Alberta Campgrounds | Avoid Getting Sprayed by a Skunk

Alberta Campgrounds | Avoid Getting Sprayed by a Skunk

Some of the thrill of going camping in Alberta campgrounds. Is encountering the beautiful wildlife in their natural habitats.

There are many different kinds of animals throughout the entire province of Alberta. Making it possible to see a wide variety of animals.

From rabbits and squirrels. Two larger animals such as deer, elk and moose. Even bears can be spotted in many Alberta campgrounds from time to time. Because many campgrounds in Alberta are in their country.

It is very important that no matter what animal campers and hikers encounter. That they need to give that animal a lot of space. And not try to interact with it.

That includes avoiding trying to feed the animal. No matter how harmless they think the animal might be.

Not only can offering food be harmful to the animal. But it can cause animals to lose their fear of humans. And cause them to be dependent on people for their food source.

And while it can be very tempting to want to interact with a lot of the animals that people find well in Alberta campgrounds. There is one animal that most campers and hikers do not want to ever run across.

Skunks are well known for their ability to shoot people with their only defence mechanism. Which is an oily spray that comes out of their glands underneath their tail.


Skunks are nocturnal creatures, so people will only chance running into them at sundown, and into the night. They tend to wake up and start foraging for their food at sunset. And this is when people are most likely to encounter these animals.

Ultimately, people need to keep in mind that skunks are mostly defenceless. And there spray is there only defence mechanism. They do not want to spray as a general rule. Because not only does it deplete their energy and makes them weaker.

Spraying also causes them to use up this oily substance, and be defenceless for up to ten days. While their body makes some more.

Because of this, skunks do not ever want to spray, unless it is their last resort of escaping the situation alive. Because of this, the most important thing that a camper or hiker can do when they encounter this animal. Is to simply stop moving.

By immediately stopping, and being quiet. Can often be enough to allow the skunk to escape safely and quickly.

However, if the skunk does not run away. People should start moving extremely slowly, away from the skunk. Ideally backwards, so that they can keep their eye on where the skunk is going at all times.

If the skunk is with their offspring. It is even more important for people to stop immediately and get as far away as possible. Because they are even more defensive when they are with their babies.

This is also why it is important that all pets need to be on a leash while in Alberta campgrounds. Because an unleashed dog or cat. Can upset a skunk so much. That they will spray, even if the pet has no intention of harming the animal.

Alberta Campgrounds | Avoid Getting Sprayed by a Skunk

Because skunks are native to Alberta, campers and hikers enjoying Alberta campgrounds can often come across these animals.

Mostly peaceful in nature, these small mammals do not want to spray people or animals that they come across. It leaves them weak and defenceless.

And if they are feeling threatened, people should be aware of the warning signs. So that they can stop moving and making noises. So that the animal feels less threatened.

Skunks that are starting to feel threatened will start stomping their feet, or start seeing at people or animals. As an indication that they are feeling threatened.

Then, they will raise their tail, giving people a clear indication that they are preparing to spray. Since skunks can spray up to 3 m away, putting as much space as possible between the camper and the animal is important.

However, doing this calmly is just as important. To avoid continuing to startle the animal.

If skunks end up spray, the spray is an oily substance, and can cause severe skin rotation. Including watery eyes, temporary blindness and even nausea in the people who have been sprayed.


Neutralizing this oily liquid is extremely important. To avoid irritating the skin, and neutralizing the smell. And while tomato juice has always been provided as an antidote for neutralizing this smell.

The reason why tomato juice is effective, is because tomatoes are acidic, and it can cut through the oil. However if campers are having a hard time finding tomato juice. If they have 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda on hand. They can come up with a solution that can help neutralize the skunk spray.

By taking 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a quarter cup baking soda. Just before application, adding 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Can neutralize the oil. And help minimize the smell and irritation of this oil.

It might be prudent for campers and hikers to ensure that they have hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in their camping gear. So that if they do come across this animal that is native to Alberta. They can be prepared to eliminate the smell easily.

This is also why it is very important for animals to be A Leash at All Times Will Visiting Alberta Campgrounds. Because they will be less likely to know that they need to be still and be quiet. In order to avoid threatening the animal.

By encountering wildlife, and knowing exactly what to do. Can help campers and hikers alike enjoy the experience.

And be able to enjoy the beauty of the animals, while knowing they are not causing them to feel threatened. That might cause them to release their defence mechanisms. Or even attack.

By being aware of the animals that they might encounter in Alberta campgrounds. Can help prepare people for what they are going to do, no matter what animal they come across.