Black bear on the trail west of the old Wellington site near Stevens Pass in 2017.
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Black bear on the trail west of the old Wellington site near Stevens Pass in 2017.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Coming more often to a campsite near you: Bears

Summer's winding down - so now may be the time to squeeze in one last camping trip.

Just beware: There's been a recent uptick of bears rummaging around campgrounds in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National forest.

Forest Service officials tell the Everett Herald the animals are raiding garbage dumpsters looking for food.

They are working to bear-proof those dumpsters and asking campers to keep their camp sites clean and to not leave food in cars.

The Forest Service recommends the following practices when camping in bear country:

  • Keep a clean camp site. Bears are attracted to dirty dishes, cooking messes, food scraps, trash, urine, and even dirty diapers.
  • Don’t store event tiny amounts of food or scented items such as lotion, deodorant, or perfumes in a tent. A bear has a sense of smell these items may attract their interest.
  • Do not leave food unattended at a campsite or in your vehicle.
  • If a bear shows up at your campsite, make noise and try to get the bear to leave, then notify the host or a local forest ranger.
  • Use bear-resistant food lockers and dumpsters where provided or bring your own.
  • Do not store garbage at camp site. Use a designated dumpster.
  • At an undeveloped camping location, keep your sleeping area away from where you cook, store food and trash, and where you decide to relieve yourself.