Avoiding bears while camping should always be a thought on your mind whenever you are in an area where bears live. The woods are their home and there are a few rules you need to follow when you are in their environment.
Never store food in your tent. This should be an iron clad rule and all members of your camping party should be on board with this rule. If a bear smells any kind of food inside your tent, he will not only attempt to get in, but he will achieve his goal. Tupperware and plastic ziploc bags won’t hide the smell.
The best thing to do is to store all food stuffs inside your locked vehicle. Of course, windows should also be tightly closed. The bear may walk around your vehicle, but he won’t be able to get in and will leave in a short while.
Coolers and Ice Chests
When you are sleeping, bears and other wildlife will be wandering around your camp in search of food. Coolers should not be left unattended for any period of time. Bears are smart creatures and will be able to open it. Aluminum cans can and will be opened by a bear who wants a snack or a drink. They are curious and will try to eat almost anything. When not in use, coolers should also be locked up in your vehicle.
Clean Fish Away From Camp
Campers enjoying the outdoors often enjoy fishing. When you catch fish, fillet them just outside of your camp site and do not leave any of the remains on the ground for animals to find. This just encourages bears and other wildlife to come closer to your camp to investigate. The dishes used for your meals should be thoroughly cleaned and also put away with the food when you are done.
Leave Pets Home
Avoid bringing pets when you go on camping trips. They often entice a bear to come visiting to see what you have in your camp. Bears are very curious, as are other forms of wildlife, and will investigate what smells different.
Wandering pets may also antagonize a bear that would otherwise just turn around when he sees activity around a camp site. Chances are, if you bring a pet with you on your camping trip, you will see a bear.
Garbage cans are another item that a sensitive nosed bear will come looking for. They’ve learned over the years that garbage cans often have scraps of food and other edibles that they enjoy eating. To them, a garbage can with a lid is just an invitation to made some noise while they find out how to get a snack. Avoiding bears while camping means keeping an eye on the trash around the camp site. When outdoors, always pick up trash immediately and dispose of properly.
Ensure that garbage cans are tightly sealed and placed in a locked vehicle or hoisted up a tree at least 10-15 feet from the ground.
Activity and Human Noise
Busy camp activity and human noise will often deter most bears from making a visit. The average bear will not make a nuisance of himself if he hears and sees activity around a camp site. It’s when there is no activity to be seen, no noise to be heard, and enticing smells in the air that bears think they can come visiting.
Avoiding bears while camping isn’t hard if you make the effort to let them know you are in the area. Just remember not to let them think you are sending out an invitation by leaving food out.