🌟 Exclusive 2024 Prime Day Deals! 🌟

Unlock unbeatable offers today. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3LqnCuJ 🎁

Bears and the smell of film


TPF Noob!
Aug 1, 2019
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I am going on an upcoming trip in the desert where I plan to photograph a community. On their visitor page they insist camera film has a strong odor that might attract bears on their property - see below. Before I pursue further, I am curious: has anyone here heard of this before? Aside from vinegar syndrome and expired film I am not sure that it would give off much of any odor to a bear? Thoughts?

“In order to maintain a harmonious relationship with our animal friends (notably bears), we ask that you keep no food or items having a strong odor in your tent or in your car that will attract them. Items having a strong ordor can be soap, incense, shaving gear, camera film or toothpaste.”
Bears like film?? that's a new one. I can understand not keeping incense, toothpaste, etc. and especially not food, but film isn't exactly perfumey. I suppose any scented products woudn't smell like nature and that's what could attract a bear's curiosity, but film to me doesn't have that much odor, but maybe it's noticeable?
I found this having to do with the smell of film.....who knew. I know that when I crack open a can of film it does smell but a bears sense of smell is much much greater than a humans.

Gelatin. Gel.
Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones in water. From cows and pigs. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (e.g., Jell-O). In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules. Sometimes used to assist in “clearing” wines. Alternatives: carrageen (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelp—used in jellies, plastics, medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel. Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marshmallow plant. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies. Digital cameras don’t use film.
I detect the strong odor of baloney.
Where is this desert?

I lived in Yellowstone NP for a whole summer and went camping every weekend in grizzly country. There are signs everywhere saying to keep a clean camp, don't leave food unattended, etc... The rule is never have anything in your tent that has a fragrance, especially one of food. For example don't go into your tent wearing the clothes you cooked dinner in, etc... Food (and anything fragrant like soap, etc...) was kept in bear boxes provided by the campground or locked into the trunk of the car. We heard that if you keep food in the front of the car and the bear can slip a claw between the window and jamb, it will break the window and get in. If your windows go into a sleeve when they meet the top of the door, no worries.

To answer your questions, I have heard this before, but not for film. Unless the rangers in Yellowstone are wrong about bears, keeping fragrant things in your trunk will be fine.
Many desert bears have been going totally retro. They'll go after your vinyl, too, Scotty. Most campgrounds in areas with high retro bear activity have banned Airstream trailers, and warn campers not to hike in a fedora or with any kind of satchel.
Many desert bears have been going totally retro. They'll go after your vinyl, too, Scotty. Most campgrounds in areas with high retro bear activity have banned Airstream trailers, and warn campers not to hike in a fedora or with any kind of satchel.

This has to be the comment of the year on here :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:
I have never in my entire life heard of bears being attracted to the smell of film, although a few years ago I heard this interesting tidbit about why bears break into so many remote Alaska cabins. Old refrigerators and coolers are often filled with foam insulation, anf that insulation,when it begins to decay and break down,Gives off a faint odor which smells, to a bear, a lot like honey. As a result many times Bears will break in to totally empty refrigerators and ice chests, and tear them apart, looking for the "honey "
I read somewhere that film, especially portra 800 has the same scent as a female bear in heat. Supposedly, Lomography Lady Gray drives them bonkers.
Bears like film?? that's a new one.
I like film. ;)

But I've never been attracted to the smell of it. Now, D-76 and Fixer, that's another story.
I may be a stupid old man, but exactly what Desert? The last I heard Bears are voracious eaters and need between 11 and 18 pounds of food a day so what's he goanna eat besides careless nomads? A full grown bear wouldn't survive two minutes in a real sand and rock desert. Please clarify.
Bears smell is 2,100 times better than a human - they can smell ANYTHING from distance. If you were warned that film may attract bears on their property, I'd heed that warning. That being said, a community does generate lots of smells - what they're indicating is that the smell of film is more attractive than the smell of breakfast cooking - that does seem hard to believe.
Lots of facts and fiction surrounds photography. If you are nervous about such things, store your film with your food.

I have never heard or film attracting anything, except photographers. :)

Most reactions