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Food Safety Tips For Bear Country

By Paul Nerrad

Camping in bear country is appealing to many, but you must remember that camping and hiking in bear country requires paying attention to what you carry and where you store it. When in an area that contains lots of bears, you must proceed with caution as bears can cause a lot of damage to your equipment or yourself. Bears are attracted by smells caused by food, toothpaste, candy or other treats. It is essential that you know how to properly keep your food while camping in bear country.

National parks have their own rules and equipment for storing food while camping in the parks. Food is well protected in these environments, usually in secure lockers. Park staff advise people to carry food in special bear resistant food containers that keep the scents from escaping. Many parks also have poles where food and other camping gear can be hung while not in use. Other parks have wire cables that are run between two trees. You would place your food and anything else with a scent in a bear bag and then suspend it from the cable.

It is always best to store you food in air tight containers to prevent scents from escaping. If you do not have the proper storage, you can always put food into the trunk of your car. Before going into bear country, it is a good idea to purchase bear bags, on the off chance that the park or campsite doesn’t sell them. Bear bags are for storing your food and other gear in. They have a nylon rope attached to them. You tie a rock to the other end of the nylon rope and toss it over a tree branch that is at least 20 feet in the air. Then insure that you hoist your bear bag at least ten feet off the ground. This is an alternative way to store your food if a vehicle is not available to store it in, or if the park doesn’t have the metal lockers. This should always be a last resort as there are documented cases of large bears being able to gain access to these types of setups.

A clean and tidy campsite is required at all times in national parks and other campgrounds in bear country. As soon as you are done cooking, clean up the mess. Make sure trash goes in bear proof containers. Do not burn your food waste or garbage in the fire pit. Insure that camp stoves are put away in bear proof storage or the trunk of your vehicle. Make sure uncooked food is put away again into bear bags or proper storage containers. Walk around your campsite and look for dropped scraps of food, particularly if you have kids.

Keep your cooking area well away from your tent, at least one hundred yards away. Insure that the area where you are cooking is open and airy. You want the smells to dissipate after cooking. Insure that you clean up any droppings from cooking, as these smells will attract a bear. Never take any food into your tent. This will also draw the attention of a bear. If you have children make sure you check the tent and campsite for any food, or food droppings before going to bed. If you cooked in your clothes, it is a good idea to change into some fresh clothes and store the clothes you cooked in, in a bear proof container.

It is fun and safe to camp in bear country if you follow the guidelines in this article. Always check with park staff for bear sightings & updates, as well as specific instructions for the area you are in.

I hope you enjoyed these camping tips provided by Noah’s Ark Resort. Noah’s Ark Resort is a fantastic place to Camp in Revelstoke.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Nerrad, Paul "Food Safety Tips For Bear Country." Food Safety Tips For Bear Country. 27 Jun. 2010. 8 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Nerrad, P (2010, June 27). Food Safety Tips For Bear Country. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Nerrad, Paul "Food Safety Tips For Bear Country"

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