Lions, Tigers and Bears

Lions, Tigers and Bears

You want to go camping, but you are little apprehensive. Maybe you’re even a little ashamed to admit the reason. What is it? Like many others, you are afraid of encountering wildlife, specifically bears. Don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Seventy-four percent of campers try new things while cabin or tent camping — new things that they were initially afraid to do (that can include camping in the first place!).

What is the deal then? Should you be afraid of bears at family campgrounds? 

Statistically, No.

Even if you are tent camping in the very midst of bear country, you’re unlikely to even see one, at least in most cases. “Many hikers never even know that they passed close to a bear because the bear did such a good job of avoiding them. Most encounters end with the bear and human departing in opposite directions, without harm to either party,” The Grizzly And Wolf Discovery Center writes. “Your risk of being hurt by a bear is lower than your risk of being hit by lightning and much lower than your risk of being hurt in a car accident as you drive to bear country.”

But If Must Do Something…

For some people, knowing that a bear attack or even an encounter is extremely unlikely isn’t enough. For Americans who want to do something to proactively lower their chances of a run-in with any kind of bear, there are some fairly simple steps you can take.

First, most campgrounds already have a carry-in, carry-out policy when it comes to trash. Following these policies, instead of letting your trash or litter end up on the ground, will help you avoid any unwanted encounters with wildlife. Some campgrounds will provide bear-resistant food or trash containers upon request, or you can always temporarily stow it in a hard-shelled vehicle, like an RV or even your car. (Keep in mind that some popup campers use water-resistant cloth only in some parts, so it may not be the most secure container for your trash.) Making a lot of noise while hiking — sing, talk, recite limericks, do what you gotta do — and sticking to marked trails will also keep you out of trouble.

Forty-three million Americans went camping in 2013. Don’t miss out on the fun because of bears. Remember, you’re completely unlikely to even see one. Making noise along hiking trails and carefully containing any food and trash will lower your chances even more.


Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts have everything you and your family need to make long-lasting memories. From pools, water slides, and splashgrounds to jumping pillows, wagon rides, and foam parties to theme events, s’mores, and of course, visits with Yogi Bear™ and his friends, family fun is always the main attraction at our family campgrounds! With more than 75 locations across the United States and Canada, we make it easy to enjoy a quality camping experience that’s close to home.

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