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Old 11-23-2012, 12:02 AM   #1
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Bears and Trailers

Something I've been wondering about...

I've never owned a hard-sided trailer before. I was taught when tenting to never keep food in the tent. My wife was taught even to avoid keeping clothes in the tent if you cooked while wearing those clothes.

Up until now we've only used a tent trailer, and we kept this mindset. We never keep food in the tent trailer, and never cook in it.

But now that we're moving up to a hard-sided trailer, I wonder what the accepted practice is in bear country. I get the impression that most of us do most of our cooking outside the camper, but most of us store food in the trailer.

Does anybody take any precautions when Escaping in bear country?
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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To be honest, I have never spent too much time worrying about the potential of a problem.

I have slept in tents many hundreds of nights in bear country. We did keep our food away from camp, often either hanging, in barrels, or in bear caches if available.

With our trailer, we do cook outside most of the time, but have cooked inside too. Plus, all our food is in there. If a bear did happen around camp, either I would not be there so would be in no danger, or if I was I would be able to chase it off.

The areas of biggest problems are those in heavy used areas, and I tend not to camp in those areas all that often. Away from civilization, and bears I have seen are way more afraid of us, than I am of them.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Gina D. says this about bears and molded trailers: "Hard and crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside"!

Below is a picture of a Boler and the damage done by a bear. The owners were away kayaking and a bear pried the window off to get inside. Once in, tore the door off the icebox and generally trashed the inside. While this doesn't answer your question, it can happen.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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I remember reading of some folks who were in their trailer when a bear tried to get in. They used Pam and a lighter to flame it away.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I remember reading of some folks who were in their trailer when a bear tried to get in. They used Pam and a lighter to flame it away.
Thane, you are correct. Sending the wife outside with a lighter is one solution. In my case, hopefully it would buy me and the rest of the family enough time to get away.

Might be a little different if you woke up to 9 grizzlies knocking on your door?

Southern Alberta rancher finds nine grizzly bears on his property in one night
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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We have opted for the trained Bear Attack Dog. Ever alert and watching..
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:45 PM   #8
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DonM, with a dog like that, you have noth'in to worry about! All kidding aside, I have never heard of anyone having issues with bears getting into their trailer. In most campgrounds there are multiple trailers, all with food stored inside. You would have to have really bad luck. I think the greatest chance would be if you left your trailer in a remote spot with no one around.

One thing I love about sleeping in a trailer is that I don't have to worry about bears. I do, however, have a can of bear spray handy, just in case...
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:01 AM   #9
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I'm trying not to imagine shooting off a can of bear spray, at the target bear inside my trailer, with me. On the other hand, what are the options?
I have bear spray and bear bangers. As the guy who sold me the bear bangers said, don't aim at the bear. If you miss, it will explode behind the bear and it will run toward you. Supposed to aim the "banger" up so it explodes in the air between you and the bear. I don't think that's going to work that well in the trailer either.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:10 AM   #10
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What a cutie, Don!

Did you hear about the bear at Lake Tahoe that got into a Prius and "drove" it a ways? True. Need to lock vehicles.


Some standard advice is to bang pans. If you have a cooler in your vehicle, you should cover it because bears often recognize them. We always have some sprays with us.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:58 AM   #11
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I take bear spray into the back country, and have had it handy in the trailer. I probably would not bother myself, but it is some comfort to my wife who is a bit worrisome at times.

Like Cathy mentioned, I have kept something loud (like a pot and a spoon) handy when sleeping in tents. I have never had to deal with one when sleeping, but have had to chase off a few at other times though. Most bears I have come across are pretty skittish, and run off pretty quickly though.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:43 AM   #12
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I am NOT a dog person. I avoid them if at all possible. But THAT is the cutest dog ever!
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #13
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I always make sure I have my cell phone with me when I'm in bear country!


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Old 11-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #14
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baglo, don't worry, you already lock the door.

A bear is the second reason we have our hard-sided trailer, right after the bathroom. I hear that there are campgrounds that only let in hard-siders because of bears and/or mountain lions.

Glenn, I have the phone, and Jim, I'm calling you with it because you chase off bears.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #15
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Does anyone know about taking bear spray across the Canadian/USA border, the last couple of times we have crossed I have left it home. I normaly keep it in the trailer. We have only had one encounter with a bear and it was in Waterton about 10 years ago but it definatly changed my tune about bears. Before that I always figured that if you made lots of noise and were smart about it you were fine but we were doing everything right and it still very nearly ended poorly. So bear spray it is.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #16
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Baglo, the idea would be to blast him BEFORE he gets inside! If he is inside before you are ready to shoot, you must be a really sound sleeper! Reminds me of when our friends accidentally discharged their spray in their VW camper - lots of drama! From my experience with the bear bangers, when they go boom, the bears run!
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Glenn, I have the phone, and Jim, I'm calling you with it because you chase off bears.
I will give you a distinctive ring tone, so I know right away to come a runnin'.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:36 PM   #18
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From my experience with the bear bangers, when they go boom, the bears run!
I think it was a question of which direction they run.
As for the bear spray, do you think I'm going to go outside the trailer when there is a bear trying to get in? I'll be under the covers.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:11 PM   #19
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My plan is not to leave the trailer! Simply blast him through the opening that he is attempting to enter through! With respect to the bangers, I as well have been cautioned not to shoot behind the bear, and I agree. However, having worked in the bush for years in my younger days, both in parks work and in mineral exploration, I found that it is such a loud, booming noise that echoes, in many cases it would not make a difference. The bears simply take off as fast as they can, they don't run at you and attack. It is not as if they only have two directions to go. The most important advice I can give on bears is that if you see one, and he (or she) sees you, talk calmly and back away. On two occasions I came across a bear, and they began to run away. I began to yell and wave my arms, and in both cases the bear slammed on the breaks, turned, and ran at me! Hence my experience, and love for bear flares! I don't believe I thought to much about which exact direction I was pointing at, but the point remains, you don't point it at the bear, straight up (ish) is best.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:14 PM   #20
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My plan is not to leave the trailer! Simply blast him through the opening that he is attempting to enter through! With respect to the bangers, I as well have been cautioned not to shoot behind the bear, and I agree. However, having worked in the bush for years in my younger days, both in parks work and in mineral exploration, I found that it is such a loud, booming noise that echoes, in many cases it would not make a difference. The bears simply take off as fast as they can, they don't run at you and attack. It is not as if they only have two directions to go. The most important advice I can give on bears is that if you see one, and he (or she) sees you, talk calmly and back away. On two occasions I came across a bear, and they began to run away. I began to yell and wave my arms, and in both cases the bear slammed on the breaks, turned, and ran at me! Hence my experience, and love for bear flares! I don't believe I thought to much about which exact direction I was pointing at, but the point remains, you don't point it at the bear, straight up (ish) is best. I'm not sure how you would do this in a trailer!
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