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I want to go camping somewhere (I am from Eastern Europe) but the zone is full of golden jackals/foxes. They are a bit larger than a fox, but they stay in packs. I have a husky dog that wouldn't be able to protect us, I think he might actually attract them to my camp. We are not allowed with any type of firearms where I live, unless you have a license which is almost impossible to obtain. An option I think would be something that produces a very loud sound (firecrackers or vuvuzela).

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    Jackals form packs, and are closely related to dogs. (Red) foxes tend to be in no more than a family group, sometimes with more than one adult female; they're also easily scared by humans. The biggest examples of both are similar sizes and weights, but the average jackal is bigger than the average fox. So I suspect you're thinking of jackals, which are bolder.
    – Chris H
    Feb 8, 2023 at 21:33

4 Answers 4

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Real life is not a video game. In most places in the world you don't have to "defend" from animals attacking you or your camp. Unless maybe if you count mosquitoes or other similar pests.

There are a few notable exceptions, mainly bears: black/brown bears in North America, brown bears in parts of Romaina, polar bears way up north. But even here it is mostly about not leaving food lying around your camp - with the exception of polar bears bears don't generally see you as prey.

The animals you listed (golden jackals, boars, foxes) all don't pose a serious threat to you that you need to "defend" against. They are generally shy and will avoid you whenever possible.

  • Don't leave food lying around your camp, or a fox or jackal might try to scavenge a bit.
  • Don't startle boars, especially a mother with young.
  • Don't approach or corner wild animals, or they might be frightened into attacking as a means of defence.

TLDR: Don't worry, you'll be fine.

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  • Concur about foxes -- in my experience, they will run away as soon as you approach. The worst they make is a mess of food left outside, or trash bags. Just hang them high or take them into your tent. Feb 9, 2023 at 8:58
  • @phipsgabler, I can see hanging them up, but I wouldn't take a fox into my tent ;)
    – fgysin
    Feb 9, 2023 at 9:52
  • I thought about that, but I just can't imagine a fox getting into a double-wall tent. It likely won't dare, and it can't penetrate the mesh. Leaving stuff in the vestibules is differenent thing (I have had horses stealing my bread from there, and cats ripping the fabric while trying to cuddle with the people sleeping inside...) Feb 9, 2023 at 10:01
  • Oh. Now I realize your wordplay :D (And my sloppy syntax.) Feb 9, 2023 at 10:02
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    :D ... On a related note, we've actually had issues with a particularly bold batch of urban foxes stealing stuff (shoes, belts, wallets, ...) out of our closed ten vestibules by wriggling below the tent edge... But that is very unlikely to happen out in the wild. :)
    – fgysin
    Feb 9, 2023 at 10:11
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First, see Fsygin's answer. Leave the animals alone, manage your food, and they will leave you alone.

But, if you need to, for your own peace of mind, I'd carry a solid walking stick. Something about twice as thick as a broomstick, bit shorter. If you were attacked by an animal like a jackal or fox, that would easily dissuade it. And it's cheap and doesn't make you look like a lunatic. Not so sure about a boar. I don't think it's necessary, but as long as you don't use it as a license to annoy animals, there is value in having something that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

In camp you can also grab some rocks. From my experience with stray dogs, throwing them in the general direction - you don't have to try to hit them, tends to be quite dissuasive.

Your dog I am not sure about at all. Even if animals will not attack you unwarranted, they may not be so nice to a dog that chases after them. If you have to bring it, I suggest you keep it leashed or well under control.

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    I don't know about jackals, but wolves and coyotes see domestic dogs as competitors for territory and will attack them without provocation.
    – Mark
    Feb 14, 2023 at 4:56
  • Didn't know that. I do know North American incidents with black bears often involve dogs. I am sure a good trained hunting dog is a plus when camping and hiking in the wilderness, quite doubtful about urban pets. Feb 14, 2023 at 5:05
  • Not wild animals, but I think here in Austria most incidents with cows also involve dogs.
    – Michael
    Mar 2, 2023 at 8:02
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How to defend from animals while camping (golden jackals, boars, foxes)?

The first defence is a positive offence. Always be prepared for the unexpected.

  • At night keep a small fire 🔥 going if you are permitted to do so. Always follows safe fire rules!

  • Do not set up camp near known or noticeable game trails. Wild boars habitually travel the same game trails.

  • Do not hike on known game trails of wild boars. They can do major damage to your legs in no time and can come out of nowhere, so always be observant of your surroundings.

  • Do not camp near animal dens, especially if young are present in the area.

  • If social animals like jackals are coming near you, make a lot of noise, especially the type that they are not used to hearing, like banging pots together. See this YouTube episode of Jaws of DEATH | I Shouldn't Be Alive Noise is a great defence against attacks!

  • Carry a good walking staff with you. If you are inventive you could have a removable spear tip put on it, in case of an emergency! Even a knife tied to the end of a stick may give you added protection.

  • Generally wild animals are shy of coming close to humans and will keep their distance. This does not always hold true especially if they are very hungry and you have lots of food with you. Make sure you know how to hang a bear bag

  • Separate food you food stuffs away from your camp and in a food cache (bear bag), especially at night.

While jackals usually leave people alone, even non-rabid ones can attack humans, including to grab for food from a child. They can also attack and transfer rabies to domestic cats and dogs. - Snacks for stray cats may be feeding a rash of jackal attacks

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I have camped on Svalbard, where polar bears are a real threat and hence firearms are mandatory outside of town. However, that's only the last resort. More importantly than scaring them away or in the utmost case shooting them, is detecting them in time. We were traveling with sled-dogs, and they make up a very great watch for intruders. They start to bark very loudly if they see something approaching, even in the middle of the night.

Of course, if you are really scared, you should put up a watch, and if your company consists of several persons, that's always the safest thing to do if staying in an unknown area (but also the most uncomfortable). It protects you not only from animals, but also from other dangers, such as a fire, a flooding (when near water) or - beware - a thief. But you said you have a husky dog, so let him do the watching. He'll most likely bark when he scents foxes, and those will be afraid of him, since they're smaller than your dog. So just leash your dog to a pole outside the tent. A husky dog will be fine sleeping outside.

One important thing I forgot: Could there be rabies in the area where you hike? If so, that would be a real danger, both to you and your dog, as infested animals are aggressive. So make sure your dog is vaccinated against it (mandatory in most countries, ASFAIK) and talk to your doctor whether you need one yourself.

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    IMHO suggesting to keeping a watch is a overkill and unfeasible in most cases. After all you are out there to enjoy nature and maybe some exercise, not to undergo rigorous watch duty and lack of sleep.
    – fgysin
    Feb 9, 2023 at 8:49
  • @fgysin I agree that keeping a watch is not something people want to do during their vacation, but it still is the safest thing to do. Even if it's vacation time, I'm always considering this option to keep me and my group safe.
    – PMF
    Feb 9, 2023 at 9:12
  • The good thing is that I will be camping on an island in Danube river. It is very likely that I will be alone because to reach the island you need to drive from the nearest village trough fields of corn and wheat, then leave your car in a forest zone near Danube, then cut through the very very dense vegetation zone with a machete of about 300 meters carrying your tent/tools/food/water/ then when you reach the river you inflate your boat you place your stock in the boat, and you paddle to the island about 300 meters(it is possible to swim that distance, but you can't swim with stuff in hands) Feb 9, 2023 at 11:26
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    And yet when I was on a similar island with my uncle's family, we found plastic bottles, cigarettes. When you get on the island you feel like all your problems are gone, surrounded by nature's paradise. And then you see a plastic bottle and a beer can left by an idiot and the paradise mood is ruined. Feb 9, 2023 at 11:35

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