Skip to Content

How to Keep Snakes Away When Sleeping on the Ground

Please share!

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details..

Going camping? Camping is a lot of fun, and it is a great idea to spend some time outdoors.

However, you might have some camping fears because of what you’ve heard or experienced. For example, the fear of snakes at your campsite.

How can you keep snakes away when sleeping on the ground at your campsite? Read this article for some tips.

11 Tips to Keep Snakes Away When Sleeping on the Ground

Here are some great ways to prevent snakes from reaching you when sleeping on the ground:

1. Do Your Research

Couple sitting in the living room and using tablet for researching

The first thing to do about snakes is to do your research. Before going to the campsite, you want to know if there are snakes in that area or not.

You also want to know the types of snakes in the area and learn if there are venomous snakes. If there are venomous snakes in that location, you may want to rethink your camping choice as well as your sleeping location.

You should select campsites that are free from snakes and other wild animals.

However, if you are certain that the snakes in that area are not venomous, you may want to sleep above the ground, just in case.

2. Camp Far From the Snake Zone

Rattle Snake sign at the Joshua Tree National Park

You can make your camp in an area with snakes without getting disturbed by snakes.

All you need to do is to choose a location that is far from potential hideouts for snakes.

For example, snakes love rocky places, as they can hide under and among the rocks. You can also find them under logs as well as some moveable objects in the woods. You also want to check for holes as well as some climbable trees.

A campsite in an open field that is far from snake shelters and hideouts is perfect, as snakes usually do not like going far from their shelters.

Well, snakes may visit the campsite, but if you can use the other tips below, your camping experience will be free from snakes.

3. Check for and Block Holes in Your Tent

woman checking tent while camping in forest on summer time

You may want to examine and reexamine your tent to make sure that there are no holes through which a snake can pass into the tent.

Before sleeping, you want to make sure that you properly seal the tent so that no snake or other pests can enter.

So long as snakes do not have access to the tent, they will not enter.

Before sleeping, you may want to raise the tent to check under it for snakes and other pests. But it is very unlikely that there will be snakes in or around your tent, especially if you did not set your tent very close to the woods.

4. Storing Your Camp Food

preparing food in airtight container

Snakes are mostly attracted by food. Even though they are carnivorous, your food can still attract them because it can attract rats and other vermin when you do not store your food properly.

In turn, these pests attract snakes, as snakes love eating rats and other smaller animals. This is why you must store the food well.

To properly store your food at the campsite, use containers with airtight seals to seal the food so that rats cannot smell the food.

Also, you want to cook far from your tent (but not in the woods) so that the smell of the food will not attract pests to your tent.

5. Speak to the Camp Guide or Ranger

If there is a camp guide or anyone with authority in the camp, it is best to discuss with them first so that you can learn if there are any snake prevention measures in the camp.

Ask the camp guide or ranger what you can do or how you can help to prevent snakes from entering the campsite.

If anyone knows if there are snakes around or not, it is your camp guide, so your camp guide should be the first person you talk to regarding snakes. Make sure you obey their instructions (if any), so you do not find yourself in a dangerous situation.

6. Make a Campfire

Happy Couple Sitting by Campfire Watching Night Sky while Camping

Campfires are great as you can sit near them with others and share beautiful stories. But campfires also help repel snakes, especially nocturnal ones, because any light source repels them.

Aside from the campfire being a source of light, the heat might also be too much for the snakes to go too close to it.

Snakes will usually not visit any tent that is close to a campfire.

Before making the campfire, you want to discuss with the camp guide and find out if you are allowed to make a fire. You also want to ask them if there are guidelines on how to make the fire.

7. Make Some Noise with Your Friends

Group of friends having fun while camping

Why else are you going to the camp if not to have a lot of fun with friends? While you see it as fun, the noise you and your friends make deters many wild animals, especially the nocturnal ones.

Truth is, snakes are as scared of you as you are of them, so they only need to be aware of your presence if you do not want them near you.

Well, you want to make sure that you do not make too much noise to disturb others. Chat and have fun with your friends in moderation, and do not play very loud music that can prevent people from sleeping.

8. Install Some Camp Lights

While camp lights can make your campsite look very beautiful, they also help repel nocturnal animals. Plus, using lights means you will not need a flashlight.

Just make sure that others at the campsite agree to use camp lights because some people love sleeping in the dark.

Well, if others in your camp do not like the idea of camp lights, you can install the lights just in or around your tent. Snakes will surely leave your tent at night, as they hate the bright light.

Camping on the beach. Campfire and tent with yellow lights on sea shore

9. Dispose of Your Trash Appropriately

How do you dispose of dirt or trash at your campsite?

Of course, there should already be a guideline about waste disposal, as inappropriate waste disposal can attract pests and animals to the site.

Always remember that a spot with rats is a potential spot for snakes. This means that you must dispose of your trash in a way that will not attract rats.

The best way to dispose of trash at the campsite is to dispose of it in the trash bins. If you are camping in the wild, you will need to pack your trash and wait until you get to town before you dispose of it.

Make sure that you follow the guidelines to dispose of trash, if any.

10. Do Not Sleep on the Ground


If you or someone else has seen a snake near your campsite, you may want to reconsider sleeping on the ground because you do not want to take chances regarding this.

You can sleep on a hammock or camping cot so that you can feel safe, as you are far from the ground.

Aside from the fear of snakes, not sleeping on the ground is recommended as it can get too cold, or you might wake up with back pain. The choice is up to you, but make sure that you put snakes into consideration.

11. Get Some Snake Repellents

One great way to be completely comfortable, because you no longer fear snakes entering your campsite, is when you use snake repellents. These products (purchased or made) repel snakes and other pests, so they give you a wonderful camping experience.

Do snake repellents work?

Well, some people say that they do not work, but many of them surely work as long as you follow the instructions when using them. Whether you choose to use snake repellents or not, you can be sure of a snake-free camping experience when you make use of all the tips above.

Now you know several ways to keep snakes away when sleeping on the ground at your campsite.

Talking about snake repellents, continue reading to learn how to make snake repellent yourself.

Some DIY Snake Repellents

Here are some snake repelling products that are easy to make and you can use at your campsite:

1. Sulfur

Sulfur blocks and sulfur powder on wooden table

Well, you only need to buy some sulfur and sprinkle it along the edges of your campsite (close to the woods). Sulfur has a strong odor and irritates snakes, so snakes will usually not enter a campsite when you use sulfur at the borders.

Make sure that you wear gloves and a mask when applying the sulfur as it can irritate you as well.

2. Lime Mixture

This is going to be a personal snake repelling product, as it is not strong enough to be used for the entire camp. Mix one-part lime with one-part hot pepper or peppermint powder, then spray the mixture around your tent.

Note that you will need to do this daily before you sleep as the product expires quickly.

3. Onions and Garlic

Garlic and onion on wooden background

Onions and garlic contain a sufficient amount of sulfur, so you can make use of these bulbs to repel snakes. Blend an equal amount of onions and garlic, and then mix some rock salt with the onion-garlic blend.

Just like the previous product, this is a personal snake repelling product, and you also need to make a new one daily.

4. Naphthalene

Naphthalene is the active ingredient in many store-bought snake repellants. It is also an active ingredient in mothballs.

You only need to place moth balls around the campsite to repel snakes.

You should note that this product is toxic, so you want to prevent pests and kids from touching and consuming it.

5. Ammonia

Green liquid Ammonia in a small bottle

The last resort should be ammonia, as even you and everyone else at the campsite will hate the smell.

Apply ammonia far from the campsite so that the smell will not disturb you. The smell of ammonia will prevent snakes and other pests from smelling your camp food, so they will not disturb you at all.

Ammonia also doubles as a nitrogen source for plants in the woods as it releases a lot of nitrates into the soil with the help of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which are already present in surplus in the woods.

Now you can finally sleep in your tent at peace, knowing that snakes will not disturb you.

Final Thoughts

You can have a snake-free camping experience and even sleep on the ground if you want, so long as you stick to the camping guidelines and use the tips in this article. We hope you enjoy your stay at the camp.


Please share!