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Thread: bear bag bell

  1. #21
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake2c View Post
    Bears aren't the only thing that wants your food. If something else is eating at it, I can see where a bell may help.
    by giving them soothing dinner music?

    I met two girls wearing bells while I was hiking in BSP last Summer. I can attest to the annoyance factor.

  2. #22

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    Hmmm...

    wonder if anyone makes "ultra light cow bells"?

    u.w.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by u.w. View Post
    Hmmm...

    wonder if anyone makes "ultra light cow bells"?

    u.w.
    Great, now I'm picturing Gene Frenkle around a campfire. Hey, anyone mind if I play my cowbell?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    WOW I am with RS - so you hear the bell you jump up run out of your tent... what the hell are you going to do about it?

    Nuff said.
    Not quite nuff said, as in fact you do yell and scream and wave your arms and shine a light in the bear's eyes and in fact, he/she will run away. Bears are skittish. This has happened to me twice now (I'm talking about black bears, of course, not grizzlies). Both times we had hung our food absolutely incorrectly, just being lazy both times. One time, in fact, we had just hung our packs WITH SOME SNACK FOOD IN THEM on a low tree branch. Totally stupid. Never again, until we forget and get lazy again.

    Regarding the bell idea, both times we've been bear-violated, I instantly heard the bear, no bell was needed. Bears are big and noisy. I am a light sleeper though. Both times I instantly knew what was going on, sat up and started yelling immediately, grabbed my headlamp, got out of my tent and yelled some more and the bear ran away (one time, carrying my food bag!!!!). I've had five total bear close-encounters in 45 years of backpacking, only two were "exciting".

    As far as bothering nearby campers, I would think they would OK with it (my yelling and screaming), knowing there was a bear close by. Perhaps I'm being presumptuous.

    See attached pic of my wife's shredded pack, the red stuff is bear slobber from him eating our Gatorade powder....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not quite nuff said, as in fact you do yell and scream and wave your arms and shine a light in the bear's eyes and in fact, he/she will run away. Bears are skittish. This has happened to me twice now (I'm talking about black bears, of course, not grizzlies). Both times we had hung our food absolutely incorrectly, just being lazy both times. One time, in fact, we had just hung our packs WITH SOME SNACK FOOD IN THEM on a low tree branch. Totally stupid. Never again, until we forget and get lazy again.

    Regarding the bell idea, both times we've been bear-violated, I instantly heard the bear, no bell was needed. Bears are big and noisy. I am a light sleeper though. Both times I instantly knew what was going on, sat up and started yelling immediately, grabbed my headlamp, got out of my tent and yelled some more and the bear ran away (one time, carrying my food bag!!!!). I've had five total bear close-encounters in 45 years of backpacking, only two were "exciting".

    As far as bothering nearby campers, I would think they would OK with it (my yelling and screaming), knowing there was a bear close by. Perhaps I'm being presumptuous.

    See attached pic of my wife's shredded pack, the red stuff is bear slobber from him eating our Gatorade powder....
    Speaking only for myself, I'd rather you lost your food bag, than to be woken up by your yelling. The bag should have been hung well away from my tent, right? Why would I care about a bear a hundred yards away? Again, it's just compounding your original mistake and making other people suffer along with you.

    I'm not entirely a monster, I'd be happy to give you a spare meal... after a good nights sleep. I'd be far less charitable if you woke me up in the process.

  6. #26
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    Speaking only for myself, I'd rather you lost your food bag, than to be woken up by your yelling. The bag should have been hung well away from my tent, right? Why would I care about a bear a hundred yards away? Again, it's just compounding your original mistake and making other people suffer along with you.

    I'm not entirely a monster, I'd be happy to give you a spare meal... after a good nights sleep. I'd be far less charitable if you woke me up in the process.
    thank you for your input, but I do apologize in advance, because if there is a bear anywhere near my tent, for any reason, I will yell and scream and chase it away. In the instance I was referring to earlier, I did make a bad judgment error in hanging low and close to my tent, but again, I learned my lesson and will never, ever, make that same mistake again.

    So, again, in the unlikely event we will share the same campsite during a bear encounter, I apologize in advance!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not quite nuff said, as in fact you do yell and scream and wave your arms and shine a light in the bear's eyes and in fact, he/she will run away. Bears are skittish. This has happened to me twice now (I'm talking about black bears, of course, not grizzlies). Both times we had hung our food absolutely incorrectly, just being lazy both times. One time, in fact, we had just hung our packs WITH SOME SNACK FOOD IN THEM on a low tree branch. Totally stupid. Never again, until we forget and get lazy again.

    Regarding the bell idea, both times we've been bear-violated, I instantly heard the bear, no bell was needed. Bears are big and noisy. I am a light sleeper though. Both times I instantly knew what was going on, sat up and started yelling immediately, grabbed my headlamp, got out of my tent and yelled some more and the bear ran away (one time, carrying my food bag!!!!). I've had five total bear close-encounters in 45 years of backpacking, only two were "exciting".

    As far as bothering nearby campers, I would think they would OK with it (my yelling and screaming), knowing there was a bear close by. Perhaps I'm being presumptuous.

    See attached pic of my wife's shredded pack, the red stuff is bear slobber from him eating our Gatorade powder....
    In the event that you choose to scare a bear away from the vicinity of my campsite, feel free to wake me up, I'll be glad to help, no questions asked.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not quite nuff said, as in fact you do yell and scream and wave your arms and shine a light in the bear's eyes and in fact, he/she will run away. Bears are skittish. This has happened to me twice now (I'm talking about black bears, of course, not grizzlies). Both times we had hung our food absolutely incorrectly, just being lazy both times. One time, in fact, we had just hung our packs WITH SOME SNACK FOOD IN THEM on a low tree branch. Totally stupid. Never again, until we forget and get lazy again.

    Regarding the bell idea, both times we've been bear-violated, I instantly heard the bear, no bell was needed. Bears are big and noisy. I am a light sleeper though. Both times I instantly knew what was going on, sat up and started yelling immediately, grabbed my headlamp, got out of my tent and yelled some more and the bear ran away (one time, carrying my food bag!!!!). I've had five total bear close-encounters in 45 years of backpacking, only two were "exciting".

    As far as bothering nearby campers, I would think they would OK with it (my yelling and screaming), knowing there was a bear close by. Perhaps I'm being presumptuous.

    See attached pic of my wife's shredded pack, the red stuff is bear slobber from him eating our Gatorade powder....
    You can make this story much better. You got up, punched the bear in nose, giving him a bloody nose (see red on pack.) the bear bowed his head, apologies and went on his way.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    thank you for your input, but I do apologize in advance, because if there is a bear anywhere near my tent, for any reason, I will yell and scream and chase it away. In the instance I was referring to earlier, I did make a bad judgment error in hanging low and close to my tent, but again, I learned my lesson and will never, ever, make that same mistake again.

    So, again, in the unlikely event we will share the same campsite during a bear encounter, I apologize in advance!
    I'm certain you've hung bear bags hundreds of times more than I have, and have largely perfected your method. My point was more about good technique where hanging a proper distance from camp is better than attaching a bell, and being too lazy to walk a few yards downwind.

    I know that I don't ever want to be that guy who's laziness lures a bear into a shared site.

  10. #30

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    I just sleep with my food bags as my pillow, that way I don't need any bells to warn me of animals messin' around with my stuff. I guess animals have manners, because I've never had any problems with being woken up

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    I just sleep with my food bags as my pillow, that way I don't need any bells to warn me of animals messin' around with my stuff.
    been doin' the same goin' on 30 years now. don't need no stinkin' bells

  12. #32
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Please, no bells. No need. If you see a bear on the trail just talk to it like your dog. If they are near shelters, make tons of noise. I see bears a lot working in Shenandoah.







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  13. #33
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I agree, no bells. Now mouse traps on the other hand are a welcome addition.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    I agree, no bells. Now mouse traps on the other hand are a welcome addition.
    Mouse traps weigh about 1oz. I drilled a hole in 2 and put loops so I could hang on my bear bag. Some people would get seriously upset about killing the local residents. At some point an extra oz here and there will add to pounds that I really don't need. I need to take a trip through my pack list and throw out some of the small stuff.

  15. #35
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    Windy everning + bear bag with clanging bells = campsite full of irritated hikers.

  16. #36

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    Wow, times have changed. It use to be that people protected their food instead of giving up before the bear even tried as some seem to suggest.

    In some areas, bears can get to even properly hung bags. It's the whole reason that bear cans are required in many places in the Sierra Nevada and there wasn't a shortage of good places to hang in Yosemite. Most should feel fortunate that their local bears are slackers in comparison to their Sierra cousins.

    Back before the era of bear cans came, It was always standard procedure to try to scare the bear off by making noise or throwing rocks near but not at the bear. Back when I use to carry a full cookset, I would attach my pots to the outside of the bag so that they will bang together loudly and wake me up if disturbed. One of the few times I ever had a bear try for it, the loud clanging noise scared it off before I could do anything . So I don't see a problem with what the OP suggests doing with a bell.

    Most people have heavier things in their pack then a bell they could get rid of. As gear weight has been going down over recent years, I've noticed that carried electronics weight is going up.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    In the event that you choose to scare a bear away from the vicinity of my campsite, feel free to wake me up, I'll be glad to help, no questions asked.
    Agreed. Wake me up too, and I'll help.

    u.w.

  18. #38
    Registered User WILLIAM HAYES's Avatar
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    dont need it on the AT just added weight-- just hang your food bag correctly

  19. #39
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    I think all you are going to do is train the bears that a bell means diner time.

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