BOISE, Idaho — The Boise National Forest is reminding campers to be cautious when storing food to avoid attracting black bears. Bears have a good sense of smell and can find food from long distances.
Once a bear finds food, it is likely to come back. The result could be dangerous for both humans and bears. Bears that come into contact with campers regularly have to be caught and euthanized.
Campers can protect themselves and others from bears by storing food properly. In developed campgrounds, campers should store food in a vehicle, camper or trailer with the windows closed. Stoves, cooking utensils, personal items like toothpaste, and pet or livestock feed should be kept in the same way.
In the backcountry, food and garbage should be kept out of bears reach by hanging it in a tree at least 100 yards from the sleeping area. Food bags should be 10 feet above the ground and four feet out from tree trunks. Food can also be kept in an approved bear-proof container.
Backcountry campers should try to reduce or eliminate food smells on themselves, their clothes and near the sleeping area. Campers should not keep food in tents.
For the safety of the public and the bears, officials urge forest users to be "Bear Aware" and use common sense when camping in bear country.