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Bears and Food

North American Black Bears are omnivores, which means they eat a little bit of everything. The majority of their diet consists of grasses, fruits, and nuts, but they also get protein from insects, small mammals, and the carcasses of dead animals.

Bear scratching back

Even one taste of human food can cause a bear to change its behavior, and potentially become aggressive towards humans. Let’s take a look at the ways you can keep your food secure and bears safe at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Camp sites in established campgrounds have food lockers. Put all of your food and scented items, like toiletries and bug repellent, in there when not in use. That way if a bear comes around, it won’t get a taste. Here at Lassen Volcanic, bears don’t associate vehicles with food, and we want to keep it that way.

So storing food and scented items in a hard-sided vehicle with the windows rolled up is appropriate. Make sure to keep ice chests and other food containers as hidden as possible. The trunk is a good place.

If you plan on heading into the backcountry for an overnight backpacking adventure in the wilderness, you must carry with you an approved bear-resistant food container, like a bear canister, to put all of your food and scented items in.

You can rent a bear canister from the Lassen Association at the Loomis Museum or the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center Place the container on the ground at least 100 feet away from your tent.

If a bear does find it, it might bat it around, but it won’t get the smelly stuff inside.

And be sure not to leave your pack unattended at any time.

Do your part to keep Lassen’s bears safe, healthy, and wild, by properly storing your food and scented items when you come to enjoy your park.

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