Bears at Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in MT have jobs: try to open coolers/dumpsters/containers of treats. If bears can’t make more than a tiny hole, the item is certified bear-proof. The GWDC is the only place where products can earn a certificate from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

These Bears Have a Job, and It’s Destroying Coolers

When I was 23, I spent a summer working as a counselor at an overnight camp for eight-to-12-year-olds near the central mountain town of Genesee, Colorado. After a stern talking-to about what might happen if anyone went to bed with a snack in their sleeping bags—bears, people!—we’d zip the kids into their tents for the night, lock up the cabin containing our kitchen, and try to catch a few hours of sleep.

One morning around 5:30, after a particularly long night of comforting tearful, homesick tweens, I dragged myself into the kitchen for coffee. Two other counselors were already there, surveying the wreckage: a broken window, boxes of food strewn across the linoleum floor, burst bags of hot cocoa mix, and a maze of chocolaty paw prints. … Continue Reading (7 minute read)

12 thoughts on “Bears at Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in MT have jobs: try to open coolers/dumpsters/containers of treats. If bears can’t make more than a tiny hole, the item is certified bear-proof. The GWDC is the only place where products can earn a certificate from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.”

  1. bolanrox

    remember when camping in grizzly territories keep the triangle .

    Sleep in one corner, cook, eat your food and brush your teeth in another and store your food in the last one.

  2. lookcloserlenny

    I remember a funny quote from a park ranger when asked why it was so hard to make a bear proof trash can. “The issue is there is overlap between the smartest bears and the dumbest people”

  3. ObscureAcronym

    > **Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee**

    I’m imagining a board room with a load of bears sitting around the table in suits.

  4. notacanuckskibum

    Designing something that bears can’t open is easy. Designing something that bears can’t open, but people can, that’s harder.

  5. Ziether27

    The test product graveyard is pretty impressive. I was just there in September, and it really stuck in my mind.

  6. Cranky_Windlass

    They should bear down and unionize. I’m sure the results would be polarizing

  7. epsilonzer0

    Camped in Yellowstone last Fall. They now tell you that ANYTHING with a scent should be kept in the vehicle. Cosmetics, shampoos, paper towels…. however they still say you can sleep in a tent. We slept in the truck.

  8. stringdreamer

    “Tested by grizzlies”. Sold!

  9. bluewhalewater

    I feel a “planet of the bears” movie coming on

  10. squats2

    I took the family to Amicalola Falls. It’s the southern end of the Appalachian trail and I spent a few minutes talking to the guy that gives the safety talk before people head out to thru hike the AT. When I was young we were taught to hang our food to keep bears out but apparently the bears have learned to go after the rope ties. So now the AT recommends bear proof containers for all through hikers.

    (He mentioned less than 25% of AT through hikers actually have bear bear proof containers when heading out)

  11. kevinatfms

    Wonder if this is what the label on a Yeti Cooler states by being bear proof.

  12. nonfish

    Believe it or not, there’s a similar test standard for child-proofing.

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