Food storage while at the campsite

Sep 25, 2021
57
We never cook or keep food in our pop up because we camp in bear country frequently. Food scraps and crumbs also attract pests into it when stored. While camping in bear country everything is stored in our Ridgeline, and often when we aren't in bear country also just because that's the way everything is set up for us and it's just kind of a habit. We have a rubbermaid bin that acts as our 'food box' for dry goods and it's always put away somewhere to keep animals out of it.
 

maryloucb

Member
May 14, 2020
86
We almost always camp where there are bears, so dry food is kept in the truck and the cooler is actually bear proof if it's locked with padlocks, so we keep it locked when we are not in camp and at night.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,730
Nj
When I had the pup, food and garbage went in the TV if there was a chance of any bears. Even if there isn't, I usally put a strap around the outside cooler. I have witnissed many times the animals going through others garbage that was left out, or even animals , racoons skunks tip over coolers to see whats in side.
 

teejaywhy

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2011
1,426
What does everyone do with food like potato chips, cookies, top ramen and other packaged food? Is it safe to keep in the pup? We'll be in state campgrounds with the likelihood of bears minimal, but raccoons are a good possibility.

No Food in the Tent. First thing we learned camping in the Scouts. Not just bears, but plenty of other pesky critters seeking an easy snack and can make a mess of things (racoons, skunks, squirrels, etc).

The popup is essentially a tent (on wheels).

This goes for any food, not just the ones mentioned, although I don't think canned goods would be a problem.

We had a latching plastic tote that we kept food in. It stayed outside or got put into the back of the truck at night.
 

Zephyr

Active Member
Jun 18, 2013
349
central Oregon
We use Rubbermaid Action Packer totes for all food and store them in the TV. For shorter trips, we use 2. Breakfast items and dog food go in the one marked with blue duct tape. Lunch and dinner items go in the one with the red duct tape. I label the tops of cans and boxes with a Sharpie marker so I can find things faster (I like PopUpSteve's idea of adding a date also).

On longer trips, we add a third Action Packer (yellow tape) so the dogs have an entire tote for themselves.

The boxes get filled with staples at the beginning of the season, added to as needed for each trip, and emptied at the end of the season. Between trips, we store them in the house.
 

Karey

Member
Apr 3, 2021
72
Colorado
We live in bear country. Our bears are "Human Food Conditioned Bears". We keep our garage closed - bears get into freezers - one bear had a wonderful meal of peaches, ham, rolls, and ended with ice cream - the tub noise on our parking area woke us up. I keep the grease from my grill minimal/cleaned up. We often forget, but vehicles should be locked. These bears are used to vehicles and can swipe handles and get in. Luckily our truck didn't have any food source and the bear easily got out (not locking itself in, which sometimes happens, then you're in real trouble). Many stories around us of bears tearing up upholstery around car seats!

Use bear boxes if available for everything. I put food and my collapsible trash holder in the truck and lock it. We have an A-frame, so not so nervous about some food left in the trailer. If conditioned bears can open vehicles, then I'm sure they've figured out lots of ice chests. When tent campers we hung stuff from trees, but never had squirrel issues as mentioned above.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
2,993
DFW, TX
We don’t camp in bear country - state parks mostly, and some local ACOE parks. For extended stays of 3 days or more I set up the tension rod shelves inside the pup. All manner of dry food goes there - fresh fruit, boxes of crackers, bread, etc. Coolers stay outside under the awning. Mine latch pretty hard, but if I am really concerned I will put a heavy item on top as well. I have never had any issues with racoons or other critters, but it is generallly not an issue at the developed campsites I go to. There are usually enough campers that fail to properly secure or clean up their campsite before bed that the local critter gang has some pretty easy pickins.

If you camp in more primitive sites or boondock, then keeping food in bins would be the better idea.
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
We treated camping in the popups the same as camping in ground tents. The majority of our food was in the same plastic totes we'd used, in the vehicle. (We upgraded totes from time to time.) We did eat in the popups some of the time, our cooking inside was pretty much limited to our most simple meals. No cooking bacon, nothing that was very messy, both popups were small so cleaning up had to be easy.
We did usually keep tea, hot chocolate inplastic boxes in side, and sometimes had breakfast supplies, a small amount of snacks, inside, when we were there. Otherwise, they went in the vehicle.
We do camp in bear country (not grizzly except on rare trips); in some places we have to put the camp stove, water jug, etc. away except when eating. Even when not in bear country, the campgrounds have chipmunks, squirrels, mice, ravens, etc. They have gotten used to people being careless, and food left out can be a prime target - and a cloth tent or popup isn't much protection. (Back in tent camping days, we had mice get into our car, they got into both of the Outbacks we had.)
We had mice get into our glove box last year, they must've gotten in through under the hood, they never got into the truck past that.
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
We live in bear country. Our bears are "Human Food Conditioned Bears". We keep our garage closed - bears get into freezers - one bear had a wonderful meal of peaches, ham, rolls, and ended with ice cream - the tub noise on our parking area woke us up. I keep the grease from my grill minimal/cleaned up. We often forget, but vehicles should be locked. These bears are used to vehicles and can swipe handles and get in. Luckily our truck didn't have any food source and the bear easily got out (not locking itself in, which sometimes happens, then you're in real trouble). Many stories around us of bears tearing up upholstery around car seats!

Use bear boxes if available for everything. I put food and my collapsible trash holder in the truck and lock it. We have an A-frame, so not so nervous about some food left in the trailer. If conditioned bears can open vehicles, then I'm sure they've figured out lots of ice chests. When tent campers we hung stuff from trees, but never had squirrel issues as mentioned above.
Is it an aliner? Or similar? One thing my husband never forgets is to lock doors! Plenty of other things we both forget though!
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
We use Rubbermaid Action Packer totes for all food and store them in the TV. For shorter trips, we use 2. Breakfast items and dog food go in the one marked with blue duct tape. Lunch and dinner items go in the one with the red duct tape. I label the tops of cans and boxes with a Sharpie marker so I can find things faster (I like PopUpSteve's idea of adding a date also).

On longer trips, we add a third Action Packer (yellow tape) so the dogs have an entire tote for themselves.

The boxes get filled with staples at the beginning of the season, added to as needed for each trip, and emptied at the end of the season. Between trips, we store them in the house.
Great idea, so the action packer totes are what? Super strong, and what else do you like them for? We have had aand still do, so many different sorts of totes, I hate to buy more, but convince me, please.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,648
Albuquerque, NM
My husband has been told it is overkill, but he continues to take a Garcia bear cannister on all his backpacking trips. It does do double or triple duty as a seat or a stove/work surface too. We have friends who have backpacked even more remote places in Grand Canyon that Courtenay has done (so far) and they have told him he's crazy to carry the extra weight. Sure - they used a rat sack, and something - mouse, squirrel, ?? - masticated through the mylar wrapping on bars, etc. Ick - not doing that with the bear cannister.
 

Zephyr

Active Member
Jun 18, 2013
349
central Oregon
Great idea, so the action packer totes are what? Super strong, and what else do you like them for? We have had aand still do, so many different sorts of totes, I hate to buy more, but convince me, please.
Super strong is the main reason, along with strong, tight latches. Action packers are sturdy enough for an adult to sit on, and I've used one as a step stool (this is probably not on the list of recommended uses;)).

We have other latching totes for hiking boots and other semi-grungy gear, but the Action Packers are what we choose to store food in.
 

Fern Dweller

Member
Jul 16, 2021
25
Memphis TN
Just realized that our next trip will be our first to bear country in our pup. Plan is to keep all things stored in the TV overnight. Last trip a racoon got into the trash while we were tucking the kids in for bed (always put it in the TV otherwise, but didn't think of it in the 10 min it takes to get the kids tucked in) so definitely want to be more prepared this time. For the no food in the pup I assume that goes for the fridge as well? Does anyone keep things like unopened cans/unopened packs of cheese etc in the fridge or do we need to have those things in a cooler in the TV? Thanks!
 

gladecreekwy

Super Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
1,735
Jackson Wyoming
Just realized that our next trip will be our first to bear country in our pup. Plan is to keep all things stored in the TV overnight. Last trip a racoon got into the trash while we were tucking the kids in for bed (always put it in the TV otherwise, but didn't think of it in the 10 min it takes to get the kids tucked in) so definitely want to be more prepared this time. For the no food in the pup I assume that goes for the fridge as well? Does anyone keep things like unopened cans/unopened packs of cheese etc in the fridge or do we need to have those things in a cooler in the TV? Thanks!
I think that stuff in the fridge is fine. Bears can smell food from a half a mile away. There’s no way to eliminate it from your camper and you. Unless bears are conditioned to eat people food they will always avoid people. Keep a clean camp and you’ll have no issues
 

gladecreekwy

Super Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
1,735
Jackson Wyoming
Just realized that our next trip will be our first to bear country in our pup. Plan is to keep all things stored in the TV overnight. Last trip a racoon got into the trash while we were tucking the kids in for bed (always put it in the TV otherwise, but didn't think of it in the 10 min it takes to get the kids tucked in) so definitely want to be more prepared this time. For the no food in the pup I assume that goes for the fridge as well? Does anyone keep things like unopened cans/unopened packs of cheese etc in the fridge or do we need to have those things in a cooler in the TV? Thanks!
Where are you headed?
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,730
Nj
I think that stuff in the fridge is fine. Bears can smell food from a half a mile away. There’s no way to eliminate it from your camper and you. Unless bears are conditioned to eat people food they will always avoid people. Keep a clean camp and you’ll have no issues
Man I am tired, read that as 'unless bears are conditioned to eat people." Lol. I missed the food part after people.
 

Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
821
Hog Waller, GA
I think that stuff in the fridge is fine. Bears can smell food from a half a mile away. There’s no way to eliminate it from your camper and you. Unless bears are conditioned to eat people food they will always avoid people. Keep a clean camp and you’ll have no issues
Bears do what bears want to do...

We camp at Mt Pisgah pretty often. Last year the bears were a nuisance. After this incident and a few others, tents and tent trailers were banned from the campground until all the naughty bears were trapped and relocated.

We got there about 3 days later and didn't see a single bear.

bear.at.mt.pisgah.jpg
 




Top