Will Bears Break Car Windows To Get to Food?


Hi-van is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

When preparing for a camping trip, it is essential to plan for what you may encounter in the wilderness. One of the most dangerous animals you may come across while camping is a bear. Bears are powerful, letting very little get in the way of their search for food.

Bears will break through car windows to reach food. Their sharp vision and excellent sense of smell allow them to see and smell food from far away. You must adequately secure all food to prevent bears from finding it.

This article will explain some basic information about bears, including how bears get food and what they usually eat. I will also discuss how to protect yourself and your belongings from being disrupted by bears and what you can do to keep yourself safe while in the wilderness.


Why Bears Break Car Windows to Get to Food

A bear’s relentless search for food can put you, your campsite, and your vehicle in danger of being attacked.  Let’s take a look at the different things that spur bears to break windows to get to food.

The Diet of Bears

Although most bears are technically considered carnivores, they usually do not eat other large animals. The majority of a bear’s diet consists of plants and insects. If they eat another animal, it is usually a small one, like a fish or bird. 

Because bears primarily eat plants, their food is scarce during colder months. During this time, many people encounter bears rummaging through campsites and garbage, looking for something to eat. Bears will also forage in areas where people often leave food out or feed bears. The bears get accustomed to eating food that humans eat, making them more likely to ransack campsites looking for sustenance. 

How Bears Get Their Food

Bears usually hunt for their food. They often find their meals through their sense of smell. Bears have a powerful sense of smell, which means they can smell food and other animals from hundreds of yards away.

Although bears usually try to steer clear of humans, they are known to become aggressive if they are hungry and hunting for food. A bear’s strong desire for food means that if it smells something in a car, it will do whatever it takes to get into the car to take the food. 


How To Stay Safe From Bears

Because bears tend to avoid humans for the most part, staying safe from them is simple and requires taking a few basic precautions. 

Camping Safety

First and foremost, make sure you follow all the rules and regulations for any campsite at which you’re staying. Here are a few others tips for camping safety: 

Keep Your Campsite Clean

If you keep food and garbage out on your campsite, it can attract bears and other animals. A clean campsite is vital in preventing bears from rummaging through your belongings and keeping yourself safe. 

It is also unhealthy for bears to consume food made for humans, so keeping a clean campsite will prevent them from digesting something they shouldn’t, or that could cause long-term health issues.

Honk Your Horn

If a bear tries to break into your vehicle while you are inside of it, honking the horn is an excellent way to scare it off. Loud noises frighten bears, and a car horn is a perfect sound to make sure they stay away from your car. Loud noises also teach bears to avoid humans in the future, keeping others safe from potential attacks. 

Stay in a Group

Staying in a group has many advantages when camping, especially when staying safe from bears. Bears tend to avoid groups of people for two main reasons. First, groups tend to create more noise than an individual, which deters them from approaching. Groups also make bears feel threatened, so the chances of a bear attacking a group of several people are very low. 

Supplies To Bring on a Camping Trip

There are also a few common supplies you can bring with you to help cut down on the likelihood of a bear attack. 

How Bear Spray Can Help Keep Your Safe

If you happen to come in direct contact with a bear and need to escape, bear spray is a great way to distract the bear long enough for you to make a run for it. Though it should only be used in case of an emergency, bringing bear spray with you on your next camping trip can help ensure you stay safe against bears.

Bear spray works like pepper spray for humans. It irritates the eyes and respiratory system of the bear enough so that it deters them from attacking people. 

When selecting a bear spray, you want to make sure that you purchase one that is effective, easy to use, and adheres to the EPA’s guidelines for bear sprays. Selecting a quality bear spray ensures that it works how it should. The bear spray will stop a bear attack without causing severe long-term harm. Guard selfAlaska Bear Spray from Amazon.com is an excellent option because it adheres to the EPA’s regulations and sprays up to 20 feet away. 

Guard Alaska Maximum Strength Bear Spray

Accurate & effective, the Mace Guard Alaska Bear Spray has an advanced delivery system with a powerful formula to protect you from bears and outdoor threats. The power fogger spray pattern provides long-range protection up to 20 ft.


If you make a purchase, you support Hi-van.com by allowing me to earn an affiliate commission (no added cost for you).

Use Bear-Resistant Storage Options

Properly storing your food and other personal belongings is the best thing you can do to avoid a bear breaking into your car. Because of their excellent sense of smell, standard food containers do not work to prevent bears from smelling whatever food you have at your campsite or in your car. 

Ursack Major - Bear Resistant Food Sack
  • CRITTER PROTECTION: The Major is critter resistant; the updated version features a tighter weave and more than double the tear strength of previous models
If you make a purchase, you support Hi-van.com by allowing me to earn an affiliate commission (no added cost for you).

Keeping your food in a bear-resistant food sack, like the Ursack Major Bear Resistant Food Sack from Amazon.com, can prevent them from getting into it. This roomy sack holds about five days of food for one person, making it the perfect supply for an extended trip. You can also save any liquids in a special canister, like the BearVault Bear Canister from Amazon.com, which is considered an approved container by the National Park Service.

BearVault BV500 Bear Canister for Backpacking

Lightweight Solo or Weekend Size: Lightest canister in this size category; Stores approximately 4 days of food; perfect for a couples weekend, or a 3 to 4-day solo trek.

If you make a purchase, you support Hi-van.com by allowing me to earn an affiliate commission (no added cost for you).

Final Thoughts

Bears have a superb sense of smell and excellent vision, making them good hunters. Their sense of smell means that no matter where they smell food, they will attempt to get to it using any means necessary. A ravenous bear is no match for a car window, and they will break them to get to food if they smell it.

Keeping your campsite and vehicle clean and storing any food in containers can help avoid encountering a hungry bear. You can also prepare by bringing bear spray with you in case of an attack. 


Find this content useful 🙂 ?

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get a free electric diagram + shopping list.


Here are some of my favorite van life essentials:

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you’re experiencing your life on the road. Here are some tools and gadgets I use on a daily basis that made my van life a lot easier. I hope you’ll also find them as useful as me. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my closest friends and family.

Kitchen: I’m cooking a lot and I’ve finally found my perfect cookware set: The Magma Cookware 10 Pcs that you can nests and store in less than 1/2 cubic foot of cabinet space is really handy. Since I’m also spending a lot of time working at my desk, I use my favorite coffee mug from Yeti. For more, check my list of kitchen accessories I can’t live without.

Outdoor: Even though I’m spending a lot of time in my van working, I do enjoy getting out and explore my ever-changing neighborhood. This sometimes requires me to take my portable solar battery with me. And when I just want to chill outside and take a nap, I use the Winner Outfitters Hammock.

Clean/Tidy: Space is precious and therefore I used these heavy-duty storage bins from Homs to store my material. They’re robust and you can stack them together. Regarding showering, I like to use this portable solar shower from Advanced Elements when it’s hot outside.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations about van life, check out this resource that I made for you!

Martin

As an independent traveler, I try to share my positive and negative observations about van life as well as tips and tricks to make your life on the road easier. I travel and work in my old RV and would greatly appreciate a coffee from you if you find my content useful.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts