While it’s impossible to guarantee a bear-proof camping trip in bear country, there are a number of steps you can take to make your campsite less attractive to bears and more likely to deter them from visiting. These steps can be boiled down to two main principles: keep bears from finding a reason to come to your campsite, and make sure they have every reason to leave.

How To Keep Bears Away From Your Campsite

The absolute most basic rule of keeping bears away from your campsite is to be smart with your food. Bears have a very keen sense of smell and can smell food up to a mile away, so making sure that you follow a few basic rules for food prep and food storage is of the utmost importance.

Bear Spray to bear-proof Your Next Camping Trip
Bear Spray photo credits

How To Defend Your Campsite From Bears

In the event that a bear does wind up on your campground, the most important thing to consider is your own safety – so if you even think about grabbing your cooler full of food, forget it! Take care of yourself and fellow campers first and foremost, food is replaceable.

The absolute first rule here is to get to a safe spot as fast as possible. This should be your first instinct, but if all else fails and you find yourself trapped on your campsite with a bear, there are some things you can do to give yourself the advantage.

Defending your campsite from a bear is not a guaranteed win, but here are some of our best tips for getting rid of that unwanted visitor if running to safety is not an option.