If you’re out camping in areas where coyotes are known to roam, then you might be wondering about your safety.

As resident of Vegas, I’ve seen a few coyotes crossing the road at night from the safety of my car.

Of course, they’re the kind of animals that are considered nocturnal and hardly ever seen.

You may glimpse one or two as they move from one territory to the next, hunting their prey, but they’re not really seeking out humans.

In fact, they are not too keen on human presence.

You may even scare them away when they notice you.

Let’s look at their habitation and what you can expect when camping in coyote territory.

Their Habitation

coyote in the wild
credit: Pexels

When a coyote encounters a human being, it might not run away immediately.

But, the coyote that is fed by a human being might return for more food or rummage in the trash.

This might be one reason that they come out of their normal habitation.

They will look at these human beings as the source of their food.

That is why it might not be the wisest idea to feed them.

If a coyote comes back for food, you might have to use scare tactics to show the coyote that it needs to stay away.

Will coyotes attack you in your tent?

If you use a tent while camping, it is quite improbable that a coyote will attack you.

However, they might have some level of curiosity for food, especially, if they are hungry.

coyote walking through field

They might come near to the tent, if they think food is inside the tent.

You can get rid of them by making loud and annoying noises.

Of course, you may hear the howls, but don’t let that scare you. These creatures are timid in nature.

They are fearful of human beings and would rather stay far away from us.

But the best thing for you to do is prevent attracting coyotes in the first place.

Then, you won’t have to worry about coyotes being interested in your tent.

How to keep them away from your tent

coyote in grass

If the coyote smells something delicious food in the tent, they will try to get close, but if not, they will stay at a distance.

With that being said, the younger ones may want to explore some more.

The first thing to do is to make sure that the doors and windows of the tent are zipped or closed all the way.

Begin to zip or close the tent from the bottom up to the top; making sure that there is no loophole or opening for the coyote or any other small creature to come in.

Store all your food safely away from the tent; locking it away in containers so it does not smell.

If that does not work, keep the food in the car or in an ice box.

If you have any small pets with you, then that may be what is attracting the coyotes.

So, keep small pets on a leash and inside your tent with you to avoid the coyotes from thinking your pet is the perfect small prey.

What To Do If You Meet A Coyote At Night?

Coyote at night

Naturally, coyotes are quite timid as mentioned before.

They will typically go away, if a human being is around.

If you see coyotes approaching you or lingering around, start the hazing technique.

Don’t know how?

Here are the steps to chase coyotes away:

  • Never run from them nor turn around with your back to them
  • Start making loud and authoritative noises
  • Clap or wave your two arms as you shout
  • Bang two pot covers together
  • Toot your car horn
  • Make whistling sounds or blow a whistle, if you have one
  • Throw small rocks, sticks or stones at them
  • If you have a hose, turn it on and squirt at them

The idea is to let the coyote know not to come any further and that they are not welcomed.

One important thing to note is not to carry out these methods if the coyote has young pups accompanying them or the coyote looks sick or injured.

What to do if you’re attacked

If you are attacked by a coyote, you should try to make yourself look like you are the bigger threat.

Stare right at the coyote as you carry out the shouting and other hazing techniques.

Never act like a victim.

Defend yourself in any way you can, even if it means using a weapon until the coyote backs off.

Try to always be in control of the situation.

Coyote turning on a rock in the desert southwest

It’s very important that you do not try to run away from the coyote.

The coyote should start to retreat away from you, unless you’ve stumbled upon its den and its pupping season (usually May).

In this instance, you can slowly back away by making a lot of noise and waving your arms so that you to intimidate the animal.

And you should always report your encounters with animals like this to park rangers or other authorities so that they can follow up on it.

Final Word

As you can see, it is very rare that a coyote will attack a human at night.

These nocturnal animals prefer small prey, unlike wolves.

You can be proactive in keeping coyotes away from your tent and your campsite by making sure there is nothing there to attract them in the first place.

But if you do find yourself staring down a coyote, just remember to not run away and to make yourself the bigger threat so that the animal retreats.

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