Quiz yourself on how well you know how to animal-proof a campsite

How much do you know about animal-proofing your campsite?

Ask people what they’re most afraid of on a camping trip, and they’re likely to say “bears!” Some are afraid they’ll be eaten alive by one; others are worried that a bear will get into their food. But raccoons, chipmunks and rodents are generally more worrisome camp robbers than bears.

First read the animal-proofing tips in this article. Then, test yourself with this quiz to see how much you know about animal-proofing your campsite.



  1. Not sure about tossing the food in the river. It would be a judgment call and the land manager would be the one making the call. It really violates the LNT practice of packing everything out. It creates an unsightly mess and it changes the natural environment. On the other hand smelly garbage can attract dangerous animals.

    The best approach is to plan your meals so that all the food is consumed. This takes some practice with the group you are with. I find having packaged items on hand like power bars, crackers and oatmeal for the extra hungry scouts is better than having cooked but uneaten food left over. One scout troop told me of making 1lb of couscous which no one could finish. They had to pack it out.

    Greg Gamache Crew 444 Advisor – LNT master Educator

    • If you are camping in grizzly country, best toss partially eaten/left-over food into a nearby river where it will be lost in the gathering flow. Another option is to burn it completely (you need a real hot fire). Packing out smelly garbage is a recipe for a bear attack! Federal authorities in grizzly country believe that “tossing left-overs” in the river is the safest approach.

    • Well said! I canoe the Adirondacks and using the river/lake is not an option. Plan the meal and the portion for each camper.

      • Hey, Guys, I think you missed a key point–we’re talking grizzly country here. And YES, you’d best toss leftovers into the river when you’re camping in the back country where grizzlies abound. The politically correct alternative may be a mauling. You simply cannot have food wastes on or near your body when you’re hiking among the great bears. Please don’t confuse this advice with camping in a campground where bear-proof garbage containers are provided.

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