Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
4 ways to keep bears at bay

There’s nothing worse than returning to your campsite after a day of fun and finding that a bear has raided your refrigerator.

Stop encouraging Yogi Bear’s picnic basket habit by keeping your campsite clean.

Here are four ways to keep your campsite clean and bear-free:

1. Hide your food and put away your trash!

Items that attract bears and other wildlife are “wildlife attractants.”


These include obvious items, such as:

  • dirty barbecues and stoves
  • refrigerators
  • trash
  • food/drinks
  • Dirty plates

However, they also include things you may not consider, such as:

  • empty cardboard boxes or moving containers
  • citronella candles
  • toiletries (especially scented products)
  • empty dog ​​dishes

child cooking

Bears are very intelligent animals and can quickly learn that a box near a store contains food or a black bag next to a barbecue contains tasty leftovers.

To prevent bears from becoming too curious about your site, store all wildlife attractants in the trunk of your vehicle with the windows closed, where they cannot see or smell them.

If your vehicle does not have a trunk, place the items in the cabin of your vehicle with a blanket on top. Tonneau covers are not bear proof!

If you don’t like keeping trash in your car, throw it out frequently. If you can’t, wrap it in several layers of garbage bags to trap odors.

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Looking for another option for storing food/scented items? There may be bear bins or storage lockers available in your park. Ask the staff for more details!

2. Dispose of gray water responsibly

Gray water also attracts wildlife.

Do not throw it on or near your site. Do not throw it into the water tap.

Greywater should only be disposed of at the trailer toilet station or by pouring it into vault toilets (latrines).

couple washing dishes

Washing dishes correctly is also very important to keep the campsite clean. Are you effectively cleaning your dishes?

3. Obey the “triangle rule”

There are three main areas of your camp: sleeping, cooking, and food storage.

Always keep those three areas away from each other. Keep related activities separate as well. For example, never eat dinner while sitting in your tent.

Couple outside the store

Keeping odors and food supplies away from the tent reduces the chance of leaving something there overnight that could attract a bear.

4. Keep your pets on a leash

Pets, such as dogs, can agitate a bear and cause it to act defensive.

dog in camping

If a dog is afraid, it usually runs back to its owner. If the bear is in tow, he will also return to the dog’s owner (you!).

It is safer to keep dogs and other pets on leashes in parks to avoid conflicts with bears.

Learn more about how to be Bear Wise!