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Discussion in 'Canada' started by MGV8, Jan 22, 2017.
Wow, relax, generally most of us up in the north refer to it as our country, and we have varied opinions and ideals that we are entitled to . This thread is about the road to tuk, firearms are fine by me but going a bit far in this thread take it elsewhere me thinks. now everybody hug and get along.
Thanks to the Mods, it has been. The firearm discussion is very valid especially when the Tuk road or any where up North and Alaska is involved. It is probably not necessary to carry any sort of firearm really as there are better ways to be Bear savvy. Back to regular programming with some gratuitous Sidecar shots.
I dug out some random photo's from the Dempster Highway ...
Signage at Rock River campground from 2015.
Where's the triple like button?
The wife and I rode a sidecar rig for 15 years. Loved it in the snow.
a few of my favorites of the dempster...
this local came to us... learned later people had been feeding the bear... he ended up getting killed due to stupid people
A couple of guys are coming over from the UK to ride the TCAT, they were asking me about bears in Newfoundland and my response was they shouldn't have to start worrying until they get to Alberta.
@MGV8, agreed, I'm glad that bit of melodrama has been shunted off this thread. The one case where a gun really could be necessary is that of a polar bear. I have no personal experience with them (polar bears that is, not nutcases) but know a few people who have travelled in the Canadian arctic. All but one have taken at least one high power rifle. These are not gun enthusiasts, just realists. The portable electric fences don't stop polar bears, just wake up the occupants and buy them some time. Up the Dempster it makes sense to stick to camping in secure compounds.
I've camped at Tombstone, Rock River and Nataiinlaii and there are no compounds although there are cages for food containers away from the campers at Tombstone and Rock River. I can't remember seeing cages at Nataiinlaii and I've camped there three times.
Do polar bears get that far inland? As warming progresses I suspect we'll see them venturing ever further from the sea.
Changing topics of guns a bit, but keeping it on bears and camping ... are these campgrounds generally first come, first serve? And is there generally space in August? I plan on riding solo and leisurely, not tied to specific nights where I have to have reservations. But setting a tent up in a primitive roadside spot when there is "no room in the inn" doesn't sound as easy as it is down here.
Also, when there are no bear boxes/cages for food, do folks typically use a backpacking style bear canister? Thanks!
Realistically you can pop up your tent anywhere you want on the way to Tuk.
specific to organized camping areas where there are rangers/officials... typically if there are aggressive bears in the area and you are tent camping... the officials will ask you to move along (happened to us once)... as tent camping not safe... so (in our case) we drove another 6+ hours staying in a crappy and expensive motel
They've been seen in Tuktoyaktuk but it's not a common occurance afaik.
First come first served and luck of the draw on how busy they might be depending on season and the weather. In 2015 I was lucky to get the last walk-in site at Tombstone but I'd say generally not to worry about it and you can always double up if it came to that - I've found people to be very friendly.
Maybe, but all I've seen or done is haul anything attractive in a bag up a tree well away from where you're sleeping. There's no doubt a bear could get into hard panniers if it wanted to but that's better than getting into your tent. My closest encounter was a black bear about 15-20 feet from my tent rustling in the bushes but he/she was only interested in berries and soon moved off when I started to make some noise myself. Bear in mind (ha ha), it's not just obvious food that attracts them, it could be toothpaste, hand lotion, camp fuel, even mosquito repellent, etc, etc.
wife at the McKenzie River crossing... mosquitoes were horrible
... and may well have to if road conditions deteriorate. Be prepared!
There often are no officials, so always check the info. signs for bear warnings. I posted a couple of photo's earlier.
Both my trips To the NWT I never had trouble finding a spot at the Territorial Camp grounds. Both trips were in August so that may have had something to do with it. Tombstone I had to take a walk in spot but it was right beside a shelter where we cooked. Plus I got there late. Kept any food and stuff that could possibly attract a bear in the panniers. Camped raw a couple of time but parked the bike away from the tent. Not sure they like the Mountain house freeze dried stuff anyways as that is all I had at that time. The miserable night at Rock river a bunch of guys just set up in one of the shelters, warm and dry. No one seemed to mind. So that may be an option if not real busy.
A funny story about bears. When I was a kid, Many 100s of years ago, My parents worked for the National Parks, Yoho to be exact. This one summer Dad was a cook for the crews that were fighting a bad forest fire and we were based at a small camp by the Kicking Horse river. Mom would make up hundredsof sandwiches and wrap them to help Dad. While they were at the main camp a black bear broke into our cabin and destroyed our own cooler full of food. All I mainly remember from the incident, this was 100s of years ago so memory fades, is Mom being so pissed off that the bear had chewed up all her Melmac dishes. Left the bacon and the butter untouched, broke all the eggs but totally destroyed every dish. Good thing that Mom didn't catch that bear in the act or it would have been one sorry bear. True Story, you didn't piss Mom off.
Many wilderness camping spots with fishing out your back door on the Dempster, I have been up there three times and only camped one time in Tombstone, otherwise all wilderness camping. We did motel it in Inuvik when my heated vest quit though and I damn near froze.