Mountain lions, also known as Cougars, Puma concolor, Panthers, and Puma, are one of the largest small cat species. They are usually calm and quiet and walk across paths looking for prey.
Even though you are unlikely to encounter a mountain lion while camping, you must know what to do if you see one. Make sure never to leave any food out, as this could attract the lions into your camp. You can also make noise by shouting or clapping your hands, which will likely scare them away if they lurk nearby.
If you go camping in North America, you are more likely to see a mountain lion if you are in its territory. However, even then, the odds of seeing a mountain lion are pretty slim.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe while camping in an area where mountain lions live.
Let’s start by looking at how to prevent mountain lions from attacking you when you’re camping.
- Mountain lions are afraid of humans, much as you would be. Make sure you travel in a group to be secure in a mountain lion-inhabited region. Any cougar hidden in the area will be frightened away. Mountain lions often target those who are parted from their companions, according to legend.
- When camping, always make sure to keep an eye on your children. Mountain lions like young kids, so it is essential to keep them close. It is necessary to have them stay close to you during the night. Have them walk ahead or between you and another adult if you’re walking. They will be safe if a mountain lion comes up from behind.
- You should not leave any food around while camping, as this will attract animals to your camp. It could include bears or mountain lions.
- Try wearing regular clothes. Don’t wear clothes that look like the skin of an animal you might eat.
- When hiking, stay away from areas with cougar kittens. They are protective of their young and might attack people or things that pose a danger to them. If you hear them whining in the distance, it means they are near.
- If you are not experienced in how to handle a mountain lion, leave your pets at home. If you take your pets with you, be very careful and watch them closely. Do not let them wander off. In other words, care for them as if they were your child.
How to Deal With a Mountain Lion Outside Your Tent
In reality, these cats are scared. They usually do not attack what they cannot see. They often attack by sneaking up on their prey and pouncing it when it’s not looking. Thus, you may rest assured that your tent is in a secure location. They can’t see the person inside the tent, so they would walk by if they were nearby. It is scarce for them to bother humans, but note that sleeping outside your tent possesses more risk.
They are frightened off by loud, obnoxious things, not quiet, peaceful, or deceased creatures. You wouldn’t be able to scare them away by making noise while you sleep. As a result, it’s best to sleep within your tent when camping in a mountain lion territory.
Keeping your campsite clean can protect you from mountain lions and bears. Make sure you don’t leave any food these animals might want.
If you’re camping where black bears live, keeping your campsite clean and food away from your camp is essential. It will help avoid attracting bears and potentially getting attacked. You should stay calm if you see a mountain lion outside your tent at night. Watch its movements to see if it is not very nice. If it is not aggressive, be very quiet and let it walk away. If it gets angry and attacks the tent, you can scare it away by making a loud noise.
Many people like to go camping to explore the landscape. But it is essential to be careful when doing this. You are more likely to see a mountain lion at certain times.
There is a greater risk of running into a mountain lion, especially if you are alone. So, it’s essential to know how to find one and what to do if you do.
How to Determine Whether a Mountain Lion Is Following You
Mountain lions live by themselves. Most of the time, they live where there aren’t many people. They are shy, so they try to avoid paths with people on them as much as possible. You can see this in that they are most active at dawn and dusk.
These animals shy away from people and live in mountains or vegetation to protect themselves.
Mountain lions use these covers for two reasons: to protect themselves and to stalk their prey. They can stay hidden for hours, waiting for the perfect moment to attack. They are excellent jumpers and usually go for the kill from behind.
It’s difficult to tell when a mountain lion is watching you since it is a quiet and sensitive animal. Some signals indicate, “Hey, there’s a mountain lion around here.”
- It might be because of a predator nearby if you stop hearing birds chirping and don’t see any deer or small animals. Be careful if you’re camping in an area where mountain lions live.
- After they kill their prey, mountain lions usually eat the soft tissues first. Then they drag the carcass to a quiet place and cover it with branches so they can return later and eat more. A mountain lion is probably close by if you are walking on a trail and see a dead deer or rabbit. You should avoid it if you can.
- If you find toes in a path shaped like a teardrop, there is likely a mountain lion nearby.
- Mountain lions are usually very quiet, so it won’t be easy tracking them by sound. But when they growl or hiss, they can sometimes sound like a bird chirping, a person whistling, or a grown-up house cat.
How to Detect Whether a Mountain Lion Is Tailing You
It is scarce to be attacked by a mountain lion. It is infrequent to see one at all. These animals are shy and usually try to stay away from people. They would instead remain hidden in the mountains than be around people.
Even though mountain lions are not usually a threat to people, there are some cases when they can be dangerous. If you see signs that a mountain lion is following or stalking you, here are some things you can do to scare it off. If the mountain lion becomes aggressive, here are some things you should do to protect yourself.
- If you see a mountain lion on your trail, start making noise. You could hit objects together or make any other loud noise. The lion will know that a giant animal is around and will probably leave.
- If you are in an area where there might be mountain lions, it is a good idea always to stand up tall. It makes you look like a human, which mountain lions usually do not see as prey. And if you are sitting or bending over, it is best to stand up quickly, so the lion doesn’t think you’re an easy target.
- If a mountain lion is coming toward you, stay calm and slowly back away while looking at it. Do not turn your back or try to run away. Look straight into its eyes and be as intimidating as possible. Back away slowly while giving it enough space to pass through without making contact.
- If you want to look intimidating, you can wave your hands slowly, raise your arms or speak firmly in a loud voice.
- If you have tried the tips mentioned above and they haven’t worked, then you should try to attack the mountain lion.
- If that fails, be prepared to fight like hell when it strikes. Standing still or playing dead isn’t the smart choice here. Stay in character. Be intimidating and fight with whatever is at your disposal.
- You should carry pepper spray if any of the above situations occur. You can prepare for this by doing what you can beforehand. It is the best time to do so.
What Are Mountain Lions Afraid Of?
Contrary to popular belief, cougars (or mountain lions) are afraid of humans. They escape when they see or hear a human. You need not fear them; they will not assault you!
It is why mountain lions hunt at dawn and dusk when the probability of encountering a human is very low. Most people hiking or camping in a mountain lion territory usually go with a radio. The sound of a human voice on the radio is a sure way to scare away a mountain lion from your camp or whatever path you are treading.
Mountain lions are scared of humans. Therefore, they are less inclined to attack humans. But if they do, it is best to stay up and make a lot of noise. It will show the mountain lion that you are a human and scare the lion away.
It is infrequent to see a mountain lion, so you are not likely to see one. However, if you do see one, make sure you are prepared. Please do not run away from the mountain lion, as this will trigger its instincts and make it more likely to come after you.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Keep Cougars Away
Can You Scare a Cougar?
If you see a cougar, you can try to scare it away by fighting it. Most people are bigger than cougars, so the animal usually runs away. You can also use pepper spray to make the cougar run away.
What To Do if a Cougar Chases You?
Be aggressive if you see a cougar. Please try to frighten it away by making noise, throwing objects at it, or even attacking it. If you are bold enough, the cougar will realize it has made a mistake and leave.
Does Loud Music Deter Cougars?
Mountain lions are opportunistic hunters. They frequently prey on livestock and household pets. Mountain lions are quickly frightened by sudden, loud noises, which are the best defense against these predators.
Should I Throw Rocks at a Cougar?
Never flee a mountain lion if you encounter one. Do not bend over or crouch down. Instead, aggressively wave your arms, throw stones or branches, and do not turn away.
Should You Scream at a Cougar?
If you see a cougar, face it and look at its feet, not into its eyes. It will help you avoid looking aggressive. If the cougar displays aggressive behavior, try to look bigger by raising your arms or opening your jacket. You can also make noise by yelling, blowing a whistle, or an air horn.
Are Cougars Afraid of Fire?
Cougars will try to stay away from humans. They don’t like being near us and usually avoid areas where we are. It includes campfires, but there is no evidence that campfires scare cougars by themselves.