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32

The short answer is "bear spray"; a firearm is really not the most effective option. That said... I will assume you are looking for grizzly protection, since you didn't specify the bear and black bears are relatively shy. Again, using spray is a far more effective way of improving your odds; a review of its use in Alaska found a 98% success rate, with no ...


18

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 ...


16

By "black bear", I'll assume you mean Ursus americanus, the North American black bear. These bears are opportunists and aren't looking for a fight. In all the encounters I have had with them in the wild that I know of, they have run away as soon as they noticed me. I probably had many more encounters where the bear noticed me and took off before I noticed ...


8

I don't have personal experience with black bears, but only brownies. If you encounter a bear in 10 meters away from you that means you surprised it or the bear is coming after you. In a night scenario with a whistle and flashlight the surprise cannot be a real life case. That means bear is actually after you and that's very bad. Black bear may want to ...


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

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

You don't even need to worry about a bear mugging you while you're hiking. It doesn't happen. Bears want your food. They're going to try to get your food when your food is out of your pack and they can smell it. The effective countermeasures involve: Making it hard for them to smell your food (e.g., using ziplock bags) Making it hard for them to get your ...


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

No, it will not. A bear will smell your food regardless of what container you put it in. A dry bag may reduce the distance from which a bear can smell your food, but will not make it impossible to smell your food. It's extremely uncommon – especially for black bears – for a bear to attack a person to try to steal their food. Unattended food is ...


6

Bears have a seriously sensitive nose. I can't remember the correct values, but they have magnitudes more smell receptors than a bloodhound (I just looked it up, a bear's nose is estimated to be 7 times more sensitive than a bloodhound. You can minimize what can be smelled by using ziplock bags and placing those in uncoated stainless steel containers. ...


6

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 ...


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 ...


5

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 ...


5

It is true that people say this. While I know that the plural of anecdote is not data, I will tell some stories. I camp in black bear country (Algonquin and other Ontario parks) and we hang our food or put it in barrels. We never allow any food in the tent, but we do keep soap, toothpaste etc in the tents and we may have someone in the tent who has rubbed ...


5

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 ...


4

In Romania we also have a high population of bears, and recently they wander also in forests on lower sea level altitudes (such as ones at 300 m); they even enter the towns and villages, picking food from the trash. Attacks have been reported usually in cases when people went too close to bear mothers with cubs. I would consider the following steps when ...


4

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 ...


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 ...


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

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, ...


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

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

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 ...


3

I have backpacked and camped in the Rocky Mountains most of my life (and also more recently in the Sierra Nevadas) and have never had any issues with bears. I would say that as long as you're not sleeping with food in your tent, it's highly unlikely you'll ever have a bear encounter while you are snoozing.


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 ...



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