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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Walub, Nov 29, 2006.
Translation: We never had a bear come into our camp.
I'm not sure why you guys are so worried about bears..? I am a lot more worried about people at most of the places I have camped.
I have dealt with some problem black bears and had some down right scary experiences. But people are a lot more dangerous IMO.
I guess if you are going to Alaska you will see a lot more bears then people but in most places in the lower 48 their are some strange folks wandering around roadside camp grounds.
Some of the more popular free camping spots of Boulder county (west mag, 40 mile, etc) turn into the wild west in the summer hippies, tramps, Charles Manson type freaks, gang bangers from Denver trying to shoot guns they just stole, keg parties with drunk rowdies wandering all over, a zoo let lose in the wild. All sorts of fights, knives, rocks, sticks guns.
I don't pack so much about bears just people especally close to cities.
One of the basic rules about making a dope buy is that if you haver to go armed, don't go.
Outside it's America!
I just read through the whole thread and had a few good laughs. The funniest parts were about truck drivers throwing piss bottles at your tent if you set it up in a wall mart parking lot and not being able to get out of your mummy style sleeping bag while some 'shit kicker" decided to take his boots to you. At least bears don't piss in bottles or wear shit kickers or carry guns.
Since there has been so much discussion of shotguns as bear guns I thought would throw my 2 cents in also. I think 12 gauges are used because they are so incredibly common and they will do the job but are not the best or perfect weapon. One of the issues is penetration not power. Because of the large diameter of the round you may not get the best penetration and may need extra rounds to take down a large bear. The other issue is of course range. This is set off by the wide availability and that so many people know how and are comfortable shooting shotguns as well as their ability to serve in multipul other roles in addition to just bear guns. There is some specialty ammo available that s a bit "harder" and a slightly smaller diameter that are made to give added penetration that should make them a bit bore effective.
cant resist jumping in......personally I don't care weather you carry a firearm or not.....but for my own riding and camping..and i do a lot of it in bear country...ever since i got my first enduro when i was a tadpole in northwest MT....
I choose bear spray and the 3 cardinal rules....
1. don't cook in camp.....i stop down the trail if im going to cook...clean everything up and then ride on to camp.
2. no open food on the bike or close the the hammock....closed cans are fine...if i have anything that could smell i stash it far from where i sleep.... this includes open beer cans btw....and don't throw them in the fire..then they smell like bread!
3. no snacks...trail mix, half eaten granola bars in the pockets of your riding gear.
ive had bears pass through camp a number of times....one just 4 weeks ago.. he must have sniffed me in my hammock because when i woke up i smelled that "wet dog" smell really strong....then a camper down the line chased him off....i figure if you don't have anything remotely appetizing on you..they just wander off.
I choose not to carry a handgun mostly because of the worry about theft....i wouldn't carry it on my person, so that would mean leaving it in the bike.
i once had a .45 stolen when my gunsmiths shop was broken in to.....a horrible feeling that i never want to relive.
as far as encounters with 2 legged threats...i figure the bear spray K-bar combo is good enough for my peace of mind.
I stopped for a motorcycle accident in the Black Hills while driving through a couple years ago, Bike off the road in a ditch, Flagged down by the riders wife who had a badly fractured leg but had dragged herself up the ditch so we could see her waving.
Her husband was down in the ditch with a broken collar bone and a whole bunch of fractured ribs, all on the left side, just behind the pistol he had in his vest pocket.
Something to think about if you are carrying a gun (or other hard object).
Where in MT? I Lived in Whitefish until graduating high school.
yep me too....whitefish until 1985 then kalispell for a year.
Might not YOU be somewhat appetizing to a hungry bear?
Camping with a Motorcycle on the Side of the Road, OFY!
I just returned from a ride and I am attempting to write a report. This part fits right in here
=====================Part 3 ===================================
All right! Hwy. 53, right on Hwy. 8, left on county road O, right on 106th, left on Hwy. 24 all the way to I94 and into Minneapolis. 494 west around Saint Paul, to I35W south, right on 19 West, 169 south to 14 west blasting towards South Dakota. These are great biking roads with tons of small farm communities and interesting things to see and photograph. I could have stopped all the time but Im in Iron-Butt mode as long as Im in Minnesota, its ride, stop, hydrate, eat, chill, only long enough to partially recover, then continue riding hard. I think all big rides include some form Iron-Butt mode riding, its about throttling it up to get to where you want to throttle back and explore. And it just feels good to push your own physical and mental limits.
I have been practicing looking for spots like this nearly my entire life. This is a typical rest spot, a farm field with a rough path leading into some shade trees. There is not a farmer on this planet that will not welcome a weary traveler on a motorcycle the use of his shade tree along the road. Everyone feels this way,
The cotter pin broke a leg off when I changed the rear wheel, so I need a new one. I continue to hammer it but stop long enough at a hardware store and buy a couple cotter pins.
Hwy. 14 heads west through southern Minnesota. At around 8:00 Im close to the South Dakota border. There should be another hour and a half of daylight left but it is getting darker and darker straight ahead of me. Soon there are sprinkles then some serious lighting action, straight ahead. This requires immediate action so I turn on the first paved road pointing south and blast it. The storm brought bolt after bolt right in the fields behind me as I try to race away, ands it was a race to keep dry. I made it twenty miles before the storm overtakes me with serious crosswinds and lighting. Passing the only farmhouse in miles, I see a few small trees right at the edge of the field. I do a 180, drive off the road and straight to the trees next to the cornfield. My emergency tarp is always at the ready but I had not attached any new cords lately. I calmly locate the camp rope, a knife and begin to cut perfect lengths of rope while tying three Bolen knots to the tarp. The tarp is secure to the bike perfectly now and all is good.
The rain poured and the lighting light the sky for an hour and a half. Ill tell ya, spending time under a small tarp attached to a motorcycle while a severe electrical and wind storm is happening right next to you is an experience to say the least. I actually admitted to Heidi that I was almost a little afraid for a bit, the lighting was happening so rapidly it sounded like a freight train, and that is the sigh of an approaching tornado, and sitting on the up-side of a motorcycle in a tornado is not a good place to be. :|
After lifting the tarp to look and listen, I did conclude that it was just rapid-fire successions of lighting, not a tornado. Whoosh, Im a happy guy.
Two hours later, the storm passed and it feels warm, back on the road
I make it to a small village in South Dakota. Anyone who as ever traveled through the back roads of SD knows that almost every little town has a city park where it is possible to camp. It is simply part of the culture here.
Off the corner of my eye, I see an RV sitting at a small city park, perfect. My camp is up in no time. It feels great to be dry and bedded down.
Coffee, water, nuts, trail mix and dried apricots, I am good to go, yeah!
It was still raining a little in the morning but soon stopped. I pack up early and take off.
Did this thread go dead? Kinda bummed, loved seeing pictures of people camping on the side of the road. Always wanted to do it.
Behind a motel in WV. It was late and they were filled up but said I could pitch the tent out back. Free wifi too.
Free boat launch camping along flooded river in MO
Primitive site in the Rockies
That is all I need
Im out of here, Sturgis 2012 short and sweet, win-win.
Hwy 34 east from Sturgis
After Pierre I skirt along the Missouri River again looking for a public use area along the river. I know Im going to ride until the last light, it makes the need to find a camp more urgent and to me, more fun. What is wrong with me!
It would be hard to pick a better campsite if I had all day to look.
Primitive camping at its best
Ok, one more, just for fun
Super, I reach Duluth by 6:00PM, still enough time to get further north and make into the Superior National Forest, where I know there has to be free camping all over that can be used for a quick overnight.
Duluth Minnesota starts the beautiful north shore drive along Lake Superior. Less than twenty miles up the north shore my route takes me due north into the Superior National Forest.
This area is new to me but it feels very familiar, public forest and public forest roads. I see dozens of fire-lanes and logging roads with large boulders placed at their entrance. Im sure they are for deterring ATV use, which is highly regulated n Minnesota. Although these trails are perfect for adventure motorcyclists looking for protected camp spots, the boulders would have to be moved for anything with four-wheels to get through.
I like the way this sign reads Road may be impassable Travel at your own risk I check out several trails looking for a perfect isolated and protected spot. This is a great area for adventure dual-sport motorcycle riding.
After sunset, I go into the mode look hard for a camp site. I ride down a few rough dirt roads pulling over to stop and look for any flat area to set a tent. The key for me is to feel confident that no one will ever see me or discover me if I stay just the night. I find a couple of sites that would have been fine but decide to ride further. I mark in my head what the odometer reads so if I cant find anything up the road, I can always return to exactly this place, in the dark if necessary. I do this for every acceptable spot when its this late in the day.
The next dirt road I try has a small sign with a name on it White Lake. A quarter mile down is a little sigh showing a tent symbol. The trail ends at a small lake and four sweet campsites right on the foot lake. What a score, no one here but me.
Witnessing the transformation of twilight over a lake is always a good way to end the day.
Don't ride up to Christina Lake in BC on Canada Day and expect to find a campground with an open spot at 6pm.
Up a logging road a few miles from the Lake:
here is a little something for you stealth campers....
an all black very light weight bike cover....and at a great price. about 10% of what aerostich wants for something similar.
i don't have any affiliation with the seller...but have bought 2 of these now for my klr's they fit the klr well and pack up pretty small......maybe soup can size if you really try.
just th thing to remain stealth just off the road.
This aspect never really got covered. Do any of you guys just roll up to a house, tell your quick story, and ask if you can set up in their yard? If so how are the results?