Alberta Campgrounds | Should Hikers Fear Skunks?


Alberta Campgrounds | Should Hikers Fear Skunks?

Even though skunks have quite a big reputation, when hikers and campers are going to Alberta campgrounds. They should not worry about encountering a skunk.

The best thing that people can do is learn about skunks, and understand what they should do when they encounter this harmless animal. And what they need to do, if they accidentally get sprayed.

Ultimately, hikers and campers need to understand that skunks are vegetarian, and are mostly defenceless. This causes them to to put a want to run in the face of danger, and escape things that might harm them.

In fact, having a skunks around can be very beneficial. Because they eat well-known pests, so when skunks are around. People can experience a decrease in common insects that can be destructive.

Farmers even love having skunks around, because they can eat the insects that can cause damage to their crops. And for the most part, are completely harmless, coming out at night. Foraging for the insects that they eat.

However, they do have very poor eyesight. Which can cause them to act defensive, even if people are trying to give them lots of space.

When people are hiking or camping in Alberta campgrounds. They will be more likely to encounter these animals at dusk when they start coming out to forage for their food. Or at night because they are nocturnal creatures.

When people encounter skunks they need to stop immediately. This will allow the skunk the time and opportunity to escape and run away. Especially if they have their babies with them.


Skunks may be more defensive when they have their offspring, so stopping immediately is great way to stop threatening the skunk.

If the skunk does not immediately run away. If people have a flashlight, they can shine at once, in efforts to scare the skunk into running away. And then start backing up very slowly and very quietly.

By being client and slow, it helps the skunk not detect their motion. And can encourage them to run away. By backing up instead of turning around. People can keep an eye on this animal, so they know what it is going to do at all times.

However, before the skunk actually does spray, they will give a lot of warning. Which can help people get out of range of getting sprayed by the skunk.

The skunk will start to stamp their feet and start hissing at what is threatening them. And it will start doing some threatening postures, such as looking like it is going to charge. This is all for show however.

The skunk will not charge, but instead, if all of these motions do not cause the threat to leave. The skunk will wind their back end at the threat, and that is the indication that they are going to spray.

By knowing what the skunk will do when faced with the threat. Can help campers and hikers going to Alberta campgrounds ensure that they appear as nonthreatening as possible.

The skunk does not want to spray. Because they will deplete their energy, and their resources. Leaving them defenceless. So by acting as nonthreatening as possible. Can help the camper or hiker as well as the skunk escape the encounter unscathed.

Alberta Campgrounds | Should Hikers Fear Skunks?

Campers and hikers know that they should be very weary when it comes to encountering skunks in Alberta campgrounds. While skunks are very meek, and do not like confrontation. They are well known for their noxious defence mechanism, spraying predators with a oily excretion.

This secretion contains chemicals that smell like sulphuric acid. And can cause skin rotation, watery eyes, runny nose as well as temporary blindness if sprayed in the eyes.

People who smell this can develop nausea, and started vomiting as well. Whether they have been sprayed or not. In fact, the human nose can detect skunk spray from up to five point 6 km away.

This is why people or animals have been sprayed by a skunk. They should avoid going indoors. Where they can cause nausea, watery eyes and runny noses in people who are just nearby.

Skunks have an extremely long-range on the ability to spray predators. Up to 3 m away with alarming accuracy. Therefore, people do not have to get very close to a skunk to threaten them.

If people do get sprayed while in Alberta campgrounds. There are several things that they can do right away to help themselves. The first thing is, if they get the spray in their eyes, to start rinsing their eyes with cool water.


And while a home remedy for skunk spray is well known to be tomato juice. This is because tomatoes have acid, that can break down the oil in the skunk spray. But if tomato juice is not handy, a number of things can work instead.

A great solution can be a 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with the quarter cup baking soda. And just prior to application, they can add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.

However, because it is hydrogen peroxide, it can bleach clothes and skin. So it should not be kept on the skin very long. And when bathing pats, it can bleach there fur. So it should not be kept on very long. And great care should be taken to ensure that it does not get in their pets eyes.

While having hydrogen peroxide and baking soda on hand might not have been in every campsite. Vinegar can also be helpful in minimizing the smell and breaking down the oil.

Clothes can simply be washed in a regular washing machine, with laundry detergent. However, if the solution was not helpful in ridding the smell from their clothes. Campers or hikers might be tempted to put their clothes in a sealed plastic bag until they are able to get home to wash them.

Ultimately, hikers and campers alike should not fear skunks. They are defenceless, and do not pose a threat. But if care is not given to give skunks a wide berth. Hikers and campers as well as their pets can end up sprayed, which can put a big dent into the fun of their trip in Alberta campgrounds.