Keeping critters out of your food will make both you and the critters happier. It’s not just bears that shouldn’t be fed, but mice, racoons, birds, squirrels, fox and possibly even mountain goats. It’s been over 40 years since I lost anything to bears and I intend to keep it that way.
I see bears a lot when hiking in both Olympic and Rainier National Parks. The encounters are typically non-threatening and we go our separate ways, but it is pretty clear that they are around. I have actually had more problems with mice than bears. Mice have chewed holes in a tent zipper and a “rodent proof” food bag. So I try to keep a clean camp and carefully hang my food or store it in a bear canister. Continue reading