One of the Rosman RV Team was camping a couple of weeks ago with her family when they encountered a surprise visitor at their campsite. While bears are very outdoorsy, they’re not always the best type of guest to have while you’re camping. And sure, they look all cute and cuddly, but we definitely don’t recommend trying to hug one.
Instead, we’d like to arm you with a few ways you can safeguard your campsite against the fuzzy forest dwellers courtesy of CanadaStays.com. And we’ve even thrown in a few tips from BearSmart.com for if you actually encounter any bears when you’re out camping . . .
SAFEGUARDING YOUR CAMP:
- Never store food inside your tent.
- Store all food, garbage, and anything else with a strong scent inside a bear-resistant canister, or suspend in the air from a tree (when hanging food, make sure it’s at least 4 meters off the ground.)
- Make sure your campsite is away from fish-spawning streams, fruit trees, berry patches, and thick brush.
- Always ensure your campsite is clean. Burn garbage when possible and make sure you take all waste with you when you leave.
- Plan meals to avoid leftovers and be wary of foods with strong scents like fish and bacon.
- Try to keep your campsite as scent-free as possible. Bears are attracted to strong scents and will happily sniff out someone wearing strong perfume. Fragrance-free shampoos and soaps are a great idea.
- Campfires and loud noises are a great bear deterrent so don’t be afraid of whipping out the ol’ guitar and leading your camp in a rousing campfire rendition of Don McLean’s American Pie!
- Bear spray is your friend, keep it handy!
IF YOU ENCOUNTER A BEAR:
- Stay calm. If you’re with a large group, move closer together. It’ll give you the appearance that you’re larger than you actually are.
- Speak in a calm tone so the bear knows you’re there and you don’t startle it.
- Slowly move back the way you came, or if you have to move on, take a wide detour around.
- Walk! Don’t run. Watch the bear at all times. In most cases, a bear will turn and run.
- If you can tell what type of bear you’re encountering, there are actually different methods to dealing with them. Check out Bearsmart.com for more details.
- If a bear is feeding or with cubs, it may act aggressively. It’s not looking to fight, it’s just letting you know you’re too close. Try to appear non-threatening and follow steps 1-4.
- Avoid at all costs! It seems like common sense, but bears actually don’t want anything to do with humans. If you come across a bear, it’s likely a chance encounter but, just so we’re covering all the bases, don’t go looking for bears!
Bears generally don’t enter RV’s, so the best recommendation we can give you is to get yourself an RV. Now if only we knew a great place you could get an RV . . .