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Old 05-14-2016, 09:55 AM   #1
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Glacier NP camping and bears

We will be camping at St Mary in early August. Worried on how to store food. Will it be safe inside our TT? In the fridge inside the TT? Are we ok with the slide fully out?

We realize that the campground has bear boxes but obviously they are shared. What if we get there and they are full?

Are we over analyzing the concern about food storage? Should we plan on eating at restaurants the 3 days we are there?

We want to be able to bring condiments etc since Glacier isn't our only stop - prefer to bring all of that stuff with us since we have stops ahead of and after Glacier.

Looking for what other have done and experienced.

Thank you!
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:05 AM   #2
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Glacier

Been to Glacier many times, we think it's the best NP in the nation. It's my understanding that "hard side" TT are safe. Tents and pop ups are a bit of a worry. The park does a fantastic job of hazing the Bears to keep them out of harms way and humans. We've never had a problem with bears at Lake Mary.
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:21 PM   #3
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We camped at St Mary last year in our fifth wheel. We had our normal foods along, stored them as we always have (fridge & cupboards) & we didn't have any problems. There was a bear in the campground overnight one night though as we found a large pile of bear scat in the road about 50 ft from our campsite & our friend says she is certain she heard the bear rustling through the berry bush right outside her window.

We kept our campsite clean & didn't leave any food or water out as required by the campground rules. I think if you do the same, things will go well.

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Old 05-14-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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Mrs Buckeye,

Do you have a hardsided trailer? If so I would think you will be safe with food in the trailer. We will be there in early July with a MH and slide outs and I am not concerned.

I carry bear spray when hiking and it's nice to have in the MH if something tried to get it.

https://www.rei.com/product/101759/c...ster-and-knife

A few years ago we did Yellowstone in a hybrid and we emptied all the food including the fridge and put it in the car. It was a pain, but better safe than sorry. The hybrid is as easy to get into as a tent.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:55 AM   #5
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All of our camping is basically done in bear country. Both Alberta and BC have a very large population of Grizzlies as well as black bears. Typically the "problem" bears are the ones who have learned that the populated camping areas are a great source for treats as people flood from the city to the near by resort camping and forget they are in the mountains. Items like coolers left outside, hot dogs left on the BBQ and so on will attract the fuzzy friends.

Glacier is very much like Waterton Park that is on the North side. Hard sided trailers and proper food storage typically is not an issue. When not at the trailer keep windows secure, no coolers outside, no left overs on the grill and you likely will have no problems.

Also, do not keep your empty drink containers in trash bags in the back of your truck or garbage bags tied to your outside tables and so on.

We stayed several days in a remote mountain area in a a-frame trailer during late summer a few years ago. Bear sign was all around us and we spotted a few browns in the distance but in the a-frame we just kept our fresh items in the fridge and our dry items in large transparent sealed containers. We also have tented numerous times in prime bear country and have never had bad encounters. At no time were we worried. Sure those ominous twig snaps in the middle of the night get your attention but squirrels sure make a lot of noise!

Just remember wildlife should be viewed from a distance. Feeding bears is a reason some bears are destroyed. I cannot count on two hands the number of times I have seen "tourists" stopped along the highway, or even hiking that have tried to toss bears food. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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As the previous comments say, just use common sense and follow the instructions provided by the rangers. In grizzly country, I do keep a can of bear spray handy, just in case. One of the national parks we've visited displayed pictures of what a griz can do to a hard-sided trailer, but this occurrence is extremely rare. Keep your campsite clear of food and trash, keep food inside the rig wrapped or in the fridge. And the rangers are very good at convincing bears to stay out of the campgrounds.

I remember the first time we camped in bear country (in a pop-up) and I don't think I slept at all the first night. I just kept listening for bear noises. I was sure I heard some and in the morning on the way to the men's room I kept my head down looking for tracks. I walked directly into the ladies room. That mistake probably put me more at risk at than any visiting bear might have.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:10 PM   #7
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I kept my head down looking for tracks. I walked directly into the ladies room. That mistake probably put me more at risk at than any visiting bear might have.
Reminded me of this.
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:30 PM   #8
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We camped at St Mary and Many Glacier last spring in our motorhome. There are LOTS of people in tents who would make much easier targets for hungry bears. So if you are prudent about keeping your food in sealed containers you will likely be fine. There was a young bear running around the campground at Many Glaciers one morning with a ranger armed with bear spray and bull horn in hot pursuit. If it hadn't been so scary having a bear in our campsite it would have been funny to watch.
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:29 PM   #9
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We camp in bear country often. Keep the drip tray under your bbq clean and the grill as well. Bears love the grease. I also leave the lid up when done as the bears will do anything to snoop in them and it is easier on the bqq it they are not trying to peel the lid off. Our bqq has been dumped a few times over the years. A clean campsite is your friend.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:03 PM   #10
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We were at Glacier NP with a fifth wheel in 2008 and stayed at Many Glacier, Two Medicine and Apgar. One of our best trips, the hiking, the scenery and then also visiting the lodges which are massive. We will be at Glacier NP next month in our motorhome staying first at St Marys and going to try to stay also at Many Glacier, and Two Medicine. Looking forward to our trip this year at Glacier NP then down to Yellowstone and of course the Grand Tetons. Still working on where we will head after the Tetons. We will be gone a little over two months ending up at the rally in Goshen before heading home. We never had problems with bears in camp or while hiking, but we do carry bear spray while hiking.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:46 PM   #11
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We agree with all of the above advice regarding the safety of keeping food inside a hard-sided trailer or motor home. Make sure that all food, including used dinner plates with residue, are either in the fridge, or in the trash. Do not keep anything that resembles a cooler outside, or in view in a tow vehicle. Bears have learned that coolers they can see means food they can eat, and I have seen dozens of examples of SUV's torn completely apart because bears wanted to access the food coolers that trhey could see/smell from outside.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:11 AM   #12
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I was in Yellowstone in 08 and was in Canyon campground with a hard sided camper and beside me was a pop up and across the road was a tent camper. We all had fun


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Old 05-16-2016, 01:55 PM   #13
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If the bears can't smell your food they won't be a problem. As stated already, keep the food in the trailer, in the fridge or sealed containers. Put all scraps, food wrappers, and other garbage right into the bear proof dumpsters.

St Mary campground was closed for a few days last year towards the end of summer because of bears feasting on all of the wild berries in that campground. Carry bear spray and learn how to use it. The rangers will often teach campers how to use the spray during their nightly camp ground talks.

Enjoy your stay. Glacier is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:46 PM   #14
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The rangers will often teach campers how to use the spray during their nightly camp ground talks..
Hahaha. I wish my brother had have known that when he moved over here from the UK a few years back. He seriously thought that you applied bear spray in the same way you apply mosquito spray.

I would have paid to see him apply it before going out in to the woods but he read the instructions first. Darn.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:47 AM   #15
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We are going Atlanta to Rushmore to Glacier to Yellowstone to Jackson Hole to Zion to Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef to Arches in June/July...Thinking about then heading down to 4 corners...Maybe we'll see you on the road...have fun
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:59 AM   #16
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Our first trip to Glaicier was in a tent. We had bushes on 3 sides of the tent. A ranger walks up and picks berries of the bush eats it and says, the bears just love these berries.

Don't think DW slept at all the first 2 nights. But we never saw bears at our campsite

While staying overnight at the Granite Park Chalet, the ranger told stories about people and bear spray, including people using on themselves like deodorant or mosquito spray. One of the funnier stories was about a guy who pulled the safety pin/ clip off the spray and rolled it like a grenade to the bears feet.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:24 PM   #17
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What about camp stoves being left out at night in your site? We've got a camp chef stove and bbq that we regularly use, and it definitely isn't spotless..
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:22 PM   #18
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Leaving anything that smells like food out will attract bears. The grease in the base of a grill is a great treat for bears. All it takes is a few campers to do this and bears start to regularly visit campsites. Once this occurs, the NPS will be forced to kill the bear to protect people. I hope this is clear.

I want my grandchildren (who don't exist today) to be able to see a bear in the wild. The only way this can happen is if we protect them by not feeding them.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:54 AM   #19
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What about camp stoves being left out at night in your site? We've got a camp chef stove and bbq that we regularly use, and it definitely isn't spotless..
This will get you a ticket if you are lucky, otherwise, you be asked to leave the campgrounds immediately.

I had a water hydration bladder (camelbak) drying on the picnic table, I walked back to my site and the ranger told me that I should not have left that out.

While you think that the Rangers are being jerks and its no big deal, if a bear comes into the campground and considers it a place for food, that bear will probably end up euthanized. Is it fair for an animal following its instincts to be killed because we are too lazy to put things away?

With that said... Glacier is breathtaking, you will enjoy every second of it
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:23 PM   #20
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Thanks for the replies.. I've camped in bear country lots in the past, just wasn't sure of what Glacier's rules were.. I've been to Glacier a few times and really like enjoy it, just never camped there... Putting the stove away at night in the truck is no big deal.. Might have to look into a weekend trip there this summer...
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