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Bears & Tents

Does what color your tent is effect whether bears are attracted to it or not?

Question:

Dear Kristin, I am getting ready to buy a new tent and I’ve heard that bears are attracted to brightly colored tents, but that they ignore dull colors. Does it really matter whether the tent is bright or subdued?

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Answer:

Unless you plan on camping next to a salmon run in Alaska, I wouldn’t worry too much about bears coming after a brightly colored tent, especially if you keep a clean camp and store your food properly.

There are some good reasons to buy a bright colored tent, however. Tents with white, yellow or bright orange canopies and rainflies allow more natural light to filter in, making things more cheery and pleasant inside. Have you ever crawled into a camo-colored tent? It’s like a coal-mine: dark and depressing.

In addition, if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, or camping during hunting season, bright, light colors can come in handy.

1 Comment

  1. Laguna Hiker

    As an experienced Sierras hiker, I agree with Kristin on every point. Bears don’t care about the color of my tent–they only care about the smell of my food. My tent is bright yellow, and in four years of Sierras backpacking, I have never seen a bear take the slightest interest in it.

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