We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Northern California
Level Contributor
119 posts
60 reviews
Save Topic
Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Hi Folks. First please may I make it clear I am not camping at Yosemite. I am knowledgeable about bears when it comes to tent camping. (No food in tent, no ice chests left outside, no clothes you've been bar-b-q-ing in near sleeping quarters etc.)

That brings me to my point. All the food storage advice and info on how scented items attract bears leads me to a question...

I recently bought a Four Wheel pop up camper. It's hard sided except for the top couple of feet or so when popped up. Does anyone have any info or advice about cooking in the camper in bear country? It seems to me that bears could still be attracted to the food scent while I'm sleeping inside the camper. I've seen the Yosemite videos at the lodge on the bears breaking into cars and opening the doors like they're nothing.

It would seem to me that a pop up camper might be fair game to a bear if they smell food inside?? Please advise if you have knowledge on this issue. With all due respect to all the fine posts on this site, I'm not looking for guesses or speculation, but some knowledgeable feed back.

Thanks

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
640 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

All your 'smellables', food and cooking utensils would still be in the Bear Box. Wipe the cooking surface thoroughly clean and keep it covered. Bears know that, where there's a stove, there's food nearby. Eat outside the pop-up.

Last year, we chained our portable BBQ to the table at the campsite. Bears would sniff, but not bother with it any more than that. They'd smell the same scents in the bear box and not even bother trying to get in after the first night's attempt.

Best indication will be to read the bear activity report. And, you could contact the bear management team via the NPS/yose website.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
1,597 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Good question. Having seen people in the past intentionally try to attract bears by leaving food out in a campground (they wanted a video) I appreciate those who are respectful and cautious.

Xochipilli is right about still using the lockers. The Yosemite web page about bears specifically mentions "Food may not be stored in pop-up or tent trailers, or other soft-sided campers."

www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bears.htm

Mariposa, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
2,341 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Where exactly are you camping? Black bears in other parts of california or other states can behave quite differently than in Yosemite.

Also, if you haven't already done so, you might want to post this on the general california forum to get the best feedback since you're not actually camping in Yosemite.

San Diego
Level Contributor
29 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Hi. To me this is fairly simple. You are right in your feelings. Better safe than sorry. I would not cook, eat, or store food in any vehicle, camper, or tent. Cooking can leave a lot of odors that could attract a bear. I camp with a pickup with a hard shell and store all my food in the box day and night and don't eat in the vehicle. I once saw a car in Tuolumne that had had one rear door ripped of, the back seat destroyed, and the trunk lid ripped open because one of the guys kids had left a banana peel on the floor in the back. The guy was crying because it was a rental car. Have fun on your trip.

Northern California
Level Contributor
119 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

marmot 1995. Eactly (That's why I wanted to make it clear I was not camping in Yosemite, because I know Yosemite bears have been desenitized to humans, and when they lose their fear of humans is when potential for problems are greater to campers.

Anyway good reply and thanks for the post. I am planning on a trip to the eastern sierras in the early fall, and want to camp in the mountains west of the areas of Bishop, Lone Pine, Mammoth Lakes, Independence, and Bridgeport. Also Lassen area, and some remote campgrounds in Shasta and Lassen county, and also in the Truckee, Donner Lake, Tahoe area. I know there are plenty of bears in all those areas, and not every campground has bear boxes.

We camped in a tent at Grover Hot Springs a few years ago, and kept everything in the bear box that had a scent, even the sunscreen. Because our campsite was small the tent was not that far away from the bear box, and we woke up in the middle of the night with a bear clawing and thrashing at the bear box trying to get in. My wife won't go back. In the AM we could see the claw marks all over the outside of the metal bear box. Nothing bothered with us in the tent though.

I do have a pressurized canned air horn, and was wondering if maybe I should also keep bear pepper spray too just for a worst case scenario although I know the chances of problems are not that great if prudent camping is practiced (keep site clean etc), but you never can tell about neighbors in the next campsite over.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
640 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

I should think the air horn would be more than enough.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,900 posts
1,048 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

>>My wife won't go back.<<

Smart woman ;-)

We have occasional black bear at our house. They scram when they hear the dog, or if we go out and holler at them. We regularly see them in the local woods. In general, bears that are not "desensitizied" are afraid of humans.

That said, any creature is often interested in a free meal. You sound as if you are very concious of camping in bear country. Short of bringing a large dog with you(!), your air horn idea is probably fine. It wouldn't hurt to have pepper spray just in case, and perhaps it would make your wife feel more secure.

Mariposa, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
2,341 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Speaking as someone who has spent a fair amount of time with black bears, don't count on the air horn. It is fairly variable. But I'd use the air horn AND shout at the top of your lungs as angrily and aggressively as you can. I've seen some bears not respond at all to air horns, car alarms, pots/pans, but who will take off running when people start yelling. And of course...vice versa. So...do it all...at once.

I know that you are not camping in Yosemite. But people here cook in the popups all the time. They also eat in the popups all the time, and there haven't been incidents of bears tearing into pop up campers with people in them. Note that last part. The trouble comes when people leave the food in the pop up and then leave. I know what you're saying about scents and potentially attracting them. I'm just mentioning as someone who spends a good amount of time in Yosemite campgrounds, just for a frame of reference.

Sounds like you have a lovely summer planned out!

Northern California
Level Contributor
119 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

Excellent! Thank you for all the replies.

machete

10. Re: Info about Bears (Only experienced outdoors folks reply)

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 09 November 2009, 06:26