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Thread: nightime camp perimeter protection

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    Default nightime camp perimeter protection

    coming up to AK for 3 week car camping trip, any local know how on perimeter protection while sleeping. I've seen ads for electric bear fences are they any good, any home brew!

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    sleep with a large caliber hand gun or 12guage with slugs

    ray
    Semper Fi!

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    coming up to AK for 3 week car camping trip, any local know how on perimeter protection while sleeping. I've seen ads for electric bear fences are they any good, any home brew!
    Car-camping? I would imagine so long as your sleeping in the vehicle, keeping a handgun/shotgun of the proper caliber/loading would be more than sufficient. Although I'm sure they've happened, I haven't heard of too many problems between bears and those car-camping.



    Good luck and have fun on your trip!



    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My family and I car camp extensively throughout the road system in Alaska. We've yet to even see a bear near one of our camps. We keep as clean of a camp as possible and never have an issue. I hate to say it, but I've seen a grand total of four or five bears in the last 14 years of camping the road system..and all of those have been from a moving vehicle. I've seen a lot more bears on other types of trips, but the highway system is a hard way to see bears.

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    Just something to think about, but if you will be crossing through the Canadian border at any point, be carefull what kind of firearm you bring.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    We float NW Alaska rivers each Fall. I just bought an electric fence from www.udap.com . It weighs 4 lbs and will fit around your car/tent/etc.. I have not put it up yet, but the kit is very compact and looks promising. As others have said, I don't think you have much to worry about car camping in Alaska. But peace of mind is something I can appreciate as well.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7

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    thanks for the replies --well we have returned from our trip. I should have said "tent" camping off the road system. Seems like the bears were much more interested in those salmon in the rivers than our tent. We were very bear aware and used the usual precautions, had no problem. Actually the bears around Coopers Landing could almost need protection from all the tourist stupid people chasing them through the bushes to get a look.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    ...all the tourist stupid people...
    There's a statement I'd agree with wholeheartedly!
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    We float NW Alaska rivers each Fall. I just bought an electric fence from www.udap.com . It weighs 4 lbs and will fit around your car/tent/etc.. I have not put it up yet, but the kit is very compact and looks promising. As others have said, I don't think you have much to worry about car camping in Alaska. But peace of mind is something I can appreciate as well.
    The fence looks like something I could use! Lots of bears in the areas I hunt and it would be nice to get some good sleep when I'm spiking out overnight.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

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    Just keep an open shooting lane.
    Chuck

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I just got back from a deer hunt on Kodiak and used a bear fence. Something contacted our fence in the middle of the night and took off in a hurry. Judging from the disturbed grass I found the next morning and the noise it made approaching I assumed it was a bear...it was dark and I was in the tent. I could hear it fairly close to camp the all the sudden the brush exploded and I heard a large animal running away. I can only assume that the fence worked as advertised. I had zero bear issues while there.

    I talked to Fish and Game in Kodiak and a fisheries biologist. All had a bunch of experience with the fences on Kodiak and over near Katmai. They swore by the fences and claimed to never had a bear get into one that was working properly. I can attest that being zapped by one hurts as I got zapped by mine on my bare leg when I tried to step over it to go to take a crap.

    I had a light weight UDAP kit with me and one that I built myself. The kit I built myself consisted of a Zareba B10LI charger, a roll of wire from the feed store, some fiberglass driveway marker stakes, a bag of zip ties, parachute cord to guy off the poles, and some 6" nails for spikes for the guys. The fence charger ran for 6 days non-stop on one set of D-cells. I kept the UDAP kit unused because I intended to use it around my meat. I ended up with all my meat in a cooler and in zip-loc bags so I just put it as far from the tent as I could in my main enclosure with no problems.

    The UDAP charger emits a loud whining sound that I couldn't sleep through very well, the Zareba charger emits a tick-tick-tick sound that is very relazing...LOL...

  12. #12

    Default This camp is protected by VIPER...Please step away from the camp

    A buddy and I were bike camping between Coopers Landing and Exit Glacier when we had an idea...Instead of hanging our food-stuffs in a tree and making ourselves the most interesting thing within easy sniffing, we placed our food-bag 50+ feet from camp and stacked all our pots and pans precariously (sp?) on top of the bag...we thought it was a good idea...kind of the car-alarm thing...

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It's a great idea until you figure out how fast you can actually get out of your sleeping bag, find the flashlight, find the gun, then actually get out of the tent. By that time that little 200# blacky has your food and is on his way into the woods.

  14. #14

    Default Shockwave

    You are right, We actually ran a simulation and it IS pretty tough to get out of your sleeping bag, find the flashlight, find the gun, and then actually get out of the tent when that 200# blacky has my head in it's mouth...

    Serriously though, check out Taser International's modern take on the Claymore...
    http://www.taser.com/products/law/Pa...Shockwave.aspx

    "Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals."
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    It's a great idea until you figure out how fast you can actually get out of your sleeping bag, find the flashlight, find the gun, then actually get out of the tent. By that time that little 200# blacky has your food and is on his way into the woods.
    Rather than have a bear in your camp and deal with it with a gun (and there is considerable debte as to whether this is possible or advisable), it probably would be alot easier to do what you said in your previous post:

    "...keep as clean of a camp as possible and never have an issue..."

    So, if you don't want bears in your campsite:

    -don't cook near your tent
    -don't eat in your tent
    -don't eat near your tent
    -don't spill any food of any kind on the ground near your tent
    -clean anything up that you do spill
    -don't go to bed with your breath, clothes, or anything else inside your tent that smells like food, especially fish.
    -don't bring any food inside your tent
    -don't burn food waste - in fact - don't use a campfire at all except in an emergency.
    -don't crap near your tent.
    -don't think something like a gun or pepper spray, or even an electric fence, is any excuse to do (or not do) anything with food, or food droppings, or food smells, that would attract bears or other wildlife.

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    Default I'm not sayin you're a bad guy, but your post cracks me up.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    Rather than have a bear in your camp and deal with it with a gun (and there is considerable debte as to whether this is possible or advisable), it probably would be alot easier to do what you said in your previous post:

    "...keep as clean of a camp as possible and never have an issue..."

    So, if you don't want bears in your campsite:

    -don't cook near your tent
    -don't eat in your tent
    -don't eat near your tent
    -don't spill any food of any kind on the ground near your tent
    -clean anything up that you do spill
    -don't go to bed with your breath, clothes, or anything else inside your tent that smells like food, especially fish.
    -don't bring any food inside your tent
    -don't burn food waste - in fact - don't use a campfire at all except in an emergency.
    -don't crap near your tent.
    -don't think something like a gun or pepper spray, or even an electric fence, is any excuse to do (or not do) anything with food, or food droppings, or food smells, that would attract bears or other wildlife.
    I don't care who said it. It's naive to think that all that stuff will insure you "never have an issue". OR, if everybody did it, no-one would have an issue.

    I doubt if the smell of food, is the only reason bears come around. Eating human garbage surely isn't the only reason bears lose their fear of mankind.

    Bears are predators, and people are potentially their prey, whether you're sleeping in your tent or wide awake.

    -don't cook near your tent
    -don't eat in your tent
    -don't eat near your tent
    -don't spill any food of any kind on the ground near your tent
    -clean anything up that you do spill
    -don't bring any food inside your tent
    (So your tent is only good for sleeping?) (You gotta cook, eat, and everything else out in the rain out of sight from your tent?) Mark the spot so you can find your way back when it's time to sleep.

    -don't go to bed with your breath, clothes, or anything else inside your tent that smells like food, especially fish. (Go back home, take a shower, and brush your teeth before sleeping in your tent?) Hmm, might as well stay the night, and sell the tent for gas money.

    -don't burn food waste - in fact - don't use a campfire at all except in an emergency.
    (Campfires are only for emergencies?)

    -don't crap near your tent.
    (What if you fart in your tent?)

    The list is extreme. IMO, it's impossible, impractical, and uncalled for, and therefore silly. To say there is no excuse for not following all these rules, is ludicrous. You wouldn’t jump through all those hoops for your wife, so why do it for a BEAR. Who is more important to you?

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  17. #17
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Night Perimeter Protection

    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I just got back from a deer hunt on Kodiak and used a bear fence. Something contacted our fence in the middle of the night and took off in a hurry. Judging from the disturbed grass I found the next morning and the noise it made approaching I assumed it was a bear...it was dark and I was in the tent. I could hear it fairly close to camp the all the sudden the brush exploded and I heard a large animal running away. I can only assume that the fence worked as advertised. I had zero bear issues while there.

    I talked to Fish and Game in Kodiak and a fisheries biologist. All had a bunch of experience with the fences on Kodiak and over near Katmai. They swore by the fences and claimed to never had a bear get into one that was working properly. I can attest that being zapped by one hurts as I got zapped by mine on my bare leg when I tried to step over it to go to take a crap.

    I had a light weight UDAP kit with me and one that I built myself. The kit I built myself consisted of a Zareba B10LI charger, a roll of wire from the feed store, some fiberglass driveway marker stakes, a bag of zip ties, parachute cord to guy off the poles, and some 6" nails for spikes for the guys. The fence charger ran for 6 days non-stop on one set of D-cells. I kept the UDAP kit unused because I intended to use it around my meat. I ended up with all my meat in a cooler and in zip-loc bags so I just put it as far from the tent as I could in my main enclosure with no problems.

    The UDAP charger emits a loud whining sound that I couldn't sleep through very well, the Zareba charger emits a tick-tick-tick sound that is very relazing...LOL...
    Good info! Thanks.

  18. #18
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Now that I have been to Kodiak and in MISERABLE weather like I have never camped in before. No trees to hang anything and no reasonable way to get food and cooking chores away from camp. A bear fence will be with me on every trip now.

    A clean camp is still very important, but sometimes it's simply impossible to not cook in your vestibule when the wind is blowing 40mph and it's raining sideways.

  19. #19
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    Default My Methods

    Through the years I have refined my methods, and while I have had some hair raising moments due to moose and a few little blackies, they have all been positive reinforcement that my methods are pretty useful. Here are my rules for tent camping in bear country:

    1. Change into cleaner clothes if I have been hunting or fishing - no food is left in the tent, if I do eat under the tent fly, I never cook really greasy enticing foods, I keep it to fruits and veggies, mountain houses, etc.

    2. Leave food AND gasoline about 50 feet min from camp - rig it with those little new-years party poppers (look like champagne bottle about 2 inches long) coated in a light parafin dip to keep them dry (use fishing line or twine to route the pull cord so that ANY messing with the cooler or food bag results in a pretty nice BANG) I also use a little burglar alarm as I have found that when I am exhausted, the single "Bang" of the party popper wakes me up, but I am unsure as to what exactly woke me up... hearing the alarm going beep beep beep helps to immediately know that something is amiss. Long ago I messed with a stack of black cat fire-crackers and a little fire-starter gizmo to get them going, but felt that was too much dinking around to be reliable - but boy would they get your attention quick!

    3. Sleeping bag - always placed in exact same place relative to door... never zipped up at all - instead of a mummy bag, I use a larger rectangular lumberjack bag fold the normally zipped shut seam underneath me or the sleeping pad, so just sitting up will shed my bag and I can pivot out with no fiddling around or being entrapped.

    4. Guns in tent: Pepper spray does not work in a tent, for obvious reasons, so that means the guns are in the tent. here is a breakdown of how it works:

    a. I ALWAYS sleep in the exact same position relative to the tent door, with the shotgun (with tactical light) in front of the door ALWAYS facing the same direction and laying ON its case. I can reach for that thing and have it ready to go before I even know what woke me up - by complete muscle memory. Shotgun is mainly for situations where the bear is in camp, but is not messing with the tent yet...meaning I have the moments needed to get a shell in the chamber and get out the door... if I have any intent to shoot something that is starting to get into the tent, its my .44 revolver because of the manueverability.

    b. Large knife sits partly in shotgun bag where I will not get cut if grabbing for the shotgun, but is reachable in case I need to cut a hole in tent wall to take a shot NOW!! as in if it is attacking someone outside my tent - no crawling out the door and running around the tent to get a shot etc - also note ALL zippers in my tent (doors windows etc) have HUGE lanyards tied on to make "finding the zipper" the least of my concerns.

    c. Pistol or revolver, for me its my .44, in shoulder holster, with scorpion streamlight clipped to the holster... sleep with it. You will never be separated from your flashlight or your gun... I have done this for years and sleep comfortably and safely... There is a hammer retainer strap and a trigger guard flap that prevents even the remote chance of accidental discharge... just choose your holster well so it is plenty safe.

    5. Next, I always use rubber bands or electrical tape to fasten a lit glow-stick to my main flashlight - in the middle of the night- grab for the glow-stick thats where the flashlight is. This can be adapted to the shotgun case too... just toss a lit glowstick next to the shotgun if you are not camping enough to know exactly where it is in the dark...

    Lastly - practice practice practice
    I always make a point of doing a "Bear in camp drill" at least once per camping trip. Makes you think about what you need to improve on to be able to defend your tent quickly - this is how you find the zippers that don't work when you yank them, etc...

    Does it take me long to follow my little simple rules? Maybe 5 minutes per night... plus a bear drill now and again...Do I spend a lot of time worrying about bears at night, not really, but I know I am probably more prepared for any problems than most folks... am I completely safe from bears? Heck no... I would need to stay home for that...

    Hope this input is helpful - you can always rig up an alarm around your camp using a buzzer and some moofiliment line to give yourself some more warning if you like...

  20. #20

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    Limetrude - You have some really good tips I wouldn't have thought about--thanks!

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