Some of our favorite places to camp in the back country of the White Mountains also happens to be prime habitat for Black Bears! We spotted the bear pictured above several times during a 2 week camping trip to Arizona. The bear always seemed to be hanging around camp, even though we are always careful to hang trash and food in a tree at least 100 yards from camp. Remember the absolutely worst place to store food is in your tent! In the recent past there have been multiple incidents in which sleeping campers have been killed by bears attracted to the scent of food, etc. in their tents.
Little did we know at the time, but the old carcass of an elk hidden in some tall grass near camp seems to have been the major attractant for the bears. We didn't discover the carcass until near the end of our camping trip, when I finally explored an area just SW of camp that the bears loved to sit and roll in! Since that time, Don and I thoroughly scope out potential campsites, before setting up our tent. I can't even count the number of times we thought we found a good campsite to discover hunters had used the area for field dressing animals they had killed.
Have no idea why the bears were attracted to these bones, as they were totally bare with no meat left on them.
The following pic shows how we store trash while we're camping until we're ready to pack it out! We always try to leave a wilderness area cleaner than when we found it, and practice the "Leave No Trace" philosophy of camping in the outdoors!
Another thing to consider when camping in bear country is to store food in a bear proof canister or keg. We use several canisters when going on extended backpacking trips into the wilderness. During scouting trips, Don normally stores food caches about 1 week prior to our camping trip. He likes to hang the canisters in a large laundry net bag from a tree limb about 15 feet up.
This has worked out really well for us, and only once did we find that some animal (probably a bear) had somehow reached the net and ripped it open prior to our arrival. We found the canisters (still intact and sealed) scattered around the base of the tree. Some National Parks require you to store your food, etc in bear proof containers and give you the option of renting canisters during your stay. If you are planning a camping trip in bear country, you may want to check out the following companies which sell bear-proof containers: