There are two main ways to prevent bears from invading your campsite:

  • Eliminate reasons for a bear to want to visit.
  • Compel a bear to leave or avoid a campsite.

The American Bear Association says a black bear can detect odors from more than a mile away. You want to eliminate as much foodlike aroma from your camp as possible.

Before you leave home:

  • Know how to properly hang food out of a bear’s reach.
  • Pack food and other odorous items in odor-proof bags or containers.
  • Take airtight bags for trash, leftovers, clothes that you wore while cooking, etc.

Once you’re at your camping area:

  1. Choose a campsite that is naturally uninteresting to bears.
    Select a spot that is upwind of your food stores and cooking area and away from natural food sources such as berry patches.
  2. Set up a camp that creates distance between your sleeping, cooking/dining and food storage areas. There should be about 100 yards between these points, set up in a rough triangle with each area at a “point.” Your tent should be upwind of the two food areas.
  3. Create a bear hang.
    If possible, hang your food in a waterproof and odor-free bag from a tree, out of reach of bears.

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