Contributed by Laura Cromwell, Cabela’s
If there’s one unwelcome guest at a campsite, it’s a lumbering, hungry bear. Bears and humans don’t have a particular good record of getting along and since you’re a guest in their domain, it’s your duty to accommodate them. Below is a list of tips that will keep a greedy bruin from crashing your campsite.
- Do not leave out food, drinks, or used toiletries (i.e. diapers) as bears will pick up the scent.
- If you’re car camping, secure food in the car—not the trunk—and make sure the doors are locked.
- Store food in bearproof canisters or bearproof lockers if available.
- Completely clean up all food-preparation areas.
- If bagging your food, find a tree with a live branch at least 200 feet away from your site. The branch should be at least 15 feet high and the attachment point needs to be at least 10 feet away from the tree trunk.
- When hiking, leash your pets. Dogs can both attract and scare off bears.
- Keep pets properly confined if they can’t be supervised.
- At night, have pets sleep inside your tent.
- If bears create a significant threat, having bear mace on your person can protect you from harm.
With proper planning, you can easily avoid a bear joining your camping trip. Being mindful of what you bring to the campsite, keeping track of the kids’ snacks and ensuring Fido stays close are just simple ways to prevent waking up next to a furry, 900-lb. problem.