Trash Pandas
Camping with Trash Pandas

This blog post was originally posted earlier in 2018.  When I transferred to different hosting, I lost some of my posts. I am now trying to re-create some of my posts. For any blogger out there that reads this post, after that happened I have also been keeping a copy on my Google Drive.

Our family went on a camping trip last summer in July and this is our story of camping with Trash Pandas.  Do you know what a Trash Panda is?  The adventure of camping with trash pandas was very intriguing.  My daughter was a lifeguard at the local state park and the lifeguards had come up with this term aka “raccoons”.

History of Trash Pandas

Well, the reason for this post was my daughter thought she had come up with this nickname for a raccoon.  I decided to do a post on it and searched it to find out the name actually already did exist for those raccoons.  Raccoons are being called nowadays a “trash panda”.  It definitely fits the behavior of one.  They look like a red panda, and if you didn't know a red panda is not in the raccoon family.  They belong in the family called Procyonidae which is closely related to the bear family.  At one time they were part of the bear family, but some scientists decided to give them their own family.

Raccoons/Trash Pandas can weigh between 15 and 40 pounds depending on genetics and the environment therein.  Raccoons are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods, which I will explain later in the next section of this story.  They love to eat insects, bird eggs, fruits, vegetables, and seeds.

In urban surroundings, raccoons will eat garbage and pet food. These creatures rummage through trash cans and can be very annoying. They are nocturnal animals and are usually not active during the day.  Trash Pandas are also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, which is a medium-sized mammal native to North America.

Trash Pandas are excellent climbers and you may not know this information, but they are also strong swimmers.  They may not prefer to swim because they do not have waterproof fur.  The Raccoons have a good sense of hearing and excellent night vision.  They are kinda cute in their own way until they rummage through your trash and make a huge mess.

Our Camping Story

Here is our personal story of Trash Pandas.  We went camping as I stated in the introductory.  We actually camped in tents, we had three in a row.  One for my daughter, one for my husband and I, and another one for my son.  They are teenagers, so they wanted there own tent.  So, since we were tent camping we had to use coolers for keeping our food, drinks, and dry goods.  Well, I had never been camping where I saw Raccoons AKA Trash Pandas.  So, we just set our coolers on our trailer we brought with us.

The first night we went into our tents hoping for the remainder of the night.  We got up to do something and my husband went outside the tent and caught several trash pandas opening our coolers and taking food even our Hershey Bars.  He had to zip tie them down so they could not open the lids.  That was really inconvenient.  They were very adorable creatures but loved our food.  So, I took some photos of them as they loved the tree that was by our site.  Occasionally, we would seem them during the day, but not too often.  We stayed for several days and saw the trash pandas on several occasions.

Future Camping Endeavors

If you all love to camp, I would love to know.  Do you camp in tents, RV's etc.?  I can tell you for us we will never tent camp again.  As we turned 50 this last year, it makes it hard to get up and down and trying to keep our food away from the trash pandas as well as keeping them cold.  We had to buy a lot of ice.  So, if we camp again we will be renting an RV or camper of some sort.

Information for Future Camping Trips

When you go camping depending where you go there maybe trash pandas or not any at all.

There are steps to be taken to help you minimize conflicts:

  • Don't feed raccoons as they will become accustomed to being fed
  • They maybe come aggressively if they are not fed
  • Feed our pets inside or during the day
  • Secure trash lids so they cannot be opened by the trash panda
  • Clean up your site anything they may get into

Have You Camped with Trash Pandas?

The studies have shown that raccoons are more superior to either dogs or cats and possess reasoning and problem-solving skills on a primate level.  So, how do you stop a raccoon from wrecking everything in sight?  How can they be so adorable at the same time be so destructive? When we camped the park was close to some houses and they had to deal with that every day of their lives.  We saw peoples trash cans dumped all over their yards.  I don't know I could manage that all the time.  I would love to hear your stories of how you co-existed camping with trash pandas!

Do You have a Personal Story to share?

Camping with Trash Pandas
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