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Thread: Camping in bear country

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Ridgway, CO

    Default Agree

    I would go for sure with the kids. 99% of the bears want nothing to do with us humans it's just being smart to plan for the 1%. You mentioned fishing. I probably wouldn't bring any of that back to camp
    Seriously though, I don't want to dismiss the possible danger but odds are very, VERY slim you would have an encounter. Good luck and have fun.
    Oh and as others said, get some bear spray.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Clark, Wyoming
    Quote Originally Posted by Frostymug View Post
    Maybe camping with young kids in grizzly country is not the best idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by lam396 View Post
    I find it hard to believe I'm the first to consider camping with kids in bear country. I know people do it and I know it can be done, I was simply asking for help and ideas on the logistics of making it enjoyable and safe.
    Yep, we usually keep our kids under lock and key till they are 21 and able to defend themselves in the inevitable grizzly attack.

    Seriously though, you have the perfect time of year in mind and staying the surrounding NFs will give you a lot more freedom. That time of year the bears will still be in the high country and probably not in the NFs around the parks. I do cook in the campground but pick up everything before night. Either have a bear proof box or hang a bag/backpack 10' off the ground and 5' from any tree; a limb works nicely. Keeping such items away from your sleeping area is always a good idea.

    Make sure all sources of smell such as toothpaste and chapstick are in with the food. I would not worry about the dirty diapers, bears do not eat feces. Just keep a can of bear spray handy, it will make you feel better. Your chances of actually having a bear encounter is extremely small.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Sand Lake, AK
    I've had some success with these fences, at $250 they may not seem cheap but, see if you can rent them from an outfiter or check CL to see if you can find one used.
    Here is a link to read on Griz education in BC, some nice kids stuff too.
    And the BSA BEARMUDA Triangle. It is recommended that you don't sleep where you cook or store food or use food lockers and caches if in campgrounds.
    Have fun, bears are just something to be aware of. There are all types of risks in the woods bears are just one of them and there are ways to reduce the risk.
    Last edited by Co-opski; 12-12-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    St. Louis
    Thanks for all the positive replies. Also, thanks for the confirmation on 100 yards. It seems pretty far to me but I guess it's all about safety. Another question, what is the recomendation on camp fires if nothing is cooked in them? I assume that smoke and the smell of the fire wouldn't be an attractant by its self.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    BC, Canada
    Dogs are always handy to have around as well. Big dogs that is, bears don't seem to acknowledge our little Shih-Tzu
    Coastal Cruiser and TLCA member
    Wet Coast, BC, Canada

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    anchorage, ak
    All of Alaska is bear country. We camp up here no problem. Just keep an eye on your little ones and use common sense.

    And I can assure you that an 800 pound grizzly doesn't give a hoot about how big your dog is, unless the bear is hungry and the dog is slow.

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  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hamilton, Ontario Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by onetraveller View Post
    And I can assure you that an 800 pound grizzly doesn't give a hoot about how big your dog is, unless the bear is hungry and the dog is slow.
    Yep, thank you for the laugh of my day. Nothing can ruin your day more than your dog pissing off a bear and having the bear come back to camp. Luckily, we don't get grizzlies here.
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  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Roswell, GA
    I spent many years backpacking and camping in bear country as a "High Adventure" scout. We saw our fair share of cars (not ours) ripped open, and coolers spilled out.

    Before one of our first trips right after graduating from cubs scouts, our adult leaders explained to us the dangers of leaving food/toothpaste/deodorant/etc. in a tent. As a bunch of newly minted Tenderfoot scouts, we thought we knew better than they did. We went on that trip, I have no idea where, to an area they knew had a problem with raccoon. They told us, again, not to keep food in our bags, in our tents, etc... But they KNOWINGLY did not check any of our gear.

    That first night, when the raccoon came, we all thought the "bears" were going to eat us alive. I remember vividly how they seemed to know just how to unzip a tent. I remember thinking I would never let go of my mag-light, my personal raccoon defense system.

    But, we all lived, and we learned our lesson. We never had problems with bears once we started camping in real "bear country."


  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    For added safety carry a can of bear spray to ward off any pushy bears. In 2010 I ran the Rubicon, and in a campground in Lake Tahoe area, a bear chased folks off the meal they were about to sit down and eat
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Great advice about foods and campfires-

    After the first campsite "babywaste" disposal trouble, (35 years ago), I've never triedit again--Always takeout more than you take in and nowadays, with my wife and I and sometimes a couple grandkids--

    I've been using a "hatch" tent for the last 6 years and when night predator noise "Wuff Wuff" sounds, we just jump into the back of my jeep and "LOCKUP"--can drive away if required-no troubles-

    We've run into several bears and a mountain lion during the days and thats been "interesting"-

    Now I kinda doubt that you can camp like this in Yellowstone, but it's possible-

    We've had to doit scramble in the jeep twice, in the last two years, with no further danger-

    Justa thought-


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