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Old 03-11-2015, 08:59 AM   #1
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Cooking in Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP

We will be staying within Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks for about four weeks this summer (Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone and Colter Bay Village in Grand Teton). Both state that cooking implements and food cannot be left outside. This makes sense to me, but seems to me it will create quite a few chores: haul everything out, fire things up, cook and eat, let everything cool, put everything away.

When we have camped with the travel trailer before, we left the grill, dutch ovens, and assorted other stuff outside.

Just wonder if others have been down this road and wonder what solutions they have come up with.


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Old 03-11-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
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Bears Bears Bears!

I would not leave anything out that has food product on it! It might take a few extra minutes, but you do not need the problems that a large carnivorous animal will cause if you have one take an interest in that sweet greasy grill you left out.

We always make sure that all material is clean and put away when in bear country. I usually slide everything into the back of the SUV. Keeping it clean is the most important, then you could store it just about anywhere. If it was clean then you could potentially put it in a Tupperware bin and leave it outside. Again, if it smells like food, it will attract critters.

In all my years of camping (I have never camped in YELL or GTNP in an RV only in tents!) I never had a problem with bears, it was always the raccoons, possums, squirrels, skunks, etc that caused the most problems.

Yosemite NP is the worst for bears, they have been known to break into cars to steal your food!

Sounds like an awesome trip. I am planning a similar trip to the Tetons for next year. So excited.

I've been out there a bunch, it is an amazing place to visit!

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Old 03-11-2015, 09:56 AM   #3
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You will get fined if anything to do with food is left outside, stove, cooler, cookware etc. The Rangers are very diligent about handing out fines. We have seen bears walk through the campgrounds in Yellowstone. Take the extra precautions and put things either in the bear lockers or in your vehicle.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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'Back in the day' when DW and I camped in a van, we had our DIY 'camp kitchen'; one box with handles. It held the camp stove and everything except refrigerated items. Worked well for us.

EDIT: That box went in and out for every meal. It didn't STAY outside!
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #5
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What ever you do don't blame it on the Bears.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:18 AM   #6
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Fishing bridge is a campground that is nearest to prime bear habitat. Only hard sided RVs can stay there.

Cooking isn't that much of a chore or problem. We only really cooked supper at the campsite. Breakfast was usually something quick and done in the camper. Hot or cold cereal. The intent was to get out into the park - not spend the morning cooking and cleaning dishes. Luch was packed and taken with us, or just small items puchased at one of the sites in the park. Sometimes we got back to the campground so late that even cooking supper didn't happen. But after the evening meal, we just pack up the grill and the cooler and put them in our tow vehicle.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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If putting things away is a problem, just cook inside. If you leave things out in Yellowstone, you will get fined. Not only is it to keep you and other campers safe, it is to protect the animals as well. I don't find it too hard to put things away. We will be in Yosemite in a few weeks and will need to do the same there.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:09 PM   #8
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This makes good sense in much of the West, can't speak of the east. Even if it's not a "rule" it makes sense. Bears and many many other smaller critters are everywhere. Why do things to attract wild animals some of which, even if they are not dangerous in themselves, carry things that could effect humans...
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:43 PM   #9
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That is pretty much what I have started o think about - some type of a "box", where the stuff other than food would go and be locked away.

I was just wondering what other have done in this regard.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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Rules in Yellowstone are locked inside your trailer, your vehicle or in one of the provided food lockers, this applies to anytime you are not sitting outside of your RV.

Last I was at Yellowstone, there are no fire pits or fires allowed at Fishing Bridge, it's one of my reasons that I dislike Fishing Bridge.

Several years ago we were staying at Lewis Lake (Yellowstone) with a Pop-up trailer, we follow the rules with food which included keeping it locked up in our SUV, during the night we were visited by a bear, it left his print on our trailer door, he did not bother us otherwise, but my wife and I both heard him at about 2 am. We both sat up bolt upright, and held our breath waiting for it to leave. Luckily he did no damage and went about his way, but if there would have been any food outside, even in locked coolers, he would have got it.


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