Hot answers tagged

19

I've been up close with grizzly and black bears before, I've had them come sniffing through my camp and I've done nothing but lay quiet in my sleeping bag and wait for them to wander off, which they usually do. Most of the time I don't even know they were there, I just find their tracks the next morning. Believe it or not bears spook really easily. I've ...


8

An online poll showed that almost everyone on a backpacking trip eats about 15-20 kcal (63-84 kJ) per day per pound of body weight: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=35516 . So let's take 17.5 cal/day/lb (161 kJ/kg) as a typical value. This is in line with my actual experience from trips where ...


8

People getting killed by black bears is exceedingly rare. There are roughly 1 per year in North America, and most of those in Canada and Alaska. If you are in your tent at night and hear what you think is a black bear outside, the best thing to do is nothing. I have been in this situation a few times, and in all cases the animal (never saw it so can't ...


7

It's when you're moving quickly and quietly along the trail that you're most likely to encounter a bear in the Rockies, and that's because they're easier to sneak up on that way. I run into more bears when I'm on my mountain bike than when I'm hiking. Large predators use trails as often as people do. If you're not making enough noises to identify yourself ...


7

At least 60m away, and 5m high. I doubt that there is such a thing a bag that bears absolutely can't smell through. Bears and other animals with rhinariums (wet nose) not only smell better than humans, they smell in a different way, they can literally taste odours. A bears sense of smell is roughly 2100 times more sensitive than a humans. Even if you got a ...


7

I see 0 benefit to a tarp over a tent with regards to travel in bear country. this would allow the bear to see you (and leaving accordingly) Bears are going to smell you and your camp long before they see you. If your tarp/tent setup is any good at all, it'll be covering you from most directions anyhow. I can't imagine an open tarp having any ...


7

Black Bears simply don't like the smell of warm man-flesh; in fact, if one notices you, it's likely to take off. I've had bears sniffing around my camp before. Assuming all your food is safely stored already and you don't need to scare it off to protect your supplies, a perfectly valid option is just to stay still, and wait until the bear leaves. If you want ...


7

In most places without extremely human habituated bears, a simple hang with the line tossed over a sturdy, isolated branch and tied off to an adjacent tree trunk is suitable. The bag should end up being roughly 12 feet above the ground, 5 feet away from the trunk and 5 feet below the branch. The PCT hang is a clever variation of this which eliminates the ...


7

Many people travel for days or weeks in bear country. Several existing questions on this site address bear and camp/food related issues. If you've never traveled in areas with bears before, you should definitely give these a read: What are the proper precautions/protocols for storing food while car camping in an area with bears? What precautions should I ...


6

Bears don't generally like people, and the ones who do are usually going to be more interested in dumpsters and campgrounds than a random boat on the river. The likelihood of ever getting into a situation where you have to fend off a bear attack on the water is absurdly small. Bears are usually either crossing water to get somewhere else and want nothing to ...


6

I'm from bear country, I've had multiple bear encounters this year and the bears have been really bad this season. We had 4 maulings inside a month this summer. In answer to your questions: A1: The Mother bear is going to stay between you and her cub, this includes keeping her cub away from you as much as keeping you away from her cub. A2: Freeze dried ...


6

Realistically, if you can manage to carry the food, then you can manage the canisters also. They have been proven to decrease bear encounters and are actually now required in parts of Sierra National Forests, as well as in parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Inyo National Forests and in all of Yosemite National Park [see map]. This means you ...


5

I think part of the answer to your question relates to WHERE in the Rockies you'll be visiting. Will you be in an area that is not visited much by humans, or will you be visiting a high-traffic area such as a national park or other popular tourist destination? If you will be hiking through an area that has few or sporadic hikers, then you really have ...


5

Is this interpretation plausible, or are we just anthropomorphizing? The bear cub was likely scared and it's reaction was to put on an aggressive act. TBH I think you were lucky as a threatened mother bear corned with it's cub in the dark like that could of easily charged you. The mother was likely trying to decide if it could get away without getting ...


5

I'm pretty sure bears can distinguish fresh food from year old residues. Otherwise nothing you own could ever go into bear country. Our clothes, cell phones, wallets etc have all been to so many more restaurants than your average bear, yet bears almost never take this stuff. Additional evidence: finding old old french fries under the seat of my car after ...


4

I would make noise to confirm the bear is aware of my presence. I would try to gently get out of the tent and take some distance (10 feet / 3 meters) from the bear and tent acting normally. And I would wait it out. I ran into this situation once and this worked out just fine for me. Personally I would not use the shotgun or bear spray. If I had the bear ...


4

I'll share what thoughts I had in the moment, and after, while reflecting on the matter: My first thought I've already mentioned in the question, being that the bear was slow and we were fast in our 17.5ft Kevlar Clipper Tripper, so we could have speedily paddled away no problem. But what if we were in a situation where a swift getaway wasn't an option, ...


4

All research done by the National Park Services attribute black bear aggression to how people affect the bear's foraging behavior. Bears are conditioned by where, when, and how they acquire food. If they find food nearby and easily accessible from dumpsters and tourists that feed them as if they're in a zoo, they begin to associate humans with easily ...


4

Bears behave differently in places where they are used to a lot of human activity vs places where they are generally left alone. They learn and adapt. For example, in the Adirondacks in NY, bears have become adept at recognizing and grabbing human food from "bear bags" (food hung from a tree, theoretically out of reach on a limb that won't support the bear's ...


3

Some of the things you've listed as precautions used in the US are not real or not reasonable. worry about the tent or shirt you sleep in smelling after food from 6 months ago This is silly. bear bells This is a joke. Using a bear canister, on the other hand, is reasonable and in fact legally required in some national parks in the US. But what ...


3

Animals are the least of your concerns at that altitude. I spend a lot of time at that elevation just on the other side of the border from Montana in Canada. Your elevation is less of a factor for animal encounters than what the weather is. Go hiking in the heat of the day and you will not see another living thing out on those rocks, because every critter ...


3

As safe as you make it. Don't fool yourself, bears are there, and they will attack you if they feel they are being threatened. The Canadian Rockies are wild and full of large predators, it's not not a zoo or game preserve, the danger is real. You must understand that you are in their territory, the most important thing to do is to properly educate yourself ...


3

I would suggest for you to attach some kind of small bells or something that will produce noise, on the shoes, hands, and your belt. Mobile would not be recomended because battery might die on your trip. So every time you run it will signal every one in the nature, HERE I AM. After some time you will not notice the sounds.


3

It depends on the dog. Dogs have far superior senses to humans, which is why dogs became man's best friend, it was mutually beneficial for us to coexist. Early man gave docile wolves their scraps from their kills, and in return, the domesticated wolves provided man with an early warning system against predators and other enemies. Protection from large ...


3

In 2013 I did an long trip (12 days) in the Rockies (near Banff/Lake Louise National Parks). We were entirely back country, except for the very first camp site. In this area brown bears are the biggest worry, so we used a bear hang. Arguably this can also work against black bears (at least in areas where the buggers haven't become so clever that they figure ...


2

I have always used my backpack as part of my sleep system. All food stuffs are double wrapped,in the center of the pack,then the pack is placed at the head of the sleeping bag,with a fleece placed over it. If you are worried about vermin getting at it,in the past I have been known to cover it with a rain hood and suspend it from a tree,using a rope thrown ...


2

If you've got bacon grease or donut glaze smeared on your tent floor, then you'd better wash it off before you head back to bear country. Otherwise, eating food in your tent now shouldn't affect it's flavor a year from now. Remember that food in your tent will draw other creatures to investigate the scent - such as mice and ants. Mice will certainly ...


2

After taking a look into it, it appears that the grizzly bears in North America are actually a sub species (ssp.) of European brown bear. Brown Bear = Ursus arctos Grizzly Bear = Ursus arctos ssp. U. a. californicus (Recently extinct California Grizzly) U. a. gyas (Peninsular Grizzly) U. a. horribilis (Mainland Grizzly) U. a. middendorffi (Kodiak ...


1

I'll add to the existing answers by saying that the time of year likely does matter. I've been the Canadian Rockies up by Banff and some of those trails are heavily traveled. But, during the berry season (autumn), that doesn't stop bears from coming around even when you're not cooking something delicious. If you talk to folks who have hiked up there a ...


1

We have over 40 years of experience in black bear country, zero in Grizzly country. The black bear's nose is exquisitely sensitive to food that is here. We have frequently eaten in our tent in bad weather (but never cooked food or stored food or spilled food in the tent), and the tent has not been subsequently attractive to bears. Not sure how much detail ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible