27 Tips - How To Keep Bears Away When Camping
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- Bears are interested in your food
- Keep food out of your tent and car
- Store food in bear lockers if available, otherwise use approved bear-safe containers
- Camp and hike in groups
- Make noise while hiking
- Cook and clean downwind from your tents
- Keep calm and don’t run if you encounter a bear
- With black bears make noise and appear larger
- With brown bears keep calm and don’t make eye contact
- Bring bear spray
I spend almost 30 days a year sleeping outside. I have camped with bears, snakes, and alligators. The animal that has given me the most trouble has been raccoons.
Bears deserve our respect but they shouldn’t keep you from camping.
How To Keep Bears Away From Campsite
Choose your campsite wisely. Cook and eat upwind from your sleeping area. Store food and scented items in a bear locker or similar container. Maintaining a clean campsite helps prevent attracting bears.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just getting started, it’s important to know how to keep bears away from your campsite.
Bears can be unpredictable and dangerous, so it’s best to take some precautions to ensure your safety.
However, keep in mind, that even as scary as bears are, human fatalities are rare. Even in a remote National Park like Denali which is known for its bears, there’s only been 1 human death from a bear attack.
This blog post will outline some tips for keeping bears away from your campsite. And sorry, locking your tent won’t keep a bear out. Read on to learn more!
CHOOSE YOUR CAMPSITE CAREFULLY
When choosing a campsite, it’s important to think like a bear.
Bears are attracted to campsites because they offer an easy food source in the form of human garbage.
To avoid attracting bears, choose a site that is far away from areas with signs of bear activity, such as bear scat, bear tracks, or animal carcasses.
SET UP THE BEAR TRIANGLE
When you’re camping in bear territory, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to stay safe.
First, you should always set up your tent upwind of your cooking area.
This will help to prevent bears from being attracted by the smells of food.
Second, you should store your food away from your tent and kitchen so that it forms a triangle.
This will help to deter bears from being able to smell your food and being tempted to come into the camp.
Finally, always clean up thoroughly after cooking and never leave food out overnight. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep yourself and your campsite safe in bear territory.
This is referred to as the “bearmuda triangle.”
BE SMART WITH YOUR FOOD
As any experienced camper knows, there are certain precautions that must be taken when camping in bear country.
One of the most important things to remember is to avoid leaving any food out that might attract bears.
This means no fish, bacon, steak, or even toothpaste because anything that smells like food will attract a curious bear.
While these may seem like tasty treats, they will only attract bears to your campsite. and that’s not something you want!
So be safe and stick to foods that won’t attract bears. Your fellow campers will thank you for it!
STORE FOOD PROPERLY
When camping in bear territory, it is important to take steps to protect your food and garbage from bears.
One option is to use a bear locker if your campsite has one.
Otherwise, you will need to check regulations to see if a bear canister is required.
If not, you can try alternatives (which we go into detail in this article) a bear hang.
To do this, tie your food and garbage up in a bag and throw it over a tree branch, at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet out from the trunk of the tree.
Bears are attracted to the smell of food, so it is important to keep your campsite clean and free of any food smells.
By taking these precautions, you can help to prevent attracting bears to your campsite.
HOW TO MAKE A BEAR HANG
A bear hang looks simple but hard to do in real life because you rarely can find the perfect tree plus, after hiking all day, you might not have the energy to throw the sack properly.
You need a carabiner, 40 feet of rope, and a bear sack. Throw the rope over a tree and pull the rope through the carabiner after attaching it to the bear bag so that you can pull it up the tree.
DO AFTER DINNER CHORES AS SOON AS YOU FINISH EATING
After a long day of hiking and exploring, it can be tempting to just relax at your campsite and enjoy the evening.
However, if you’re in bear territory, it’s important to do your after-dinner chores as soon as possible.
Bears are attracted to food smells, and if they catch a whiff of your dinner leftovers, they may come looking for a meal.
So, be sure to clean up your campsite quickly and properly dispose of all food scraps.
You should also store any food or scented items in a bear-proof container or hung from a tree.
By doing your chores ASAP, you’ll help keep bears away from your campsite and reduce the risk of an encounter.
KEEP YOUR SITE CLEAN
In bear country, it’s important to keep your campsite clean.
That means properly disposing of all garbage, including food scraps and used cooking gear.
Store these items in a bear-proof container or hang them from a tree to keep them out of reach of curious bears.
You should also clean up any spills right away, as bears are attracted to the smell of food.
You can learn how to build a DIY cleaning station in this article.
Finally, make sure to store all food and scented items in your vehicle or tent at night. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep bears wild and reduce the risk of human-bear conflicts.
CAMPING WITH YOUR DOG IN BEAR COUNTRY
When camping in bear territory, you should consider leaving your dog at home. That poses zero risk to your best friend.
it is important to be aware of your pets and take steps to protect them.
Bears are attracted to campsites because they often contain food, garbage, and other attractants.
If a bear smells food on a pet, it may try to approach the campsite in search of a meal.
To protect your pets (and yourself), keep all food and garbage securely stored away from your campsite.
Do not leave pet food out overnight, and clean up any messes promptly.
You should also avoid walking your dog at dawn or dusk when bears are most active.
If you do encounter a bear, pick up your small dog immediately and keep it close to you.
If a bear approaches you, make loud noises and try to scare it off.
By taking these precautions, you can help keep your pets safe and reduce the risk of attracting bears to your campsite.
BUILD A BEAR FENCE
When you’re out camping in bear country, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to build a bear fence.
This is simply a barrier that will keep bears out of your campsite.
The most important thing is to make sure that the fence is tall enough and strong enough to deter bears from getting through.
You’ll also want to make sure that there are no gaps or openings that a bear could squeeze through.
Building a bear fence may seem like a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort if it means keeping yourself safe from these potentially dangerous animals.
PS This tip is best for people who own their own campground. Don’t create an actual fence on land that you don’t have permission to do so.
BE PROACTIVE AND NOT AFRAID
When camping in bear territory, it is important to be proactive and not afraid.
Bears are attracted to campsites because of the food that is often left out.
To avoid attracting bears, be sure to store all food in airtight containers and keep them away from your tent.
You should also avoid cooking or eating near your tent. If you see a bear, do not try to run away. Instead, stand your ground and make yourself as big as possible.
Make loud noises and wave your arms to scare the bear away.
By following these simple tips, you can decrease your chances of encountering a bear while camping.
NEVER EVER APPROACH A BEAR
Camping in bear country can be an amazing experience.
You can get up close and personal with some of the most majestic creatures on earth.
However, it is important to remember that bears are wild animals and should be treated with respect.
Never approach a bear, even if it seems friendly.
Bears are very protective of their space and may view you as a threat.
If you see a bear while camping, make yourself as large as possible and slowly back away.
Remember, bears are wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect.
DON'T HIKE SOLO
When camping in bear territory, it’s important to take precautions to avoid encountering a bear.
One of the best ways to do this is to hike with a group.
Bears are less likely to approach a group of people than they are to approach a lone hiker.
If you do hike solo, make sure to make noise by singing or talking loudly.
This will help alert bears to your presence and give them the opportunity to avoid you.
Additionally, carry bear spray with you and know how to use it.
By taking these simple precautions, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip in bear territory.
ALWAYS CARRY BEAR SPRAY
When camping in bear territory, it is always important to carry bear spray.
Unlike firearms, bear spray can be quickly drawn and deployed when needed, making it an ideal way to deter an attacking bear.
In addition, bear spray is far less likely to cause fatal injury to the animal, making it a more humane option for self-defense.
While it is still possible to fire a kill shot with a gun in bear country, the chances of doing so are slim.
In most cases, it is simply not possible to get a clean shot off before the bear is upon you.
For these reasons, carrying bear spray is always the best choice when camping in bear territory.
CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES AFTER COOKING
One of the most important things to remember when camping in bear territory is to change your clothes after cooking.
Bears are attracted to the smell of food, and if you wear the same clothes that you cooked in, you’re more likely to attract their attention.
It’s also a good idea to keep your sleeping area and your cooking area separate so that bears don’t associate the two with each other.
When setting up camp, make sure to keep all food and garbage securely stored away from your tent, and never leave food out in the open.
By taking these simple precautions, you can help to avoid attracting bears to your campsite.
DOES PEEING AROUND THE CAMPSITE KEEP ANIMALS AWAY
When camping in bear territory, it’s important to be aware that bears are smart and curious creatures who may be attracted to the new smell of human urine.
While bears typically shy away from humans, they may be drawn to campsites in search of food.
For this reason, it’s important to take precautions when camping in bear country.
Be sure to store all food and trash securely, and avoid leaving food out in the open.
If you must urinate at a campsite, do so away from sleeping areas and dispose of used toilet paper properly.
By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for everyone involved.
WILL VINEGAR DETER BEARS
When venturing into bear territory, it is important to take precautions to avoid an encounter with a potential predator.
One way to do this is to make your campsite as unappealing to bears as possible. Bears have a keen sense of smell, and they are particularly sensitive to the smell of vinegar.
As a result, pouring vinegar around your campsite can help to deter bears from entering the area. In addition to making your campsite less inviting to bears, Vinegar can also help to mask the smells of food and other attractants that might attract them.
As such, it is an essential part of practicing bear safety when camping in bear territory.
WILL PLAYING MUSIC KEEP BEARS AWAY
Bears are large and potentially dangerous animals, so it’s important to take precautions when camping in bear territory.
One way to do this is to play a podcast or talk radio at a volume that makes it clear humans are present because music is not clear to a bear that humans are in the area.
The sound of voices will help to deter bears from approaching your campsite, and it can also give you an early warning if one is approaching.
Of course, you should still take other precautions like storing food properly and keeping a clean campsite.
But playing a podcast or talk radio can help to make your camping trip safer and more enjoyable.
WILL BEARS BOTHER YOU IN A TENT
When camping in bear territory, it’s important to be aware that bears may be attracted to your campsite by the smell of food or toiletries.
If you’re using a tent, this means that you need to take care to store these items in a safe place away from where you’ll be sleeping.
One option is to hang them from a tree branch using a rope or cord. Another is to keep them stored in an airtight container inside your vehicle.
By taking these precautions, you can help to avoid any unwanted encounters with bears while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.
WILL COFFEE GROUNDS ATTRACT BEARS
When you’re camping in bear territory, there are some important things to keep in mind in order to avoid attracting bears.
One of those things is to be careful with your food, and that includes anything that might have a strong smell.
Coffee is one of those things.
Bears have a keen sense of smell, and if they catch a whiff of coffee they may associate it with food.
That means they could start hanging around your campsite looking for handouts, which is obviously not something you want.
So if you’re going to enjoy a cup of coffee while camping in bear country, be sure to do it away from your tent and any other food storage areas.
And remember to dispose of your coffee grounds properly.
DOES FIRE ATTRACT BEARS
One of the dangers of camping in bear territory is that bears are attracted to the smell of fire.
If you build a fire, there is a chance that a curious bear will come sniffing around your campsite.
Bears have an incredible sense of smell, and they can easily be drawn to the scent of wood smoke.
If a bear smells food cooking on a campfire, it may become aggressive in its search for food.
For this reason, it is important to be careful when building fires in bear country. Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area, and be sure to store all food and garbage in airtight containers.
By taking these precautions, you can help to avoid an encounter with a hungry bear.
CAN BEARS SMELL THROUGH ZIPLOC BAGS
When camping in bear territory, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers. One of the most common mistakes people make is assuming that Ziploc bags are airtight and will keep bears from smelling their food.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Bears have an acute sense of smell and can easily detect food that is sealed in Ziploc bags.
For this reason, it’s important to store all food in airtight containers such as Tupperware or metal cans.
Bear-proof containers are also available for purchase. By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip.
CAN BEARS SMELL FEAR
There is no “fear” smell.
Bears want to avoid humans if they can.
You do not want to run away because you are scared because that will trigger a bear’s natural chase instinct.
Instead stay calm, back away slowly, and make it clear that you are not a threat to the bear.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A BLACK BEAR
Black bears are beautiful, powerful animals that are an important part of the ecosystem.
However, they can also be dangerous if they feel threatened.
If you encounter a black bear in the wild, it’s important to stay calm and make lots of noise.
Stand up tall, wave your arms, and shout at the bear to make yourself look as big and intimidating as possible.
This will usually make the bear back down and leave you alone.
However, if the bear does not seem scared off, then you should start to back away slowly while continuing to make noise.
Never turn your back on a black bear, as this could provoke an attack. If a black bear does attack, fight back with everything you’ve got. Use rocks, sticks, or fists.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A GRIZZLY
Grizzlies are one of the most feared animals in North America and with good reason. These massive bears can weigh up to 800 pounds and stand over six feet tall.
They are also incredibly strong, capable of running up to 35 miles per hour and swiping with enough force to break bones.
However, despite their intimidating appearance, grizzlies are generally shy animals that prefer to avoid humans.
In most cases, if you encounter a grizzly bear in the wild, your best course of action is to keep calm and avoid making eye contact.
If the bear does perceive you as a threat, be clear that you are not intending to harm it.
Speak in a low, calm voice and back away slowly.
If the bear does attack, aim your bear spray low to avoid going over the bear’s head. The spray often results in the bear realizing you are not worth the trouble.
If you don’t have spray then play dead while covering your head with your hands and hope the bear loses interest.
One more bonus tip, in grizzly territory, avoid going anywhere even to poop alone.
The odds of being attacked by a bear rapidly decrease when there are multiple people and there are no reports of a bear attack involving a group of 3 or more.
DON'T BURY GARBAGE OR LEFTOVER FOOD
When camping in bear territory, it’s important to be aware of how to properly dispose of garbage and leftover food.
One of the worst things you can do is bury it in the ground, as bears are very good at digging up food.
Not only will this attract bears to your campsite, but it can also lead to dangerous confrontations.
If you must dispose of food, do so by packing it out with you. By taking these simple precautions, you can help to keep both yourself and the bears safe.
DISPOSE OF GREYWATER AWAY FROM CAMP
When camping in bear territory, it is important to dispose of greywater away from camp. Greywater is water that has been used for cooking or washing and contains food scraps, grease, and other waste products.
Bears are attracted to the smell of food, and disposing of greywater near camp can attract bears into the campground.
Additionally, once a bear has found a source of food, it will continue to return to the area until the food source is gone.
To avoid attracting bears, campers should dispose of greywater in an area at least 100 yards from camp.
This will help to keep bears away from the campground and ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip for everyone.
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