10 Tips for Hiking and Camping in Wolf Countries and How to Protect Yourself from Wolves!
Tips for hiking and camping in wolf countries is a topic backpackers should be much aware of. Before heading out, it is always good to do some research so you’ll have an idea of how to protect yourself from wolves. Also, if you are planning your trip to Northern Europe, here are some tips for hiking and camping in wolf countries that you need to know.
Wilderness camping is when you’re camping away from established campsites and lodges. There are a lot of serious concerns when it comes to wilderness camping as you may be isolated from other people. If you plan on going out for a hike or an extended backpacking trip, make sure to inform someone about your plans. It is also good to pick campsites near water sources and known trails since this will be a big help in case you need to seek help from other people.
Essential Items to Pack for a Hiking and a Camping Trip
Below are some of the essentials items you must pack for your hiking and camping trip:
Water Purification System/Filter
A water filter or a purification system is one of the most important items to pack for a hiking and camping trip. Although there are water sources available along the trail, it is always better to be ready in case these sources have been contaminated by droppings from wild animals.
Insect Repellents and Bear Sprays
Although the weather forecast may be good when you left home, it is still a must to pack a durable emergency shelter just in case something unexpected happens. Having a tent or an emergency shelter will keep you from getting wet, especially if rain suddenly falls.
First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit should include items such as band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and antibacterial ointments.
A flashlight or a headlamp is also another essential item you must pack for your hiking and camping trip since power outages can happen anytime on the trail.
Getting lost in the trail happens more often than you think. To make sure that this won’t happen to you, it is a good idea to bring a GPS device along with your camping gear.
Camping Food and Cooking Equipment
Rust-proof and durable cooking equipment like a camping stove, pots, and pans are essential items to pack for your camping trip. It is also advisable to pack easy-to-carry food items such as energy bars and trail mix. You may not know when you’ll get hungry so it is always good to be prepared with enough food items that will provide you with the right amount of energy.
Top 10 Wolf Countries Tips for Hiking and Camping in Wolf Countries
Wolf Population 2000
Alienation, north of Chernobyl is the most common area for wolf sightings. Five-day survival courses are being offered in Ukraine to teach people how to protect themselves from a wolf attack.
Popular Hiking Trails in Ukraine
- Trukhaniv Island
- Pip Ivan
- Mount Parashka
- Mount Goverla
- Chornohora Ridge
Wolf Population 2000
Spain is a popular destination for campers, hikers, and climbers. Wolves are not always the bag guys here. Although this may be good news to outdoor enthusiasts, it is still advisable to avoid hiking or camping alone.
Popular Hiking Trails in Spain
- Chinyero Volcano Loop
- Sendero De Los Roques De Garcia
- Benijo El Draguillo Via Camino Del Hediondo
- Montana Blanca Trail
- Mountain Guajara
Wolf Population 4000
Considered a wildlife sanctuary, this mountainous country is home to brown bears, wild boars, and wolves. It is best to carry pepper spray when hiking in Kyrgyzstan, particularly at night.
Popular Hiking Trails in Kyrgyzstan
- Ak Su Traverse Trek
- Tien Shan
- Ala Kol Lake
- Ak Sai Waterfall
- Ala Archa
Wolf Population 9000
As a country with a vast area, there are various wolf populations in the United States. You can find wolves in different regions of California, Wyoming, Alaska, and Michigan. In the northern part of the U.S., it is best to avoid hiking alone during sunset and sunrise hours.
Popular Hiking Trails in The United States
- Angels Landing Trail
- Devils Bridge Trail
- Emerald Lake Trail
- Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trails
- Skyline Trail Loop
Wolf Population 12500
China is amongst the wolf countries you should avoid camping or hiking in. In 2014, a group of hikers was attacked by a pack of wolves which killed one and injured four others.
Popular Hiking Trails in China
- Mount Siguniang National Park
- Tiger Leaping Gorge Trail To Yak La Camping Trekking Route
- The North Face Great Wall
- Wutong Mountain
Wolf Population 25,000 30,000
Russia is a country rich with vast forests and is a major wolf country. Since most of the trails are near residential areas, camping or hiking in Russia is not advisable.
Popular Hiking Trails in Russia
- Mount Elbrus via West Slope Route
- Ural Mountains
- Lavra Trail
- Eco Path Ridge of Vyaramyanselkya
- Alpine Meadows
Wolf Population 52,000 60,000
As a country with a vast forest and wildlife, camping and hiking in Canada are very popular. Wolves are most likely to attack when you’re driving or camping alone. It is best to hike in a group and avoid the twilight hours.
Popular Hiking Trails in Canada
- Lake Louise via Plain of Six Glaciers Trailhead
- Great Lakes Trail
- Ha Ling Peak
- Lake Agnes Trail
- Johnston Canyon to Ink Pots
10 Tips for Hiking and Camping in Wolf Countries and How to Protect Yourself from Wolves
Below are 10 important tips for backpackers who plan to hike or camp in wolf countries:
1. Hike with a Group
It is advised to hike with a group as wolves generally avoid larger groups. A group of three will do the trick. Moreover, hiking and camping with a group will not only ensure your safety but also provide camaraderie.
2. Travel Light
Since you’ll be carrying all your essentials, it is best to travel light. By traveling light, you can easily move around and keep yourself protected in case of an encounter with wolves.
3. Avoid Twilight Hours
Avoid hiking or camping during twilight hours as wolves are most active during this period. You can also go around the area to see if there are wolf tracks or scat before you start your hike.
4. Avoid Flora Areas
In wolf countries, avoid hiking in flora areas as these areas provide food and shelter for the said animals. Hiking in a flora area will just attract wolves.
5. Keep Pests at Bay
Keep your pets away from the campsite since pet food may attract wolves. Wolves are very good hunters and can easily outmaneuver humans in case of an encounter. It is best to keep your pets under control when visiting wolf countries.
6. Avoid Carrying Meat
Avoid carrying meat when you go camping or hiking since wolves are attracted to the scent of flesh. If you do not want your campsite or vicinity to be disturbed, try burying or burning the meat.
7. Keep Noise at Bay
Aside from avoiding flora areas, keep noise at bay while hiking in wolf countries. Avoid talking loudly during your hike as this can cause stress to wolves. It is best not to make loud noises during your hike since it will make you more vulnerable.
8. Wear Bright Colors
Wear bright colors during your hike since wolves are less likely to attack in the daytime when they can easily distinguish you from your surroundings. You can wear red or orange, but make sure that it is not too bright.
9. Make Yourself Seen
If you can see wolves, they most likely can also see you. Wolves see in the yellow and green color spectrum, so try wearing bright colors. Make yourself visible to avoid startling the animals.
10. Know How to React
Since wolves are nocturnal animals, they will most likely attack at night. If you happen to encounter a wolf pack, make sure that you stay calm and do not show signs of aggression.
What to Do If You Encounter a Wolf?
Encountering a wolf or a pack of wolves is not something you should take lightly. Remember to keep calm and remember the following tips:
Do Not Run
If you encounter a wolf or a pack of wolves, do not run as this can trigger their predatory instincts. It is best to stand your ground and let them know that you are not easy prey. Make yourself big and try to look as big as possible.
Talk Slowly when You Have to
Make yourself look bigger by talking slowly. Do not make sudden movements that can trigger the wolves ‘ aggressive instincts. If there are several people with you, spread out so that they will surround you. This way, it will be easier for the wolves to focus on one target at a time.
Scare Them Off with Some Sound
If the wolves attack, make enough noise to scare them off. Do not scream as this can also trigger their predatory instincts. Try throwing objects that are within arm’s reach. Make yourself look bigger by waving your arms around and try making a lot of noise to make the animals run away from you.
Use Your Body Parts to Survive
Fight back by using your body parts such as your elbows and legs. This will make it harder for the wolf to get a good grip on you. Try fighting back by kicking or elbowing the animal until it lets go of you or until a rescuer comes to help you.
Protect Your Head
Try protecting your head from being bitten with your arms since this is the most vulnerable part of your body when you get attacked. Wolves do not like the taste of human flesh and will most likely let go of you when they feel that it is too hard to bite into.
Types of Wolves
If you are an active backpacker who likes to hike or camp alone, it is best to avoid areas where wolves are present. Visit wolf countries during the daytime if possible so that you can keep track of your surroundings.
There are several types of wolves that you should know about since they vary in aggression levels and hunting patterns.
The Gray Wolf
The gray wolf, for example, is known as the most aggressive wolf compared to other species. The gray wolf is an aggressive hunter who prefers to attack in packs.
The Red Wolf
The red wolf, on the other hand, prefers to hunt alone when it spots its prey. The red wolf hunts during the day and is less likely to attack humans unless you are near its den or cubs.
The Arctic Wolf
The Arctic wolf is another type of wolf that is not very aggressive and prefers to stay in the Arctic Circle. The arctic wolf avoids humans and prefers to dig its prey out from under the snow.
First Aid for a Wolf Attack
If you do get attacked by a wolf, try to fight back using these first-aid tips:
Wash the Wound
If the wolf’s teeth or claws punctured your skin, wash the wound with water and soap as soon as you can. Try removing any dirt or debris from the wound since this can lead to infection.
Pressure the wound to stop the bleeding. Make sure that you do not remove any objects that are stuck in your skin as this can cause more damage. Keep applying pressure until the blood stops flowing or until paramedics arrive to help you. Do not tie tourniquets around your wounds since this can lead to tissue damage and can cause more harm than good.
Make Sure the Wound Heals Properly
If components of your skin were bitten off by a wolf, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. You need to know if there are any infections because this could lead to sepsis. Apply bandages and make sure that the wound heals properly.
There is no vaccine for a wolf attack so if you do get bit, it is important to monitor your condition and to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Look out for signs of infection such as redness, pain, and fever. It is best to go on antibiotics right away and avoid any strenuous activities until the bite wound heals.
FAQs Related to Tips for Hiking and Camping in Wolf Countries
What Is The Best Color(s) for a Person to Wear When Hiking/Camping in Wolf Countries?
If you are hiking or camping in wolf countries, it is best not to wear bright colors. Try wearing earth tones instead since these colors blend in better with the natural environment. Wolves have been known to attack people who were wearing red, orange, yellow, or white colors because wolves mistake these bright colors for a rival wolf.
Yellow and orange are the best colors to wear since this is part of the camouflage pattern when you are in the woods. Wolves do not see yellow, orange, or brown as bright so even if you wear these colors when hiking or camping, it would be less likely for you to be attacked.
How Can You Protect Your Head When Hiking/Camping in Wolf Countries?
If you are hiking or camping in wolf countries where the brown bear is present, you should protect your head with a hat or any other item that can shield your skull. Make sure that your arms and legs are covered as much as possible too since your limbs are more likely to be injured during an attack compared to your head.
How Can You Protect Your Neck When Hiking/Camping in Wolf Countries?
It is best to protect your neck when hiking or camping in wolf countries since this can lead to serious injuries. Try wearing turtle necks, scarves, face masks, or high-collared shirts. If you are wearing a turtleneck sweater, this can protect your neck during an attack because it is harder for wolves to grab onto loose fabric.
What Are The Best Shoes for Hiking/Camping in Wolf Countries?
It is best to wear leather boots when hiking or camping in wolf countries. Try wearing hiking boots or military-style boots to protect your ankles from the wolves’ jaws. It is also best to wear thick socks when you are hiking so that there will not be any exposed areas for a wolf to attack.
How Can I Distract a Wolf When Hiking/Camping in Wolf Countries?
When you are hiking or camping in wolf country, you should distract the wolves by making your presence known. Make noise, sing songs, yell loudly, and carry noisemakers that can scare away the wolves. If there are children with you who are crying or shouting, then try shushing them to make less noise for their sake.
The above tips for hiking and camping in wolf countries is something every active backpacker must know. Wolves attack people out of fear and because they want to protect their territory. If you want to learn more about wolf attacks, then I suggest that you read more about this topic on Tips for Hiking and Camping in Wolf Countries. Stay safe and keep hiking/camping in wolf countries!