Everglades Exploration Network

I am looking to get my feet wet for camping by kayak. I was looking at possibly doing this site but the comments I read on Everglades Diaries about many gators and crocs present makes me hesitant. I was wondering possibly a stupid question. How do you keep the gators away from the site at night safely?

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The gators won't bother you. They hang around campsites because some campers clean fish and the gators get an easy meal from the fish carcasses.

If gators make you uncomfortable, you might consider camping @ one of the beach sites(Tiger Key,Picnic Key, Rabbit Key). If your new to kayak camping, you would be better off trying these places before you take on the Wilderness Waterway.

I fully agree with Walt, gators are the least of concerns, give them space and they will give you space, mind the bugs instead. The main reason why feeding alligators is illegal is because they lose their natural fear of humans, we are not in the menu. 

I know that I do have experience with feared  and miss understood predators being a diver I've spent countless hours with sharks, I was just curious if they would approach out of curiosity once the camp goes dark at night.

 

Use Still Creek (the original Noble Hammock Trail) if you're camping at Alligator Creek, it cuts off the long

boring paddle through West Lake and it's backcountry, off the brochure.   The next day paddle the outside to

Flamingo, that way you'll see backcountry and frontcountry.  Still Creek details are covered on this website.

 

 

You should be scared!

You have to drive on a highway to get to the park.

With the number of accidents and deaths on the highways

you'd be a fool to get in a car.

 

Yeah I know that all too well I use analogies like those all the time trying to explain how misunderstood sharks are to people. "100000ppl went to the beach today and everyone had fun doesn't sell newspapers, shark attack sells papers"

If you don't like big lizzards then you probably won't like Alligator Creek... never mind the camp site.  I saw the largerst Croc I've ever seen in the wild in that creek last winter.  Made my pulse quicken and I've seen many big lizzards.

I will slightly disagree with some of the sentiments that you don't have to worry about gators.  Generally speaking, the wild ones are more worried about you than you are of them.  However, they are big dumb lizzards that are the apex predator of their domain.  You gotta treat them with respect.  I have had a number of run-ins with them paddling where stupidity (theirs or mine) could have caused me harm.

Around the designated sites they are worse, as already discussed.

As to camping around them... I personally don't care for sleeping on the ground too close to the water.  At the more remote sites, especially the less visited ones, its pretty obvious that its usually the lizzards that keep the area swept clean.

I have been out to Alligator Creek numerous times and never had a problem. It is a great site very remote. I saw about six baby crocodiles at the mouth of alligator creek when heading in from the lungs. we have seen a lot of reptiles and never had a problem. The only one to approach was just after coming into long lake. we came out of the tunnel and he started coming i waited and when he was about 20 feet away i smacked the water with my paddle and he took off the other way. if you are really worried you could put your kayak or canoe across in front of the water and it would give you a little barrier between the water and your tent.  here is a picture on google earth http://www.panoramio.com/photo/22325729?source=wapi&referrer=kh... if you look at some of the others around it on google earth i took them.

I was there last January and saw a few medium gators and three BIG crocs the last ¾ mile of Alligator Creek before the campsite. The last one (photo) was parked at the campsite and just sat there for about 10 minutes before taking off. All the others jumped in the water as soon as they saw us. I went there with my daughter hoping to see some crocs so it was very exciting for us. Next time I hope to allow more time to explore the creeks on the west side of Garfield Bight. To answer your question - lots of people have camped there and I haven't heard of any problems so I would say just try to get comfortable with the idea but remain cautious. Also call the park -  they will likely reassure you and may have suggestions too.

 

I have seen this guy too, must be the same one. Massive croc. Biggest I have ever seen. 

 

i have seen tremendous ones, too... have not had a problem. but i gotta say, i agree with gary's post. these guys are not to be taken lightly. apex predators with really small brains... 

Call me what you will be I don't feel its right to constantly berate these guys for their small brain cavity. These animals are predatory machines honed by well over 100million years of evolution. If they did have the brain capacity of a man humans would probably be extinct by this point. So it is probably beneficial that they do have a small brain cavity, but they should be respected as what they are apex predators and kings of their kingdom. Its just an antiquated way of thinking that just because an animal has a small brain cavity compared to their body size that makes it inherently dumb.

 

Sorry for my little rant, just multiple people referring to an animal such as these as just dumb killing machines just kinda puts me on edge just like people who address sharks in much the same way being a diver and all I hear that argument alot.

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