Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Noob camping w/ bears questions.

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Noob camping w/ bears questions.

    On Sunday, a friend and I hiked up Near Point with the intentions of camping near the top and hiking to Wolverine Peak the next day. I've camped near bears before, but the bears here are much larger and more aggressive than the ones I'm used to back in Tennessee, at least from what I've heard. So we ended up getting near the top pretty late as we started hiking too late. When we got out of the trees and within view of the top of Near Point, we spotted a family of bears roaming around where we had planned to camp, about 100 yards away from us. Since it was going to be getting dark pretty soon, and we didn't really want to camp in the thick brush somewhere, we decided just to come back and try it another day. I'm curious as to what you would have done. How close would you be willing to camp from where you spotted some bears? How many of yall carry bear canisters?

  2. #2
    Member TWB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    3,573

    Default

    If you let the bears dictate your outings- you'll never get out. Ive never used a canister- I just keep my camp clean. When hunting, some foods get hung other than they they stay in the cooler. I'm sure ice had bears in camp, but never had an issue with them.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    I've never changed my camp location based on the presence of bears. The exception to that is that I learned not to camp near salmon-filled rivers (should be an obvious lesson, but it took getting my tent jumped on by a bear to learn that one....ah, the naivete of youth). I've counted 10 bears from a single campsite once, and I've had black bears walk right through my camp. Like TWB, I simply keep my campsite clean and practice smart bear behavior. If one comes near your camp, make noise and make sure it knows you're a human. 98% of the time, that's all it takes. The old cliche that they're more scared of you than you are of them usually holds true. As an added defense, though, it would be wise to carry bear spray.

  4. #4
    Member jmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    At the end of the cul-de-sac
    Posts
    964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I've never changed my camp location based on the presence of bears. The exception to that is that I learned not to camp near salmon-filled rivers (should be an obvious lesson, but it took getting my tent jumped on by a bear to learn that one....ah, the naivete of youth). I've counted 10 bears from a single campsite once, and I've had black bears walk right through my camp. Like TWB, I simply keep my campsite clean and practice smart bear behavior. If one comes near your camp, make noise and make sure it knows you're a human. 98% of the time, that's all it takes. The old cliche that they're more scared of you than you are of them usually holds true. As an added defense, though, it would be wise to carry bear spray.

    Been meaning to ask you for awhile - do you use a bear canister when you backpack in to areas? On my moose hunts this year I atv'd in to a few different areas. Kept my food in a tote that I had strapped to my atv away from my campsite a little ways (not too far) with motorcycle straps wrapped around it. I figured I would hear if a bear were trying to get into it fighting the straps and all. What do you with your food on sheep or caribou hunts in? Pack it in a separate container and tie to a tree? Keep it with you and not worry much?
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  5. #5
    Member alaskafilm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Just a short add-on to the tried and true advice of keeping a clean camp I always try to keep a little smolder going in the fire pit when I climb in the tent. Maybe it had nothing to do with keeping bears out of camp at night but after a number of years running float trips in southwest Alaska where you camp many times in the -middle- of bear freeways the bit of smoke swirling around the camp might have helped. This was on gravel where fire hazard is minimal.


    Morgan
    Soldotna, Ak

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    To be honest, I don't give it a whole lot of thought. When using an ATV, I do much like you - keep it in a tote and sleep with one ear open. As for pack-in hunts, most of my food is of the freeze-dried variety, so there's not much scent coming from those sealed packages. The rest I keep in my pack under my rain fly (not too many trees in sheep country) and I keep a rifle next to my body as I sleep. I don't own a bear canister.

  7. #7
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    An easy trick is to stack dishes on top of the tote, that makes a helluva racket if knocked over. It's like an alarm clock.

    Works for coolers too.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  8. #8
    Member TWB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    3,573

    Default

    Having my lab in camp has helped my sleep tremendously. I've woken to a nose being drug across the fly of the tent- pitch black to boot. Gave me the willies. My pup keeps camp guarded food for thought.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  9. #9
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    4,670

    Default

    I have never let bears dictate where I camp and doubt that will ever change. I almost always have a rifle or pistol with me and sleep soundly at night. My dog normally goes with me and she is pretty good about letting us know whats going on.

    Another sure fire way to keep bears at bay is to have a hunting license and bear tags.

  10. #10
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    KP, the dingleberry of Alaska
    Posts
    1,750

    Default

    Bottom line is, you just don't sleep as well when camping in bear habitat; I don't know how many times I've woken up and investigated, .44 in hand, small sounds that would never even register while asleep in bed. That becoming more alert to your surroundings is, to me, one of the most attractive things about wilderness travel.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  11. #11
    Member alaskafilm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Bottom line is, you just don't sleep as well when camping in bear habitat; I don't know how many times I've woken up and investigated, .44 in hand, small sounds that would never even register while asleep in bed. That becoming more alert to your surroundings is, to me, one of the most attractive things about wilderness travel.
    Roger that. Nothing like sleeping next to a splashy stream or river. But a little shot of Nyquil and I'm out.


    Morgan
    Soldotna, Ak

  12. #12
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    4,670

    Default

    Sorry to hear you guys miss out on sleep when enjoying the outdoors. The only time I have grabbed one of my guns while sleeping out was when a fox was trying to drag off our trash bag on Kodiak. I gave him a couple of chances then got up and put an end to it with my Ruger MKII.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    My hunting partner snores like nothing you ever heard. I just put him in a tent next to mine, wear earplugs and have never been bothered. I figure either he'll scare them away because of the noise or they'll jump his tent to investigate the "bear" sounds coming from it. Bears are a fact of camping in Alaska. The advice above is sound. The only trouble I have ever had was a brown bear running by camp because the other camp near us on the lake had been cooking polish suasage for dinner. The only other time was a curous young black bear that got into the tent we kept spare gear in, no food. We never could figure out what attracted him to that tent. He woke us up trashing the tent before my brother could take care of him.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    122

    Default

    The few times I have seen a bear in the vicinity of camp that doesn't move away, I watch it/them a while to learn what is attracting them to that area. Usually it will be a food source. Had they been feeding on a carcass or if it had been a good fishing spot for them, I would have moved. Otherwise, as long as the food source is not of human origins, they will typically move away.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    22

    Default

    I've heard pros & cons about the presence of dogs as bear deterrent around campsites... not toy poodles but good critter minded dogs... what's the consensus here?

  16. #16
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    My experience is most bears will wander away and no problems encountered. The curious ones seem to be around 3 years old and male, or the dangerous ones female with cubs when surprised. Anyway, since I seem to travel alone alot I don't mind walking a mile or two extra to get into an area that is less crowded before I set up the tent for the night. I know people that have been mauled, and they were not amateurs. So it makes sense to take precautions to remove yourself from harms way.

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default

    You can't let bears ruin your trips, but you also have to be cautious around them too. For the most part if you keep you camp clean and know good bear safety tips you should be fine, but that doesn't mean something won't happen. I usually go the cautious route too. Better safe then sorry they say.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •