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Old 04-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Cooking out in Alaska

We are going to Alsaka this year and I have tried to read everything I can find about making the trip. However, I have not seen anything about cooking out in Alaska. I understand that boondocking is readily available, but if you want to cook out, what are the chances of drawing some sort of wild life(bears and such) to the smell of your grill? How do you cook out with out the three bears( not to hot, not to cold, mines just right). Do I need to worry about this at all?
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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Avoid cooking and camping on known wildlife trails (paths commonly used to move between home and water, etc...), keep the cook site clean and free of any kind of food scarps, do not leave food outside, throw all food scraps away in approved bear proof dumpsters.

Do not allow food smells to to escape from RV through open windows, etc...

If you are doing any tent camping hang all food from a tree branch away from your tent site and high enough so that a bear on his hind legs can not get to it. Use rope to raise and lower as needed.

Bears have been known to destroy camps, cabins, tents, due to food not properly stored. Haven't heard of any MHs/RVs being destroyed but why take the chance.

An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of bear spray.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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We were in state campgrounds or US Forest Service campgrounds most of the time with friends over a three year period. We cooked out most of the time without incident. Always clean up and put away grills, skillets, trash and coolers.
At one of the CG a bear got into the back of a pickup one night and got into some leftovers, a cooler and some trash. All the trash bins are bear proof, use them.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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Let's put it this way, a bears nose is like an Eagle's eyesight. You can take all the precautions but nothing is a guaranteed. The posts above have it right for the most part. It is pretty impossible to keep all odours of food contained but for all the travellers in bear country, the amount of people bear interactions is really minimal overall.

Take the obvious precautions.
Don't leave food out
Clean up after yourself
Don't leave barbeques and things like that out.
Be aware that the clothes you cook in are likely to smell like food afterwards.
Carry Bear Spray and look for warnings about bear activity

And remember, bears are extremely clever. I have seen them figure out zippers, open coolers and tear down doors if they are determined. Locking food up is the best stragegy. Don't think they make those garbage cans the way they do for nothing!
If you have a persistent unwanted visitor, your best strategy is to leave the area.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirpurrcival View Post
Let's put it this way, a bears nose is like an Eagle's eyesight. You can take all the precautions but nothing is a guaranteed. The posts above have it right for the most part. It is pretty impossible to keep all odours of food contained but for all the travellers in bear country, the amount of people bear interactions is really minimal overall.

Take the obvious precautions.
Don't leave food out
Clean up after yourself
Don't leave barbeques and things like that out.
Be aware that the clothes you cook in are likely to smell like food afterwards.
Carry Bear Spray and look for warnings about bear activity

And remember, bears are extremely clever. I have seen them figure out zippers, open coolers and tear down doors if they are determined. Locking food up is the best stragegy. Don't think they make those garbage cans the way they do for nothing!
If you have a persistent unwanted visitor, your best strategy is to leave the area.
I don't mean to be dumb, my wife may disagree, but, what are warning signs of bear activety? Also thanks for input.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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Do not store food in your car. Not even chap stick. They can open a car like a pop top. No hand lotion. Nothing. We have a lot of bears in California. I never worry about them when in camp but leave nothing out when boondocking in bear areas.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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Bear scat is your first warning of bear activity.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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We drove our RV to Alaska a few years ago. We often parked along the road and fixed meals, BBQ and/or in the RV. We did not have a problem - doesn't mean you can't but the above responses are a bit scary to me - I tend to think if you are stopping along the highway for to prepare a meal that's OK but boon docking and/or camping in a location for a few days would be a different consideration. Just my thought.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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In 1980 my wife and I interviewed for teaching jobs at Admiralty Island, just South of Juneau. The school superintendent said to come by ferry from Junea, and he would pick us up at the dock, but under no terms to leave the dock area until he arrived, as there were more Kodiak Grizzley bears than people on the island. Ferry dropped us off at 8:00 pm at night, and we waited about 15 minutes at the dock, and the superintendent drove up in a very small pick up with a topper. He introduced himself and his wife. He was a very large man, and his wife was even bigger. In fact, when they both got in the pick up, their shoulders touched. We had to ride in the back of the truck, hunched over under the topper. They had been catching salmon and hauling them in the back of the truck, so the whole thing smelled like fish guts.

Because it was late, he said he would take us to the "motel" for the night, and the owner of the "motel" would walk us into town for the formal interview the next morning. Again the bear warning, and said to wait for the motel owner to walk us into town. The "motel" was little more than a one room cabin with a bathroom. We enjoyed the night, watching eagles, and the locals smoking fish over smoky fires all night.

Next morning about 8:00 am here comes this eighty year old lady, who probably weighed 100 pounds and she announces that she is there to walk us the one mile across the island into town for the interview. The mud road was winding through the timber, and this old lady talks non stop. Then she points out the bear tracks that are everywhere, and says that we probably think she is very talkative, but that talking scares the bears away. I asked if there were any bears nearby, and she says no. I say, how do you know, and she replies that bears smell like wet dogs, and if any were nearby we could smell them.

Needless to say, we walked the last half mile, sniffing all the way, scared out of our wits. So if you want to know if the bears are close, just use your nose.....
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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Mike, did you get the job?
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:47 PM   #11
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Mike, great story. I'd like to know too if you got the job.

Noise in bear areas is sound advice (pun intended), best to let them know you are there. Typically they will avoid you if they know you are headed their way. Nothing more dangerous than sneaking up on a bear and scaring it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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Mike, great story. I'd like to know too if you got the job.

Noise in bear areas is sound advice (pun intended), best to let them know you are there. Typically they will avoid you if they know you are headed their way. Nothing more dangerous than sneaking up on a bear and scaring it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
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My wife was offered a job. They did not have a job to offer me. We went on to take teaching jobs in Barrow, Alaska. We stayed 18 years, and retired at the age of 47, moved back to Iowa. We still have rental property in Barrow, and go up there about once a year to check on it. We have friends all over Alaska, and the Lower 48. When not runnning our swimming pool business, we travel in our motorhome and drive our Model T that we pull in an enclosed trailer.

Many people ask why we stayed so long. The real answer is: The first year you go to Alaska, you go for the adventure. The second year you go back for the money. the third year and every year thereafter you go back, because you just don't fit anywhere else.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:11 PM   #14
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Couldn't agree more, I went for 4 days as part of an audit team, that was over 4 years ago and I'm still here. The most beautiful I've ever been.
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