Have a bear-safe vacation

Bear Safety Tips

Be BearWise on Vacation

  • Enjoy bears from a distance and never approach them.
  • Feeding bears (intentionally or unintentionally) trains them to approach homes and people for more food, and you may be ticketed and fined.
  • Bears may be defensive when people get too close.
  • Secure your food and garbage.
  • Clean and store your BBQ grill.
  • Keep doors and windows closed.

Before you rent, ask if they have bear-resistant trash containers

A bear-resistant rental will help prevent conflicts with bears while ensuring your family’s safety while on vacation.

A little effort on your part
goes a long way for bear safety

Secure Food & Garbage

  • Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food or garbage.
  • Don’t leave garbage and recycling outside of your vacation rental overnight.
  • Do not leave food, coolers or garbage unattended on a picnic table or anywhere outdoors – even for a moment!
Avoid This Scene!

Normal trash cans, even with the lids on tight, offer little resistance to determined black bears.

Clean Your Grill

Greasy grills smell very tempting to bears and other wildlife.

  • Burn off food particles on your barbeque grill after each use.
  • Clean or remove the grease pan. Do not dump drippings in the yard.
  • Cover your grill.
  • If bears are active in the area of your vacation rental, store the BBQ grill indoors. Leave the propane tank outside (propane is a fire risk).

(Photo: Bear Smart Society)

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

In some vacation destinations, bears have learned to search for food left in vehicles, cabins and condos after guests have left.

  • Keep vehicle doors and windows closed at all times, even when going back inside for just a moment to load or unload.
  • If you leave your residence, shut the doors and windows.

(Photo: Shawn Martin/NCWRC)

This black bear began his investigations by crawling through an open window.

View bears at a distance…

(Photo: Steve Uffman)

…rather than too close!

(Photo: Roy Kortus)