7 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Food Safe from Bears When Camping
Whether you’re an experienced camper or a father of three kids wanting to explore the great outdoors, it’s important to practice safe food storage and bear safety while camping. Bears are magnificent and powerful creatures, but they can pose a dangerous threat to campers who leave their food out and exposed. That’s why I’m sharing these essential tips for keeping your food safe from bears while camping.
1. Know Bear Territory
Whether you’re camping in a National Park or on your own property, the first step in keeping foods safe from bears is to acknowledge that bears may be present in the local area. Knowing where bears live, their food sources and common places they pass through will help you avoid attracting them to your campsite. Rangers are great sources of information and can provide detailed instructions on how to stay safe in the area.
2. Be Prepared
Before setting out on your camping trip, make sure you have the right equipment. This includes bear safety items like pepper spray, a whistle, and bear bells, which help to deter bears. Also remember to bring a proper backpack, which will help you to store and carry your food safely. With the right preparation, you’ll be ready to face any bear-related challenges.
3. Store Your Food in Secure Containers
Once you’ve reached your campsite, it’s important to secure your food in bear-proof containers, such as bear-resistant coolers or containers made from solid material, like metal or plastic. Make sure you store these containers away from your tent or campsite and out of reach of curious bears.
4. Clean Up & Dispose of Trash Immediately
Not only does leaving garbage around attract bees, flies, and rodents, but it also lures in bears. That’s why it’s important to clean up after meals and put any trash or food scraps in bear-proof containers or garbage cans. You can also choose to burn your garbage if there are no bear-proof containers or bins available.
5. Avoid Odors & Don’t Cook Near Your Tent
One of the most effective ways to keep bears away from your campsite is to avoid cooking food in your tent or near your camp. This will minimize odors, which can draw in bears and other wildlife. If you must cook in your tent, set up a portable kitchen or camp stove away from your campsite and try to avoid strong odors.
6. Keep Your Campsite Clean & Tidy
Your campsite should be free of debris, garbage, and food scraps. Bears have very powerful noses and can smell food from miles away. Be sure to completely wash dishes, store any remaining food, and dispose of any food scraps to deter bears from coming close.
7. Have an Emergency Plan
It’s also important to have a plan in place in case of an encounter with a bear. In my experience, most bears want to avoid you as much as you want to avoid them. However, some may feel threatened and approach you, in which case it’s best to have an escape route out of the area. The video below provides some great tips for how to survive a bear attack.
With these seven essential tips, you can feel confident and prepared for any bear-related encounters while camping. A little bit of knowledge and preparation can go a long way in keeping yourself and your food safe. From my own experience as a father of three kids and an experienced camper, I can tell you that following these essential tips will give peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your camping experience!