In preparation for our troop's summer scout camp up in the High Uintas, we have been teaching the scouts to be bear aware and bear smart. Bears can smell your food from 2-3 miles away. My average hiking pace is between 2-3 miles per hour. Which means,a hungry bear could be in your camp in about an hour for dinner if what your cooking smells mighty tasty! The key to having a safe camp in bear country is to keep food far away from where you sleep.
The Rangers of Philmont Scout Ranch, right when you check in to camp, will teach the scouts how to create the "Bearmuda Triangle" in their campsite. Within the triangle of your campsite you will have three corners. One for cooking, one for the bear cable that will hold your bear bag, and the third is the sump where you will dump your waste water. Your food and backpack should always stay within this triangle and your tents should be clustered together at least 50 feet (I choose 300 feet!) away from the triangle.
A black bear can smell seven times better than a bloodhound, even picking up the trail of another bear just by sniffing its tracks. The smell receptors in its nose are 100 times bigger than in a human, and it uses the Jacobson's organ in the roof of its mouth to detect minute quantities of pheromones. That's why things like lip balm and food-splattered shirts should be considered smellables even when you can't smell a thing.
Practicing proper care of smellables within your camp will help protect both you and the bear.