Bear Country Camping

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Blaise W, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Steamer

    Steamer Adventurer

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    Would you feel any better about sleeping if you took your bear spray and made a wide circle of spray on the ground around your tent. Could this act as a deterrent to a curious bear?
  2. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    That sounds too much like the guy who used bear spray just like insect repellent, coating his family members, thinking it would serve as a deterrent. :rofl

    No, it would probably have the opposite effect.
  3. Callahan

    Callahan Long timer

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    Use Ammonia
  4. Xylx

    Xylx Been here awhile

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    Pee. I used to do that in the AK bush. Made me feel better.
    Best story I heard were these guys from NY who rented a USFS cabin in Yakutat to go fishing. They bought bear spray. Bear showed up, so they went to the door and attempted to spray the bear. The wind blew the pepper cloud back in the cabin and they ended up spending the night outside with the bear.

    I was in an outdoor store once in Juneau where the tourist was asking how to apply the bear repellant on himself. I thought that was pretty funny
  5. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    At our fall cariboo hunting camp on the squirrel river there was a brown bear who would patiently wait till we left. Then come in and ravage the camp. Always made a big mess. Would happen year after year. On year after returning to clean up and take home the leftover booze and food. I noted how the bear had twisted the cap off a half gallon bottle of Jack. The leftover booze was usually my bonus. I was kinda pissed at that. They like beer too just bite open the can.
    Some years later I heard my boss finally shot that bear.
  6. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    [​IMG] Best answer, do what makes you feel better. There are lots of home remedies, moth balls, you name it. Some have been tested, none work, so do what you feel good about. Bears are curious and will try almost anything, so...as for spraying bear spray on the ground, one study noted that black bears seemed to come back to investigate that, as now it's dissipated pepper. Yum. Use as intended, it does work.
  7. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    Yup. :nod Many, many years ago I listened to a lady who lived by herself in a mostly-abandoned village (Loring) north of Ketchikan. She liked to go camping on the nearby mainland or one of the nearby small islands, all inhabited by bears, either blackies or browns. Bear spray was decades from being invented but she had her own form of protection: a jug of adult beverage. She related that when she heard bears roaming around near her tent she would take a swig or two. If she still heard bears, she tipped the jug again... and again, if called for.

    Did that remedy keep bears away? No, but after a while she just didn't care, and the fact that she passed away of old age many years later testified to the efficacy of her method.
  8. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    I like that one too. We had a seminar with a senior bear biologist from your neck of the woods, and he was rueful that in about 25 years of working with bears he had never been charged. Saw him a couple years later and he was happy to "be in the club", although it was a bluff charge. Different point of view, illustrates that bears are not naturally all that fierce.
  9. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Been here awhile

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    Yeah, too many mountain man wannabes out there. Just realize if you ever get charged, maimed, or even killed by a bear, there's a 99% chance that it was your fault for not thinking things through in the first place. Don't be an idiot.
  10. duitswes

    duitswes NAM Biker in CA

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    +1 Dont spray yourself. You may taste better.
  11. blitzkreig

    blitzkreig Been here awhile

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    I have had several bear meets Moto encounters and although they always gets your heart pumping they haven't been particularly "dangerous". Note all of my encounters were with black bears. I have come upon Grizzly bears a couple times but at a fair distance.

    Quite honestly however I have more concerns over the last couple years about Cougars. Cougar killing humans happens more often than thought. A cross country skier was killed not far from my place just a year or so ago. And the little buggers are getting more and more brave, coming into the city outskirt parks from time to time.

    A black bear wandering into camp might be there out of curiosity looking for scraps of garbage even. The big cat wants one thing ... to eat you.
  12. dmaxmike

    dmaxmike former quadtard.

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    I have only had bear problems and encounters at summer camp as a scout. They were dumpster diving pro’s it didn’t matter what contraption the camp officials installed on the dumpsters. Just goes to show that for the most part they are just looking for an easy meal. If you and your tent don’t smell like an easy meal they will most likely leave you alone.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As to the debate about firearms. While it is true well trained people get mauled with their pistol or rifle or shotgun at their side, there are also stories of well trained and not so well trained people warding off bears with firearms as well. Maybe not a kill shot or even a hit but the bang of a .44 mag or .500 S&W. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I live in central PA and I carry a .357mag 5 shot revolver. You want to know how worried I am about bears? The first two shots are snake shot. <o:p></o:p>
  13. iphorde

    iphorde Obviously I'm bored.

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    I have family in East Texas that has problems with black bears. They're not just in Big Bend.


  14. Blaise W

    Blaise W Been here awhile

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    I can believe it. At one time there was a healthy bear population in E. Texas and all the way down along the Gulf Coast well south of Houston. There are pictures at one of my client's hunting camps just a few miles from here of black bear taken there. I understand they were just about hunted out, but are coming back. When I was pre-teen, the rangers in Big Bend National Park told us that there were Black Bear over in Mexico, but none in the park. There are now!

    I was just there a few weeks ago, and as I left the restaurant, one of the staff was on the way back in exclaiming that a bear was just across the driveway. Sure enough, a sow with cubs (carefully tucked away in the brush) was attacking a dead Century Plant to get at the good stuff inside. She was less than 40 feet from the edge of the road and absolutely ignored the audience, which grew substantially over about 15 minutes. I think she looked up once, then got back to it. It's the first time I've seen a bear there and I've been many times. Reports were that there were two females with cubs visiting the main lodge area most mornings, and one worker surprised a mountain lion between buildings a few days before my visit. Wildlife is making a comeback.
  15. cardoctor1

    cardoctor1 Been here awhile

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    This is a story of self control and marksmanship with an itsy bitsy shooter by a woman against a fierce predator.
    What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?

    The Beretta Jetfire .25 :

    While out hiking in Montana with my boyfriend we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of nowhere.

    She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive.

    If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire with me I would not be here today!

    Just one shot to my boyfriend's knee cap was all it took. The bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.

    It's one of the best pistols in my collection.:lol3:lol3
  16. iphorde

    iphorde Obviously I'm bored.

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    Remind me to never ride with you. :lol3



  17. sierraoffroad

    sierraoffroad Long timer

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    if you were married you could collect life insurance. ohwell maybe next time. :lol3
  18. sierraoffroad

    sierraoffroad Long timer

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    as many here have said prevention is key. I live in bear country and so far have not had any on my property that i've seen anyway. I keep my yard clean and remove smelly trash often.

    one good suggestion is to scout the area you're going to camp in for bear shit and trash left behind.

    I mainly wear scentless deoderant, and use scentless soap and shampoo regularly anyway which is a big help. when camping I have a seperate dry bag to place my food in and hang it away from my tent. bacon, onions and peppers are things to avoid when wilderness camping in a tent.
  19. Tetched

    Tetched Local Village idiot

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    I rode thru Labrador and Quebec a couple years ago on the Trans Lab, Route Du Nord, James Bay, and the Trans Tiaga and camped in the wild for 30 days. I would stop an hour or two before evening and fix my dinner, clean up, myself included, then motor down the road with everything packed up. Then all I had to do was set up the tent and hit the Hay. Only problem I had, which was minimal, was a Moose wandered in where I was camping one evening. Saw more Wolves than anything else. Plenty of bear. Felt that I had done all I could do to minimize contact. Only protection I had was Bear spray and a Knife. Keep clean, clean camp, and pack for the back country. And sad to say, NO BACON :cry
  20. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    I've spent the last 3 weeks camping alone in BC, Yukon, Alaska at sites not in official campgrounds. Plenty of black and brown bears around but they've never bothered me. One evening I camped about 200 yards from an official campground in Yukon (Kluane Lake) that was posted "NO TENT CAMPING' because of bears, and sure enough I wake up to whistles and shouting as the people over there chase a bear away. It never came over to where I was camping so my theory is bears always return to where they've previously found food, and don't often frequent other spots.