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Old 09-06-2015, 09:24 PM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Graceville ,Fl.
Posts: 46
I guess I would rather not camp where I might get raided by a bear. From what i have seen on TV nothing much will stop them if they want in and a canvass sided or bunk end will not even slow them down. my thoughts

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Old 09-07-2015, 06:51 AM   #12
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Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,805
But where I live, there very few places in ID/WY/MT where I camp, where bears are not a common problem at times. And sometimes, a big problem; thus they close the sites.

There are a few things that will stop them. But first, keep a clean camp.
Food must be stored in either the fridge, or if available a bear food locker, or inside a hard sided vehicle such as my truck. And that includes dog food!
So basically, when not at the camp, there is no food inside the trailer other than in the fridge, same at night.

Don't throw your spare rib bones around by the campfire, which I see all too often.

And a few years ago, I used to camp in a tent in those same areas, to me a popup is like a tank compared to a 4-man tent.

But if that does not work and a bear starts to tear into my trailer at 3AM, he will come face-to-face with a 12 gauge, loaded with 600 grain Brenneke bear slugs; they do stop grizzlies. Outside an enclosed trailer, bear spray does work.

But prefer just to see them foraging for berries off in the distance.

(And your panhandle area of FL has quite a few black bears.)

Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires
TV: 2016 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4 CC, SLT
Spare TV: Two Alaskan Malamutes

Living somewhere in ID; previously lived in Moab UT; previous to that, don't ask!
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:57 PM   #13
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We lived six years in Alaska, including 3 years in Kodiak, where grizzlies outnumber humans. Bear attacks were rare because people knew what to do and what not to do.

At Sugar Pine State Park, Lake Tahoe, California - where we camped each summer in a tent or PUP for 8 years - black bears are a real issue. Bear safety can be achieved - we only had a bear bother us one time when I slipped up.

Like f5moab says, you must have real campsite cleanliness. Bears prefer easy to achieve human food over fishing and eating berries.

Use bear boxes for all food whenever available. Bears that can spot a cooler inside a car can usually (and will often) break into the car when they think the car is unattended. Likewise, open food in a PUP fridge is an invitation to have your canvas walls torn (or the screen enclosure over the picnic table). We only stored unopened can beverages in the PUP fridge - everything else was in coolers in the bear box. Anything with a fragrance is attractive to a bear - this includes toothpaste, deoderant, midnight snacks beneath your pillow (a common issue with Scouts and kids), water bottles where flavor has been added, spices, etc. All these items need to go in a bear box (or bear bags in treed areas without bear boxes). All gray water and garbage needs to be removed from the site at the end of the cooking/meal/cleaning cycle. No food goes in the fire, or the ashes need to be cleaned out.

Our one and only bear attack in all our years came when I left a sealed tote with all our dry food in it out in the campsite instead of putting it in the bear box. The black bear wandered in, and started tossing and ripping at the tote until he got it open. He then proceeded to sample EVERY unopened package of cookies, hot choclate, and every other sealed package in the tote. All attempts to chase the bear away failed. When he finished he ambled off, apparently satisfied for the moment.

FWIW, that bear visit cost me the $10K upgrade from our family tent to a Coleman PUP. But nobody was hurt, and aside from the claw and teeth marks in the tote, and the food we lost, no damage was done.

Camping neighbors that weren't as clean and careful as us had their PUPs with ripped canvas and marks on their vehicles. Campground garbage dumpsters are a common bear target - you must latch them fully or the bear will get in, and the dumpster area becomes a bear hangout.

just my experiences
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122
2008 Hyundai Entourage (minivan)
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:11 PM   #14
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Location: Idaho
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I can say that we did have a visit by a grizzly the first night. The dogs woke me up around 3 AM and let me know something was out side. I'm sure the bear smelled the dogs and didn't want to stick around.

I peeked out the windows and saw a dark object moving around in front of my truck.

And no, I was not going to jump outside and see exactly what it was.

Next morning there was a decent pile of bear scat on the main road just a few feet down from my truck. Park ranger had stopped by the day I arrived and asked if I saw a bear to let her know.
So, I drove to the ranger station about 10 miles away (no cell phone coverage) and notified the office. Went back to the site, and just before I drove into Cody she arrived, and verified, the turd.

Pretty sure it was a young grizzly that normally hangs out a few miles west of the site I was in and was noted to be moving further east. They plan on trapping him and moving him probably north into MT in a more remote area. He is known to love to hangout in campgrounds, and not for berries.

Only note I will add, I can guess it is up to the person. Food inside the fridge should be ok. I have been told that by quite a few rangers; some I know personally. And I keep my food in the fridge and so far, no problems. However, my food when camping are sandwiches, so only thing in the fridge is cut turkey or roast beef, in plastic containers.

All other foods, including my dogs Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream salmon kibble is loaded into the bear box each night.

And I highly recommend one of the four approved bear sprays when hiking. I have used it and found it very effective and I will not hike, or even take the dogs for a walk inside a campground, noted for bear activity, without a can hanging from my belt. (Of course I also have a .44 on the same belt, but handguns and bears are the very LAST resort.)

Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires
TV: 2016 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4 CC, SLT
Spare TV: Two Alaskan Malamutes

Living somewhere in ID; previously lived in Moab UT; previous to that, don't ask!
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