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Thread: Moth Balls For Bears

  1. #1

    Default Moth Balls For Bears

    I've heard from some to hang moth balls around your tent to keep bears away. Is this just an old wives tale, or is it effective?
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Mothballs and bears

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfoot View Post
    I've heard from some to hang moth balls around your tent to keep bears away. Is this just an old wives tale, or is it effective?
    Blackfoot,

    The reports are that they make great after-dinner mints for bears who have just snacked on your gear and grub. I have not used them, but have heard from others that they're no deterrant at all.

    Your best bet is to hang your stuff in a tree, guard it yourself, or use an electric fence.

    -Mike
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  3. #3

    Default

    Had a pretty good test of it many years ago. We arrived first, set up camp and lived in harmony with neighborhood bears for three days. They kept their distance and we did nothing to attract them.

    A late arrival at camp was really bearophobic, and had heard the same as you. Before coming he specked it all out and made his preparations. Special looped wire stakes formed from coat hangers to stick in the ground. Into the loops went sacks of mothballs fashioned from his wife's old stockings. He ringed our camp with the things, quite confident that he had bear proofed us, but good.

    The bears came right over to check out the new smells. Still no interest in our camp, but dang. They sure were fascinated with his handywork. Rubbed on them, batted at them, pulled them out of the ground and dragged them all over tarnation. There wasn't a one left around our camp by evening, but we kept finding the things when we hiked out- one well chewed and close to a mile away.

    Yup. They had an affect on bears. And yup, we haven't let him forget it. Years later, he still gets a box or two of mothballs for Christmas. He's also earned the knickname Mothballs, or just plain old Mothie.

  4. #4
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    We put moth balls around our camp last time I went to Kodiak. No bears came near camp. Some went quite aways around camp. Good news is we didnt see any moths.

  5. #5

    Default Bleach

    Pour it on and around what ever and leave a smidge in the bottem of the jug and cut it open, have not seen on in years since the first bite of the open jug!

    Louie

    Bear Fence works good!

  6. #6
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    Default Bleach is a contaminate...

    I wouldn't use bleach...

  7. #7

    Default best bear repellent

    I've always found that the best bear repellent is a locking tag and a .338 Win Mag. Karma, I guess.

  8. #8
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Angry poison!

    Moth balls are noxious, poisonous and have no place in any outdoor camp, imho. If bears are that prevalent one should think about a portable bear fence.

    We were on Kodiak a couple of years ago and found them spread everywhere up around the pristine alpine Goat Lake (our goat hunt drop in spot). We and our pilot spent an hour picking them out of the lake and the surrounding area. What a mess.
    Those hunters were total slobs.

    They have no place anywhere out in the field...


    Frank

  9. #9

    Default Bleach

    Most evaporates and put in a bowl and reuse the mixture at the next camp.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Steve View Post
    I've always found that the best bear repellent is a locking tag and a .338 Win Mag. Karma, I guess.
    ...and a clear shooting lane.

  11. #11
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Question

    I think I read it on here that some use pine-sol sprayed around camp or raft ?? They said it worked .
    Never tried it myself .
    I do use a bear fence and keep a good clean camp !!!!

    RR
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    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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  12. #12
    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    Default A couple can's

    of pepper spray wrapped in bacon and placed 50 or so yards way from camp will do the trick.

  13. #13
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    Default chemicals

    I think most of these chemicals are relatively harmless. Bleach can actually be consumed in smaller quantities by adding it to your drinking water. They sell chlorine tablets for this use and maybe some water supplies use this. Ammonia is used as a fertilizer. And Pine Sol may actually come from trees. Moth balls are made up stuff found in certain tree bark and is rubbed on the skin in many medicines. These things might keep a bear from chewing on your camping gear, but then wont it will smell so bad you wont be able to use it anyway? I dont think putting it near your tent would help, I think like BB wrote it may actually attract them.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  14. #14
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default

    From what I understand, a bear's sense of smell is extremely sophisticated. Where odors collide with us, the bear has the ability to distinguish each "flavor" in the wind seperately. So I don't think repellents will work as effectively as limiting attractants.

  15. #15
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollybug View Post
    I think most of these chemicals are relatively harmless. Bleach can actually be consumed in smaller quantities by adding it to your drinking water. They sell chlorine tablets for this use and maybe some water supplies use this. Ammonia is used as a fertilizer. And Pine Sol may actually come from trees. Moth balls are made up stuff found in certain tree bark and is rubbed on the skin in many medicines. These things might keep a bear from chewing on your camping gear, but then wont it will smell so bad you wont be able to use it anyway? I dont think putting it near your tent would help, I think like BB wrote it may actually attract them.
    Just for the record, Ammonia is very toxic ito aquatic life. Plus any traces of that stuff on you will probably send every moose, deer etc. for less odiferous pastures...

    Moth balls are in a carcinogenic class by all by themselves...check out this link for a quick perusal of this toxic cocktail if you will:
    http://www.checnet.org/healtheHouse/...sp?Main_ID=292
    There are better alternatives for your camp.

    Frank

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