Ontario Parks

Learn to Camp

Wildlife and Your Campsite


While camping, you are sharing the park with the animals that live there. In general, most animals will avoid campgrounds because there is too much human activity, but raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and bears can become a campsite nuisance if you do not keep your campsite clean.

The best way to prevent wildlife from visiting you at night is to keep a clean campsite!

Here are a few simple tips that will help prevent most wildlife issues on the campsite:

  • Clean dirty dishes and dispose of dishwater. Do the dishes right after all meals. Used dishwater should be dumped in vault toilets (outhouses).
  • Pack away your cooler and food. While on your campsite, your cooler and dry food should be SEALED AND CLOSED. At nighttime or if you leave your campsite, store food in your vehicle. Raccoons can open cooler latches with their nimble hands. Place food in your trunk or in vehicle with the windows rolled up and your food covered.
  • Dispose of garbage. Put all food waste and garbage in a garbage bag, not the fire pit. Dispose of food scraps dropped on the ground. Keep your garbage bag away from tents and out of reach of wildlife (hang from a branch or clothesline) while present on your campsite. At night or if you leave your campsite, collect ALL garbage and recycling and take to the campgroundā€™s garbage bin or store it in your vehicle.
  • Keep your tent odour-free. Never store food/snacks, fragrant personal items or hygiene products (e.g. perfumes, shampoo, toothpaste) in your tent. Never cook or eat in your tent.
  • Do not keep captive critters on your campsite. Frogs and other critters (fishing bait, crayfish, worms) should not be kept in or around site at night as they will attract raccoons. It is illegal to collect wildlife in provincial parks.
  • Never leave out pet food.
  • Never feed wildlife. If they learn to get food from humans they can become a nuisance.