Alberta Campgrounds | Encountering a Skunk While Camping


Alberta Campgrounds | Encountering a Skunk While Camping

It is almost inevitable, that campers will encounter wildlife while in Alberta campgrounds. There is a wide variety of wildlife. And that wildlife can change depending on the location of the campground itself.

However, all campers no matter where in Alberta they are camping. Will always have a chance of encountering a skunk. Skunks are native to Alberta. And when in their natural habitats. Campers can often find them at dusk, foraging for their food.

Because skunks are nocturnal, people are not likely to encounter these animals during the day in Alberta campgrounds. With they are hiking or relaxing in their campsite.

However, if people are walking around Alberta campgrounds at dusk, they are much more likely to see these animals.

The first thing that people should keep in mind if they are encountering a skunk. Is that the skunk is going to be more afraid of the people, and their pets. Then people will be of the skunk.

Fast thinking, and slow actions. Can help a person come out of the experience completely unscathed, and un-sprayed.

Skunks only spray as a last resort. As a defense mechanism. That helps them escape a predator. Not only does it deplete their energy. It depletes their resources and makes them weaker for up to ten days.

A skunk is defenseless after they spray. While they rebuild their resources. And so they only spray if they think it is going to save their life.

Therefore, when encountering a skunk. Campers and hikers should immediately stop. Fast movements and loud noises can scare skunk. And make them more likely to spray.


At this point, campers and hikers should start very slowly backing away from the animal. But keeping an eye on them, so that they know what direction the skunk is moving in.

If the skunk is with their offspring. It is even more important to stop and be quiet. Because skunks are even more protective when they have their babies with them.

Because skunks can spray an extremely far distance. 3 m, or 10 feet. Putting as much distance between the camper and the skunk is extremely important.

Often, when in Alberta campgrounds. Simply stopping can help the skunk escape all on their own, because they do not want to spray. And by stopping, they can feel safe enough to escape. Without using their defense mechanism.

A telltale sign that a skunk is feeling threatened however. Is if they start hissing, stomping their feet or if they raise their tail.

And despite a camper or a hikers it best efforts. Especially if they are with their pet. The skunk may end up spraying them.

Often, if paths are left wondering the campgrounds. They might encounter a skunk at night, or at dusk. And without the animal knowing how to escape the encounter. May end up getting sprayed. Which is why pets should be on a leash at all times.

By understanding why skunk sprays. And how to escape an interaction with a skunk unscathed. Can help campers and hikers feel confident when they are exploring the beauty of Alberta.

Alberta Campgrounds | Encountering a Skunk While Camping

It is inevitable that campers and hikers in Alberta campgrounds are going to encounter wildlife. The amount of wildlife that they encounter. And what animals they see will be dependent on the area of the province that they are camping in.

This can be a fun adventure for birdwatchers. Or when campers see squirrels and rabbits playing while in their natural habitat.

One of the most important things that all campers and hikers need to keep in mind. Is that they should never interact with the wildlife. Many campers may want to feed wildlife food. And this is a very bad idea.

Wildlife should never get dependent on humans to feed them. Because it can make them bolder around people. And make them dependent on people for their food source.

But also, because wildlife can be dangerous. As well as unpredictable. So while hikers and campers may encounter animals while in Alberta campgrounds. They should always keep their distance.

Keeping distance is especially important. If people have encountered skunks during their camping trip. This is most likely to happen at dusk. Because as nocturnal animals, skunks will come out in the evening to wake up, and start foraging for their food.


Skunks will only spray as a defence mechanism that is their last resort. And so by stopping, and giving the skunk a wide berth. Can help campers and their pets enjoy the encounter without getting sprayed.

However, skunks can spray up to 10 feet away. And can spray up to six times before depleting their resources. Meaning no matter how quickly a camper or hiker stops, and starts to leave the area that a skunk is in. They may be hit with this oily liquid.

People who have been hit with a skunk spray, can experience skin rotation, watery eyes or temporary blindness. And the smell can cause nausea. Not only that, but it can be smelled by the human nose over 3.5 miles away.

While a common recipe to get rid of a skunk smell is tomato juice. It can neutralize the oil because of the acid in the tomatoes. However, it can be difficult to find tomato juice while camping.

But by carrying hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Campers can come up with a recipe to get rid of skunk smell very easily.

People and pets who have been sprayed should apply this liquid to their bodies as quickly as possible to neutralize the oily secretion. As well as wash their close. To get rid of the smell.

By acting very quickly, even if campers and hikers have been hit by the skunks defense mechanism. They can get rid of the smell, and enjoy the rest of their camping trip while in Alberta campgrounds. And have a great story to tell their friends later.