Outdoor Activities for Mental Health:

Salamander Searching

where to find salamanders, Outdoor Activities for Mental HealthOutdoor Activities boost growth and healing, especially mental health

But even people who love the outdoors can struggle to find enjoyable outdoor activities.

Here is just one idea that can get you outside.

Finding salamanders is one of my favorite hobbies. Anyone who is into herping has probably found themselves with dirty hands and knees in the pursuit of these pretty amphibians.

Where to Find Salamanders

If you’re looking for where to find salamanders you should start by looking into which salamanders can be found in your region. I use this book to find salamanders near me. 

Book on Amazon Here

If you don’t want to spend the money, try checking out this free app/website I use → https://www.inaturalist.org

It helps biologists research their habitats. And more importantly, it helps you identify what you find (plant or animal)!

I like it because if you are looking for a specific plant/animal, you can look up where it’s found and when it has been found.

It’s up to date too, which can give different data than what a book published 10 years ago is going to provide.

So, once you have a region to find salamanders, you can start looking.

Salamanders like to stay moist and cool.

Easy Outdoor Activities for Mental Health: Salamander Searching

When I am trying to find salamanders I look for moist, decaying wood first.  Rocks and logs are good places to find a salamander too.

Just remember, try to leave everything just the way you found it

Where to Find Salamanders

Look under or in

  • Pieces of plastic
  • Tarps
  • Mats
  • Boards
  • Logs
  • Rocks
  • Leaf piles
  • Decaying wood
  • Banks of ponds 

If you do find a salamander, you can use a book or website to see what you’ve found! If it’s a more rare salamander, I would put it back where you found it.

Some salamanders are much more abundant than others.

Easy Outdoor Activities for Mental Health: Salamander Searching

In my area we have quite a few of the blue spotted salamanders and red backed salamanders.

Here are some of the common questions people ask when keeping the salamander for a pet




Pet Salamanders

How often do salamanders eat?

Most eat every 2-3 days but they can go longer without eating.


Do salamanders eat spiders?



Do salamanders eat ants?



Are salamanders poisonous?

Salamanders are not venomous, but they do secrete poison. Each salamander species secrets a different amount.

It’s always a good idea to wash your hands after handling any creature.

There are some salamanders that can irritate your hands from touching them, but I have never had that happen with any I’ve handled (and despite being a nurse, I’m not very good about washing my hands)… 


Can you eat salamanders?

This is where venom and poison differ.

Venom is injected, while poison is ingested.

Since salamanders do have poison in their skin, I would not ingest one and never have.

Apparently it can cause numbness, dizziness and weakness. There have been reports of people eating salamanders and the results vary from no effect at all to death, so I wouldn’t risk it.


What do baby salamanders eat?

  • Crickets
  • Mealworm
  • Earthworm
  • Insects
  • Tiny invertebrates
  • Microorganisms


Do salamanders bite?

The internet says they do, but I have NEVER ONCE been bitten by a salamander. If they did, it likely would not hurt you.


What do I put in my salamander’s tank?

You really don’t need anything fancy. I’ve kept salamanders in a container, with a lid, half filled with moist dirt and kept them alive.

You can use moss, mulch and other soft moist substrate.

You can use slate, or smooth rocks (big enough so they won’t eat them), and live plants.

Room temperature is fine and humidity about 70%.

I never got really technical about my salamander tanks, just made sure they resembled the places that I commonly find salamanders.


Happy Salamander Hunting!

Easy Outdoor Activities for Mental Health: Salamander Searching

Here are more posts related to mental health:

Outdoor Activities During the Winter

Outdoor Activities During the Spring

Outdoor Activities During the Fall

Outdoor Activities During the Summer

The 10 Best Small Pets For Anxiety 

10 Supplements to Improve Your Mental Health

Best Medication for Panic Attacks & Anxiety

Owning a Pet Slug



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