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Old 01-31-2019, 08:23 PM   #41
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Knows ZIP about bears

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Originally Posted by formerFR View Post
leaving food out is really more of a problem when you are NOT there to monitor it - a bear doesn't just walk up to occupied campsites and knock on doors to find out who's at home or not,....(or, maybe they do!)

boxes are for those tent camping and without any real means to safely contain food stuffs that might be an attractant... but there's no 'real' way to keep bears from sniffing out goodies, only the ability to help keep them from getting to it.

Unless you are gone from your 'camper' for days on end, it's doubtful that a bear is going to try to break in, especially in a campground where others are around. It's also doubtful a bear is going to knock on your door, or just come on in, at night, while you are there.

If it was really that bad, you would have few folks camping in the national parks - I assure you that these parks are FULL all during the season!
Please pay no attention to this city boy. Bears are dangerous. I have worked in both Yellowstone and Glacier since the 1960's. I have seen many cases of bear damage. I have experienced bears ripping open convertible tops with people inside to get at food. As a hunting guide we always put our food, when camping out or in tents, up 10 feet off the ground. A rope and pully system is a must when camping in bear country.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:25 AM   #42
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Suggestions for camping in bear country

We have been hiking and camping for years and have primarily encountered black bears. The biggest one I have seen was probably over 400lbs and was in northern GA. We were hiking along a ravine. On one side was a 300ft drop. The other side led to the top of a mountain at about a 30 degree incline. We were hiking in single file formation. My wife looked up and froze right in her tracks. I stopped to see what she was looking at. About 10 yards up the mountain was this huge black bear. We were looking at him and he was looking at us. I thought, ďCrap. A bear can do 30mph on flat ground. If this guy charges us on a 30 degree decline he can probably hit 40mph and we have no place to go!!) I had my 9mm on me but grabbed the bear spray instead. Just before I pulled the trigger on the bear spray, he took off. Lucky us (and lucky day for him too!). I would not have shot him had I grabbed my pistol instead. I would have tried scaring him by shooting over his head. A 9mm probably would have just pissed him off anyway. Regardless we love wildlife and enjoy being out in the wilderness where we are visitors in THEIR TERRITORY (which is shrinking day by day). We have encountered other black bears and in those instances we simply clapped our hands and yelled, and the bears ran off. With black bears you cannot play dead and donít climb a tree either, they are far better climbers than we are. Back away slowly, looking at the ground. Never get between mom and her cubs. About a week ago we encountered a small family of black bears in Ocala. We kept our distance and momma bear kept a close eye on us. It was fun watching the cubs frolic around and imitate their mom. Please carry bear spray. Donít use a gun unless your life is in danger and there is no other option. 99.9% of the time, bear spray will do the trick. Oh and by the way, it has an expiration date (all aerosols do) so make sure yours has not expired. We always hang out food in a tree as Rgreer mentioned. Especially if we are in a tent in bear country, which we have done several times. In our RV we try to be as bear safe as possible where food storage is concerned. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-01-2019, 06:15 PM   #43
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Our first encounter with a black bear was at Red's Meadow Campground on the backside of Mammoth Mountain. We were just setting up our Starcraft Pop-Up Trailer when the campground host came down the hill from his campsite to notify us about "Goldie", a black bear Momma with a young cub. He said she would becoming down the hill to the dumpster across the road from our site at precisely 3:30 PM. He advised us to keep our large, friendly Yellow Labrador inside our tow vehicle and not in the tent trailer.

At precisely 3:30 PM we caught sight of Goldie with her cub walking downhill to the dumpster. Our Labrador wanted to run over and make "friends" with the cub, but I managed to force her into the van for safety. My wife and two very young daughters were already in there.

This was years ago before so-called "Bear-Proof" trash containers, so Goldie threw open one of the lids of the dumpster, perched her cub on the other lid, climbed in, and began to forage for food. Trash was flying out of the dumpster by the bushel. Just then, another camper in an older pickup truck came down the road from above, saw the cub, and jammed on his brakes. The truck backfired loudly, and Goldie leaped out of the dumpster, grabbed her cub in an instant, and tossed him 8-10 feet up into the nearest pine tree. Goldie clambered up the tree to safeguard her cub in less than 2-3 seconds!! She probably thought the backfire was a rifle shot.

Goldie and her cub made that same trek to the dumpster every day for the rest of our stay, but we were prepared and took shelter in the van.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:17 PM   #44
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What's not clear in this photo is Moma Bear chased the cubs up a tree so she could face us. If we hung around, the results for us would have been bad.

Bears that have been fed and bears with cubs are dangerous and need to be avoided.
Feeding a bear or allowing a bear to "dine" off your carelessness is a death sentence for the bear.

Black Bear Cub in a Tree - Shenandoah National Park by cdrdwd, on Flickr
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:22 PM   #45
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Getting back to the OP, since you're planning to camp in one of the national parks maybe plan it for the next government shutdown as the bears will be furloughed.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:25 PM   #46
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Getting back to the OP, since you're planning to camp in one of the national parks maybe plan it for the next government shutdown as the bears will be furloughed.
Ha ha ha - thanks for the chuckle HangDiver!
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:33 PM   #47
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Question about grills: we plan to go to Alaska this summer, and will boon dock quite a bit, both along the way and when we get there. We will grill on a portable grill for some of our meals. Will storing the grill, either in the pass through of the camper or in the back of the truck under the tonneau cover be safe?
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:30 PM   #48
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With a Cobb grill I always clean it after each use, just like a pot or pan. A smelly grill under the tonneau would be fair game for a bear, in my opinion. Locked in the pass through, less likely, but not impossible for a bear. I used to live trap bears for the Wisconsin DNR, and they can be persistant!
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:21 PM   #49
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I would be concerned about Grizzlies. The tonneau cover would be a hard no if the cover was soft or does not lock. Even a hard cover can only support 300lbs distributed and a bear will climb aboard if it smells the grill and crush it.

I would lock the pass through since bears are very smart and can figure out slam or turn latches easily.

I would also suggest that you clean it though they will still smell it but not sure what else you could do besides add shock wiring...My bee keeping uncle has had to do this to his hives for black bears.

The boon docking would be the primary concern to me if outside a campground where other people would not be nearby. Ask about bear areas from locals and If in a CG ask a ranger or attendant at checkin.

Do NOT leave the grill outside unattended.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:41 AM   #50
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Thanks for the replies. It is a hard, locking tonneau cover, but, as you say, it would not support a grizzly. I guess we'll clean it well after each use and keep it in the pass through.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:12 AM   #51
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When camping in Glacier at the Many Glacier campground, we used our grill, cleaned it and turned it on high for a couple minutes to burn anything off. then let it cool and put it in a container in the pass through. Never had any problems and we know that Bears passed within 50 feet of our campsite multiple times



I would recommend having your bear spray on you while grilling though.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:05 AM   #52
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I'm not so sure a bear won't get into a hard side trailer and here's why:

On a ski trip at Lake Tahoe about 10 years ago we were staying in a "guest cabin" adjacent to our friends in a larger cabin. I went back to our cabin which was about 60 yards away to call it a night after a long day of travel, and turned the corner to the front door to see a black bear sitting at the open front door, enjoy our subway sandwiches that had been left in a fridge, inside the cabin, with a closed door. The bear had also gone through our jackets, and found two clif bars in my coat. He apparently didn't like tomatoes as there was a pile of about 10 slices on the ground next to where he sat.

After I slowly backed away, and got back to the big cabin, we chased it away with pots, pans and snowballs. The rest of that trip I wished I were in Nevada, where I could carry.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:10 AM   #53
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I would consider a handgun to be of little more use in a bear encounter than the pots and pans. Most handguns small enough to be “carried” are not powerful enough to stop a bear. You might kill it with a 9 mm but during the 5 minutes it is dying it could rip you to shreds. The handgun would best be used as a noise maker, like the pots and pans.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:41 PM   #54
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FWIW... We camp in a canvas tent in late September in an area with both black and grizzly bears, and fortunately (knock on wood) we've only had one encounter in our camp in 10 years. Since that time (about 7 years ago), we've added a bear fence around the kitchen and one around the tent. We don't put away our coolers, stoves and cooking gear when we're done with it after each meal. We'd spend more time packing and unpacking, as there are 6 of us there for 10 days..
The years we've had an animal hanging in camp, we still didn't notice any sign of bears. We talked about keeping it high off the ground, but 10' to the bottom of our food, would put the top of game pole about 17' off the ground, and we just don't have the means to pull that off.. And to lift 6 coolers and a stove up, I'd think it would be easier to build an elevated kitchen..lol..
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