How to Keep a Bear Out of Your Tent While Camping

By: Contributors

Camping is an adventure that you have to prepare for in advance. Before you set out on a camping trip you should always check ahead for any hiking and camping restrictions, and find out about any bear activity in the area. Your personal safety also depends on recognizing signs of bears in and around your campsite. Encounters with bears can be dangerous, and you need to know how to react to avoid an aggressive confrontation. Bears can walk into camping areas at night to look for food, so in addition to being careful as you hike, it's important to know how to keep bears out of your tent while camping [source: Sanders].

  • Bears are always on the lookout for good things to eat, and will be attracted by the smell of food. Keep your food wrapped up and stored in airtight containers. Never leave food in your tent [source: NPS]. You can wrap food in plastic bags and hang the bags on trees above the ground [source: Sanders].
  • Set up your tent a minimum of 100 yards (91 meters) from where you store your food and other supplies, and from your cooking and eating area [source: Sanders].
  • Keep all your supplies, including toothpaste and deodorant, away from your tent because anything with a smell can attract bears [source: NPS].
  • Don't sleep in clothes you have eaten in or cooked with. Hang these clothes in plastic bags away from your tent together with the other supplies [source: Sanders].
  • Keep garbage out of your campsite and far from your tent. Campsites usually provide campers with locked dumpsters [source: NPS].
  • Set up your tent in a designated area away from dense vegetation [source: NPS].
  • Stay together when out in bear country. This is important because bears are less likely to approach a group than to approach an individual [source: Sanders].


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