Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-05-2016
    Location
    Southeastern US
    Posts
    28

    Default Section HIke - Bear Concern

    I'm hoping to take a trip from the Sunshine State up to Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and maybe Colorado. I'm looking to do some backpacking & camping in Glacier National Park.
    My primary concern is backpacking solo in bear territory, especially since it isn't something I am familiar with (we're not exactly too concerned with running into bears here in Florida).

    Should I be concerned, and what precautions would you recommend I take?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    You should buy 2 cans of bear spray
    Practice with one before hiking in griz territory
    Read all you can about avoidance

    Florida has a very high population of black bears due to extensive paper co. Land holdings. Fl was condidered uninhabitable, swampy, mosquito and alligator infested wasteland into early 1900s. This preserved vast tracts of timberland. Whole communities were wiped out by yellow fever .
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 07-19-2017 at 20:49.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-25-2015
    Location
    Sugar Hill, GA
    Age
    53
    Posts
    907

    Default

    Definitely bear spray in Glacier. Frankly, I'd probably pack there. Wyoming and Idaho, it depends on where you go but largely it applies. Colorado, since you already have the bear spray, keep it on you. Officially, there are no Grizzlies in Colorado. My understanding is that there's a wink-wink, nudge, nudge among wildlife officials but black bears are the only bears officially in Colorado. IABNMAE (I am by no means an expert)

  4. #4
    Wanna-be hiker trash
    Join Date
    03-05-2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Age
    38
    Posts
    6,851
    Images
    78

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    You should buy 2 cans of bear spray
    Practice with one before hiking in griz territory
    Read all you can about avoidance

    Florida has a very high population of black bears due to extensive paper co. Land holdings. Fl was condidered uninhabitable, swampy, mosquito and alligator infested wasteland into early 1900s. This preserved vast tracts of timberland. Whole communities were wiped out by yellow fever .
    A number of companies make training canisters that are identical except that they contain an inert liquid. It would be a better option to train with without temporarily driving everyone out of the neighborhood
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  5. #5
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2007
    Location
    Erwin, TN
    Age
    58
    Posts
    8,434

    Default

    Even the rangers carry bear spray in GNP. It's very common to see people with Dirty Harry style revolvers but if you've ever seen pepper spray blast out of a canister and compare that to how hard it is to hit a moving target with a handgun when you're getting an adrenaline rush there's no comparison. You don't aim bear spray - you point it in the direction of and let 'er rip. Stuff is crazy powerful. I got a whiff doing a test and coughed half the day.

    Also, sing loudly as you hike along.

  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    8,279

    Default

    I would be more concerned about getting good camping locations.
    The best news: Bear cans not required.
    Find Joey's MyOwnFrontier YouTube videos. Worth watching.
    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC2u9cXRD29jeYdJr6Ha0aqg
    Have fun. I'll be in Wyoming early September. Can't wait.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
    FlickrMyBookTwitSpaceFace



  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    8,279

    Default

    Glacier: July & August.
    You won't be alone. Are you familiar with the Backcountry camping procedure? Everything you need to know is online.
    Make time for the Teton Crest Trail also.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
    FlickrMyBookTwitSpaceFace



  8. #8

    Default

    Much of the trails on the east side of the divide in Glacier are open with a long line of sight. But if you do come to a blind turn, make some noise. I got talked into buying a can of spray, never used it and of course the only place on my pack to carry it was were it would take me 5 minutes to get to if I needed it.

    The only bear I did see in Glacier was a black bear and cub. The cub was up a tree. Must of heard me coming as I caught the motion out the corner of my eye. Then I saw Mom stand up to check me out as I came down the trail, saw (or smelt) that I was a hiker and went back to forging, a 100 feet or so off the trail. This was in one of the infrequent wooded areas and near a road.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9

    Default

    Fear of bears is completely natural and hardwired. That said, bears are commonly wildly over-feared. In the outdoors, there is far less risk from bears than from falls, hypothermia, natural causes, lightning, fellow hikers, falling rocks, wildfire, drowning, falling trees, and insects.

    Just a few days ago I had a grizzly come past my tent in the middle of the "night." It ran away, as usual. It's happened to me many times before and will happen many more times in the future. Per capita, grizzlies kill less people than do people. People I know personally must have many millions of days total of grizzly country experience.

    Glacier's bear advice seems sound, although one rule that I break all the time is about traveling in grizzly country alone.

    Carry a can of bear spray in grizzly country in a handy place and know exactly how you're going to use it. Use good sense and then don't worry about bears, the odds of being a bear victim are very nearly zero despite the hype.

  10. #10
    illabelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-25-2012
    Location
    Lurkerville, East Tn
    Age
    59
    Posts
    3,280
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colter View Post
    Fear of bears is completely natural and hardwired. ... Glacier's bear advice seems sound, ...
    I found the Glacier advice a bit confusing. The "Bear Encounters" section doesn't differentiate between black bears and grizzlies, and offers this advice, which conflicts with what I've always heard:



      • Talk quietly.
      • Do not run! Back away slowly, but stop if it seems to agitate the bear.
      • Try to assume a nonthreatening posture. Turn sideways, or bend at the knees to appear smaller.
      • Use peripheral vision. Bears may interpret direct eye contact as threatening.
      • Continue to move away as the situation allows.



    I thought we were supposed to scare the bear by yelling and making ourselves look bigger. Is this specific for grizzlies?

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I thought we were supposed to scare the bear by yelling and making ourselves look bigger. Is this specific for grizzlies?
    Only if the bear is approaching aggressively. If it's willing to ignore you, you ignore it. Fiddling to get your camera out might be a mistake.

    Grizzlies your suppose to get into to fetal position and play dead while they swat you around a little. After which, you probably will be dead.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #12
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    8,279

    Default

    Given the population density of Glacier and Yellowstone every July and August, I would say that the Park Service has done an excellent management job since the days of the evening garbage dump show.
    What is even more amazing is that they are making sure that backpackers and bears are coexisting without resorting to the unnecessary bear cans. It's a shame that the rest of the Government Agencies don't take notice.
    The system isn't perfect. There is the occasional unfortunate bear-human encounter.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
    FlickrMyBookTwitSpaceFace



  13. #13
    15,000 miler
    Join Date
    04-30-2003
    Location
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Age
    45
    Posts
    493

    Default

    I stopped carrying bear spray when I found out peanut butter was a great deterrent. Whenever I get to a trail head I just wait for some hikers to show up. inevitability one of them will take a last minute pee and I will stealthily just slap a bit on that pack. Problem solved.

    Sometimes those hikers will have another destination so when you get to camp that night, just go over to one of the other tents and flick a few schemers of peanut butter on the tent pad. Problem solved.

    And finally, if you ever find yourself face-to-face with grizzly. Take your time, tell that dang ole bear to hold it's horses, reach down in your bag for that fantastic peace offering and extend your gracious spoils. They'll thank you profusely, in their own grizzly way, and go about their business. The only thing a big ole bear loves more than huckle berries is huckle berries with peanut butter! Problem solved.


    Ps. These are inside tips-just between me and you.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-27-2015
    Location
    Chicago area
    Age
    54
    Posts
    55

    Default

    That post made my whole day. And it's only 7:19 central time.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I found the Glacier advice a bit confusing. The "Bear Encounters" section doesn't differentiate between black bears and grizzlies, and offers this advice, which conflicts with what I've always heard:



      • Talk quietly.
      • Do not run! Back away slowly, but stop if it seems to agitate the bear.
      • Try to assume a nonthreatening posture. Turn sideways, or bend at the knees to appear smaller.
      • Use peripheral vision. Bears may interpret direct eye contact as threatening.
      • Continue to move away as the situation allows.



    I thought we were supposed to scare the bear by yelling and making ourselves look bigger. Is this specific for grizzlies?

    If it's black, fight back. If it's brown, lay down.

    Lost Acoustic Blues
    (clickable)

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-02-2011
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    486
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Deer Hunter View Post
    If it's black, fight back. If it's brown, lay down.
    Excellent advice. But in many occasions the opposite was true, so a probably better bit of advice would be, If it's black fight and if it's brown lay down unless it's indicated otherwise.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-22-2014
    Location
    Jackson, WY
    Age
    55
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Ah, with all due respect most of the black bears around here are brown/cinamon. I have also had the very rare fortune to see a black colored grizzly. COLOR IS NOT AN INDICATOR. Nonetheless as we all know from the two predatory blackie attacks/deaths in Alaska earlier this summer EVERY bear deserves respect and caution.

    I solo hike pretty dense grizzly habitat and have seen many. Although as has already been pointed out well there are far greater dangers to our hikes, usually the most dangerous part of our hikes is just driving to the trailhed. That said solo hiking is not recommended.

    I was charged five years ago by a boar grizzly and about pooped my pants but sprayed down right into his charge and darn if he didn't just grind his face into the ground and turn around and run away. Took seconds but seemed like eternity.

    Bearspray is however by no means a 100% guarnatee, especially with a sow with cubs. Make noise in short sight distance areas, stream crossings, hiking over a crest with the wind driving at you, etc. Avoid having to use it. Didn't have to carrying it a dozen years before that and five years since.

    Pack side pocket is a bad choice, never clip onto anything. Holster on hip or chest. Some folks duct tape it to a ski pole. Whatever you do get cofortable and be able to deploy it. I take it out of holster with safety off sometimes when I'm a little freaked.

  18. #18
    15,000 miler
    Join Date
    04-30-2003
    Location
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Age
    45
    Posts
    493

    Default

    +1 Absarokanaut

    (I suspect he had more to say but limited his response due to the fact that the subject matter takes a lot of experience and cannot be easily described in a simple forum post like this.)

    +1 Color is not an indicator. (Neither is size. A few years back a 1,000 pound black bear was take in PA.)

    +1 Hiking solo. I usually hike 2-3 weeks a year in Montana and finding a partner that is up to my schedule, liking, & caliber is impossible so I just hike solo, even in GNP. All the more reason for learning and understanding how to keep yourself safe from bears and their habits. (A fed bear is a dead bear! So this is a duel responsibility to keep yourself safe, as well as the bear.)

    +1 Bear charges. All the thousands of miles in bear country I've never had the experience, luck I suppose. I have come within yards of both black and grizzly and their is a noticeable difference (besides the grizzled fur and hump on the back) mostly it has to do with the shape of their heads. The face of a black bear is somewhat pointy like a dogs snout, eyes are a little bit more separated and able to see a larger field of view, and their hair is a bit more slicked back. When you come within yards of a grizzly you will instantly know it is looking right at YOU. It's snout is a bit more blunt, it's eyes are more narrowly focused directly ahead, and it's facial fur is a bit more rounded in a flattened manner, like a giant dinner plate of grizzled fur. With the experience of seeing more than a hundred bears in the wild, in my life, I know I'd crap my pants if I ever had to face down a tempered grizzly. I've watched one chase down a group of big horn a few years ago, live and up close, in GNP and it's something I'll never forget. It was vivid.

    +1 quick access to your bear spray. Bear spray is absolutely useless (literally a hunk of junk) if you can't draw it in less than 2 seconds. When you buy your bear spray the first thing you need to do is find a way to attach the holster to your backpack so that you can draw it like a cowboy in a quick draw shootout, ...because that's pretty much the amount of time you have when you turn the corner in a huckleberry thicket and come face-to-face with this nemesis. Oh yea, and don't forget to practice the quick draw that includes the ability to flick off the orange safety clip. If you hike around with the safety clip off you're going to have quite a few peppery hiking memories, and if you don't practice getting off that clip in your draw... well, peppery hiking memories might be the least of your problems.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-30-2005
    Location
    NW MT
    Posts
    5,468
    Images
    56

    Default

    GNP has a new backcountry video that's much better than the old one. Good information there.

    Pepper spray is the way to go.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    8,279

    Default

    Bears get all the headlines.
    I had a BIG cow moose gallop thru my campsite at Big Sandy Campground in Wyoming. At 3:35 am she ran between my feet and my car. Maybe 15 feet between me and my car. I was cowboy camping and watched her coming and going. The next night I made sure that I had trees and big rocks around me.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
    FlickrMyBookTwitSpaceFace



Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •