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Old 01-07-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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Bears

We go camping in bear country from time to time and are considering getting a SM canvas Penthouse top.

Our major concern is our grand kids will be sleeping on the top bed from time to time.

Has anyone out there had any issues with bears since it's only a canvas top like a tent?

There will obviously be a food smell in the camper due to cooking and food in the fridge.

Thanks
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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Re: Bears

I understand your concern.

Naturally, bears hunt in the daytime and not at night. An exception is Yosemite where the bears find humans leave food out at night. Even in Yosemite where the bears have acclimated to people (and see them as a source of food) and know how to break into cars, they don't bother RV's or SMB's. They look in the window to see something that looks like food, then they either pull the windshield out or pull the door frame out to get inside. If they don't see food, they don't bother it.

We sleep in the penthouse in many bear places, from Yosemite to Alaska, and never a hint of a problem.

In Alaska we had some bear training and learned that bears go after humans in specific circumstances:

- Get between a mother and her cubs
- Get between a bear and his food source
- Smell like food to a hungry bear Don't carry food in your pocket.
- Run or move quickly and a bear may chase you to find out why you are running and if you taste good. You could be a fawn or??

Sleeping in the penthouse is not something we worry about anymore. Well, not about bears anyway. 2 legged critters are another issue.

Mike
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Bears

We had a couple of brown bears sniff around our SMB this last summer and it woke me up as I didn't want them to claw my van or hurt it in any way...... Turned on the exterior lights to scare them away. and yes my 2 kids were sleeping in the PH at the time ages 6 and 8.

Our van is 4x4 so the top of the van is 7' 4" to the start of the canvas. Anything above 7' is out of reach for most bears. It would have to be a mighty big bear or one that climbs ladders to reach the PH. In other words nothing to worry about.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: Bears

A bear that breaks into a car has had a lot of experience with cars or has been trained by another bear. A bear in the wild feels the glass or sheetmetal as being rock hard and he leaves it alone. Hopefully he won't feel his way up to the canvas because it's so high.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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Re: Bears

I agree with what has been shared above on bear-encounters. I don't really see a hard wall top any _safer_ from a determined bear than a rag-top. I've seen what a black bear can do to a car in Lake Tahoe. Keep a clean camp and hidden food and you should be fine. . . from the 4 legged critters.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Re: Bears

In Yellowstone in the spring one of the campgrounds does not allow "soft sided" campers (ie: tents, pop-ups, etc) prior to a published date. Somewhere in May-June time frame I think .... all info from memory. After said date soft sided rigs are allowed in campground. Reason for rule is said to be bears.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:48 PM   #7
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Re: Bears

I live and camp in bear county (both Black and Brown) every time I go outside my door. They do not bother people very often. Odds are better that you will be attacked by a Possesed Chiwawa than a Bear (its true look it up)



More people worry about Bears but they try to avoid humans. There is the odd interaction but it is uncommon.

My biggest fear is Venomous Ducks.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:08 AM   #8
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Re: Bears

and possessed Chihuahua's as we all know, can be grizzly.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:38 AM   #9
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Re: Bears

Quote:
Possesed Chiwawa


there is truth to that! i've used my bear spray on crazy dogs in the woods more than anything else, and once on a pack of crazy dogs while they chased me on my electric stand-up scooter scooting to work. funny thing about that use was the next day when i went by that yard all four or five dogs i sprayed the prior day were sitting on their haunches with orange snouts just looking at me buzz by...way funny image. never bothered me again on my commute past their yard.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: Bears

Oh, that is something else we picked up in Alaska.

I think it was the Visitor Center in Denali, we were told that more people (in Alaska) have died from dog attacks in the last 10 years than have died from bear attacks in the history of Alaska.

We all know someone who has been severly bitten by a dog, most of us have not met anyone attacked by a bear.

Be careful around bears, but beware of the crazed Chihuahua!

Mike
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