Check out a few of the big and small camping critters you might see on your next outdoor adventure.
All campers and hikers should beware of venomous rattlesnakes. One bite from this slithering creature can cause swelling, internal bleeding, intense pain and in some cases, paralysis.
It's always good practice to cover up when hiking. Check for ticks when you're out of the woods. Ticks live on the blood of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. They are also carriers of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease and Q fever.
We're stating the obvious, but campers should stay a safe distance away from skunks. Not only do they secrete a foul-smelling liquid, but the Center for Disease Control recorded more than a 1,000 cases of rabies in skunks in the US within the last few years.
Here's a word of caution if you're camping in the Midwest or Northeast regions of the US. Moose may look like peaceful creatures, but they have been known to charge at people and moving automobiles if they feel threatened.
These masked marauders may look cute, but sometimes they are up to no good. Raccoons are known for pilfering food at campsites. Campers should store all food in the car when it's not needed.
Beware of fire ants! Be sure you take a quick look around the immediate area before setting up your tent. Their bite can swell into a bump, which can cause severe pain and irritation. Some symptoms can be neutralized by using topical creams that include aloe vera or hydrocortisone.
No one wants an encounter with a bear while camping. Check the area for tracks and droppings before setting up camp. Bears are known to have aggressive food-seeking habits. Store your food away from your tent, preferably in a car away from wild animals.
Australia's Redback spider is one of the most venomous spiders in the world. Spiders are nocturnal so zip up your tent at night, and check your sleeping bag and bedding before getting inside.
Resist the urge to feed these small furry creatures. Feeding the squirrels may draw other unwanted wild animals. Enjoy their beauty from afar. We're sure they'll survive and find food without your help.
Camping near freshwater? Don't be surprised if you see a couple of these blood suckers. Leeches attach to their hosts and remain there until they become full, at which point they fall off to digest their meal.
Deer are some of the most peaceful creatures you'll spot while camping. They usually graze at a distance, but there's always 1 or 2 that will give you a curious glare.
These pesky insects can wreak havoc on a pleasant camping trip. Male mosquitos typically feed on nectar and plant juices, but females need to feed on blood before they can produce eggs. Reduce your chances of being a meal by using bug spray or candles with Citronella oil, a plant-based insect repellant.
It's not a common camping critter, but it is if you're setting up your tent somewhere in the Florida Everglades or in Australia. Crocodiles will chase you for about 10 meters, but will need to rest. They can, however, out swim you all-day long.
Swooping bats looking for a late-night snack could improve your camping experience. Bats are known to eat large numbers of mosquitos and other annoying insects. They aren't dangerous, but there have been a few cases of rabies associated with the flying rodent.
Chipmunks are usually harmless and watching them in action makes communing with nature more pleasant and peaceful.