Camping in bear country

Serviced Campground

Bear-proof your food! Become familiar with "attractants" (see Bear Attractants). Never leave these items unattended and store them in a vehicle or hard-sided trailer when not in use. Remember that hard-top/tent trailers are not bear-proof!

Never cook in, or near, your tent or tent-trailer. Dispose of wastewater from cooking or doing dishes in washrooms or at a dumping station. Clean up promptly after meals.

Stash your trash! Garbage should be placed in the park's bear-proof garbage containers. If you store garbage at your site, keep it in a vehicle or hard-sided trailer. Keep your camping equipment, tent and tent-trailer clean and free of food odours.

Back Country

Bear-proof your food! Store all food and other attractants in bear-resistant food-storage facilities where provided, or suspend them between two trees (minimum of four metres off the ground and one metre from tree trunks). Bear-proof/air-tight food containers are an option if tree storage is unavailable. Avoid smelly foods (use dried or prepackaged food instead). Plan meals carefully to reduce leftovers. Store all dishes and pots with food.

100 metres away Cook at least 100 meters downwind from your sleeping area
© Parks Canada

Keep your sleeping gear and tent free of food odours. Never cook in or near the tent as lingering food odours are an invitation to bears. Store the clothing you cooked in with your food in air-tight bags or containers. Keep tent pads clean and free of food and garbage. If possible, cook at least 100 meters (approximately one football field) downwind from your sleeping area.

Dispose of wastewater from cooking or doing dishes in a well-drained area downslope from your campsite and not near fresh water.

Dispose of fish offal (remains) in a fast-moving stream or in the deep part of a lake; never along stream sides or lake shores.

Pack all garbage back out of wilderness areas. Do not bury garbage as bears can easily locate and dig it out! If food scraps are burnt, pack out all unburned portions. Store garbage with food in air-tight bags or containers. (See notes on food storage above.)

Use a flashlight at night, it will help reduce the likelihood of surprising a bear and may warn wildlife away.

Select an appropriate campsite. Use designated sites when available. In random camping areas, pick a spot away from berry patches, animal and walking trails, and the sound of rushing water. Camp in open areas or near large, sparsely branched trees that can be climbed if necessary. Watch for bear signs; if present, choose another area to camp in.

Problem Bears are Created by People

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