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Old 08-02-2009, 08:40 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,426,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre57 View Post
We camp in the Cibola NF, and, the rangers post signs for people to be bear aware.

We've always kept our refrigerables inside of a small fridge which is run off of our van battery with a power inverter. We use tupperware to keep other perishable items stored, and we use those heavy duty freezer bags for food storage too.

We either burn the rubbish parts, and leave no food scraps anywhere. Disposing of cans while camped is always a problem. Other than putting our trash in a rubbish sack and tying it tightly, does anyone have any suggestions of how to handle trash? I know animals have a keener sense of smell than people do. Sometimes when we have fire restrictions, we can't burn our stuff. When we leave, we always pack our garbage out.

I won't say I am afraid of bears, I do respect them. We know to make noise and wave arms, etc.., to ward off a bear. I would say my greatest fears are of mountain lions, and we have some in New Mexico.
If you know what you are doing, bears aren't really a great fear. I have been 30 yards from a grizzly bear (not on purpose of course) and come out fine. Cook 100 yards away from your camp, hang your food 100 yards away in the other direction, and sleeping in a camper that has fridge with food in it? Great way to attract bears. I know most of you are campground people, not backcountry camping people, which makes this more difficult, but I always walk into the woods for a while and hang trash and food from a tree away from where I am sleeping. NEVER NEVER sleep near food. A bear can easily smell food through tupperware and through the door of an RV
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:25 PM
 
12,292 posts, read 18,413,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre57 View Post
Other than putting our trash in a rubbish sack and tying it tightly, does anyone have any suggestions of how to handle trash? I know animals have a keener sense of smell than people do. Sometimes when we have fire restrictions, we can't burn our stuff. When we leave, we always pack our garbage out.
A camground with bear problems will typically have bear proof garbage cans. Or garbage pickup will be frequent enough. Don't burn it, you just leave the empty cans and tin foil as debris. Other than that - pack it out!

As some one said, backpackers learn to hang there rubbish and food, and cook and clean away from the campsite. I backpacked in Alaska Denali and the rangers actually give you a small bear proof container to carry with you (and give you a 15 minute discussion on handling bear encounters) because of the lack of trees in the tundra country.

A word on tent camping in bear country - it's really not that dangerous. Bears are not carnivorous by nature, they eat plants and fish or small game on occasion, they don't "hunt" for humans to eat in a tent for a midnight snack. Bear attacks are usually from chance encounters on the trail.

I had a book that documented all bear attacks in North America for the last few centuries. Only one account did I read of a bear that actually dragged a person from a tent in which he was sleeping, and devoured him. An extremely scary story, but it was only one out of the 100's of bear attacks recorded.

I've also camped in lion country in South Africa. We had a ranger with us, and he put a two foot high electrical line strung around the camp perimeter. We were strictly instructed to stay inside our tents at night. After a few drinks in the afternoon he told us: "you know what? The electrical line don't do %&*#, but the local office requires us to put it up. What really keeps the cats out is the tent - they see it as a permanent barrier - no different from concrete. They won't even try to enter." Lions ARE carnivours, and they hunt at night, and they will eat humans for food. So I was much more nervous there. But it could be that Bears act the same - they see a tent as a wall.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Keonsha, Wisconsin
2,480 posts, read 2,877,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
A camground with bear problems will typically have bear proof garbage cans. Or garbage pickup will be frequent enough. Don't burn it, you just leave the empty cans and tin foil as debris. Other than that - pack it out!

As some one said, backpackers learn to hang there rubbish and food, and cook and clean away from the campsite. I backpacked in Alaska Denali and the rangers actually give you a small bear proof container to carry with you (and give you a 15 minute discussion on handling bear encounters) because of the lack of trees in the tundra country.

A word on tent camping in bear country - it's really not that dangerous. Bears are not carnivorous by nature, they eat plants and fish or small game on occasion, they don't "hunt" for humans to eat in a tent for a midnight snack. Bear attacks are usually from chance encounters on the trail.

I had a book that documented all bear attacks in North America for the last few centuries. Only one account did I read of a bear that actually dragged a person from a tent in which he was sleeping, and devoured him. An extremely scary story, but it was only one out of the 100's of bear attacks recorded.

I've also camped in lion country in South Africa. We had a ranger with us, and he put a two foot high electrical line strung around the camp perimeter. We were strictly instructed to stay inside our tents at night. After a few drinks in the afternoon he told us: "you know what? The electrical line don't do %&*#, but the local office requires us to put it up. What really keeps the cats out is the tent - they see it as a permanent barrier - no different from concrete. They won't even try to enter." Lions ARE carnivours, and they hunt at night, and they will eat humans for food. So I was much more nervous there. But it could be that Bears act the same - they see a tent as a wall.
I always pack my stuff out, even the burnt stuff. We always leave a camp cleaner than what we found it in, in fack, to help forest workers, we police up the whole site. We're not required to, but since I have a golden access pass, I feel we should give back twice what we received.

I thought a small refrigerator, with foods in plastic bags, and inside of the van would be safer than storing it outside in a cooler. Maybe I'm dumb?

Oh, there are some bear resistant rubbish containers up in Gila. Problem is when weekenders leave, they leave their trash running outside over the top. We've gone there on Mondays or arrived sunday evenings, and packed/pushed the rubbish into the containers and cleaned up around them too. Always carry a broom and shovel with, just in case. we care.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,449,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
The national parks certainly think a hard-sided camper is safer in bear country, as there are campgrounds that will only allow hard-sided campers.
The only place I know that requires hard-sided campers is in a part of Yellowstone. Many other areas nearby don't have such requirements. I just camped in Glacier N. P. the other night, in a tent, but didn't feel particularly at risk. There are guidelines posted in the campground that will keep you at a low level of risk, if they are followed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I'm wondering if the bear you saw, Roaddog, was a black bear or a grizzly/brown bear. Not many blacks will grow to 600 pounds, and there aren't too many places in the U.S. where grizzlies or browns are a problem.
The big black bears I've seen were probably around 400-450 lbs., and they looked plenty big enough to me that I wouldn't mess with them. Some of these have been around my house, and if they were intent on getting in, they would have been able to. It really doesn't matter if you're in a tent, a camper, or even a stick built house. They will get in if that's their intent. Grizzlies get even bigger, but are much less common in the U.S.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:55 AM
 
16 posts, read 106,530 times
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I don't understand why some of you seem to think that you can only do one or the other. Ownership of a tent doesn't preclude you also owning an RV, and the ownership of an RV doesn't mean you aren't allowed to own a tent. We camp both ways.

We LOVE our camper and the creature comforts that it offers us. It's for all intents and purposes our hotel room on wheels many times. We can stay in resort areas for around $100 - $200 a week as opposed to $1,800 for a condo. But at the same time, we've also pulled it to some beautiful places way back in the woods with no hookups at all. Hardly the "parking lots" that some of you imagine all RV'ers staying in.

I also go on at least 2 canoe camping trips a year. One with me and my daughter and one with my and my son (both sons will be coming with me before long). We paddle until we get to a likely looking campsite on the riverbank and set up our tent. GASP! Yes, and RV'er with a tent! It can, indeed, be done!

I see no reason to give up tent camping simply because I own and enjoy our RV. And I see absolutely no reason to deny myself the comfort of my RV simply because I also own a tent. And yes, I consider both things to be "Camping."

Folks, "camping" is not determined by shelter. Its determined by your state of mind and the goals you have for "camping." We camp to get away from the everyday grind. I work at home, so when we're home - I'm always at work. I can't escape it. It's not something I can leave behind at an office. So when we "camp" it's to get away from the real world and spend quality time with my family. I don't even care if we don't see anything new, as long as we have fun and come home recharged.

I just don't see why "camping" has to be some sort of endurance test. I refuse to get into some sort of grade school pi*sing contest about who can sleep under the least amount of protection, the furthest distance into the woods on the most "wafer thin" pad. I guess by those rules the winner should be the guy that has the stones to go as far into the Canadian wilderness as possible, kill a moose, slit open his belly and shelter in there for the night. Cause anything else, "just aint camping!"

I'd rather just have a good time with my family.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:39 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,644,318 times
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True. You can do both. I have a pop up but after seing those very light weight two- man tents on sale for $23, I would very much like to load things up into a backpack or bicycle pack and travel that way sometime.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:38 PM
 
1,246 posts, read 2,988,179 times
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Thanks for the perspective, jtbeck!
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:20 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
11,941 posts, read 12,834,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbeck View Post
I don't understand why some of you seem to think that you can only do one or the other. Ownership of a tent doesn't preclude you also owning an RV, and the ownership of an RV doesn't mean you aren't allowed to own a tent. We camp both ways.

We LOVE our camper and the creature comforts that it offers us. It's for all intents and purposes our hotel room on wheels many times. We can stay in resort areas for around $100 - $200 a week as opposed to $1,800 for a condo. But at the same time, we've also pulled it to some beautiful places way back in the woods with no hookups at all. Hardly the "parking lots" that some of you imagine all RV'ers staying in.

I also go on at least 2 canoe camping trips a year. One with me and my daughter and one with my and my son (both sons will be coming with me before long). We paddle until we get to a likely looking campsite on the riverbank and set up our tent. GASP! Yes, and RV'er with a tent! It can, indeed, be done!

I see no reason to give up tent camping simply because I own and enjoy our RV. And I see absolutely no reason to deny myself the comfort of my RV simply because I also own a tent. And yes, I consider both things to be "Camping."

Folks, "camping" is not determined by shelter. Its determined by your state of mind and the goals you have for "camping." We camp to get away from the everyday grind. I work at home, so when we're home - I'm always at work. I can't escape it. It's not something I can leave behind at an office. So when we "camp" it's to get away from the real world and spend quality time with my family. I don't even care if we don't see anything new, as long as we have fun and come home recharged.

I just don't see why "camping" has to be some sort of endurance test. I refuse to get into some sort of grade school pi*sing contest about who can sleep under the least amount of protection, the furthest distance into the woods on the most "wafer thin" pad. I guess by those rules the winner should be the guy that has the stones to go as far into the Canadian wilderness as possible, kill a moose, slit open his belly and shelter in there for the night. Cause anything else, "just aint camping!"

I'd rather just have a good time with my family.
You can go with me and my family anytime!!
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:51 AM
 
12,292 posts, read 18,413,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbeck View Post
I just don't see why "camping" has to be some sort of endurance test. I refuse to get into some sort of grade school pi*sing contest about who can sleep under the least amount of protection, the furthest distance into the woods on the most "wafer thin" pad. I guess by those rules the winner should be the guy that has the stones to go as far into the Canadian wilderness as possible, kill a moose, slit open his belly and shelter in there for the night. Cause anything else, "just aint camping!"
I see no "pi*ssing contest" that would warrant this degree of defensive response. I think most of the posts here were addressing tent camping as a more extreme and rewarding (in terms of wilderness experience) form of "camping", which indeed includes RV's.

Camping is simply a term to define "outdoor recreation", and we are talking about degrees of total outdoor recreation - RV's with hookups, RV's without hookups, Pop up campers, tent campers at a drive in site, backpacking.... Our only point is that the more rustic you get yourself, the better outdoor experience you have (as, lets face it, there are places an RV cannot go in the outdoors, and their are places you will not see in an RV). Weigh the desired outdoor experience you want against your personal desired comfort level, and know your limitations. No need to defend against that.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: 53010
6 posts, read 34,991 times
Reputation: 16
good for you. I love camping and we have a trailer, and it is so much fun. But I think there is something to be said about tent camping too. either way getting out in the nature is a plus for the whole family. It is just some families need more stuff to be comfortable. Microwave is a little to much to cancel, but to each his own. Have fun!!
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