Camping and Bear Safety in Mammoth Lakes

People come from all over the world to get close to nature in Mammoth Lakes. However, no one should get too close to a bear.

The ASO Mammoth team wants everyone to hike, camp, and backpack in the mountains we love to call home, but more people entering the wilderness means more encounters with bears. That’s why we’ve written a short guide to bear safety in Mammoth Lakes. Check it out below and then stop by the ASO Mammoth shop for all your camping and hiking gear!

Use a Bear Locker or Canister While Camping

Hiking and camping are both extremely popular in Mammoth Lakes, which is why many developed campgrounds here have bear lockers. Bear lockers are one of the easiest ways to practice bear safety in Mammoth Lakes, but you can’t forget to use them!  Take advantage of bear lockers if your campground has them by storing your food there whenever you’re not eating.

If you’re backpacking or your campground doesn’t have a bear locker, then carry a bear canister and store your food inside just like you would with a bear locker. Even if you put your food away in a locker or canister the scent can linger, so take extra precaution by storing your food if you’re not eating!

Clean up After Cooking in Camp

As we said, the scent of food lingers much longer for a bear than a person, and if you’re cooking then those scents will be even stronger.

For that reason, you should always clean up as soon as possible after you cook or eat while camping. What do we mean by clean up?

While Cooking:

  • Prepare and cook food away from your campsite so scents don’t linger near where you sleep.

After Eating:

  • Store your food in a bear canister or bear locker.
  • Clean your dishes away from your campsite.

Never Approach or Feed a Bear

Everyone wants to experience nature but getting close to a bear isn’t an experience you want.

Bears are unpredictable, which means getting close to them puts your life and well-being at risk. Plus, the more comfortable bears become around people the more likely they are to approach them in the future.

For your sake and the sake of the bear, take pictures from far away if you see a bear and keep plenty of distance at all times.

Always Clear Out Your Car

You may be tempted to store trash or food in your car if you’re camping near it. However, your car does not double as a bear canister. In fact, bears can easily smell food and trash inside a car, break in, and wreck it while searching for food.

Pack Out Your Trash

Even if your trash doesn’t have food on it or hasn’t touched food, it can still attract bears.

Take care of it by storing trash in a locker or canister instead of leaving it anywhere near your camp unless you want a midnight visit from a bear!