Tips for Hiking in Montana’s Bear Country

Day Hike Tips for Hiking in Montana Bear Country

Be alert and aware of your surroundings, take note of wind direction, and be extra cautious when hiking through dense brush or forests.

Carry bear spray and make sure it’s readily accessible. Having it buried in your backpack does not help during surprise encounters! We suggest carrying on your backpack hip belt.

Hike with a partner or group.

Make your presence known– particularly around loud areas like waterfalls or creeks. You can do this by talking, singing, yelling, or carrying bells.

Avoid hiking around dawn or dusk if you can. Bears are more likely to be moving around in this time.

Don’t leave your belongings unattended, especially if it’s food. Anything with a scent could attract a bear (food, toiletries, etc).

We would suggest leashing your dog. Dogs can initiate an attack by chasing or harassing a bear, which could result in the dog running back to you with a barrelling bear in tow.

Backpacking Tips for Hiking in Montana Bear Country

Apply the same rules as in the day hike tips!

Do not sleep in the same clothes you cook and eat in. The smells linger on clothing.

Clean your cookware in compliance with leave no trace principles.

Hang all food, cookware, hygiene products, wrappers, etc. in a tree away from the tent while camping. You could also store these items in a bear can away from your tent and others.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • I have a question. What about people who vape instead of smoking. I see a lot of people with them these days and some are a fruit smell. I don’t know how long it will carry but it would be an interesting question

    • Backyard Montana
      May 14, 2021 10:17 am

      Hi Melissa – Bears have an incredible sense of smell. Anything we smell is magnified significantly for a bear. We would not recommend that. Interesting question!


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