Camping & outdoor activities

Bear in tent.
Having a bear in camp can ruin your trip.

When outdoors, you may encounter a bear, especially while camping. If you are planning a camping trip to bear country, a telephone call to inquire about bear activities is recommended. If you confront a bear while in the outdoors, remain calm. Don't panic!

To reduce the chances of bear problems:

  • Move to another campsite if fresh bear sign is present.
  • Never have food in your tent.
  • Use canned and dried foods to minimize food odors.
  • Store foods out of a bear's reach.
  • Use air-tight or bear-proof containers.
  • Burn waste paper in your campfire.
  • Do not burn or bury food scraps!
  • Remove all garbage and fish remains from camp every evening.

Tie food bag above ground.

Seeing bears can be very enjoyable. However, having a bear in camp can lead to problems. If a problem becomes serious, the bear may be killed unnecessarily.

If a bear comes into camp:

  • Don't feed it. Scare it away.
  • Make loud noises, bang pans, yell or use air horns.
  • Don't be gentle! Chase it away.
  • Throw rocks or pieces of firewood or use a slingshot.

If a bear makes threatening sounds, stands upright or bluff charges, you are too close. These actions can be unnerving, however, the bear can almost always be chased away.

Spray repellents containing capsaicin (hot pepper liquid) are available to discourage bold bears. These repellents are effective and will not injure a bear's eyes or make the bear aggressive. CAUTION! Care must be taken when using these products. Be sure to follow label instructions.