It is well known the smell of food will entice neighborhood bears to your campsite.

Most hikers will take appropriate measures, such as cooking away from camp, storing food in a closed container and avoid leaving food scraps. However, did you know that there are a number of things that may bring bears to your campground doorstep?

Laws of bear attraction

Here are six things that will attract bears:


Cooking is the most obvious attraction for bears. But also make sure to avoid the smell of cooking on your clothes, plates that haven’t been cleaned properly, food that hasn’t been cleared up and smells around the camp fire.

The cooking site is the most attractive to bears so when preparing meals make sure to cook well away from the pitched tents and careful store the left over food items (especially those that have been opened) and any clothes with food scents.

Also, be cautious with dog food because this is also attractive to bears.

Liquid refreshment

You’re probably safe with water, but sweetened drinks, such as beer and soda, can attract the attention of most bears. Keep them packed away and clean up spills completely.


Be careful with what you throw away. Anything with a strong scent in your waste bags could attract bears, such as leftover food, food containers, drinks cans and toiletries.

Place all your garbage in sealed containers or odor-proof bags. A proper bear-proof canister might be practical on hiking trails that get a lot of bears passing through.


Toiletries (perfumes, lotions, deodorants, toothpaste, etc) can interest a bear. Leave scented objects in a bear bag or canister to increase the level of safety at the campsite.

Insect Repellant and Sunscreen

Sweet scents and herbal ingredients can make items such as insect repellant and sunscreen highly attractive to bears.

Store them with anything else with a strong scent in a sealed container.

Human waste

Both urine and feces are known to attract bears so it is best to set up the bathroom a little way away from camp and make sure waste is stored in an odor-proof bag where possible.

Black Bears: 10 Interesting Facts

  1. Black bears have the ability to hibernate without food for a period of up to 7 months.
  2. This animal is very intelligent, resourceful, and curious.
  3. Black bears are great at remembering previous food sites and can go back to an original food source after several years.
  4. Black bears prefer to avoid the attention of humans.
  5. It will become a lot more bolder when habituated or hungry.
  6. Black bears have great strength so should be given proper respect and treated with caution.
  7. A creature well adapted to running, swimming, and climbing.
  8. Most black bears will avoid open, unprotected spaces and favor the more hidden area with cover from thickets and trees.
  9. Black bears eat a diet mostly consisting of vegetable matter (about 85 percent) such as grasses, seeds, berries, and nuts.
  10. Bear bears stand on the hind legs to get a better look or out of curiosity rather than to attack.