Food Storage

Isle Royale National Park is a wilderness park that requires backpackers, campers, paddlers, boaters, and anyone else overnighting in the backcountry to properly store their food. Visitors in the frontcountry, daytrippers, and lodge guests should also be mindful of their food. Learn how to properly store food while visiting the park.

A person holds up a breakfast plate consisting of ham and hashbrowns while camping with a lake and stone beach in the background.
Promptly re-secure food after a meal or snack to not attract wildlife.

Tom Brown

Proper Food Storage

  • Seal food in scent-proof containers and secure. Hard-sided containers are preferred, but using doubled zip-lock bags is appropriate.
  • It is not required to use a bear cannister or hang food while camping.
  • Keep a clean camp. Wildlife will steal unattended food, even if it's left out for a short amount of time.
  • Do not leave food unattended when visiting or camping in a frontcountry area, such as Rock Harbor or Windigo.
  • Never feed wildlife.


  • All trash and leftover food (including peels, cores, and nutshells) must be properly stored and packed out.
  • On island trash disposal can only be found in Rock Harbor and Windigo.
  • Do not burn, bury, or place garbage in outhouses or pit toilets. Carry a ziplock bag for securing small pieces of trash.
  • Human pours hot water from a Jet Boil stove into a Ramen Noodles container.
    Fuels & Stoves

    Isle Royale requires certain fuels for boating and cooking in the wilderness.

  • People gather around a park ranger on a dock.
    For Your Safety

    As your trip gets near, use this guide to help prepare, learn what to expect, and consider how you will take responsibility for your safety.

  • Two people with backpacks on walk across a wooden bridge in the forest.
    Backpacking & Camping

    Prepare for your backpacking and camping trip using these resources.

Last updated: December 23, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

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