New video of tenacious bear vs trash can shows why you should never store food in your tent

Bear ransacking campsite for food
Videos like this one highlight just how tenacious bears can be when they detect food (Image credit: Getty)

If you're going camping or hiking in bear country, hopefully you know to lock up your food, especially if you're leaving your campsite. In the absence of frequent bear sightings, however, it can be easy to get lazy around this rule and think that a granola bar or two inside your tent is no big deal. A new video that shows a black bear taking on a trash can in downtown Aspen, Colorado will hopefully change your mind about that now that camping season is here.

The clip, which you can view below, was posted to Instagram by Roaring Fork Bears, a non-profit organization that specializes in devising proactive solutions to help reduce and avoid human-bear conflicts in the Roaring Fork Valley. The organization donates bear-resistant trash cans to residents in need to help deter local bears, which are now waking up from winter torpor and hungry, from making a habit of coming into residential areas in search of food.

In the video, the persistent black bear is seen dragging the Kodiak KP95-HDLL trash can down a driveway, over rocks and turning it over and upside down for what appears to be at least several minutes, before slinking off defeated.

"Bears know when it's trash collection day," writes the RFB with the post.

Videos like this one highlight just how tenacious bears can be when they detect food, and while the trash can emerged unscathed from this encounter, it should be clear that your tent will most certainly not.

If you are recreating in bear country this year, be sure to know how to hang a bear bag to keep your food – and any other tempting smelly items like toothpaste and flavored chapstick – off the ground at night when you're sleeping. You can also carry a bear canister if you're not expecting lots of trees. If you're in a campground with bear lockers, use them for all scented items at all times and remember to pack out all trash. 

Keeping your food safe from bears doesn't just mean you'll have a hot dinner to cook over your camping stove at night – it keeps local bears, yourself and other campers safe from harm.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.