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Food storage safety tips for campers

By Jordan Moore, KTVM Reporter, jmoore@ktvm.com
Published On: Jul 28 2013 06:10:06 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Whether or not you're hitting the river, this is also the perfect time for camping. Before you head out, we are getting the facts right on how you can keep your campsite safe from unwelcome visitors.

We are specifically talking about bears.

"They can smell from three miles away in a gentle breeze, or 6 feet of snow, and 3 feet of solid ground," said William Testa.

We headed to Hyalite Canyon Sunday to find out how campers keep their area safe from bears. This is where we found Susan Maves. She was finishing up lunch near her campsite.

Maves lives in Montana and has been camping for a majority of her life. She frequently camps out of her car and pitches a tent nearby. When it comes to bear safety, she says she is always on alert.

"I try to keep aware of my surroundings. Bears have very sensitive smell," said Maves.

We also spoke with William Testa. He is the head of education at Montana Grizzly Encounter. He says a bears sense of smell is over 350 times stronger than humans.

"Bears are drawn to any strong scent, good or bad," said Testa.  

Montana Grizzly Encounter has been open to the public since 2004. Testa tells us one of his main goals is to educate the public about bear safety.

"This is the kind of cooler most people have and as you can see very clearly, it is not bear proof by any means," said Testa.

There is a safe way to store food while camping.

"It is a solid metal container. You have to push your finger inside and slide the lever over, as your lifting up the lid," said Testa.

We asked him for one last piece of advice for campers.

"If you don't want a bear to come towards you, or your tent or car, don't have anything with a scent," said Testa.