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smilyjay
11-08-2011, 10:12
Leopard in mind I'm totally new to all of this. Me and my brothers are going tent camping in the mountains of callous county west virginia on some land our grandfather owns. I'm told there are a lot of bears around and I'm worried about them. My question is if I were to run rope in a circle around my camp site and hang Christmas bells from it, could it warn me if a bearish coming into camp in time to react appropriately. I will be taking all precautions to prevent bears coming to my camp such as cooking away from my tent and hanging food but I'm still worried. And any other advice would be appreciated.

smilyjay
11-08-2011, 10:14
That was supposed to say keep in mind my phone auto completed sorry

Lone Wolf
11-08-2011, 10:17
claymores.........

swjohnsey
11-08-2011, 10:18
Don't worry about bears. It is the wolverines you gotta worry about.

Blissful
11-08-2011, 10:19
I wouldn't worry about it. Keep a clean camp and wear earplugs at night.

Doc Mike
11-08-2011, 10:43
where in WV?
No worries about the bears almost no one gets eatin by black bears.

hikerboy57
11-08-2011, 10:56
claymores.........+1 on this. or bring a corkscrew, they're scared to death of them.

JAK
11-08-2011, 11:00
Actuallly Leopards might work, but bells and string are probably easier to pack.

Tipi Walter
11-08-2011, 11:01
If you're really phobic about it you could either get a backpacker's electric bear fence (used in griz country)---as sited below. Or purchase a cheap freon air horn, pocket size, and something recommended by grizzly experts (pic).

http://www.udap.com/bearshock.htm

http://www.baitnhook.net/images/products/display/pocket.jpg

hikerboy57
11-08-2011, 11:10
If you're really phobic about it you could either get a backpacker's electric bear fence (used in griz country)---as sited below. Or purchase a cheap freon air horn, pocket size, and something recommended by grizzly experts (pic).

http://www.udap.com/bearshock.htm

http://www.baitnhook.net/images/products/display/pocket.jpg
This along with a diet high in fibre has been known to be more effective than master cleanse.

swjohnsey
11-08-2011, 11:14
where in WV?
No worries about the bears almost no one gets eatin by black bears.

Almost? . . .

JAK
11-08-2011, 11:18
Seriously though. There is nothing wrong with being creative and trying out your own ideas, and doing your own research. Up here in New Brunswick we have lots of bears but there has never been a human killed by a bear, in recorded history. Not sure why. Still, when I hike with my young daughter I take precautions like carrying a stick, keeping her within sight, keeping food smells down, and sleeping beside her inside of a tent rather than out in the open. I also try to be knowledgeable about the time of year and what bears are likely to be doing that time of year. The thing is, the statistics are slim, but there isn't alot of data really, especially on the odds of a man hiking in the back country with a small child and not much gear and commotion. So I try and understand and respect the bear, that he or she is out there and knows we are there even though I don't see them. Mostly I respect them by not teasing them with food smells. Also, I think acting like a guardian parent, with a big stick, that sort of body language is something most animals might understand and respect, whereas something like bearspray might work but by then your already in a situation. With my daughter or wife I would want to be quick to act, and I think I would be quicker to act with a big stick. Who knows though. There will never be enough data, because nature is complex and circumstances keep changing. On my own, I sleep in the open, though I do sleep better with a hatchet. Study the bear, and its habitat, and then make your own decisions based on this knowledge.

Anyhow, bears are far far less risky than the drive to and from your hike. Most important thing when hiking with your family, or on your own, is to drive home safely and well rested, especially at night after a long day. Stay awake, and pull over for more sleep if you need to.

Tipi Walter
11-08-2011, 11:23
I was at the dentist yesterday and got to talking to the nurses about an upcoming backpacking trip. They said, "What about bears? Aren't you scared of the bears? We'd be too worried to go." I thought for a second and said, "Do you drive and use a cellphone?"

"Yes."
"Do you text while you're driving?"
"Uh, yes."

Then I repeated some garbled info on how driving while texting is 7 times more dangerous than driving while drunk, etc.

They worry about me in the woods and I worry about them on the highway.

hikerboy57
11-08-2011, 11:24
theres plenty of bear threads here, and we've discussed this subject to no end,. the reality is if a bear wanted to attack you, theres not much you can do about it. they know this, and so do we, and yet they dont. they seem to look for easier ways to find a meal than messing with us. Ive had my share of bear encounters, and have found that if they know you're around, theyll stay away. Ive never felt the need to be armed, I sleep with my food most of the time. There are incidents with "problem bears", but in general, you shouldnt get too concerned.bring the corkscrew.hang your food if it makes you feel better, and keep your dentures in your food bag.

beakerman
11-08-2011, 12:26
As someone with a bonefied phobia of bear...almost got mauled by one when I was a teenager...that's another story for another day...Even i don't wory about bear to the point of warning systems like ropes and bells.

I keep food and other odiferous things away from the sleeping area, hang my food and such (away fom teh tent/hammock) and other than the one time referenced above I haven't had any bear problems. I still don't like the beasties but they don't taste so good so I wont eat them so I guess Ijust have tolive with them. Fotrunately we don't have many bear in east texas...getting more but they are very few and far between...like sasquatch.

strollingalong
11-08-2011, 12:35
a massive gun should be enough

BobTheBuilder
11-08-2011, 13:47
http://www.baitnhook.net/images/products/display/pocket.jpg
I would be concerned that you could be trampled by a bear fleeing from the air horn. If you sleep in a hammock, the bears will just bat you around a little bit, then move on.

In all seriousness, the odds are so astronomically high against being attacked by a bear that you should be more worried about an airplane crashing into your camp. Black bears don't eat people, but planes do sometimes crash.

swjohnsey
11-08-2011, 15:35
The airhorns also work pretty good to get someone out of the outhouse.

doritotex
11-08-2011, 15:50
As someone with a bonefied phobia of bear...almost got mauled by one when I was a teenager...that's another story for another day...Even i don't wory about bear to the point of warning systems like ropes and bells.

I keep food and other odiferous things away from the sleeping area, hang my food and such (away fom teh tent/hammock) and other than the one time referenced above I haven't had any bear problems. I still don't like the beasties but they don't taste so good so I wont eat them so I guess Ijust have tolive with them. Fotrunately we don't have many bear in east texas...getting more but they are very few and far between...like sasquatch.Where were you, when you were "almost" mauled by a bear? I grew up in east TX and there were absolutely NO bears in Texas until the last 3 or 4 years, where they are making a small comeback because of "re-introduction" programs in Arkansas and Louisiana. They were hunted into extinction in east TX in the 1950's.

beakerman
11-08-2011, 16:00
I was about 50 miles from the AT in western MD. I had the unfortunate luck to step between momma and her cub but was lucky enough to live to tell about it. As I said another story for another day but that's why i live here in TX...the distinctive lack of bear makes life much more relaxed for me...the worst thing out there is a skunk!

hikerboy57
11-08-2011, 16:20
believe it or not, you're more likely to be attacked by a male. Mothers prefer to bluff you away from the cubs, they dont want to leave the cubs unprotected, will generally only attack if her cubs are in imminent danger.but you would definitely get the message to stay away.

blackbird04217
11-08-2011, 17:28
In all seriousness, the odds are so astronomically high against being attacked by a bear that you should be more worried about an airplane crashing into your camp. Black bears don't eat people, but planes do sometimes crash.

With complete seriousness, bears do attack. Less often than it is made out by society who is too scared to get out there, but it does happen. I was circled and bluff charged for about 15 minutes with another hiker near Pinkam's Notch in 2009. The bear took my friends tent out of his pack and walked into the woods before coming back and continuing to circle and bluff charge at us. I am certain the odds of attack would have increased drastically if it were a lone hiker. As it was a third hiker came and the bear stayed within a distance sizing us up until a few more came wandering down.

This is not the typical bear experience by any means, typically they just run off. But this bear was associating humans with food. As we walked out of the notch, a weekend hiker asked if we saw a bear; going on about how she fed on the night before. I fully agree the odds are against the bear attack, but they certainly exist. I am glad I got the experience, even happier I am alive, untouched, to tell the story.

My friends tent was perfectly fine, however the tent stuffsack was shredded and needed replacing. Still curious how the tent wasn't damaged.

10-K
11-08-2011, 17:30
A lot more people are bit by venomous snakes every year than are attacked by bears.

WingedMonkey
11-08-2011, 17:42
A lot more people are bit by venomous snakes every year than are attacked by bears.

Wild boars eat snakes.

doritotex
11-08-2011, 17:43
I was about 50 miles from the AT in western MD. I had the unfortunate luck to step between momma and her cub but was lucky enough to live to tell about it. As I said another story for another day but that's why i live here in TX...the distinctive lack of bear makes life much more relaxed for me...the worst thing out there is a skunk!I know! In east TN, I am constantly aware that bears might be "out there"! I'm not so paranoid since I have had several encounters with them and seen the fear of humans in their eyes. But, in Texas I could walk relaxed without worrying about a giant predator looming in the woods!!

glaux
11-09-2011, 09:26
If you read up on incidents of humans being killed by black bears, it almost exclusively happens when (1) the human is trying to keep the black bear as a pet, or (2) in Canada/Alaska, where bears are more likely to be unfamiliar with humans. I figure that maybe they're just meaner up there?


Do whatever makes you comfortable. If you string up bells, though, you're likely to lie awake wondering if the bells are tinkling in the wind or because something's brushing against them. I'd recommend focusing on keeping a clean site, with your food hung up away from the tent.


The air horn is something, though, that could be useful, more so even than bear spray. Black bears are easily spooked. In my experience, though, yelling "Go on, bear, you get on out of here!" works every time (3 for 3, anyway).

Jim Adams
11-09-2011, 10:00
It will be far more dangerous driving to get there...don't worry about the bears, worry about the humans!

geek

smilyjay
11-09-2011, 11:34
Thanks everyone it puts my mind at ease hearing from people that have slept in th open in bear country I think now that my grandpa was trying to scare us into not going. He thinks us city boys can't handle the outdoors. But I figure if I can deal with a dope dealer that's trying to hurt me I can deal with a bear who doesn't. I really appreciate the response but I'm sure I will still sleep lightly.

moldy
11-09-2011, 11:42
Here is what we did in Vietnam many years ago. We took a spool of light fishing line and ran it in a big circle around our position. It was at knee high and we connected to a tree at one end and tied some cans, spoons etc at the other so that when our area was invaded while we were asleep the intruder would bump into the wire and the noise from the cans would wake us up. It worked well

beakerman
11-10-2011, 16:32
believe it or not, you're more likely to be attacked by a male. Mothers prefer to bluff you away from the cubs, they dont want to leave the cubs unprotected, will generally only attack if her cubs are in imminent danger.but you would definitely get the message to stay away.

That's why I'm here to tell my story and say almost....however when an animal that large charges you and you have it blowing snot on your boots it leaves you with a lasting impression.

rsmout
11-10-2011, 18:44
I really appreciate the response but I'm sure I will still sleep lightly.

After a week or two on the trail, you'll be sleeping like a baby.

rocketsocks
11-10-2011, 19:17
I grew up in east Texas and I was more worried about "The legend of boggy creek"along the tex/ark border!:eek:

SouthMark
11-10-2011, 19:36
There have been three people killed by black bears in the eastern US since 1900. An average of 130 Americans are killed each year as a result of whitetail deer… so watch out for Bambi while you are out there.

Kookork
11-10-2011, 20:23
Your technique has been in use for years. In one episode of Man Vs Wild Grylls even recommends it. But it is practical for just limited nights. The most possible senario is that almost every night you will wake up to the sound of cans( If you put them right though) but the culprite in 90% would be Racoon, Skunk, Big Squirels or even deers or just a breeze. But you are inside your tent and think every time that it is a bear. You will abandone it after a while like what I did long time ago. Now I hike with my dog. He is at least as good as rope around the camp to alert me.
What I do with the suspicious sound is not his business though. In his mind I can handle anything even a Gigantic Moose so he hides behind me. I wish he was right though!!!!!!!

Wise Old Owl
11-10-2011, 20:33
Sorry but this is beyond dumb.

SassyWindsor
11-10-2011, 21:02
There have been three people killed by black bears in the eastern US since 1900. An average of 130 Americans are killed each year as a result of whitetail deerů so watch out for Bambi while you are out there.

A female hiker in GSMNP was attacked, killed and partially eaten by a female bear and her cub around 10 years ago. Being fed by tourist was sited as a possible cause for the attack.

Wise Old Owl
11-10-2011, 21:09
Yea ten years ago - nothing since then....


Why is it that we constantly have to discuss fears of animals - when getting struck down by Lyme or Flu is more likely to happen... OOOH what if.... I am hiking and a giant asteroid hits me.... will I be able to dial 911? NOT.


Pacl up the Debbie Downer bag and get out there hiking... what a waste folks.

hikerboy57
11-10-2011, 21:35
Yea ten years ago - nothing since then....


Why is it that we constantly have to discuss fears of animals - when getting struck down by Lyme or Flu is more likely to happen... OOOH what if.... I am hiking and a giant asteroid hits me.... will I be able to dial 911? NOT.


Pacl up the Debbie Downer bag and get out there hiking... what a waste folks. wait a minute...whats this about asteroids?

SassyWindsor
11-10-2011, 21:40
:bananaVEGAS:banana

SouthMark
11-10-2011, 21:44
A female hiker in GSMNP was attacked, killed and partially eaten by a female bear and her cub around 10 years ago. Being fed by tourist was sited as a possible cause for the attack.

Yes and she was number three. Two in Tennessee and one in New York. The other in Tennessee was the little girl on a picnic in the Deep Creek area.

Sarcasm the elf
11-10-2011, 21:44
Where do Forest Rangers go to "Get away from it all?"

:bananaVEGAS:banana

Drop dead brilliant!:clap:jump:clap


[For you Ford fans, I want to point out that this is my personal post# 351]

hikerboy57
11-10-2011, 21:47
you will also need an early warning system for rattlesnakes, ticks,brown recluse spiders, black widows, horseflies(which will draw more blood than all of your bear encounters)and maybe poison ivy.

SouthMark
11-10-2011, 22:21
There have been three people killed by black bears in the eastern US since 1900. An average of 130 Americans are killed each year as a result of whitetail deerů so watch out for Bambi while you are out there.

Let me clarify the above information. There have been eight people killed by black bears in the easter US since 1900, three by wild bears and five by bears in captivity.

beakerman
11-11-2011, 12:03
I grew up in east Texas and I was more worried about "The legend of boggy creek"along the tex/ark border!:eek:

I'd be more worried about those arkansans...I pucker when I hear banjo music;)

WOO is right just get out an hike folks, you are indeed in far more danger getting to the trail head than you are once on the trail---unless you are just stupid or something then all bets are off.

Spokes
11-11-2011, 18:27
To heck with bear, I want to know what your mouse "early warning system" is in the shelters.

Thread and thimbles strung up around your sleeping bag?

Wise Old Owl
11-11-2011, 19:14
:bananavegas:banana

perfect.....................

smilyjay
11-12-2011, 10:57
I won't be on a trail or sleeping in a shelter I will be in a tent in the middle if the forest I've never done anything like this before I think my worries are legitimate and thanks to all the people who have offered real advice. Do you think insects and snakes will pose a real threat as I am planning to go the week end after thanksgiving it should be pretty cold in the mountains that time of year.

Rocket Jones
11-12-2011, 12:49
They say you pack for your fears, and as you get more experience in the woods you'll learn what to realistically prepare for and what's mostly in your own imagination. Bears and snakes, not biggies. Bugs are a problem, in season and depending on the location and circumstances. I'm more worried about lightning and widowmakers than anything else, and observe and prepare accordingly.

Do what makes *you* feel safe, within reason. Sometimes a set of earplugs makes all the difference.

kayak karl
11-12-2011, 19:46
http://images.bcdb.com/pictures/hanna/yogi/picnic.jpg

Doc Mike
11-13-2011, 18:53
I won't be on a trail or sleeping in a shelter I will be in a tent in the middle if the forest I've never done anything like this before I think my worries are legitimate and thanks to all the people who have offered real advice. Do you think insects and snakes will pose a real threat as I am planning to go the week end after thanksgiving it should be pretty cold in the mountains that time of year.

Seriously I slept in the woods of west virginia for over 40 years and have yet to be bit by anything other than a mosquito. Your worries are not legitimate, worries never are, concerns maybe but worries nope. 30 years ago we used to go to the woods with a 22 rifle and a knife for days at a time. no tent, no sleeping bag, no bear spray, I still do that sometimes and guess what nothing eats me, bites me, mames me, etc.

Unless it gets seriously warm there will be no concern for bugs or snakes during that time.