1. AT YOUR HOME
- Don’t leave food, scraps, garbage or pet food out for bears.
- Store garbage indoors or in bear-resistant garbage cans.
- Haul garbage to a dump site at least twice a week to avoid odors.
- If you have a pickup service, put garbage out an hour or two before the truck arrives – not the night before.
- If you’re leaving several days before pickup, haul your garbage to a dump.
- Be particularly aware of very odorous food scraps such as fish and meat bones – store them in the freezer until garbage day.
Be alert when barbecuing. If bears are nearby, they may be attracted by the smell.
Keep barbecue grills clean and free from grease. Store inside if possible.
- It is better to keep pets inside at night if possible.
- Do not leave pet food outside.
More helpful tips
- Composts, fruit trees and beehives are powerful bear attractants – enclose them with chain link or electric fencing.
- Don’t put fish, meat or fruit into your compost. Use lime to reduce odors.
- Make sure that bird feeders, bird seed, suet and hummingbird mixes are not accessible to an inquisitive bear.
- Try to pick fruits from trees on your property regularly. Rotting fruit left on the ground is a powerful bear attractant.
- Avoid the use of outdoor refrigerators – they will attract bears.
2. AT YOUR CAMP SITE
- First: be aware of your surroundings – look at them from a bear’s perspective. Investigate your site before setting up camp and then establish a clean camp that is free from odors.
- Avoid camping next to trails or streams as bears and other wildlife use these as travel routes.
- Avoid camping near bear food sources such as berries. Never camp near an animal carcass, garbage or bear sign such as tracks, scat or tree scratchings.
- Remember the 50 meter rule: locate your cook area and food cache at least 50 meter downwind from your tent.
- Pitch tents in a line or a semicircle facing your cooking areas. You will be more likely to spot a bear that wanders into your camp and it will have a clear escape route.
- Don’t forget! When caching your food and garbage you’ll need: 100 feet of strong nylon accessory cord and a carabiner (to attach bags to cord).
- Never leave food unattended, unless it is properly stored.
- DO NOT bring food or odorous non-food items into your tent. This includes toothpaste, perfume, deodorant, chocolate, candy and wrappers.
- Avoid canned foods with strong odors such as tuna. Wash cans after eating.
- Food should be placed in bear-resistant food storage containers (where available) or stored in your vehicle.
- Where this is not possible, cache your food: place food inside several layers of sealed plastic bags (to reduce odor) and a stuff-sac (‘bear bags’ or waterproof ‘dry-bags’ can be purchased for this use), find two trees that are 5 meters apart and hang the bags between them at least 10 meters from the ground using nylon cord and a carabiner.
- If two trees are not available, sling your bags at least 10 meters from the ground over the branch of one tree so that they hang at least 1.5 meters out from the tree trunk.
- Remember to hang pots, utensils, cosmetics, toiletries and any other odorous items with your food and garbage.
- NEVER cook or eat in your tent – it will smell of food and may attract bears. Avoid cooking greasy, odorous foods.
- Locate your cook area and food cache at least 50 meters downwind from your tent.
- Remove the clothing you wore while cooking before going to sleep. Store these clothes in your vehicle or with your food and garbage (see above).
- Wash all dishes immediately after eating. Dump water at least 50 meters from your campsite.
- Never leave garbage unattended, unless it is properly stored.
- Do not bury your garbage.
- Garbage should be deposited in bear-resistant garbage cans or stored in your vehicle until it can be dumped.
- Where this is not possible, hang garbage in the same way as food (see above).
- Remember: “pack it in, pack it out”. This includes ALL garbage (including biodegradable items such as fruit peel).