How to Keep Animals Out of Your Camping Food

Camping is a fun and easy way to get closer to nature, but sometimes it can be difficult when you find yourself in the wilderness with animals wandering close by. These tips will help keep your food safe so that you don’t end up like this poor guy:

Peeing around your campsite is a common practice to keep animals away from your food. It is said that peeing will mask the smell of food and make it less appealing for animals to eat. Read more in detail here: does peeing around your campsite keep animals away.

How to hang food while camping illustration step by step with diagram.

When you’re out in the woods, preserving and properly storing your food is crucial if you don’t want Yogi Bear and his ilk to get their hands on your prized dinners. In certain cases, it’s also necessary for your protection. If your nocturnal snack attracts a grizzly bear into your camp, an overnight in the woods might be lethal.

Making your food inaccessible and/or out of reach is one way to keep animals away of your food. Metal food lockers are offered at many car-camping sites for you to keep your food (some parks have rules against storing food in your car; bears can do serious damage to your vehicle trying to get in). If things aren’t accessible, you may buy a bear canister (which is often needed at some parks in the West) or a specific bag to keep your belongings. Bear canisters and bags are containers made of sturdy plastic or cloth that have been created and tested to keep bears and other animals out. If you don’t have a canister or a bag, or if you don’t have access to food lockers (which is particularly true while hiking), the hanging technique is your best option. You’ll want to hang the bag high enough that bears can’t reach it, but not so near to a tree limb that squirrels can get it.

Remember to wipe up any crumbs and to put anything with an odor in the bag with your meal, including toothpaste and deodorant.

1: Put all of your food and other objects that produce waste into a large bag.

2: Secure the bag’s top by tying it to the end of a rope. The length of your rope should be at least 50 feet.

3: Tie the other end of the rope with a boulder or a big piece of wood.

4: Toss the rope over a big tree limb with the boulder or piece of wood.

5: Raise your food bag using the rope, making sure it’s at least 12 feet above the ground and 5 feet away from both the vehicle and the branch above.

6: If feasible, tie the rope to a separate tree or neighboring root. (A)

If there are no other trees nearby, tie it to the same tree’s trunk. (B)

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Ted Slampyak created the illustration.



The “smell proof food container for camping” is a product that allows you to keep animals out of your camping food.

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