Hiking bag trips may include exposure to wolves. You may fear these carnivores because they are often depicted as an animal that is scary and will attack you. You most likely view them as a human predator. They are not. Do you, or a loved one reject hiking bag trips from a fear of wolves? Wolves don’t normally pose a threat to humans from a distance. Outdoor enthusiasts should just be alert. I will give you some helpful information to eliminate fear of wolves while hiking and camping.
Hiking Bag Backpackers – Keep Your Distance
You are a guest in the wildlife environment. It is quite safe if the space between you and the wolf is at least 50 feet. Both hiker and wolf are actually safer because wolves are skittish of humans and humans fear them. You should never approach a wolf simply because it’s a wild animal. If you lure them with food you carry in your hiking pack, wolves get used to humans and their scents, which may result in human habituation. Kids need to be nearby and in sight throughout a hike. You must keep pets leashed and under control because wolves will consider them prey. If possible, for their own safety, keep pets at home.
What Do Wolves Eat?
I’ll bet you didn’t know that wolves have about 200 million scent cells allowing them to smell other animals more than one mile away. We humans have only about 5 million. Under certain conditions, wolves can hear as far as six miles away in the forest and ten miles on the open tundra. I’ve read that a hungry wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single meal. A human would have to eat one hundred hamburgers in comparison.
Humans Must Respect The Wolves Domain
Hiking bag treks can expose you to wildlife you’ve never encountered before. You can rest assured knowing that wolves are considered Ungulates. This means that they primarily feast on large-hoofed mammals including horses, cattle, pigs, and deer. Caution is always advised when you are in their “house.”
It’s never a good idea to camp in the wilderness near a carcass, because wolves will scavenge these dead animals and protect that food source. In coastal areas you may commonly see wolves feeding on carcasses such as seals and sea lions that have washed ashore. Because of this, it is wise to thoroughly check out the area first before setting up your camp area.
Hikers, Keep It Clean
You will want to always keep a clean and orderly camp as a means of protection. You had a great day of fishing but never clean fish at your campsite. Remove carcasses immediately far from your area. Do not bury bones or garbage. If you pack it in, pack it out. You should cook and store food away from sleeping areas. You must secure your food and kitchen items even when the camp is unoccupied during the day because wolves will scavenge day and night. Campers have reported that wolves have removed personal and other non-food items from campsites. Hikers, be sure you bury all human excrement at least 6″ deep since wolves have been known to feed on excrement buried in cat holes.
What If A Wolf Approaches Me?
Take immediate action whenever you encounter a wolf that acts either unafraid or aggressive. If you notice the animal before it reaches 100 meters close to you, you can easily and slowly retreat. You can raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself appear larger. You should make lots of noise, throw sticks, rocks or sand at the wolf to scare him/them away. If fellow hikers are along, act in unison to send a noisy but clear message to the wolves that they are not welcome.
Wolfs Can Run Fast
Did you know that a wolf can run about 20 miles (32 km) per hour, and up to 40 miles (56 km) per hour when necessary? They can only do this only for a minute or two. They can “dog trot” around 5 miles (8km) per hour and can travel all day at this speed. A wolf pack may contain just two or three animals, or it may be 10 times as large.
Beware Of Aggression
If you encounter a wolf that seems aggressive, back away slowly without turning your back away from the wolf. You should never run away with your back turned. The same rule applies to bears encounters; don’t run. You can use bear spray or pepper spray if you have it and you have the skills to use it safely. Be aware of the range and operating conditions of the product you are using.
Hiking Bag Excursions – 10 Wolf Facts
You have learned the preventative side of dealing with wolves. Your fear should be lessened because you now have knowledge and understanding of the species. You are always cautious, aware and alert, so you will be fine.
Interesting Facts About Wolves
- Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family, which includes domestic dogs, coyotes, dingoes, African hunting dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals.
- This animal runs on their toes, which helps them to stop and turn quickly and to prevent their paw pads from wearing down.
- At one time wolves were the most widely distributed land predator the world had ever seen. The only places they didn’t thrive were in the true desert and rain forests.
- A wolf pup’s eyes are blue at birth. Their eyes turn yellow by the time they are eight months old.
- Their jaw has a crushing pressure of nearly 1,500 pounds per square inch (compared with around 750 for a large dog). The jaws themselves are massive, bearing 42 teeth specialized for stabbing, shearing, and crunching bones. That jaws also open farther than that of a dog.
- They can swim distances of up to 8 miles aided by small webs between their toes.
- You’ve heard what a wolf’s howl sounds like. They howl to contact separated members of their group to rally them before hunting, or to warn rival wolf packs to keep away.
- A lone wolf will howl to attract mates or just because they are alone. Each wolf howls for only about five seconds, but howls can seem much longer when the entire pack joins in. Biologists have found that wolves will respond to humans imitating their howls.
- They were the first animals to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act list in 1973.
- The last wolf in Yellowstone Park was killed in 1926. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced and, after just ten years, approximately 136 wolves now roam the Park in about 13 wolf packs.
Hiking Bag Trips – Conquer Your Fears
If you have knowledge, you have power. When you familiarize yourself with animals in the wilderness where you hike, you will know what to expect. When you are armed with pertinent information and feel confident, dealing with wild animals is not so scary. Wolves are beautiful creatures, but you need to keep your distance and use care not to invite them into your space on the trail or campground. Happy Hiking!