Be Bear Aware, All Year Long

Hiking in Bear County

Five of the seven districts on the Custer Gallatin National Forest have a food storage order

Prior to heading on a backcountry trek or even a quick run or mountain bike, grab bear spray. Make sure you know and understand the food storage regulations.

Specific precautions are needed for your safety while in Grizzly Bear country and for continued survival of the Grizzly Bear.

Bears do not like surprises

  • Hike during daylight hours and carry bear spray.
  • Make lots of noise – bears will avoid people and leave an area when they know people are present. Use extra caution when visibility or hearing is limited.
  • Hike in a group. Recommended at least four people per group in Grizzly country.
  • Watch for bear signs such as fresh tracks, scat, torn apart logs, and partially consumed or buried animal carcasses.
  • Never approach a bear.
  • If a bear approaches you, slowly back away and maintain a safe distance.

Camping in Bear Country

  • Always keep a clean camp.
  • Select a campsite away from animal trails, thick brush, and bear food sources such as berry patches and fish spawning streams.
  • Store all food, garbage and other scented items such as toothpaste, chapstick, insect repellant in a hard-sided vehicle, bear resistant containers, or by hanging at least 10 feet off the ground and four feet out from a tree.
  • Do not leave food, beverages, or coolers unattended. In the backcountry set up your sleeping area 300 feet or more from your food storage and cooking/eating areas.
  • Keep sleeping bags and personal gear free of odors.
  • Never sleep in the same clothes you wore while cooking.