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Bear Country Tips

For most of us, seeing a bear is a rare and memorable experience. Learning more about bears and their habits can help you safely enjoy these unique wild animals and the habitats they live in.

Storing Food
  • DO NOT bring food or odorous non-food items into your tent.  This includes toothpaste, perfume, deodorant, chocolate, candy and wrappers.

  • Never leave food unattended, unless it is properly stored.

  • Store all food, coolers and utensils in a “Food Storage Locker” when available or put in the trunk of your car.

  • Where this is not possible, cache your food: place your food inside layers of plastic bags and place in a waterproof bag.  Hang your bag between two trees at least 10 feet up and 5 feet away from tree.

  • If two trees are not available, sling your bags at least 15 feet from the ground over the branch of one tree.

  • NEVER cook or eat in your tent – it will smell of food and may attract bears.

  • Wash all dishes immediately after eating.

  • Remove clothing you wore while cooking before going to sleep.  Store clothes in your vehicle or with food.

  • Locate your cooking area downwind from your tent.

Garbage Disposal
Hikers Be Bear-Aware!
  • Garbage should be deposited in garbage cans/dumpsters (or bear-resistant cans where available).

  • Do not bury your garbage.

  • When possible, hang  garbage in the same manner as food.

  • Remember: “Pack-it In & Pack-it-Out” whenever possible and when hiking.

  • Hike in groups when possible and during daylight hours.

  • Avoid wearing scented cosmetics or hair products.

  • Keep dogs and children close to you.  Loose dogs may agitate bears.

  • NEVER approach a bear!

  • Bears feel threatened if surprised. Make noise so the bear knows you are there.

  • If a bear approaches, DO NOT RUN!  Back away SLOWLY.

 These “Bear Tips” are provided by WESTrek Services
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