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When camping in bear country, it is crucial to take precautions to keep both yourself and the bears safe. One of the most important steps you can take is properly storing your food. While it may seem tempting to leave your food in your car, it is generally recommended to remove all food from your vehicle when camping in bear country.
Bears have an incredible sense of smell and can easily detect food even if it is inside a closed car. They are known to break into vehicles in search of a meal, which can not only be dangerous for you but also result in damage to your vehicle. To avoid these risks, it is best to store your food in a bear-proof container or hang it from a tree.
Bear-Proof Food Storage Containers:
Investing in a bear-proof food storage container is a wise choice when camping in bear country. These containers are specially designed to keep bears out and your food safe. Look for containers that are IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) approved, as they meet the highest standards for bear-resistant storage.
Hanging Food from a Tree:
If you don't have access to a bear-proof container, hanging your food from a tree can be an effective alternative. However, it is important to do it correctly to ensure that bears cannot reach it. Use a strong rope or cord and hang the food at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet away from the trunk of the tree. This will make it difficult for bears to access your food.
Other Food Storage Tips:
In addition to proper food storage, there are a few other tips to keep in mind when camping in bear country:
1. Keep a clean campsite: Bears are attracted to the smell of food, so it is important to keep your campsite clean. Dispose of food scraps properly and wash your dishes away from your sleeping area.
2. Store scented items: Bears are attracted to more than just food. Store scented items such as toiletries, sunscreen, and insect repellent in your bear-proof container or hang them with your food.
3. Never feed bears: Feeding bears can be extremely dangerous and is illegal in many areas. Keep a safe distance from bears and never approach or try to feed them.
By following these food storage tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience in bear country. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to wildlife encounters.