The Ten Commandments of Camping in Bear Country

  1. Keep a clean camp. Food and all items that come in contact with food carry food odors that bears can smell.
  2. Clean all utensils thoroughly immediately after use. Never deposit food residues (i.e., cooking grease) into campfires.
  3. Place garbage where bears cannot smell or gain access to it, either in bear proof containers or dumpsters. Don't burn or bury garbage. Bears will dig it up.
  4. Do not eat or cook in your tent. Avoid storing food or attractants in tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks.
  5. Treat non-food items such as gum, soap or deodorant as food. They are attractive to a bear's acute sense of smell.
  6. Immediately store food articles after every use in airtight containers. Coolers are not airtight and bears often associate them with food. Secure them in a locked trunk or truck cab concealed from view.
  7. Cook only as much food as you will eat. Avoid as much food garbage as possible.
  8. Never attempt to feed a bear or any other wildlife.
  9. Approaching wildlife, especially black bears, can be a dangerous activity.
  10. Bears learn very quickly. Black bears that associate food with people may become aggressive and dangerous. This may lead to personal injury, property damage and the need to euthanize problem animals.

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