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Pet food storage in bear country

Hey all! Wondering if anyone has experience around pet food storage through bear country. Twenty pounds of food won't fit in the bear can, and using the car as a bear can feels like a bad call. Partner suggests hanging it in a bag, but we have more experience around black bears than grizzlies. Looking at dispersed camping.

Thoughts? What have you tried? What would you advise against?

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3 Replies

It is just like regular food and the same rules apply.  Bears don't care if it is for your dog or for you.

If you are traveling where bear cans are required then it needs to be in a bear can or in a provided steel bear proof box that are available at some backcountry campsites.  Mostly that is in National Parks where you often can't take dogs in the backcountry anyway.  Note that leaving food in a car in some National Parks like Yosemite will get you a fine if a bear breaks into your car...not sure of the details. Usually they provide bear proof boxes near all the main parking areas and you should put all your food in those.  In such areas bears have been known to destroy cars just because they saw a cooler shape and smelled a candy wrapper.

Other places you can do a bear hang like you do with your food with all the usual caveats.  You can also use an Ursack but if it is in an area where bears are known to raid human food you should also hang it.  Bears will chew on and can puncture Ursacks if given enough time with them.  Some bears have been know to do the same with the BV bear cans although that takes more patience and is much rarer as far as I can tell.

20lb of dried dog food is apparently about 80 cups or ~19 liters.  A BV500 can hold 11.5 liters so you need two or one BV500 and one BV450 (7.2L).  Double check the calculation before you buy though.

I appreciate your insights here.

agree with @OldGuyot , hang it or ursack, treat just like your food

REI Member Since 1979