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Old 02-07-2016, 05:24 PM   #1
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Bears and Class A

We will store unopened bags of dog food in plastic containers in the bays. Do I need to be concerned for an increase possible visitors?

Please advise of any additional precautions we can take when boondocking in their habitat. I am planning on not breaking down xpen every night, will this pose a problem?

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Old 02-07-2016, 05:40 PM   #2
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Depends on where you are at and how active the bears are. We were up in Mammoth(Sierras) last summer and the bears were coming down into campgrounds every night. They advised us to lock up BBQ's and any open food not stored inside the MH in the bearproof food lockers provided. Some people put their BBQ's back inside their storage bay compartments overnight and the bears came in and ripped the doors right off the MH's to get at the BBQ's. When we are in bear country we don't leave anything with a scent in the MH storage bays.

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Old 02-07-2016, 05:45 PM   #3
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I think you'll be okay. We were in bear country most of our trip last year and left dog beds outside (without the dogs ). We keep food in the coach because that's where they eat but I don't think you'd have trouble storing it in the basement. One option might be to use the food storage boxes. We stored our grill in one rather than stuff it back in the coach every night. You might ask the camp host or ranger. Take up food & water bowls though.

Some campgrounds/rangers are more strict that others. It may have something to do with recent bear activity. Just remember, it's the bears that pay the price if there is an encounter.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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A black bear has a sense of smell that is about seven times greater than a Bloodhound. That said if you are in an area where bears are active. The las place I'd want to store food in in the cargo bays. If the CG supplies bear proof food containers that is where I'd store both food and BBQs. A black bear as we know would have no trouble ripping the doors off a compartment.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:57 AM   #5
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Opened or not opened has little to do with it. If the bear can smell food, maybe something spilled previously, or something the container held previously, they will investigate.

Like most unsophisticated break in artists, they usually do way more damage just trying to get in than they would ever steal.

A few years back I was in bear country and a guy with a Class A was complaining a bear had ripped open his storage bay. Someone said he must have left food there, the owner snootily replied he wasn't that stupid, the only thing in that compartment was a BBQ grill.

No food, but boy I'll bet it smelled good to a hungry bear !!!
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:39 AM   #6
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I have heard that some folks pack their fears with them when they go camping. Are the places you plan to go having bear problems recently?

I stayed in Yosemite in early November. The problem there at that time was coyotes, not bears. The coyotes cruised fearlessly through the campground in broad daylight, casually strolling around looking for easy pickings to eat.

This is not to say that bears are not a problem there, but when I was there, no one said bear outside of the warning pamphlets and signs all over reminding of the problem.

I've seen three bears "in the wild" in my life, and if I had maybe tried a little harder, I might have seen more. When I go backpacking, I put my food in a bear can, but it has protected my food more from mice than bears. And the bear can is handy to sit on out in the middle of nowhere.

So double check where you are headed to see if bears are going to be an issue where you are headed. Your dog may be enough to scare a bear away anyhoo.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:20 PM   #7
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We will be spending a lot of time in the Rockies next year, so the question of how we need to store our Mini Max Big Green Egg has been something I wanted to get some insight on.......

So, it sounds like storing it in our basement bay is proably not a good idea........ Which I thought may be the case.

Do most campgrounds with bear "traffic" have food boxes at each site that would hold a small grill? If not, is putting in the back of our Cherokee a better bet, or is that just asking for the jeep to get destroyed? (OK, I am seeing that Allstate ad with the bbq blowing up the SUV too...... ).

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Old 02-09-2016, 07:22 AM   #8
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So much depends on the bear activity local to your campsite. We camp all over the Rockies, and many campgrounds have bear warnings up. If your talk to the campground hosts, most say there hasn't been any recent bear activity,mbut the way that happens is that everyone keeps clean camps and don't tempt the bears. In recent years, many more campgrounds are adding bear boxes, but they are generally shared by two or more campsites. It wouldn't be appropriate to put a big grill in one and not let the tent camper next door have a place to store their food.

We just don't store any food anywhere except inside the trailer - none in the storage compartments. We also move our small grill inside the truck, stored in a plastic tub to keep the truck clean. I also store my outside stove in the same place (we frequently cook outside, just because we like it).

If you camp outside of campgrounds (this is the boondocking section after all), talk to the land manager and err on the side of caution. Not doing so might cost a storage door for you, but it will likely cost the bear his or her life.

With hundreds of nights in bear country, we have only had bear incidents twice. Once in Minnesota, next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness, a bear broke into a pickup topper (not ours) and grabbed some food. Another time we were in Rocky Mountain National Park (Glacier Basin campground), and a bear was cruising the bathrooms looking for edible trash. A park staffer was following, making sure no one bothered the bear. The bear had been doing this for a while, and the folks at the entry booth told us about it.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #9
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Thank you for the information. I rather be informed of the resources out there than to have an incident caused by MY error.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:46 PM   #10
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Whereabouts are you planning to camp that has raised your concerns?
Have been in CO/WY/ID and Canada/Alaska--just don't leave anything outside that has a food smell. In the basement?--why not? You have food in the kitchen--are you going to worry about that also?
As mentioned above, be very aware of recent bear activity near where you camp--that is what you need to be concerned about.
Was in San Juan mtns about 3 years ago at Williams Creek--host came by to mention that week before, at a site about 100 yds from us, a camper had stored all his meat in a cooler outside--bingo, no cooler/no meat left. Common sense has to play a part in this.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:04 PM   #11
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We have did a fair amount of camping in rockies with grizzly's and have not had or heard of any problems when stored in a hard sided cargo bay, if it was a problem the Park service would have restrictions for it.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:03 AM   #12
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If they are determined enough ...


if a bear is determined enough to get inside, it will get inside, whether a tent, trailer, vehicle, house ...

I had a bear, in the Rockies, try to get into my trailer (it was after my BBQ inside) and I banged on the wall - I scared it! Yup, I was inside, but the bear didn't know that.

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Old 04-14-2016, 07:47 PM   #13
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Out of site isn't enough for some opportunist California black bears. There are many YouTube videos of them ripping open cars doors like tuna cans. Owners are fined, as well. So, you might keep that in mind if traveling in the Golden State.
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:40 AM   #14
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If the bears like the smell, they will go after it. Let us know how it goes.

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