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How to Camp Safely in Bear Country


When you're in the great outdoors, there are several things you need to be aware of that you may not normally deal with. One of these is wildlife, such as bears. With recent news of bear attacks in national parks, it's always good to keep some basic precautions in mind to make sure your camping trip is safe and your site is bear-proof.

The first step in having a successful camping trip is knowledge. According to AmericanBear.org, Bears:

  • Have a sense of smell 7 times more powerful than a dog and can sense odors over one mile away.
  • Are curious, resourceful and intelligent
  • Are typically nervous and shy, and can become dangerous if they feel cornered, startled or threatened
  • Are proficient at climbing, swimming and running
  • Stand up on their hind legs to get a better look or smell because of curiosity (not to attack)
  • Usually, prefer to avoid humans

If you keep these facts in mind, you will be able to more easily avoid any incidents with bears.

In order to prepare yourself for your trip, keep a few simple tips in mind:

  1. Plan ahead. Check with local agencies or the park you're visiting in order to have a handle on what types of wildlife can be found there. Many parks maintain a website with policies, procedures, safety tips, and any warnings or alerts. This will help you prepare and make your trip more enjoyable.
  2. Read up on bears. The list above is a good start, but it's also a good idea to check out www.americanbear.org, as well as Wikipedia for more information.
  3. Protect your stuff. Make sure you stock up on bear-proof containers, especially for your food. Many retailers sell containers to store food and hang it out of a bear's reach. Avoid eating in your tent, so no food odors linger in the area where you sleep. Remember to bring extra bags for leftovers and garbage, so everything is sealed.
  4. Choose an open campsite. Bears prefer to avoid open areas where they feel exposed. Being out in the open decreases your chances of encountering a bear.
  5. Avoid bringing strong-smelling non-foods. Since bears have such a keen sense of smell, they are more likely to pick up on strongly scented perfumes, candles, and other items. If possible, leave these items at home.
  6. Use extra caution at night and always carry a flashlight. This is a good general rule while camping, but especially important to make sure you don't startle a bear or any wildlife that may have gotten too close to your campsite.

The most important thing to remember is to be prepared and use common sense. If you educate yourself and have a good idea what to expect, you'll set yourself up for a safe and enjoyable trip. And if your RV or trailer is in need of new trailer tires, visit our online store for great deals.

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