How To Keep Snakes Away When Sleeping On The Ground?

You love to camp but are afraid of snakes coming near your campsite or even worse, in your tent?

Most people are afraid of snakes and for good reason. They can be deadly. But there are ways to protect yourself from them, even when you’re sleeping on the ground in their natural habitat.

Here are 7 useful camping tips to know how to keep snakes away when sleeping on the ground.

avoid snakes while camping

How to keep snakes away when camping?

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

You won’t be comfortable and your instinct might 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, know ways how to keep them away and I will share my tips on how to do that.

1. Camp away from snake zones

The first thing that you will have to do to make sure snakes 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 setting up 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 it up and to clear the vegetation while you hike through the woods.

Are snakes afraid of fire?

If your campsite permits, you can set up a campfire to scare them away. Here are my techniques to set a campfire to repel 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.

Snakes 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 and containers

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 it away from your sleeping area.

Take care of the trash

Be careful when handling your trash as you could attract all manner of rodents. 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 experience so take my advice on how to repel bears and bugs.

3. Seal holes in your tent

Snakes will use any openings in your tent to get inside. As you don’t want them to enter your living area, you should make sure that there are none of the tent holes.

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 the holes that you find. Use a repair kit or duct tape to do that. Snakes 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.

Do you got a damaged tent floor? Here is a clue on how to fix your tent’s 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.

Get a snake repellent

Where to buy snake repellent? 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 some of the best snake repellents on the market that people get when they choose to have a snake-free adventure in the outdoors.

5. Use home remedies for snakes

You can use some cheap home remedies to repel them.


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 try to avoid it.

Wear a mask while applying it around the campsite as it has a strong odor. Sulfur is one of the best snake deterrents that is commonly used as a deterrent for snakes.


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

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


Ammonia is a snake-away repellent that smells terrible. 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?

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.

Lime mixture

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.

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.

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).

6. Elevated sleeping

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 so easily.

7. 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.

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.

Hint: When picking firewoods consider the fact snakes can hide inside so be careful.

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 can 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.

snake in the grass

What is ophidiophobia?

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!


Snakes are a common fear, but they don’t have to ruin your outdoor adventures. With the right preparation and snake repellent, you can keep these slithering creatures at bay.

Follow our tips for camping in snake country and make sure your next outdoor excursion is bite-free. Have you ever encountered snakes while camping? What did you do to repel them?

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