How to pack bear

How to get the Most Out of (and Into) Your Bear Canister

1. Choose the right foods: Dense, high-calorie options are best: Tortillas instead of bagels; dried fruit instead of oranges. See sidebar for ideas.

2. Plan every meal: Avoid bringing too much (or too little). Lay out each day, divide portions, and pre-measure mixed foods like rice and pasta.

3. Repackage: Get rid of bulky boxes and inflated packaging. Put food and toiletries into re-sealable bags or small containers. This saves space and reduces garbage. Make sure to keep the instructions and label each item.

4. Check that it fits!: Before you start your trip make sure ALL your food, trash, toiletries, and scented items will fit inside your canister on the first night. After dinner your first night in the backcountry is NOT the time to discover your food doesn’t fit.

5. Carry the first day’s food outside of the canister: Snacks, lunch, and dinner. Just be sure to keep that food with you at all times. Since it’s not in a canister you can’t leave it behind while you take that quick side-hike!

6. Minimize your toiletries: Just like food, pack small and don’t bring more than you need. Put toothpaste, sunscreen, bug repellant, etc. into small reusable containers.

7. Use your canister correctly: Establish your kitchen about 50 feet from your sleeping area. Make sure to properly close the lid securely at all times. Leave the canister on the ground in an open flat area away from cliffs or streams.

Backcountry Food Suggestions:

Trail mix
String cheese
Jerky
Tortillas, pita bread
Dried fruit
Nutrition/energy bars

Peanut butter

Salami and sliced meats
Powdered milk
Granola
Nuts

Instant coffee and 
tea
Hot chocolate
Candy
Spaghetti, flat pasta
Mac and cheese
Burritos (dehydrated beans, rice, cheese)
Soups
Oatmeal
Tuna packets
“Tasty Bite” (Indian food packs)
Fresh veggies (for the first few nights)
Freeze-dried meals

Condiment packets

Chocolate
More chocolate
Consider chocolate

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