Food, and it’s storage bear country, is critical. Yes, we saw a HUGE brown bear and boy was I glad that we weren’t having dinner out of the back if my Jucy!
A cheap cooler like this worked just fine for storing refrigerated items overnight with a bag of ice from the campground store.
At night, you’ll need to store ALL of you food and smellables in the bear box, including your refrigerated items. We bought a small cooler and ice most days. Repurposing a six-pack carrier worked well to easily move condiments back and forth from the van kitchen. During the day, I used the dry sink to hold our crushable picnic supplies. At night, it all went in a bag in the bear box.
My final bear box tip is to put your “smell-ables” in an empty firewood box. People often leave an empty box for the next person using the bear box, maybe even with some newspaper fire starter. We love people who pay it forward! The box is a good way to gather your sunscreen, medications, shower items, etc. and it protects them from exploding food. Yes, you read it right. We brought a 12 pack of pop up to the mountains and one of the seams broke. A minor, but very sticky, mess since we had the woodbox to protect our stuff. We’ve also had mustard explode in the mountains. Lesson learned – cover your stuff!
How do you camp in bear country? Leave a comment with your tips, or questions, and don’t forget to follow my blog. Happy camping!
Purple huckleberries and Saskatoon berries are in season. The kids are picking Saskatoon, which tasted great added to sun tea and pancake batter.
Driving The Road to the Sun today, we saw a grizzly bear ambling down the road. We took tons of pictures with our Canon, but none I can upload. He stopped at a log laying on the ground and tore it open with his paws looking for grubs. Nothing there, so he went on his way. This was the fourth, yes fourth, sighting we’ve had in twenty-four hours. This guy was the best, the mama and her cub on a hillside was a close second. I now have a bear bell on my hiking backpack and Mike carries bear spray everywhere. As we were driving, he asked the kids “What’s the difference between grizzle and black bear scat? The grizzle’s is full of bells and smells like pepper spray. Hilarious, isn’t he?
“I saw a bear” (I saw a bear) “Out in the woods” (out in the woods) “A great big bear” (a great big bear) “A way out there” (a way out there). I saw a bear out in the woods. . . a great big bear a way out there. . .”. Love that camp song!
Mama bears in Yellowstone don’t resemble Yogi at all. I “bearly” (hehe) remember the two cubs. I wish I had a picture to show you, but my entire family was on horseback at the time. I was a bit too freaked out about loosing my kids in the wilderness to stop and take a picture! So, here we are minus the bears:
When we went to Yellowstone (a few years back), I quickly learned that we had packed WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. My “turtle trailer” is a pop-up and all food must be stored in the van overnight. Moving a week’s worth of food for a family of four every night was a huge hassle. Then again, so was driving two hours to Cody, WY to find the closest grocery store of any size.
I need to find a good balance this time, and will start with a menu of recipes we can take into a grocery store in Great Falls, Montana. I’ve got a lot of time between here and there to write out some “one-liner” meals. From what I’ve read, this is the last major town we’ll visit before heading into Glacier.
There’s a foodie gal, Jesseca, I’m following on Pinterest that has rounded up a fair amount of fun camping recipes on her blog. I also saw a tin foil trout recipe in case we catch a few. I’ll take a look at them, and also ask my two boy scouts what camp food they are sick of this year. You can only eat so many tinfoil dinners!
Before we go, I always make and freeze a couple of homemade goodies. Trail Mix, a sweet treat for on the road and this year I’m going to try making “Baked Oatmeal”. I’ll post the results and recipes, so check back soon!