Camping Food Storage – How to Keep Your Food From Being Stolen By Animals


Birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, deer and more. They look cute but when your back is turned, watch out. They’ll easily take a chance to rummage around for your food. Although many of these animals are small they pack a big strong bite and their sharp teeth can cut through just about anything, their sharp claws can open up most boxes and containers.

I have lost a fleece jacket to a squirrel after leaving it on our picnic table for an afternoon with a few bits of nuts in a pocket. That squirrel ate his way through my zipper to get to the pocket and eat the bits of nuts.

We’ve also had what we thought were raccoon proof containers invaded. The lids were torn apart and broken off and the food inside became a buffet for a family of raccoons one night.

Even some types of food coolers are easily broken into by bears. With crafty paws, sharp teeth and a desire to stop at nothing to munch on your food the only animal proof way to protect your food and containers is to either hang your food or better yet when camping with your family, keep your food stored in your vehicle when you are not at your campsite.

Even dry food that is sealed in containers or zip lock bags can attract wild animals. Their sense of smell is so much greater than a human’s sense of smell and even sealed food can become easy prey for them.

Do not store your food inside your tent either. You risk losing your tent to the wild if they really want a sample. These animals can rip through fabric, tear through zippers and will stop at just about nothing to get to your great smelling food.

Our best advice is to keep your food inside the large containers and coolers you’ve brought with you camping. Only bring food out for meal time and snacks. When you are leaving your campsite for long periods of time place your food containers inside your vehicle. And never leave open food or any food item on your picnic table, eating table, inside your tent or just laying around your campsite unless you want it to disappear. If you do, you’ll attract more animals as they’ll see your site as easy prey.

Some coolers are more bear proof then others and if your cooler is a very large and heavy one you can chance it and leave it out at night. It also depends on how bear friendly the area is where you are camping. If there are bears in the area I wouldn’t leave your cooler to chance.

Protect your food, protect your food containers and keep the animals at a safe distance from your campsite. They look cute but don’t mind stealing your food. Don’t leave any food out after eating, keep all your food inside containers and place those containers inside your vehicle during extended time away from your campsite.

Happy Camping!

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