How To Camp Safely In A Bear Country

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Afraid to face a terrifying bear in your tent while you’re trying to enjoy nature? You would think there is nothing more horrible than it scaring you than it is stealing your camp food. No one likes to be disturbed when they are trying to relax. 

So, what would you do to prevent that food-stealing intruder from ruining your camping? Tasers? Pain-balls? World-class trainers to run away at top speed?

Several solutions have been explained in this article on How To Camp Safely In A Bear Country. However, not always will you be aware of what the bear’s next move is. Much like the human brain, a bear has involuntary reflex action; something that is developed after an experience that stimulates feedback. 

Some bears might catch you off-guard. Who knows? Covering every nook to ensure you a safe camp experience is vital, too. 

Where you set up camp, how you set it up. Is there planning? It is important what kind of food you take with you. Also, where do you store it and how sufficiently. If things go sideways what measure do you have to take? 

Anything and everything involving a bear attack when you were peacefully asleep in your tent: nothing has got to go amiss. 

These may also apply to any other kind of animal, too. A racoon, antelope, whichever else. What is expected of you is how much you follow and rest and leave to fate. Better safe than sorry, am I right? 

If you’re invested, let us explore every aspect of self-defence against that furry, not-so-teddy bear. 

The Planning Beforehand

If you’re not at your local camping site, a place you are unfamiliar with, here’s what you can do. Scavenge for every bit of brochure or leaflet or computer website that entails your camping site’s information on bears. 

Absorb every bit that indicates how they behave, where they are densely populated, their size, species. Knowing your enemy is wise. That’s what Hitler said. I think. Not only that, but you can camp as far from their usual spotted area as you possibly can. It would become highly unlikely for you to encounter the bears, then. 

What kind of bear lurks in the woods you have decided to camp out in is also essential. You will now be aware of what bear trap to use, or defensive melee if it ever comes to that. Also, what inches those incisors are as they try to chomp your hand off… 

If there is not sufficient information about the campsite, you can track any recent bear activity on your own. Scattered rubbish, fish bones, claw marks on tree trunks, and pawprints in the mud all blare a no-go zone. 

Additionally, don’t sleep under the starry sky, as much as you enjoy constellations. Most bear attacks reports are from those who sleep in their sleeping bags instead of tents. Tents not only keep you away from the eyes of the beasts but if ever a bear comes close the rustling will wake you up enough to duck and run. 

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Food Packaging And Storage

Bears are omnivores. They will eat almost everything, both brown and black. They have an incredible sense of smell, so when they catch a scent of anything that smells remotely delicious, they would follow it. Now, as you are camping, there are a few things you must keep in mind. 

First, make sure whatever you have brought from home is not heavily fragmented, meaty or a carcass that will drive the bears nuts in glee.

As the bears may also become curious about the garlicky aroma you have around you of that bread, it is recommended not to bring food of that type. Bears are intelligent animals. They do not want to confront humans either, but if the food is inviting they don’t take no for an answer. 

On the other hand, there is food storage, and more similarly, food disposition. Keep your food in tightly-capped bear-resistant containers. These are specifically made for camping. 

Open toiletries, crisps or juice boxes – anything of the sort that has been used and needs to be stored in a way that bears don’t catch the scent of, these special canisters come in. 

Designate your tent and sleeping area as a food- and beverage-free zone. Don’t bring anything with an odour into your tent, including food, beverages, snacks, emergency chocolate bars, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, scented toiletries, or citronella-based bug repellent. 

Don’t sleep in the clothes you cooked in or store them in your tent. Hang them with your food.

If you’re driving your car or RV to a remote, undeveloped site in the forest, please read our Camping and Hiking in Bear country brochure. Food and other items with odours should still be stored in bear-resistant containers or hung properly. Keep windows and doors closed and locked at all times. 

Don’t leave anything that a bear might associate with food in view, such as coolers or grocery bags, even if there is no food in them. A bear may recognize them as objects that usually have food and be willing to break into your vehicle in hopes of getting a reward.
[ You may also be interested in our detailed guide on the Best Coolers for your storage of food if you do not have one yet ]

It goes without saying but keeping a clean campsite would not be so bad now, will it? 

We have all seen that movie where teenagers throw their rubbish around with extreme carelessness (and not just because for the sake of wilderness) and the garbage-strewn area is a flare signal that says: Hey there, bear, come eat us! Sweeping the area of everything and dumping the garbage in the disposable bags miles away would be a splendid idea. 
[ Also Read: Leave No Trace Seven Principles ]

 

How to camp safely in bear country (1)

Essential Tools

Some things are a must to take at every campsite. Survival gear such as Torchlight, lighter, the bear spray, flare gun; these things may save your life. Use the torchlight by making sure the bear tracks are not in your path or any sign of bear activity mentioned before.  [ Also Read: Top 10 Survival Gear To Survive In The Wilderness ]

If trouble arrives, light a fire to let out a smoke signal. For efficiency, use a flare gun. Some scouts will come to help you in times of distress. 

Bear Sprays

Instead of seriously hurting the animal, one can carry a self-defence bear spray that does not do much harm but still does its part by protecting you. Here is one bear spray that has come in handy for many people. 

High-range, high-quality bear spray that gives you quick access and brilliant defence! 

The can is loaded with seven oz of non harmful chemicals that can be used noiselessly, that is, without alarming the bear in your vicinity. It can be used from a twenty-foot range effectively. 

Using any kind of bear spray means you have come prepared. Any good bear spray won’t let you down, and this particular one would not let you down.

Mental Preparation

It comes down to you, in the end, and how you handle the situation. You need to be mentally prepared and alert, entering dangerous territory, for life-threatening situations for yourself and others, there are camp guides who would inform you of this thoroughly. Don’t lose focus and be serious. 

What’s Next

These are some ways you can protect yourself. Make sure to follow each of them. On that note, have a great camping trip. 
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Jules and Ken

Jules and Ken

We are outdoor lovers, travellers, and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gear, camping equipment, RV equipment, kayaking, to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

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