camping in bear country

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by 69Desert300, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    This reminds me of camping just north of Whistler, a beautiful camp spot beside a river. The only food I had was a jar of peanuts and I put them up in the fork of a tree for the night. Of course next morning I had forgot about them and rode off without them, I wonder if they are still there. I might have forgotten about the peanuts but I will never forget the bear I met just down the road that morning. He came galloping out of the bush towards the road, they sure can move, I realized we were on a collision course and hit the brakes. Luckily he was a smart bear because he stopped and checked for oncoming traffic when he got to the edge of the road. When he saw me he turned around and leisurely trotted back into the bush. Had it been a kangaroo you could count on it to stop in front of you and then play chicken.
    Being unfamiliar with bears, koalas don't count, they are always on my mind when I'm in their territory. Sure the risk of attack is small, like our sharks and crocs, but it is a real risk nevertheless, and every year people contribute to the stats. I baulked at paying $40 for a can of bear spray, hoping I don't regret it. I figured that spray would be useless if I was attacked in the tent in the dark, so I bought a pump action air horn instead. Later I met a guy in Whitehorse who has lived in the area for years, he said that he had been attacked and bear spray had saved him. I met another guy up near Homer who survived a bear attack on his own property, he was seriously injured but survived by playing dead. So, I have re-considered and I will be buying a can of spray on my next trip north in July. I remember being advised by the 1st victim above that the spray comes out in a stream, not as a mist, and you aim for their eyes, so it's important to read the instructions and not as a last resort as it usually is with me.
    Cheers, Mark
    #61
  2. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer

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    I'm doing a trip with some buddies this summer. We'll be on the road for a month riding the IDBDR, up into BC for a stop in my family's home town of Revelstoke, and then dropping back down onto the TCAT to ride as much of that as we can in the time we have left, without turning the trip home down through Washington and Oregon into a death march. I've done a lot of camping in bear country, even walked right up on a bear I had no idea was there in some tall reeds growing up out of a creek flowing through a meadow on backbacking trip when I was 15. Scared the shit out of both of us. What was scariest for me was the intense hustle of the bear running to get away from me. Anyway, as I read this thread, I do have some apprehension about the BC portion of the trip, since the Mr Griz is still flourishing up there, the reality of it is though, for all of the bear habitat we'll be in, a moose is probably more likely to be the problem. Those bastards are mean.
    #62
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  3. ToothDocJay

    ToothDocJay Been here awhile

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    It's funny how Aussies will hear from Canucks asking about the risk of being eaten by a croc or poisoned by a cane toad or venomous snake, while the Aussies always show up here worried about being eaten by bears. It's all about what you are used to.

    Bears generally aren't a problem as long as you aren't being careless. Moose, like the other guy said, can be a mean piece of work especially during mating season. I've seen the results of vehicles hitting moose up north and it's like the car hit a furry brick wall.
    #63
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  4. Boricua

    Boricua Been here awhile

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    Wolves? Really? Folks there have been two. Just two documented fatal wolves attacks in north america since 2005. Between 1900 and then, 0, none, zilch, nada. The two where caused by people who were stupid enough to be feeding them. You are more likely to die of West Nile fever from a mosquito bite while lounging in your backyard the be attacked by wolves.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    #64
  5. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Don't forget, there are a lot of mosquitos in wolf country....
    #65
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  6. BikerBill

    BikerBill Motorcycle Addict

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    I rode to Alaska in 2015 from Kentucky. Camped in Wyoming Montana and Idaho. Then camped in BC, YT and Alaska two weeks north of the border and never saw a grizzly. Saw two Black Bears. First one on the Cassiar about 20 minutes north of Highway 16. The second one southbound on the Alcan five miles north Liard Hot Springs, but it was a yearling. Momma was probably watching from a distance.

    Talked with two territorial wildlife officers in the Yukon. They advised keep food away from tent, and don't cook right in camp. They also said if a grizzly sees you first, you won't see him at all. Black bears were more of a concern according to them. They said Black Bears are curious and will come much closer than Grizzlies. If cubs are nearby, all bets are off. Bear spray and air horns were their recommendations. I camped all but three nights during four weeks.
    #66
  7. Schmokel

    Schmokel I got peed on today.

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    Yep. No joke.

    [​IMG]
    #67
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  8. wolffo

    wolffo mas gasolina!

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    you guys know how to tell the difference between black bear scat and grizzly bear scat?
    grizzly bear scat is full of bear bells and whistles and smells like pepper spray

    and remember you don't have to outrun the bear
    you just have to outrun your buddy
    #68
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  9. wolffo

    wolffo mas gasolina!

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    if you are in legit gizz country
    EVERYTHING goes up into the tree, 50ft paracord and a carabiner should be plenty
    and you have special "sleeping gear" only
    this special gear does not get contaminated by ANYTHING odorous (you don't cook in it, you only wear it to sleep)
    you should also distance yourself from the bikes
    #69
  10. wolffo

    wolffo mas gasolina!

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    even your chapstick goes up in the tree
    EVERYTHING

    even the powerbar wrapper in your vest pocket

    if one guy isn't on board with this plan.....
    #70
  11. Brian011952

    Brian011952 Been here awhile

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    This was great info.
    #71
  12. BigJim711

    BigJim711 Adventurer

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    Work on your hooks and jabs.

    #72
  13. Skootz Kabootz

    Skootz Kabootz Been here awhile

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    Boy, that guy did just about everything wrong short of hanging fresh meat around his neck. That attack could most likely have been avoided if he'd just started making some noise soon as he saw the bear in the distance rather than let it walk up to him oblivious and get startled. Dumb.
    #73
  14. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad World's Foremost Authority

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    Darwin award material right there! Even after totally surprising the bear, all it did was knock him down before it ran off. I wonder how many people with guns would have shot the bear claiming self defense?
    #74
  15. NicorAdv

    NicorAdv Been here awhile

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    oookkkk. is the next one that gets that close going to knock you down or claw ur guts out?

    Why don't you find a bear and see.
    #75
  16. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad World's Foremost Authority

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    The next one that gets that close??? I bet even this Bozo won't allow the same situation to develop again.

    Why don't I find a bear and see? You are making the mistake of assuming I have no experience in bear country. Having obtained my geology degree in Idaho, and working as a field geologist in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, I have spent years and years hiking, hunting and working in some of the best Grizzly Bear habitat in the lower 48. I still see no reason to carry a hand gun for bear protection when riding and camping.

    A bow hunter dressed in camo who chose to try to remain undetected by the bear until it was too late certainly is Darwin Award material. The idiot made a bad choice and even cleaned the camera lens to make sure he was getting good vid of bear approaching without being detected. His actions could have ended up much worse indeed, he was lucky the bear didn't claw his guts out. But more than anything, this shows that even when threatened to the point of attacking for self protection, the attacking bear didn't harm the bow hunter. Do you think the bear deserved to die because it could have killed the idiot? He had an arrow at the ready, and he didn't shoot (a move that probably saved his life). The bow hunter caused this situation which could have easily been avoided.

    Responsibly camping in bear country (which is what this thread is about) doesn't include surprising bears, as surprising bears is the single most common reason for a bear to attack a human.
    #76
  17. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    How do you tell if a bear is a grizzly or black bear?
    Run up and kick it's butt, then climb up a tree real quick.
    If it chases you up the tree it's a black bear, if it knocks the tree down it's a grizzly.
    #77
  18. BadBrett

    BadBrett Son of a Combat Veteran

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    Hang your scented stuff High but I'd seriously be more concerned about dangerous humans. Respectfully!
    #78
  19. gerrykramer

    gerrykramer Adventurer

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    I have a bears and bear canister related question, sort of related to all this. Since I'm hearing a lot of places are requiring canisters versus the old 'tree hang' method....what I'm wondering about is what do you do with all your cooking stuff and beer cans? I'm pretty sure I'm not going to fit a bunch of cans and a couple pots into one of those canisters that's already full of my food.

    I'm currently just washing everything and sticking it in my panniers, but I'm not sleeping as easily as I'd like to be. I'm hoping there's a better solution that isn't occurring to me.

    Thanks in advance!
    #79
  20. White Raven

    White Raven Adventurer

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    Hi Gerry. Common sense prevails this time. If no fire ban, burn cans, napkins. Washed dishes fine to store in Pannier. Bears have more receptors smelling food leakage even if you don't detect. Two year old, and elderly grizzly most attracted, they both stronger and faster than you! l know more work, best hang all food away from bike and tent. This all may be more work, but you can sleep easier next to your bear spray,,,
    #80