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Do Coffee Grounds Keep Bears Away? (Quick Answers)

It’s sometimes best to disconnect from contemporary life and reconnect with nature. Camping may well be a wonderful way to experience and cherish nature’s beauty.

While camping, You shouldn’t endanger or disturb the animals around you, nor do you want to be the center of interest for the wild animals.

Assuming you’re familiar with the campaign’s fundamentals, you’ve set up your campsite in a suitable and secure location, and you’d want to take a coffee break. What could a simple coffee break bring about? Will it deter or attract animals? Let’s find out.

Do coffee grounds keep bears away?

Coffee grounds have a bold & beautiful aroma, but it doesn’t deter bears. Bears, on the other hand, will be drawn to the coffee ground smell. It’s highly recommended to avoid brewing any coffee or leaving any residue of used coffee near campsites, it may attract bears and things could get messy.

Coffee beans go through lots of roasting and processing to get the rejuvenating taste and smell we all love. The smell of coffee can keep some bugs and rodents at bay but it won’t deter bears.

The wild bear gets highly curious and attracted to the smell of coffee. And in most cases, when they follow the smell of coffee they find humans and their foods.

Used coffee ground:

It may seem that used coffee grounds won’t be much of a problem, throwing them in the backyard or near your campsite may not be much of a bother but it can turn out to be a fatal mistake.

Used coffee grounds will certainly not repel bears, it can make it worse. Even the mild smell of coffee would be enough to attract bears.

Do bears like coffee grounds? Do coffee grounds attract bears? 

Yes, bears like coffee grounds, and the strong bold aroma of coffee grounds will certainly attract bears. It’s not about the taste of coffee beans or grounds, the bears feel attracted to the pleasant aroma.

We are familiar with the refreshing smell of coffee and the caffeine works as a great energy boost, now imagine an animal with two thousand times better sense of smell and also the ability to pinpoint any smell in a 20 to 30 miles radius, it certainly won’t be able to resist the temptations to find the source of the smell.

Bears have such a marvelous sense of smell that you won’t be able to hide any food items from them and they are well capable of applying brute force to get what they want, and it’s both amazing and terrifying how much they love the smell of coffee.

3 reasons why do not coffee grounds keep bears away

The coffee ground will not work as it works for many other animals to keep them away when it comes to bears. There are many reasons behind it. Let’s get to know them.

Bold aroma:

The bold and rejuvenating aroma of coffee will surely attract bears. The remarkable sense of smell and ability to recognize any possible source of food from a distance is quite an amazing feature to have for the bears.

Coffee grounds taste may be bitter and the bear might not even put it in their mouth but the mesmerizing smell will surely make them stay.

Now it’s certain that a 220kg predatory wild animal won’t just sit calmly, It will look for food, hurt any and every moving object.

Possibility of getting food:

Due to frequent human interaction, bears have realized that if there is a strong aroma of coffee in the air then there are sure to be humans and humans carry food with them.

So in search of food or the possibility of getting food, the bear will surely visit your home or campsite. One thing is for sure, they are not polite guests.


In the wild, you can rarely find any coffee beans, even if you find one it would be too bitter and inedible. So bears have no possible way to get familiarized with the smell and taste of coffee.

When you brew coffee in the campsite or throw away used coffee grounds, the bold aroma is sure to pique curiosity in the bear’s mind. It will come to investigate and there is a high chance you may become a casualty of its curiosity.

What smells will keep bears away?

You can use many aromas to keep the bears away from your campsite. Check the below list to know about them.


Pine oil and pine-based products can be highly effective against repelling the bear.

In general, bears are known to get attracted to the sweet smell of fruit so it’s kind of confusing when someone says pine deters bears.

Pine fruits and oil indeed have a sweet pleasant smell but the chemical compound name terpineol can irritate bears and mess with their sense of smell, so they avoid eating or going near the pine tree.

Capsaicin (bear spray):

The chemical component capsaicin is extracted from chilies. We all know how hot & spicy chilies can be; just smelling the chili powder may make you sneeze for the rest of the day.

It may surprise you that even the hottest pepper in the world contains only 3% or 4% capsaicin in them. Just imagine when the chemical is extracted and applied in large quantities how remarkable the outcome will be.

In comparison to humans, bears have a sense of smell that is nearly 2000 times greater, and even more terrifying, a bear’s nose can detect any strange smell up to 20 to 30 miles away.

That may be both good and bad; if you’re carrying food, the bear will smell it and get drawn; but, if you’re carrying a capsaicin spray, the bear will be scared and keep its distance.

When you encounter a bear, spraying bear spray will irritate their respiratory system, will lose the sense of smell, and disturb their vision. So carrying bear spray is a must for campers, it will definitely deter bears.

Cider vinegar:

the distinctive acidic smell of cider vinegar will deter bears away. Cider vinegar is well known for keeping the bugs and rodents at bay, the same goes for the bear.

Animals dislike the fermented acidic smell of cider vinegar, so carrying a cloth soaked in cider vinegar or just carrying a bottle would be enough to keep you safe.

How to keep bears away from your campsite?

There is a simple technique to keep the bears away from the campsite. But you need to follow it thoroughly. Check below to know the process well.

Get the right information:

before planning for a hike or setting camp in the jungle you should always have an overall idea about the geography, terrains, Flora, and fauna.

If the jungle you are visiting is filled with bears, snakes, and other dangerous animals then it’s better to be prepared in advance.

Keep an eye on the little things:

put your food in an airtight jar, sleep in a tent, don’t throw away food, and most important thing cooking in a campfire is an open invitation for the bear.

Any strong smell will attract bears and other animals, brewing coffee, roasting meat or marshmallows will make your campsite vulnerable and much more attractive for the bears.

Keep an eye on the little things and you can enjoy safe camping.


It’s quite dangerous to be a lone wolf in the jungle. If nobody is there to give you company in your camping, that means you have no backup for getting out of the worst-case situation.

Let’s assume you carry bear spray and know how to apply it, but what if the nozzle gets damaged or the spray bottle gets lost or you are trespassing in bear territory and the mother is feeling threatened and striking you.

There could be several situations where just carrying bear spray, torch, blow a horn or anything else won’t be enough, it’s strength in numbers and survival of the fittest in the jungle.

So be careful, be alert, you surely can’t fight a 200kg bear nor can you outrun them. It’s best to make yourself undetectable and unattractive for the bears.

Final Thoughts 

Coffee grounds are an excellent natural repellent for rodents, but they are ineffective against bears. Although bears have a significantly better-developed sense of smell than rodents, the coffee repellent does not work on them. Bears, on the other hand, are drawn to the scent of coffee grounds.