While seeing a bear in the wild is incredible, having one visit your campground is not. This article will teach you how to keep bears away when camping, including how to choose the ideal spot, set up securely, cook, and care for your pets.
How to Keep Bears Out of Your Campground
Bears may be found across most of North America. There are three types of bears: black bears, brown bears, and grizzly bears. The following suggestions are based on my study on how to keep bears at bay when camping.
When picking a campsite, think like a bear.
The first step in keeping bears away when camping is to think like a bear. Stay away if an area appears appealing to a bear! You’re looking for the most uninteresting campground conceivable. Food supplies such as berry patches and lakes attract these huge animals. It’s also a good idea to inspect the area for evidence of bear activity before setting up camp.
You probably don’t want to meet the winner of the battle if you see animal corpses. It may also attract other predatory animals.
- Bear faeces — they spit just where they are.
- Bear tracks – They are a solid hint that you should keep seeking for a suitable location.
- Grizzly digs — get out of there fast and don’t look back.
- Sometimes wild animal tracks are innocent, and sometimes they aren’t.
- Claw marks on trees – this is a bear’s domain, and it isn’t going to share.
1. Take a look at how the Bear Triad Campsite is set up.
When it comes to keeping bears at bay when camping, having a well-thought-out setup is essential. In this scenario, we want our campsite’s three sections to form a triangle floor layout.
A sleeping space, a place to hang food, and a cooking area are among the three areas. Each one should be 100 yards apart from the next. Set up your shelter first. It may go anywhere you choose but bear in mind that it should be upwind of the kitchen and any hanging food. If you sleep with your back to the wind, you’ll be the first appetising morsel the animal comes across. Consider your tent to be the highest peak of the triangle, with the other two points forming the foundation.
Place the food cache and cooking space to the side of the tent, away from the wind. On your next camping trip, here are 9 different methods to prepare coffee.
2. Make Smart Food Choices
When considering how to keep bears away when camping, you should consider your food options. The more delectable the meal is to us, the more delectable it will be to other carnivores. This means no bacon, salmon, or steak for you.
Warning: Never leave edibles alone for an extended period of time. Not even for a quick trip to the restroom!
3. Use Food Storage Wisely
This camping advice on how to keep bears away might save your life. At the very least, properly storing food may help you avoid a frightening encounter.
Put any and all fragrant things into a cooler or other storage container and place them in your trunk if you are near your car. However, away from your car, you may protect yourself by keeping your food in one of the following methods.
Construct a bear hang. We can’t discuss bear repellent when camping without mentioning the traditional bear hang. A bear hang is a cost-effective alternative to more costly food storage methods for individuals who only camp occasionally. You must, however, have a suitable tree. That means the branch you pick must be at least 15 feet tall and 4 feet out from the tree stem. You want to make it as tough for the bear to get to your food as possible. Because bears have excellent memory when it comes to food, try to choose a tree that no one else has utilized. Wear marks around branches may sometimes be used to determine this.
Bear kegs or tubes may be purchased. Bear tubes are an excellent technique to keep bears away from your campsite when camping in the backcountry. These items are light, portable, and available in a variety of sizes depending on the maker. Food storage caches typically weigh between 2 and 3 pounds, making them ideal for travelers.
The usual container is designed to hold six days’ worth of food for one person. If you’re a weekend warrior, though, you may want to opt for a smaller, lighter one that can last three days. Make sure any canister you buy is certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee while you’re out shopping. We recommend bringing your luggage while trying out these goods to determine the ideal one for you. Local outdoor businesses and even the Forest Service rent bear tubes if you want to test before you purchase. This sort of food storage container should also be kept at least 100 yards away from where you sleep. On Amazon, you can purchase the official bear keg.
Use odor-resistant plastic bags, coolers, or even unscented garbage bags. This tip for keeping bears at bay when camping is only applicable to vehicle campers. If you’re in the wilderness, you should aim to avoid using anything except bear tubes. All three of these things may help keep bears out of your car if they’re looking for food or toiletries. Always keep fragrant goods in the trunk, but if you have a hatchback or RV, attempt to conceal them. Bears have been known to enter into houses via windows, therefore I would suggest the odor-proof bags for circumstances like this.
5. How to make a bear hang
You’ll need a bear bag, 40 feet of rope, a micro carabiner, a rope bag, and a small twig to build a useful bear hang.
If you don’t have a bear bag, a garbage bag will suffice. Connect the rope to the carabiner and connect it to the throw bag. Fill the sack with something heavy, such as boulders, then pitch it over your selected branch. Then, unclip the throw bag from the bear bag and clip it on. Pass the rope’s loose end through the carabiner. This forms a hoist, and all you have to do now is pull the loose end to lift your treats.
Tie your twig in the rope as high as you can after the sack is all the way up. Finally, carefully loosen the rope until the container is stopped by the twig. Congratulations! You’ve made the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) bearable!
6. Educate yourself on how to hang a bear-proof bag.
To keep your food out of reach, learn how to hang a bear bag. Alternatively, your campground may include bear-proof containers or bear lockers where you may put your food and fragrant goods. Before you go, double-check!
- Bring “Sleeping Clothes” and “Food Clothes”
Cook and dine (and toast marshmallows!) in your “food” attire, as the name suggests. Change into your sleeping clothes and put the ones you ate away before going to bed. They may be placed in your bear locker or bear backpack. Keep them out of the tent with you. Bears have excellent olfactory abilities.
- Bring bags and containers that can be sealed.
For leftover food and rubbish, bring bags that can be sealed or that are smell proof. Bear dumpsters may be available at certain campgrounds for secure rubbish disposal. They may not be able to see you if you’re in the backcountry, so seal it well. This is also placed in your bear pack for the night.
7. Select the Appropriate Campsite
Check the area for evidence of recent bear activity while choosing a campground. This might be evidence of recent bear activity or fresh bear prints. Choose a campsite away from berry patches or other natural food sources for bears if you have a choice. If you’re going to hang your food, be sure there are enough trees for bear bags. Unless you’re going camping on the spur of the moment and don’t have a specific campsite in mind, you should also contact the campground’s manager to enquire about any current bear advisories or sightings.
8. Choose the Best Location for Your Tent
Both your bear hang, and your cooking/food disposal area should be upwind of your tent. In addition, the tent should be set up far enough away from your food disposal location. A bear would not locate you in your tent if they smelled the odors emanating from the dumping area.
9. Keep your bear bag out of the way of your food.
Your bear bag, like your tent, should be kept separate from your food storage. The bear shouldn’t be able to get the sack down if you hang it properly, but why risk it? Hang it away from the enticing aromas of your kitchen and garbage disposal!
10. Maintain a Clean Campground
Our campground was in desperate need of some TLC! Pack away all of your waste and food to keep your place tidy. This includes any little fragments that may have dropped off your picnic table or from your lap! After you’ve finished dining, wash and put away your dishes right away. A bear isn’t interested in a spotless website that would make your mother pleased.
11. Hanging Food in Your Bear Bag
Hang everything we’ve spoken about in your bear bag or lock it in the locker before you go to bed. Nothing with smells should be in your tent (sorry, no midnight Mars Bars! ), and this includes toothpaste and soap. (Hint: Want to be even more secure? Leave the soap at home and embrace your inner bush-hobo.)
12. Keep Bear Spray in Your Tent
Keep your bear spray with you in your tent. We are still invading the bear’s home, even if you take all of these measures. This is their web address! Therefore, keep your bear spray close by while you’re sleeping.
When camping in the outdoors, you must take some steps to ensure a worry-free experience. While bear assaults on people are uncommon, these creatures are increasingly appearing in new places and closer to humans than ever before. You can prevent them from following you to your campground by taking a few easy measures.
13. Don’t take foods with strong odors
At the absolute least, cook at a location that isn’t too close to where you’ll be sleeping. When possible, prepare and eat your meals in the campground’s shared cooking shelter. Cooking and eating in the same clothing that you wore across your campground or into your tent is not a good idea. Bears find the meal scents adhering to your clothes to be aphrodisiacs, and they will follow you to acquire a bite! Put such objects in sealed storage to reduce the chances of a close contact.
14. Clean up immediately
Bears like leftovers and rubbish, and if the cleanup is messy, one may approach. Use large plastic waste bags and stow them out of sight in your car at undeveloped campgrounds without a primary garbage site. Never throw leftovers into the fire pit or food-laden washing water into the brush: after the fire has died and the dishwater has dried, the lingering food particles will attract bears.
Seeing a bear may be thrilling, but only if you take your time. You didn’t plan on being drawn to the smell of your hotdog late at night. If the delectable odors of bacon and sausage lure you in the morning, imagine how seductive they are to a hungry bear with a keen sense of smell, who may be drawn from kilometers away. Adhere to these tips and bear-proof your tent. Then you will never have to worry too much about the problems caused by bears in the long run.