Food Storage and Bear Resistant Food Containers (BRFCs)
It is against the law to feed bears in Gates of the Arctic, either on purpose or by carelessly leaving food or garbage where bears can get to it.
Allowing a bear to obtain human food or garbage, even once, will cause it to seek out more human food. Eventually, if the bear becomes a threat to human safety, it may be killed, thus food and garbage must be stored by an approved means.
In most areas of Gates of the Arctic Park and Preserve there are no trees appropriate for hanging food, Bear Resistant Food Containers are the best and easiest way to meet the requirement for overnight visitors in the Park.
Gates of the Arctic ranger stations and visitor centers have BRFCs available for loan, free of charge, on a first come-first served basis. Call ahead to check availability and come by the Bettles Ranger Station or Arctic Interagency Visitor Center before heading into the park and preserve.
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group approve bear resistant food containers. They are defined as a securable container constructed of a solid nonpliable material capable of withstanding a minimum of 300 foot-pounds of energy.
When secured and under stress, the container will not have any cracks, openings, or hinges that would allow a bear (or other animal) to gain entry by biting or pulling with its claws. Wood containers are not considered bear (animal) resistant unless they are reinforced with metal.
Please note that most ice chests and coolers, tents, dry bags or stuff sacks, plastic packing boxes (Totes, Action Packers, etc) and unmodified kayaks are not approved Bear Resistant Containers.