Location, Location, Location
Choosing the camp site is important to your safety factor. Choose a location away from overhanging cliffs with loose crumbly rock. Away from large trees with broken limbs that could fall on you. And away from exposed areas of high winds and possible lightning strikes.
If you must set up camp in timber with lots of downed trees (with the possibility of more coming down), pick a large downed tree and build your shelter alongside it. If a large tree falls on your camp this large log will take the impact lessening your chances of being hit.
Mark Your Territory
I thought I was the only person who did this until I saw Les Stroud do it on his show. When I set up a camp every time I have to urinate I will go out around the camp and pee on a prominent small landmark, like a stump or lone bush, just like a dog would do.
I have no evidence that this works, but I have camped hundreds of times in the Rockies without my camp being molested by wild animals.
Build a Separate Kitchen
Especially in bear country you will need to take extra precautions with food in your camp.
The best practice is to make a second “kitchen” camp one hundred yards or so (usually upwind) from your sleeping camp. Food can be raised by rope into a tree and any food scraps buried.
Build a Wall
If you are really worried about keeping animals away from your camp a wall may be in order.
In Africa the natives build a brush wall to keep lions out. There is no reason you couldn’t do the same, especially if it will help you sleep better at night. While a brush wall won’t stop a determined bear or mountain lion, it may make a curious one look somewhere else for entertainment.
If you are trying to secure your camp from other humans, your best bet is camouflage. Location will be your best cammo. Place your camp away from water and trails. A debris hut that is well blended with the background brush will not draw much attention, unless you walk right by it.When you think about it staying safe in the wilderness is just a matter of common sense, and not taking risks.
Randy Augsburger lives and writes from an old farm that has been in his family since 1866. Born in northwest Ohio, Randy grew up in a small town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He draws on his experiences of hunting, fishing, trapping and prospecting for his writing. Randy is also an ordained Southern Baptist preacher.