5 Best Ways to Store Food While Wildlife Watching: Essential Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts

July 11, 2024 6 min read

Observing wildlife can be an exhilarating experience, offering a unique connection with nature's most fascinating creatures. Ensuring that your food is stored properly while on these adventures is crucial not only for your safety but also for the well-being of the animals you encounter.

A picnic basket sits open on a grassy clearing, surrounded by trees. Inside, neatly packed containers hold a variety of snacks and drinks. A pair of binoculars and a camera are placed next to the basket, ready for use

Knowing the best ways to store food helps in preventing unwanted animal interactions and ensures that your food remains fresh and uncontaminated. This article will guide you through effective methods to keep your provisions secure while you enjoy uninterrupted wildlife watching.

1) BearVault BV500

The BearVault BV500 is a highly reliable choice for storing food while wildlife watching. This bear-resistant container is designed to keep your provisions safe from curious and hungry animals.

Its transparent polycarbonate build allows you to see your stored items easily. This makes it convenient to quickly locate and access your food and gear.

Weighing just around 2.7 pounds, it offers a balance between sturdiness and portability. The BV500 provides about 700 cubic inches of storage space, enough for extended trips lasting up to a week.

Its lid features a unique double-tab locking system. This mechanism can be operated without tools, making it user-friendly yet secure against wildlife interference.

The BV500 meets the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee standards. This certification ensures it is approved for use in bear country by various U.S. federal land management agencies.

Its rugged design is suitable for harsh outdoor conditions. You can trust it to withstand impacts and the elements during your wildlife adventures.

Despite its tough build, the BearVault BV500 is simple to carry. Integrated strap guides allow you to attach it to your backpack easily, ensuring it doesn't become a burden on the trail.

When planning long hikes or stays in bear-prone areas, this container offers peace of mind. Your food will stay safe and protected, allowing you to focus on enjoying the experience.

2) Ursack Major XL

A bear-resistant Ursack Major XL hanging from a tree branch, surrounded by wildlife watching gear and food storage containers

The Ursack Major XL provides a durable and wildlife-resistant way to store your food. Made from tightly woven fabric, it can withstand attempts by bears and other animals to access your supplies. This durability ensures your food remains safe and intact.

The bag holds up to 15 liters, offering ample room for a multi-day trip. It's lightweight and easy to pack, making it convenient for backcountry excursions. Additionally, it saves space by conforming to the shape of its contents.

This gear is also easy to use. You simply cinch it closed and tie it to a secure object. This process prevents animals from carrying the bag away. Unlike hard-sided containers, the Ursack Major XL is less bulky and easier to store.

When wildlife watching, food safety is crucial. Using the Ursack Major XL minimizes the risk of attracting animals to your campsite. It provides peace of mind and ensures you enjoy your time outdoors without worry.

3) Hydro Flask 20 oz Food Jar

A Hydro Flask 20 oz Food Jar sits on a flat surface surrounded by wildlife watching gear. The jar is sealed with a tight lid and contains various types of food neatly organized inside

The Hydro Flask 20 oz Food Jar is designed to keep your food fresh and at the right temperature. Its vacuum insulation technology maintains hot or cold conditions for hours. This feature is especially useful when you are out in the wild and need your meals to stay warm or cold.

Made from durable stainless steel, the jar is robust and built to last. It can withstand rough handling, making it ideal for outdoor activities. The exterior doesn’t sweat, ensuring your hands stay dry and comfortable.

The lid is leak-proof, preventing spills and messes in your bag. It’s easy to open, even with gloves on, thanks to its grip-enhancing design. This makes it convenient to use in various conditions, whether it’s hot or cold outside.

The wide-mouth opening lets you fill and clean the jar with ease. It also makes eating directly from the jar more convenient. You can pack soups, stews, salads, or even desserts without worrying about leaks or spills.

The Hydro Flask 20 oz Food Jar is BPA-free and phthalate-free, ensuring that your food remains safe and pure. It’s also easy to clean, either by hand or in the dishwasher, adding to its convenience.

With its sleek design and practical features, this jar is a great addition to your wildlife-watching gear. It promises reliability and ease, making your outdoor meals more enjoyable.

4) YETI Hopper Flip 8

The YETI Hopper Flip 8 stands out for its durability and efficiency. This soft cooler is built with high-density fabric that resists punctures and UV rays. Its HydroLok Zipper ensures a leak-proof experience.

You will appreciate its ColdCell Insulation, which keeps your food and drinks cold for hours. The compact size is perfect for short wildlife watching trips. It's also incredibly portable, thanks to its sturdy handle and lightweight design.

Cleaning the YETI Hopper Flip 8 is straightforward. The interior has an antimicrobial lining to resist mildew. It’s practical and hygienic for repeated use.

The cooler’s exterior has a DryHide Shell that withstands tough conditions. Whether you’re hiking through forests or sitting by a lake, you can rely on its ruggedness.

You can also attach accessories to the YETI Hopper Flip 8. The HitchPoint Grid allows for flexible customization. This feature enhances its functionality for various outdoor activities.

5) Odor-Free Storage Bags

A picnic blanket laid out in a lush green meadow, surrounded by trees and wildlife. A small cooler and odor-free storage bags filled with neatly packed food items are placed on the blanket

Odor-free storage bags are essential for keeping food undetected by wildlife. These bags lock in smells, preventing both curious animals and insects from discovering your supplies.

They are particularly effective when layered with other scent-proof methods, such as airtight containers.

Using odor-free storage bags is simple. Place your food items inside and seal them tightly. Make sure to expel any excess air. This ensures a better seal and further reduces the chance of odors escaping.

When packing for your trip, group similar items together in these bags. This keeps your food organized and helps you find what you need quickly.

These bags are also reusable, making them an eco-friendly option. Cleaning them properly after each use will maintain their effectiveness and longevity.

Importance of Proper Food Storage

Fresh produce stored in airtight containers, coolers, and ziplock bags. A bear-resistant food storage container is placed away from the campsite

Proper food storage is crucial when wildlife watching. It helps in minimizing attraction to wildlife and preserving the quality of your food.

Minimizing Attraction to Wildlife

Storing food correctly keeps wild animals at bay. Using bear-proof containers and hanging food from a tree branch at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet from the trunk is essential.

Animals have an acute sense of smell. Sealing food in airtight bags or containers can reduce odors that might attract them.

Keep a clean camp area. Dispose of waste properly and keep food preparation areas tidy. Never leave food unattended. This reduces the chances of wildlife encounters, ensuring safety for both you and the animals.

Preserving Food Quality

Preserving the quality of your food is equally important. Coolers with ice packs keep perishables fresh for longer durations. Ensure coolers are kept in shaded areas to maximize their efficiency.

When hiking, use insulated food bags. These maintain the temperature of your food, preserving taste and preventing spoilage.

Drying or dehydrating food is another practical method. Dried food is light, easy to store, and has a longer shelf life. Keeping food dry prevents mold and bacteria growth.

Use resealable bags for snacks and smaller items. This helps in portion control and keeps your food organized and fresh.

Effective Food Storage Containers

A picnic basket sits open on a grassy field, filled with tightly sealed food storage containers. Nearby, a pair of binoculars and a camera rest on a blanket, ready for wildlife watching

When wildlife watching, it’s crucial to keep food secure and fresh. Using the right containers helps guard against wildlife and environmental factors.

Bear-Proof Containers

Bear-proof containers are essential in bear habitats. They're designed with rugged construction to withstand bear encounters. Look for certified products approved by wildlife authorities.

These containers often feature complex locking mechanisms that are difficult for bears to open. They're typically made from materials like polycarbonate or metal, ensuring durability. Proper usage involves sealing all scented items, including food and toiletries, to avoid attracting wildlife.

Airtight and Waterproof Bags

Airtight and waterproof bags keep food fresh and dry. They're ideal for protecting against moisture and odors. These bags often use heavy-duty zippers or roll-top closures for a tight seal.

Choose bags made from robust materials like nylon or polyurethane. This helps them withstand rough conditions and frequent handling. They're perfect for smaller food items and snacks you need to access quickly. Additionally, transparent or labeled bags can assist in easy identification of contents.

Portable Coolers

Portable coolers combine storage and temperature control. They're crucial for preserving perishable items on longer trips. High-quality coolers offer thick insulation to maintain low temperatures over extended periods.

Look for models with durable, weather-resistant exteriors and tight-sealing lids. Some coolers come with additional features like wheeled designs or carrying handles for ease of transport. Always use ice packs or cooling elements to maximize their efficiency.