How To Keep Black Bears Away From Your Campsite?

We’re an affiliate
We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may earn a small commission from the links on this page at no extra cost to you. Thanks if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

So you’re here wanting solutions for – how to keep black bears away from your campsite? Generally, this is a question of every new camper or hiker roaming for the first time in the areas of bears.

In this specie you can came in contact with these three kind of bears:

  • Black bears (Can be found nearly in all states of North America)
  • Polar bears
  • Grizzly bears

In this article, we’ll only cover the ways to keep black bears away so keep your eyes on them because you’re going to know every possible ethical way to keep them away.

It is very rare that black bear attacks. This group of bears is very shy and quiet in nature and runs to hide when they saw an unknown person like you and me.

Before moving to all possible ways I think it’s very necessary for you to know the nature of black bears so that you won’t take any wrong step by mistake.

how to keep black bears away from your campsite
Thank you John Thomas for such a beautiful photo

The behavior of black bears

  • Cubs will bawl and moan when distressed and on suckling, they make grunting purr sound.
  • Female bears communicate with their young by moans or grunts to have them follow her or to send their cubs up trees for safety.
  • If any bear feels fear instead of roar or growl they may blow air forcefully through their nose or slap the ground “huff“, and snap or “pop” their teeth together. If the subject doesn’t scare by this then the bear may bluff charge or running towards the subject and then swerve away.
  • If a bear is truly aggressive toward humans then they’ll not make a sound. Instead, they’ll stare, flatten their ears, and protrude their lower lip
  • Black bears are curious in nature so they may do a lot of sniffing and may stand up on hind legs to smell and get a better view of their surroundings.

Now you know their general behavior thus make decisions based on this behavior when you’re in black bears areas. Let’s move to our next section and see what we can do so that our chance of facing black bears are little to no.

Tips to keep black bears away

Choose a safe campsite

If you’re in a black bear country then please make sure that you’re campsite is away from the colony of bears. Don’t be in so hurry that you end up setting your tent surrounded by bears.

Use the bear-Munda method

Thanks to whoever discover this method. In this method, you separate the area of your food, the cooking area, and the sleeping area from each other that it makes a triangle like form. Make sure the space between each point is 100 yards or 300 ft. Try to have your sleeping area upwind and the other two points downwind.

Smells are the best friend of bears

Do you know the bears have a 2100 times better sense of smell than dogs? Means bears can smell a grave faster than dogs. Black bears love to be around the place which has lots of food and your campsite can become a good place for a surprise party. Here are some tips which will help you to eliminate such smells.

  • Put your food in odorless bags and hang it on a tree. The height of that bag should be 12 feet or more from the ground and at least 6ft away from the tree trunk.
  • You can hide your food in odor-proof bags in hidden ground spots if the tree is not an option for you.
  • Nowadays bear canister is also becoming a popular option among campers to store scented items safely in their camp.
  • Clean all your dishes immediately after you finish eating and dug enough size hole far away from your tent to put all that wastewater and remaining food in that hole then pour the hole completely with the soil.
  • Have a separate pair of clothes for cooking and sleeping. Never sleep on the clothes you wear at the time of cooking and eating. If you do this then bears naturally move towards you due to the food scent coming from your clothes.
  • Sleep with a flashlight and bear spray. Who knows when bear set a mind to surprise you. If this rare situation occurs then throw some flash in his eyes which may scare him to run away. Use bear spray only when the bear really wants to fight you. The spray should be the last option you have.
  • When it’s time to leave the place then use the leave no trace method to clean all your mess. If possible burn all your trash. Many sites have their own set of rules for cleaning campsite so follow them responsibly.

Bear deterrents

Please read this article to know the smells that deter or repel bears. Bear deterrents will only work if you follow all the tips mentioned above.

Read FAQs for extra bear safety

Should you yell at a bear?

No, you shouldn’t yell to bear because it gives a signal to the bears that you’re a threat to them and may attack you. Instead of this stay calmer and talk to bear in lower tones by slowly waving your arms.

Do bears like coffee grounds?

Why not? Bears like anything that smells good as they have a strong sense of smell they may find coffee grounds attractive.

Do whistles scare bears?

Bears typically do not scared of humans and the noise they make. So whistles simply do not fear bears.

How do you keep bears out at night?

1. Place your food far from your sleeping area. Use the bear-Munda triangle method.
2. Have all your garbage far away from the tent in an odor-proof bag
3. Don’t sleep on the same clothes that you’re wearing while cooking and eating your meal.
4. Keep a bear spray and flashlight near you.

Do bears eat humans?

Bears eating humans are uncommon. If the animals are diseased or natural prey is not available then bears can eat whatever they are able to kill.

Will a bear attack you for no reason?

No. They will only attack you if they feel threatened by you.