If you have been worried about encountering a bear when you’re out camping, this article is just for you. I myself have sometimes felt that a bear might wander into my tent while taking a nap at camp. That’s why it’s important to know how to repel bears while camping so you can have peace of mind.
You should know that bears seldom attack people – there’s a low average number of bear attacks each year – so you can be rest assured that you’re most probably not going to be attacked by a bear when you’re out camping.
How to Keep a Bear Out of Your Tent While Camping
These are some great methods on how to repel bears while camping:
1. Choose a Campsite Carefully
What do bears like? Where would a bear most likely frequent? These are some questions you should ask yourself so that you can have a good idea of where and when a bear might appear at camp.
You need to look at things from a bear’s perspective if you want to avoid places and situations that are inviting to these large animals. Before choosing the camp site you want to visit, make sure it isn’t a cozy home for bears. And if you don’t have a tent, you need to learn how to make a camping tent from scratch by yourself.
2. Keep Food Smells and Other Scents Away from the Tent
It’s very important for you to keep smells away from your tent. A bear can easily smell food and other scents – no matter how faint the scent is – hence, it’s good if you can pack your stuff into a safe space like your car (with the windows properly shut).
You can also make use of a bear hang. Bear hangs are used to suspend food (inside a water-resistant, air-tight bear canister) at a height that bears cannot reach. Just make sure that you do whatever you can to make sure bears can’t smell your food.
3. Follow the “Bear-Muda” Technique
This is a technique that has been tested and has yielded positive results. The “Bear-Muda” strategy helps you space out your tent, cooking area, and food storage area.
The areas mentioned are placed strategically in three corners that form a triangle when linked with straight lines. Try to make sure that your tent is in a position where the wind doesn’t blow the smell of food from the cooking area and food storage. Also, make sure it doesn’t go bad by keeping food cold when camping.
4. Keep Bear Spray and a Flashlight with You at All Times
Harm yourself with a flashlight and bear spray when you’re at camp. Bear sprays have proven to be highly effective in repelling bears – it would be a strong disadvantage not to take one to camp.
Flashlights are also needed to match the excellent night-vision that bears have. You want to be on the same visual level with a bear at night so that it doesn’t have an advantage over you.
5. Don’t Let Your Pet Outside the Tent
If you’re taking your lovely pet with you to camp, you must be very cautious. Feeding the pet close to your Toogh tent or where you sleep would attract bears to you. It’s safer if you don’t leave any pet food lying around or even your pet wandering around.
Bears would love to make a nice snack out of your pet poodle or cat – I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. Make sure that you don’t feed the other natural inhabitants at the campsite. Those animals are not your pets.
6. Make Sure You Change Your Clothes After You Finish Cooking
If you normally cook at home, you should be aware of the fact that your clothes smell of cooking whenever you’ve just finished cooking.
This isn’t a good thing when you’re at camp because bears have a keen sense of smell that can detect the cooking smell on your clothes. Make sure that you have a specific outfit for when you want to cook and take it off once you’re done.
7. Wash Cooking Appliances Immediately
You can’t afford to leave left-overs in your tent or around your tent when you’re done eating. Bears will get attracted to even the smallest morsel of left-over food.
As soon as you’re done cooking in your tent or eating a meal, make sure you gather up all the remaining crumbs/bits into an air-tight bag so that the smell doesn’t get out. Wash all your cooking utensils immediately.
What to Do If You Encounter a Bear Outside Your Tent
Just to be safe, we must assume that even after following all these steps on “how to repel bears while camping” a bear might still stumble upon you and your tent.
You must be prepared for such a situation so that you don’t panic and escalate the whole situation.
- Try to Appear Larger: The bigger, the better. There is a huge chance that a bear would turn back and run if you seem larger than it. To achieve this, walk in a group or lift someone on to your shoulders – this will intimidate the bear as you would appear larger and taller.
- Don’t Run: There’s a huge chance that you might want to run for your life when you see a bear in front of your tent. In a bid to escape, you might turn your back to the wild animal and trigger its predatory instincts. This would be really bad. Instead of doing that, face the bear as you slowly back away.
If the bear keeps on approaching after all this, immediately use your bear spray.
How to Survive Bear Attacks
You can handle bear attacks based on the species of bear that attacks you. If you are attacked by a Brown bear or a Grizzly, you might need to play dead. This is because brown bears and grizzlies are more prone to attack people.
When playing dead, make sure you lie flat on your belly with your hands covering your neck region. You must make sure that you remain in this position – even if the bear turns you over – until the encounter is over.
Black bears aren’t as aggressive. This is because they are shy animals. They would end up running away if you put up a good fight.
With all the advice we have given you on how to repel bears while camping, you should be able to do well against bear attacks when you’re at camp.
Make sure you take a bear spray along in case of a serious encounter. Also, remember to play dead when being faced by the aggressive Grizzlies and Brown bears.
Don’t leave food around, clean your tent and its surroundings, and be careful with your pets. If you can follow these guidelines, you will be able to avoid an encounter with a bear and do well in the event of a rare attack.
Have you ever experienced an attack by a bear while camping outdoors? What did you do? Let us know how it went in the comments. Thank you!