The Labor Day weekend is an excellent time to squeeze in an end-of-summer camping trip before kids head back to school and the bustling fall begins. While packing for your trip, considering adding a few items to make sure your campsite doesn’t accidently attract bears or other curious wildlife. All of that stuff you saw on your Saturday morning cartoons about pic-a-nic baskets really does apply!
Here are a few items to add to your campsite to prevent critters from crashing your weekend:
- Airtight containers and storage bags – Food and toiletries should NEVER be kept in tents. Store food and toiletries in airtight containers in a vehicle trunk, or suspend food from trees in burlap or plastic bags or backpacks.
- Rope – Hang containers or storage bags 12 feet above ground, 10 feet from the tree trunk and 5 feet from the nearest branch.
- Cleaning supplies – Wipe away any food debris on eating utensils or spills on camp chairs and tables.
- Trash bags – Store trash as you would food. Burning or burying waste attracts bears.
While camping, bears and other wildlife may wander through your campsite. But if food is prepared and stored properly and utensils and spills are cleaned, they should continue through.
Never intentionally feed a bear or other wildlife. A fed bear is a dead bear. That’s because once bears realize that humans are a potential food source, they will begin treating us that way. Once a bear loses its natural fear of people and begins seeing us as a way to eat, it’s usually only a matter of time before there’s a physical attack. Nuisance bears are usually culled by a local law-enforcement or fish and game officer, not hunters. This is also part of why scientifically managed bear hunting is so important. In addition to controlling bear populations at a sustainable level, it also reinforces the bears’ concept of humans as creatures to avoid.
From your friends at Popular Outdoorsman, here’s wishing you a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!