Today I will be explaining exactly how to store food when camping.
In addition to all of that, I will be talking about the importance of storing your food while you are out in the wilderness.
You can then learn how to do it in a safe and secure manner, ultimately avoiding the pesky critters that come searching for your midnight snack during the night.
Why Securing Food Is EXTREMELY Important
Wildlife can smell food from a mile away, and that’s speaking in a literal sense. In other words, I’m not kidding around 😛
The #1 reason why you should be securing your food in a safe place is because of critters and other wildlife creatures, because they can and WILL come searching for it.
Furthermore, if you are in bear country, that should be all the more reason to secure your food as good as possible.
So you can stop a massive grizzly bear from coming into your campsite when you least expect it.
Like when it rips through your tent while you’re sleeping, just because it’s hungry. And yes – it does happen!
A small piece of fabric isn’t going to stop a 1000 pound Grizzly Bear from getting between him and his midnight meal.
It’s Not Just Food
It isn’t just food that you need to keep out of your tent either.
It is also:
- And all other hygiene/toiletry products that contain a scent
Bears and other wildlife creatures can smell all of these products and right away they will think it’s food.
Anything that has a scent to it, critters/wildlife can smell it and they WILL come looking for it.
Rule #1 – Do NOT Store Food/Hygiene Products Inside Your Tent
This is a recipe for disaster, no matter what country you are camping in. Because wildlife is everywhere, it isn’t just bears that will come searching through your tent.
Rats and possums, they aren’t what you want in your tent at 1 o’clock in the morning, is it?
That’s why it’s extremely important to keep all food and hygiene products out of your tent, even in the day time!
Furthermore, never leave your food unattended even in broad daylight. There are jays, squirrels, and even chipmunks who will snatch it at the first chance they get.
Store All Your Food In A Cooler During The Day
You should always keep your food in a cooler during the day time, and if you aren’t near it (if you’re out on a hike or playing games), then you should keep it in the car.
Keep in mind – Bears are incredibly smart nowadays, well the ones that are close to campsites anyway. They have seen what coolers are and they KNOW what they contain…Food!
So when you put a cooler inside your car, just cover it with a sheet or blanket, just in case a bear looks through the window.
Even put it in the trunk just to make it that much easier for you. The main focus here is to eliminate the scent so animals can’t follow it back to your campsite.
If you can’t get access to your car (because it is far away), then you should definitely use a padlock for your cooler, since bears and raccoons have been known to open them.
The Same With At Night
When it’s nighttime, you need to put all loose food and scented products in your car and out of complete sight.
One simple way is to keep the food in a cooler and in the trunk, while all toiletries/hygiene products should also be kept in the car, even in the trunk if you choose to.
Metal Bear Canister
Bears have rarely known to get inside of these amazing storage containers, while a lot of them know what they are so they don’t even bother trying to access them, simply because they know they it is too difficult.
If you choose to use a metal bear canister, then remember that they can be kept on the ground – even at nighttime! There’s no need to hang them from a tree.
Hang It From A Tree
You can place your food and all loose food inside a container or trash bag and hang it over a tree branch.
But please make sure that the branch is HIGH.
Although some bears have discovered that pulling on the rope can get the food down, so just ask the local ranger if bears have known to do it in the area.
Pro tip: Hang your bag at roughly 10-15 feet, this is so standing bears can’t reach it. Then at least 4-5 feet away from the trunk of that tree.
A bear bag is another viable method for keeping your food stored and safe away from these massive, 1000 pound predators.
However, this is not my favorite choice since a lot of national parks don’t accept them.
And that’s because any bear can easily come along and crush it (leaving you with crushed food), or they can just take the bag and leave with it, if it really wants to.
Always Cook Your Food Away From Your Tent
This is basic camping 101, yet I still see a lot of campers messing this up.
Cook and eat your food at least 100 feet away from your tent/camping area (or about 30.5 meters).
The main focus here is to cook and consume your meals in a different location from your sleeping area.
So when bears come looking for food that they can smell, they won’t be near your head while you sleep in your tent at night!
Camping doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you follow the rules and regulations that the campsite provides.
You should always focus on removing the trash right away and storing your food when you aren’t using it.
Do that and I guarantee there will be NO wild animals that will come searching while you’re sleeping!
To be even safer, clean up all spills right away and pick up dropped food – even if it’s crumbs, this will stop ants from coming along and becoming a nuisance.
What food storage tips do you have? Tell us in the comment section below.