Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-01-2014, 09:22 AM   #1
Member
 
littleboomer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 39
Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

I've been reading safety suggestions for boondocking in grizzly bear country (we often camp in areas with black bear and have never had a problem). They seem extreme: don't eat in van; store all food and trash in bear boxes or containers outside the van; always keep dogs on leash or rope. We're on our way to western Montana and I wondered what experiences people have actually had when camping where there are grizzlies. We sleep in the penthouse, have 2 dogs (and their food), a fridge, and usually use a Trasharoo. I plan to take bear repellent with us.
__________________

littleboomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 09:39 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
ANZAC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,005
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

I did a lot of research and Counter Assault brand is the best bear spray. REI sells it.
http://counterassault.com

I'd also carry either a hunting rifle or a >= .44 magnum handgun. 9/40/45 cal handguns are useless against grizzlies.

The other thing I would say is make a lot of noise. Talk, sing, yell. Let the bears know where you are. They typically want to go away from you unless they can smell your food.

I have 3 black bears living in my back yard. Non-stop entertainment.....

Those steps don't seem extreme. I think you are ok with food in the fridge unless something gets really ripe but bears can smell food (and trash) from a LONG way away (miles). In terms of food storage, do you want a grizzly batting around a bear proof food container or trying to get into your van? I would keep the food and trash away from the van.

Bears are extremely strong. And they open things. My trash cans have 1/4" deep claw marks from our bears. They knock the trash over and then sit on it to pop the lid, then fish bags out of inside and carry them away. Do you want a bear clawing at your van doors or your Trasharoo?

We keep our trash can in our garage, and the black bears will sniff the garage door but have not yet tried to get through. Other people here have trash enclosures and the bears get through them pretty easily. And these are black bears, not as strong as grizzlies.
__________________

__________________
Sportsmobile-less.

"A job worth doing is worth doing at least twice."
ANZAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 09:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,181
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

Those steps don't seem extreme.

Cook outside and keep your site spotless. Always clean up as soon as you are done cooking.
__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 10:47 AM   #4
Site Team
 
rionapo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 929
Garage
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleboomer
I've been reading safety suggestions for boondocking in grizzly bear country (we often camp in areas with black bear and have never had a problem). They seem extreme: don't eat in van; store all food and trash in bear boxes or containers outside the van; always keep dogs on leash or rope. We're on our way to western Montana and I wondered what experiences people have actually had when camping where there are grizzlies. We sleep in the penthouse, have 2 dogs (and their food), a fridge, and usually use a Trasharoo. I plan to take bear repellent with us.
Repeating my standard refrain: black bears (a) love garbage and are perfectly capable of raiding a camp so, IMHO, there is no difference in camp cleanliness requirements between the species and (b) eat people, unlike grizzlies, so they should be treated with utmost respect. The eating proscription comes from backpacking as it's easier to get into smelly tents. Keep camp clean, no food stored outside unless in an inaccessible place. (Squirrels like human food, too, you know.) True, they can be intimidated but they aren't kitty cats.

The best thing about dogs (we travel with two, almost always off-leash) is if there is a bear in the vicinity, they'll bring it to you, or so the saying goes. Haven't had that experience yet.

Don
__________________
-Don-

“Often bumpy roads lead to beautiful places. And this is a beautiful place.”

— Dave Martínez
rionapo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
REF
Senior Member
 
REF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO.
Posts: 1,810
Send a message via MSN to REF
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

It depends on where you'll be camping, boondocking or organized campground. Does it actually say "don't eat in the van"? Much of the warnings are more geared towards tent and backcountry campers, as far as food storage or eating inside your tent. We gathered as much info as we could prior to our Alaska travels. Most organized campgrounds will have current bear activity posted and regulations listed and provide bear bins at your site or food caches to store your food, again, more for tent campers. We have certain dietary restrictions and are traveling with quite a bit of our food staples, both in our van and in bins locked up in our trailer, we have not had any issues, we pop the top, have cooked in/out and clean up, making sure our campsite is free from having anything that will be an attractant-food bits, cooking pans, plates. When there are not proper trash bins, we have been bringing whatever trash and recycling into the van, not left in the thrasharoo. I would put your dog food in an airtight container, one of those screw type lids that fits onto the homer buckets works great. We also picked up an air horn, one with the compressed air can, we were told they are the best to have, a few short bursts of that will do the trick, we also carry bear spray, bear bells, whistles and manual safety blaster horns. Most of the time, if you are within range to use bear spray, you're already too close....
These...
SeaSense Safety Blaster Horn by SeaSense http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0019LY8HK/ref ... Stb09NVV8P
__________________
'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
(de)SMB'd Custom RB-50
Quigley 4X4 w/Deavers & Agile Offroad's R.I.P. package
CCV High Profile Pop Top
REF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #6
Member
 
littleboomer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 39
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

We avoid organized campgrounds whenever possible. Only have a 9mm pistol - I know this won't be any help. What is a "homer bucket"? Thanks for all the advice everyone. Has anyone actually had a griz approach van in camp?
littleboomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 11:24 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,181
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

Boondocking you might be better off. Less chance of a "camp bear". On other hand you never know what the habits of the last people camping in that area were.

__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 11:52 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
ANZAC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,005
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rionapo
eat people, unlike grizzlies, so they should be treated with utmost respect.
Both types will attack people. There just was a grizzly death in Canada (oil field worker coming out of a porta potty).

Bears in the wild are less of a threat than "socialized" bears who are used to humans and don't retreat.
One of my black bears growled at me because I was blocking access to his food source. That's an issue.

Bear spray. Make a lot of noise (human voices). Secure your trash/food. Carry a good firearm.
Most importantly, BE AWARE of your surroundings.
__________________
Sportsmobile-less.

"A job worth doing is worth doing at least twice."
ANZAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East Bay CA
Posts: 1,059
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

I try to be modular with the food, so I can just store stuff in a locker, where available. I know some of the advice runs counter to this, but sealed food in the pantry seems OK too. Where I've seen bears go after that it always seems to have been in sight (one chomped into our pressurized spray can of bug spray...musta been fun).

Odd about the dog thing. In BC lots of my guide friends take dogs specifically because they scare the bears away. I guess you could get that chase scenario (you get the same advice for the same reason for killer bees in AZ) with a pekingese, but I wonder. Bears also don't like horses much, so having one around would also be beneficial
__________________
2001 Ford E250 Sportsmobile with Salem-Kroger 4x4 conversion
rob_gendreau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
ANZAC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,005
Re: Van bear safety in Grizzly territory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
Odd about the dog thing. In BC lots of my guide friends take dogs specifically because they scare the bears away. I guess you could get that chase scenario (you get the same advice for the same reason for killer bees in AZ) with a pekingese, but I wonder. Bears also don't like horses much, so having one around would also be beneficial
The last two human bear attacks in Washington were people walking with their dogs. I think somehow the dogs get the bears wound up when they alert to them.
__________________

__________________
Sportsmobile-less.

"A job worth doing is worth doing at least twice."
ANZAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×