Food Storage and Bear Resistant Food Containers (BRFCs)

Grizzly bear in fall tundra

A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear

It is against the law to feed bears in Gates of the Arctic, either on purpose or unintentionally, by carelessly leaving food or garbage where bears can get to it.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve regulations require that food and garbage be stored by an approved means. 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.

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. Coolers, ice chests, plastic packing boxes (totes, Action Packers, etc.) dry bags, blue dry barrels, tents and kayaks are not approved food storage containers. Learn how to use a Bear-Resistant Food Container.

Food and equipment cannot be left unattended at any time unless it is properly stowed in an approved BRFC. Unattended food caches in non-bear resistant containers are prohibited in all areas of the park and preserve.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee approves 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.

As a courtesy to our visitors, Gates of the Arctic ranger stations and visitor centers have a variety of 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 BRFCs can be checked out and returned to any of our ranger stations and visitor centers or returned by US mail. Your air-taxi operator or guide service may also be able to assist you in securing BRFCs. If you wish to purchase your own BRFCs, make sure they are IGBC approved.

Last updated: July 19, 2023

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