When Camping Outdoors Do Raccoons Attack Tents?

when camping outdoors do raccoons attack tents

Last updated on April 11th, 2023 at 05:00 pm

One of the main concerns people have when camping outdoors is whether or not raccoons will attack their tents. 

While it is true that raccoons can be a nuisance, they generally will not attack people or their property unless they feel threatened. Most of the time, they will visit your tent seeking some food and nothing more. There are a few things that you can do to discourage raccoons from approaching your campsite. 

Are Raccoons Aggressive Animals?

when camping outdoors do raccoons attack tents

Raccoons are not naturally aggressive animals but can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If a raccoon feels like its territory is being invaded, it may become aggressive and attack. 

The animal won’t give a friendly fight; it will go for the eyes and face in an attempt to blind or maim its opponent. Don’t be fooled by their small size; raccoons have been known to fight off dogs and even humans. They use their powerful limbs and sharp claws to their advantage and will go for the face and eyes in an attempt to blind or maim their opponent. 

As a survival instinct, a raccoon will also try to bite if the neck grabs it. If you see a raccoon acting aggressively, it’s best to leave it alone and give it some space.

In a normal setting, raccoons won’t bother you unless you bother them first. However, they might be attracted to your campsite where it’s easy to come across them and provoke an attack. 

What are the Dangers of Raccoon Attacks?

The biggest danger of a raccoon attack is the injuries from their sharp claws and teeth. Raccoons have sharp claws that can easily tear through skin, and their bites can be powerful enough to break bones. If a raccoon attacks you, you’re at risk of serious injury.

Another danger of raccoon attacks is the diseases they can carry. Raccoons are known to have various diseases, one of the common ones being rabies, which is a deadly disease if not treated immediately. That’s why getting medical help as soon as possible is paramount if you’re attacked by one. 

What Attracts Raccoons?

Raccoons won’t usually bother humans unless they feel threatened, but there are a few things that can attract them to your campsite. 

1) Food

Raccoons might become your uninvited camp guests if you’re not careful about storing your food correctly. While their sense of smell isn’t as good as some other animals in their class, these wild creatures can smell food a mile away. They use their heightened touch and unique sight sense to locate an easy meal. 

They can differentiate various objects using their paws, thanks to sensitive nerves. They touch anything they see to investigate their surroundings, making them more mischievous than other animals.

2) Trash

Another thing that might attract raccoons to your campsite is the smell of trash. If you don’t store your garbage correctly, the raccoons will be able to smell it from a mile away, and they will come to your campsite looking for food

Their sense of smell can’t differentiate what is edible and what is not, so they will go through your trash looking for something to eat. Don’t be fooled by night and think raccoons can’t see you. They have a unique way of perceiving the color green, which allows them to be more active at dawn, dusk, and night.

3) Water

While it’s rare, raccoons might also be attracted to your campsite if there is a water source nearby. These animals are very good swimmers and love to play in the water. If you have a pond or a lake near your campsite, the raccoons might visit, looking for a place to cool off. Keep in mind the closer they are to your tent, the easier they will smell the food and see you. 

How Can You Keep Raccoons Away From Your Campsite?

Are you scared already? Well, don’t worry. There are a few things that you can do to keep raccoons away from your campsite. 

1) Store Your Food Properly

The best way to keep raccoons away from your campsite is to store your food securely and safely. These animals are attracted to the smell of food, so if you don’t want them to visit your campsite, make sure to store your food correctly. 

The best way to do this is to invest in a good cooler and some airtight containers. You need hard-sided containers that the raccoons can’t easily chew through. Bear boxes and canisters with lockers are also good options.

2) Keep Your Trash Can Secure

Another way to keep raccoons away from your campsite is to secure your trash can. Ensure to keep your trash can in a secure and safe place. While some campsites have regulations and guidelines on storing your trash, the best way to keep raccoons away is to invest in a good camping garbage can with a lid that locks.

This will prevent the raccoons from being able to smell the garbage, and they will stay away from your campsite.

3) Don’t Leave Water Sources Near Your Campsite

Set your campsite away from water sources such as lakes, ponds, streams, and even puddles. That way, raccoons and other animals won’t be attracted to your campsite. If you have no choice but to set up your raccoon campsite near a water source, ensure to keep all of your food and trash away from the water.

4) Use Raccoon Repellents

Raccoon repellents can also be used to keep these animals away from your campsite. Various types of repellents are available in the market, so you need to choose the one that best suits your needs. 

The most common type of raccoon repellent is spray repellent. This type of repellent comes in a can and needs to be sprayed around the perimeter of your campsite. The repellent will create a barrier that raccoons won’t be able to cross. 

Another type of repellent is granular repellent. This repellent contains ingredients that raccoons don’t like, such as cayenne pepper, garlic, and onion powder. You must sprinkle the repellent around your campsite to keep the raccoons away.

You can also get a raccoon deterrent that flashes and produce loud noises. These deterrents are great for keeping raccoons away from your campsite but can also be disruptive to other campers. If you use this type of deterrent, use it sparingly and only when necessary.

5) Don’t Provoke the Raccoons

You also need to avoid provoking the raccoons. These animals can be aggressive, and they might attack you if they feel threatened. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid doing anything that might provoke them. 

The good news is that raccoons, like all other aggressive animals, give a sign before attacking. Raccoons will usually hiss, growl, or show their teeth as a warning before they charge and attack. If you see a raccoon doing anything, it’s best to back away slowly and give it some space.

If the raccoon seems weak or sick, don’t approach it as it might see it as a threat. Instead, contact your local wildlife control to have them deal with the animal.


While raccoons are aggressive wild animals, they won’t come looking for trouble; they won’t attack your tent out of the blue. However, they might become a nuisance if you don’t take the necessary precautions to keep them away from your campsite. Use the tips above to keep raccoons away from your campsite and enjoy your camping trip.