Monday, February 02, 2009

I've met this bear

He knocked my motorcycle over and tore my luggage open looking for food. And chewed holes in a can of WD-40 to slurp the oily goodness out of it (no, I am *not* joking!).

Bears rock.

-- Badtux the Bearly Penguin


  1. Yea , Stay Away From Bears , unless you camp with a Big gun .
    Keep Away From Children is a good idea too !

  2. Black bears won't bother you, generally, as long as you don't feed them or have food for them. When camping in bear country, I carry my food in a USFS-approved bear-proof canister (actually I have two of them, one for the Jeep and one for my pack). The bears have learned that said canister means there's no food for them, they sniff it, give it a couple of perfunctory whacks in case I left it unlocked, nothing happens, they go elsewhere. It's only idiots who have coolers in their car or food in their tents or just laying around camp who have problem with black bears. No big gun required with blackies, just common sense. BTW, my speculation is that the reason he broke into my motorcycle luggage is because my plastic motorcycle luggage looked sorta like a plastic cooler to him, and bears have learned that plastic coolers typically have food in them (yum!).

    Grizzly bears, on the other hand, can be unpredictable. But unless you do something stupid again you'll probably survive the encounter. Grizzlies need a *big* gun to kill them -- a .44 Magnum minimum -- and you'll likely get mauled before that giant body realizes that it's dead. So the best thing to do is once again, be prudent -- put your food in a bear-proof container stowed on the other side of the clearing from your tent (so the bear doesn't have to get close to you to get to your food), don't eat in your tent, and frankly I'd trust bear spray more than a gun to deter a bear -- bears have very sensitive noses and if you manage to spray that pepper spray on their nose, the bear is heading for the nearest water to wash his face really well.

    Most people who get mauled by bears have done something stupid. For example, there was the teenagers who brought their bag of food into their tent with them when they went to sleep in order to "keep it safe from the animals". Bear smelled it, swiped open the tent to get to it, too bad about the two people he accidentally gutted while getting to the food he smelled. He grabbed the bag of food and ran. That was all he wanted. That's a typical example of a bear encounter gone wrong. Another example is when a bear grabs a bag of food and the camper decides to go get it back. A 1,100 pound mammal wants your food, you're a moron to argue with it... but there are morons out there. And they get mauled.

    But a little common sense, and camping in bear country is no big deal. Just don't bring a cooler with you (bears know coolers have food in them) and keep your food in an approved bear canister located away from you, and you're not going to have a problem. Unfortunately, common sense ain't too common :-(.


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