Many animals can’t resist the food you have in your pack. When given a choice between eating grass or human food, they’re compelled to try to get to your food. Remember, it’s not about protecting your food from wildlife. It’s about protecting wildlife from your food.

In many National and State Parks, you are required to properly protect your food when hiking and camping so it is important to know and follow the local food storage regulations. These regulations are in place to protect the wildlife, as well as keep backcountry travelers safe.

In many places throughout the country, bears have become adept at gaining access to improperly stored food. Access to human food, either through improper or inadequate food storage, can sometimes end with bears that frequently go after human food having to be killed. Proper food storage is essential for a safe, successful trip; it ensures your personal safety and protects our bear population.

Bear canisters are required on the Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail.

Before your trip, plan ahead and prepare by inquiring about food storage regulations for the areas in which you will be traveling.