Most camp sites west of 1-25 are in bear country. Bears that learn that people have food routinely visit camp sites, picnic areas and resorts in hopes of finding an easy meal. If you want to avoid problems for yourself and the bears, make sure there’s nothing to attract bears to your camp.
Stash Your Trash. Use bear-proof containers when available. If they’re full, double bag trash and lock it in your trunk or RV. Never leave trash outside.
Store Attractants Safely. Store food, beverages and toiletries in air tight containers and lock in your trunk. Many bears have discovered that coolers, bags and boxes are full of food; never leave them in your tent or anywhere a bear could see, smell or reach.
Keep a Clean Camp. Bears are attracted to odors of all kinds and will investigate anything interesting in hopes of finding food.
Keep a Clean Tent. Don’t bring anything with an odor into your tent—that includes all foods, beverages, scented toiletries, gum, toothpaste, sunscreen, candles, and insect repellant. Don’t sleep in the clothes you cooked in; store them with your food.
Lock RVs and Vehicles. Close windows and lock your vehicle and RV when you leave your camp site and at night before you go to sleep.
If a bear comes into camp, try to chase it away. Yell, toss small stones in the direction of (not directly at) the bear, bang pots and pans, or blow your car horn, air horn, or whistle. Make sure the bear has an escape route.
Backcountry Bear Tips
When you are backpacking or camping in an undeveloped area, set up a bear-safe camp to protect your food and avoid attracting bears. If there are signs a bear has visited the area recently, leave and choose another camp site.
Bear spray is a super-concentrated, highly irritating pepper spray proven to be more effective than firearms at deterring bears, but it’s no substitute for taking all the proper precautions to prevent problems in bear country.