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Old 04-17-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
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Hi. Anybody on this forum live in grizzly bear country? Lee and I are heading through the Rockies and up to Alaska this summer. I'm wondering what kind of precautions we need to take beyond the obvious clean campsite. What do we need to do to secure food inside our hardside? Lee built us a great food locker in our remodel but it's not airtight and thus not odor tight. We'll have lots of dried grains and beans with us and canned foods. But we'll also have plenty of crackers, cookies, dried fruit, chocolate and nuts, along with spices and condiments like hot sauce and salad dressing. Do these need to be kept in plastic bags or bear proof containers. Don't think our little camper would keep out a determined bear. Want to take smart precautions but not sure what those should be. Thanks in advance for your input.


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Old 04-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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Bear spray!

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Old 04-17-2012, 10:17 PM   #3
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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Most of the campgrounds will have Bear Boxes of large size for food, grill, etc. use them and follow ranger recommendations. Dont cook IN the a-frame, pretend it is a tent for all intents and purposes.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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I know that the provincial campgrounds in the Alberta Rockies will actualy close some paths if a bear is close. The park rangers also set off bear bangers as well. When one is in bear country just keep a clean site. Don't leave pets outside unattended. When I am walking my dogs I make noise and have bells on my dogs collars. From what I hear if a bear hears you they usually just go the other way. If your making noise less chance of startling them. And Bear spray is a good idea. Also ask the locals. They will give better advice than I. Enjoy the Mountains. I can't get enough of them.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:43 PM   #6
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When I did my first ever RV trip, it happened to be in AK (I know, that's not how you want to start out,) so I got the bear lecture a few times in Denali. They do make bear-proof canisters to put food in, but you'd need a lot of them. Ziplock bag, inside a drawstring bag, hang it on a line out of the bears reach. Previous posts about noise are good, too. They have poor eyesight and great sense of smell, so when the see you, you're potential dinner to them--until you shout,yell, etc...then they know something's not quite right. That might not always save you, but it helps. I also like the 44 mag suggestion! Good luck, and take pics!
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by imabmwnut View Post
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If you try to take a handgun across the boarder into Canada and get caught be prepared to go to jail, have a court hearing and say good bye to your camping trip as well as losing your gun and any chance of coming across the boarder again. It is the same for Canadians going into the US with any kind of a gun except the penalty is far more severe if a Canadian is caught entering the US with a gun.

Bear attacks are very very rare. You have a better chance of being struck by lightening. The ones that do make the news make it sound like everyone is being eaten alive.

If you are in a campground the rangers are patrolling it and chasing away any bears that might appear. If you are on your own off the beaten path in a TT or Camper, there is very little likelihood that you will have a bear knocking on your door.

But it still happens occasionally so read the pamphlets they hand out at the park gates, have bear spray with you if you plan to walk in the woods or alpine meadows and make a bit of noise before you go around a corner if you are on a path.

If you are in a tent and a bear is sniffing around it in the dark it can be a bit unsettling but if you were careful to leave all your food in the vehicle or when available, in containers or in a tree stand you will be OK.

99.99% of your bear encounters will end with the bear running away. The most dangerous is with a sow with cubs. I got between a griz and her two cubs a couple of years ago and I slowly backed away while talking to her in a soft gentle voice.

If a bear does come to sniff your camper it will be because it thinks no one is home. Bears are opportunistic. Once you make some noise it will usually take off or at least run a ways away to reassess the situation.

If you want to see lots of bears you need to head north in late May or early June when they are eating the green grass along the highways. You will see dozens of bears a day at that time. In the summer you will be lucky to see the odd one and then it is usually just before dark or sometimes early in the morning.

If you have never been through the Rockies you will be awed by the beauty and majesty of creation. If you don't sing, your heart will sing for you and every bend of the road will open a new vista even more glorious than the past one.

All the best.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:50 AM   #8
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Bear spray is much more effective for the average person than a handgun.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rkswyo View Post
Bear spray is much more effective for the average person than a handgun.
Hitting something with a handgun while running away is a LOT harder than it looks on TV.

WASP spray works in a pinch. Tight high pressure stream and it burns like heck in the eyes.

If you do have pepper spray for personal defense in your camper, NEVER use that term crossing into Canada. BEAR SPRAY is allowed; Personal defense sprays are forbidden.

If they ask if you have any personal defense items in your camper the answer for pepper spray is "No, just bear spray."

Oh, and if you DO have that .44 in the camper FORGET crossing the border. Campers are now getting "screened" at some checkpoints with drive through devices similar to airport scanners. Suspect areas or items will get your camper flagged for the "Full Monty." Life will suck for a long time.

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Old 04-18-2012, 08:45 AM   #10
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Guns a definite no-no. Seems like in '09, going across in Montana, we were asked about bear spray. Wayne

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