Help a brother not get eaten in bear country

Discussion in 'Americas' started by f800kris, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. PNWet

    PNWet Long timer

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    I recently heard this story: a cadaver dog located a body in a large wooded area. The body was recovered. Years later, cadaver dogs were in the same area looking for a different victim, and alerted to the original spot where the body had been gone for several years.

    Bears are believed to have significantly greater sense of smell than dogs. To a bear, I doubt the odor of the food you spilled on your shirt is gone several washes later.
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  2. simestd

    simestd Packet plumber Supporter

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    Denali National Park has a great history of training the humans to play nice with the various wildlife and keep both populations intact. They loan (& require) bearproof food containers and to get a back country permit you must have watched this 40 minute film within the last year. Good info on camping in general, but the specific information on animal safety and behavior is highly recommended.

    Denali National Park back country training playlist
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  3. simestd

    simestd Packet plumber Supporter

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  4. John F

    John F Been here awhile

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    A few years ago I was camped alone in a snowmobile shelter 40 miles up the Esker Road off the TransLabrador Highway. I pulled the boxes off the bike and brought them inside for the night. Still, in the middle of the night a bear knocked over my bike and chewed on it. He left bite marks in the seat and bit and punctured the front tire. It was a simple puncture so I was able to plug it. If he had torn the tire I would have been fu**ed. When I got home I peeled the cover off my seat and patched the holes from the inside so they stayed visible. Great conversation piece.
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  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That's a good image. Instead of tying off my food bag to the base of the tree, I like to balance it over a branch too small for a bear to climb out on. Use a stick to push it up out of reach, and to retrieve it the next day.

    [​IMG]


    For the OP's meals, freeze dried works OK. You either need to bring water, or carry a filter and camp near water. Deluxe granola bars dipped in peanut butter, apples with peanut butter, etc. are also good breakfasts. Starbucks cans of coffee are easy. For dinners, I often stop just before the end of the day to buy some bratwurst of something, and cook it at camp.

    I brush my teeth a couple hours before bed so the smell of toothpaste isn't still on my breath. I think whisky would be OK. :D
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  6. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    You shouldn't have run over that squirrel on the way into the shelter area! :lol3

    This thread reminds me about lingering food smells in your bags & clothing. Years ago I flew into Australia for the first time for a walkabout and had put some apples in my little carry-on backpack in case I got hungry on the 15 hour flight. I knew they had fresh fruit restrictions so made sure the apples were gone before I exited the plane.

    In the customs area they had a little beagle dog up on the baggage carousel inspecting all the luggage. People around me were wondering what that was about, so of course as the knowledgeable world traveler that I was, I informed them it was a drug dog sniffing out narcotics.

    So my attention wanders and I am no longer paying attention when suddenly the dog has his front paws up on my leg and is signaling it has found something. So now everyone around me thinks I'm a drug mule! :dunno

    The agent took me aside and asked if I had anything in my little backpack, which I didn't. I open it so they can inspect it and even I could smell apple when I unzipped it. No apples just the smell. It's then that I realized it was a fruit sniffing dog, not a drug sniffing one! :rofl

    So yeah, I'm careful of lingering food odors when out in bear country.
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  7. yrunvs

    yrunvs Adventurer

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    357
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  8. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Please tell us how you used a 357 for protection during a beat attack:ear
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  9. Bighammer49686

    Bighammer49686 Been here awhile

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    I hiked on the Appalachian Trail for a month in Virginia. I saw lots of bears (wasy to sneak up on them when hiking alone) and met lots of people who unwittingly fed the bears. (poor food storage) Tie it up in a tree and you are broadcasting the scent further. A bear-proof bag or container will get destroyed or carried away. The first step is to cut out the scent.

    I used large LocSac bags-- Basically a heavy duty ziplock bag that is claimed to be odorproof. I kept my food in my tent with me at night. I knew I'd be too tired after a day of hiking to tie it up (correctly) in a tree, or too scatterbrained to remember to get it in the morning. The only nighttime bear encounter I had was when I was slow to fall asleep one night and remembered a partial bag of peanut M&M's in my stash. I opened up and was munching away as I looked at the map for the next day. I heard footsteps soon after and figured another hiker was passing by. It circled my tent so close, I thought it would trip over the lines holding it up. It was a bear, but it left pretty quickly with some noise and light.

    Black bears are pretty harmless, but in grizzly country, I'd probably tie my LocSac enclosed cache in a tree a bit away.
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  10. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD! Supporter

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    .357 works well. You just kneecap whoever is between you and the bear and then leave the area while the bear is mauling them.
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  11. yrunvs

    yrunvs Adventurer

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    Who said i used a 357 during a beat attack?
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  12. kiwi_outdoors

    kiwi_outdoors Been here awhile

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    do this " Instead of tying off my food bag to the base of the tree, I like to balance it over a branch too small for a bear to climb out on. Use a stick to push it up out of reach, and to retrieve it the next day."

    in Yosemite - decades ago, when we were camping, and the bear climbs the tree and breaks the branch while her cubs watch from the adjacent tree
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  13. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    I'm far from an expert; but it seems the basics are plain. Burn your trash. Even cans...throw them in the fire, to burn the food residue off.

    Really, you can expect to strip down to sleep. Put your pants elsewhere. If not...well...take pains to keep clean. Sit at a makeshift table or eat standing up.

    Anything you cannot burn, put in an airtight bag, as far away as practicable from you.

    Beyond that...well, if you're at a public campsite, odds are, others have taken less care, and they'll be more-attractive targets. If you're out alone...put the stuff with odors, many paces from your own bedroll and tent.

    And, as mentioned...leave the big cook-outs to other occasions. Stick to simple stuff, if you're in bear country.
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  14. professorkx

    professorkx Been here awhile

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    The 44 magnum type bear bangers are legal, and a chest rig makes for an easy draw... assuming you practice with a shot timer drawing and putting first round on target in under 2 seconds. I've had to shoot the ground twice to get large animals to move along, one a large Black Bear that came back into camp after being chased off with yelling and a bright light, and one a large Moose who knew he was the big dog in the forest. Both were deterred and moved along without anyone being harmed with a shot to the ground.

    Of course, all the suggestions here about food and cooking are the minimum, and will take care of 99% of animal issues. However, the reality is that an aggressive animal may have to be dealt with. A shot to the ground to get them to move along, and 5 rounds of 44 magnum 305 grain hard cast lead bear ammo for a charging animal, but that's not going to happen without practice. I never ride in the mountains or camp without the ability to deal with the worst case scenario...and hope it never happens.
    #34
  15. professorkx

    professorkx Been here awhile

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    A lot of forest service campgrounds in grizzly country do not allow tent camping, and the host will call the sheriff to move you out of the campground. I've dispersion camped a lot in grizzly country, just use common sense. In Grizzly country, I also carry both a 44 magnum pistol and a 12 gauge with slugs. Never seen a grizzly while camping and never want to see one, but...
    #35
  16. yrunvs

    yrunvs Adventurer

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    357 is the biggest I've got so loaded with hotter magnums it's the next best thing to a 44 magnum.
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  17. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    My wife and I spent a month wandering around northwest Canada and Alaska, we used the diagram that I posted earlier. We had bear in camp, many times. It was common to wake up with footprints all around camp. We saw bears every day, most were grizzly or brown bears but a few were black bear. The canister of bear spray was always close by.
    #37
  18. wellcraft

    wellcraft Long timer

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    I'll be riding through Yellowstone and Glacier next week as well as putting a lot of miles on roads through Montana, Idaho and Oregon, no off road riding and no camping so should I invest in bear spray?
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  19. Lost in the world

    Lost in the world Long timer

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    The only time I wished I had bear spray was one morning in Yellowstone. Mama grizzly decided to amble next to the road with her cubs. Of course traffic instantly stopped for 6 blocks in each direction leaving me sitting on my GSA not being able to move. I must admit my anal sphincter was a bit tense as she walked by about 20 feet from me, cubs in tow. Luckily I must have looked unappetizing dressed in AGATT! For situations like that might I suggest an armored personal carrier with Ma Duece mounted in the turret. But chances of being bothered on pavement by a bear remain low. But then again....
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  20. jazzer

    jazzer Lost again... Yeah! Supporter

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    I think it makes a difference where you are. In the Sierras you need to use a bear canister. The bear there are educated. . I once told a ranger that I didn’t need a canister because I was good at hanging my food. The ranger said “remember, they can teach bears to ride bicycles”. Bear in Yosemite are brazen. They seem to know they are protected and have little to fear.

    On the other hand, my brother and I were just getting on the Haul Rd and asked an old man if we needed to be concerned about the bears because the trees weren’t tall enough to hang our food. He said “Well, don’t antagonize them! Don’t fry up a big pan of bacon and then get back in your tent!” He said “the bear want nothing to do with you. We hunt them up here” . I always think of him while camping in bear country.
    #40
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