Food Storage Requirements

Regulations Regarding Food Storage:

36 CFR §:

2.10(d) Food storage: designated areas and methods

(1) Definition: A bear resistant container (BRC) means an item constructed to prevent access by a bear. BRC’s include—

  • Any additional items listed by the State of Alaska, Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation with the concurrence of the Superintendent
  • Items approved by the Superintendent. A bear resistant section or container is securable and constructed in such a manner and of material capable of preventing access by a brown or black bear. Acceptable Bear Resistant Food Containers include:
    • PVC plastic or aluminum backpacker canisters (such as those manufactured by Garcia Machine, Wild Ideas, or Purple Mountain Engineering)
    • steel drums with locking rings
    • modified military ammo cans or bear resistant metal panniers
    • metal raft dry boxes

(2) Throughout the park, all food (except legally taken game) and beverages, food and beverage containers, garbage, harvested fish and equipment used to cook or store food must be stored in a bear resistant container (BRC) or secured—

  • Within a hard sided building;
  • Within lockable and hard sided section of a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft;
  • By caching a minimum of 100 feet from camp and suspending at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk or other object on a line or branch that will not support a bear’s weight.

Note: This does not apply to:

  • Clean dishes and cooking equipment that is free of food odors. We strongly recommend that these items be securely stored; but clean and odor free items are not required to be stored in secure containers.
  • Food that is being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption.
  • The use of bait for trapping and hunting under the provisions of state and federal law.
  • Food carried by persons climbing or traveling above the firn line on snow covered terrain.

The intent of these designations is to prevent bears and other wildlife from obtaining and habituating to food and garbage, thus protecting wildlife and park visitors alike. We strongly recommend that dishes and cooking equipment be securely stored; but clean and odor free items are not required to be stored in secure containers. Ice chests and coolers, tents, dry bags or stuff sacks, plastic packing boxes (Totes, Action Packers, etc) and unmodified kayaks are not generally approved as BRC.

More info about bear resistant food containers.

You need to buy or rent a BRFC for your backcountry trip prior to your arrival at the park. Check online for outdoor equipment or outfitter stores.

Last updated: August 21, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
PO Box 439
Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

Copper Center, AK 99573


907 822-5234

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