repellents. It can be also found in molt balls. Its smell irritates these reptiles so they will avoid them. Place them around the camping area to repel them.

Note: Naphthalene is toxic so don’t use them if you have small children or pets with you while camping as they may get in touch with them.


Ammonia is a snake-away repellent that smells terrible. Did you ever smell it? I remember how we had an ammonia bottle in the bathroom and when I opened the bottle I thought the smell will tear my nose apart. So, I can believe that these reptiles also don’t like the smell.

How to use ammonia?

How to use it? Use a larger piece of cloth and dip it in the ammonia and place it somewhere close to your tent. You can also spray it around to stop them from coming close to you.

Lime mixture

What is safe snake repellent that won’t kill the animals and be dangerous to your kids? This is a cheap snake repellent that you can make at home and won’t harm any living being.

Mix a lime, hot pepper, or peppermint and apply it around the tent as they don’t like the mixture and the fumes are making their skin irritated as well.

Use onions & garlic

The secret weapon to keep them away is the sulfonic acid in onions and garlic that makes us cry after cutting them.

I advise you to cut these vegetables into small pieces and mix them with rock salt to sprinkle the area. This is the most natural best pet-safe snake repellent to use if you want to repel reptiles.

onion and garlic

The essential oils from these two also help. If you decide to use this option make sure you mix them with water and spray them on the wanted area.

Cinnamon and clove oil

You can try having a snake-free campsite with the use of cinnamon and clove oil. Get both essential oils and mix them with water. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle and use it around your tent.

Which is the most effective snake repellent?

I looked over different snake-away products on Amazon and come to the conclusion that Ortho Snake-B-Gon is the most effective of all. It is the best-rated snake repellent on Amazon.

The majority of the people were pleased with the product’s results as reptiles didn’t go through the granules and moved away. No matter that it didn’t work for some people it is worth giving it a try and see if you will have a reptile-free campsite.

Which is the best rattlesnake repellent?

I choose Snake-a-way granules from the Victor company as effective rattlesnake repellent. It includes Naphthalene. When an animal senses the repressive active ingredient, the naphthalene closes down the sensory system (odor-sensitive Jacobson’s organ) and scares it away.

How to use snake repellent?

It is always best to look at the instructions of the product to use it properly.

Here are the instructions for the Victor Snake-A-Way granules as the only EPA-approved, university-tested, and patented snake repellent on the market today.

Sprinkle or spread the granules in 4-5 inch bands to repel garter snakes and 8-12 inch bands to repel rattlesnakes. This method works as a perimeter treatment.

How to keep snakes away when sleeping on the ground?

If you will sleep outside a tent you can do next to avoid them. First, make sure that your camp is clean (no trash and food on the ground, low grass). Snakes don’t like to crawl on exposed areas so keep this in mind when pitching your shelter.

snake in the grass

Use a deterrent for snakes

Second, use one of the reptile deterrents around the camp and around the area where you will sleep. I recommend using a hammock or at least a camping cot that is elevated from the ground. This way snakes won’t be able to reach you.

Use spice mixture on yourself

The next tip is optional. Use my cinnamon and clove oil mixture and use it on yourself and sleeping clothes to repel them additionally (if you bear the smells of these two spices).

Check the sleeping gear

Before you set your sleeping system make sure there isn’t an animal in your sleeping bag or other sleeping gear.


Snakes can be dangerous as some species are poisonous. You will, therefore, have to find ways to ward them off.

Consider my tips on how to keep snakes away from a campsite and how to keep snakes away from your tent in a few simple steps. Also, know that these animals are afraid of you so if you won’t jeopardize their being they will go away.

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