Eating in popup bear country

Discussion in 'Camping Around Wildlife' started by Mtlangst, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. Mtlangst

    Mtlangst Active Member

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    We took a big trip out west in grizzly and black bear country last fall in Sep/Oct. i was a nazi about no food or eating in the popup. The only problem was was that it was cold in the mornings so not enjoyable. We will be in yosemite, hopefully, this year. Do you guys cook outside and eat inside the popup? Or no food ever inside the popup?
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    For me no food in the popup ever. If its in cans I will allow it.
     
  3. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I live in Alaska, and if the weather cooperated, we cooked outside the PUP, and ate outside if the bugs and weather were nice. But, if the weather wasn't nice, we had no issues eating inside, and on occasion, we cooked inside. We didn't store food inside though, that was in the back of the truck with a topper on it.

    The way I looked at it was this: a bear's sense of smell is so good, if you've got minty toothpaste in there, they can smell it and investigate. But in CGs, there are usually easy targets... coolers out, coolers in cars, food left on tables or beside the campfire ring (think dropped marshmallows), etc. I just tried to make sure the PUP wasn't a clear target, and in 5 years we never had an issue, and we know we had bears in camp. I know there are others who never eat or cook anywhere near the PUP, but that's not the path I took.
     
  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Im by far an expert on this. I would not store food in the pup. And would hide my cooler in the car or bear boxes. My concern was always the clean up. Where do you wash the dishes, doesn't the greay water smell like food etc, even if collected the vent lets off a smell.... given that you have these things around anyway, i would eat in the pup.
     
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  5. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    A bear can smell food for 5 miles. They can tell how much food is there and if it's worth walking 5 miles. They will also evaluate if there is enough food to be worth walking whatever distance they are from the food. They can also tell if the food is related to humans. They will evaluate accordingly. I participated, ( many years ago) in a study of black bears in the northeast USA.
    The head of the study related a story that I have never forgotten. " If a hundred people made a circle, and one person buried food in the center, the bear would not only find the food but would know who put it there."
    No food in tents or popups for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
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  6. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    People who don't live in bear country tend to overthink this or just watch to many movies about "wild animal" attacks. Take generok's advice and use some prudence. Overnight, we keep cooler with food and the garbage in the truck or topper.
     
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  7. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    There is a very long thread on this HERE.
     
  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    And i missed it!
     
  9. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    There are some pretty ridiculous statements made in that thread.
     
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  10. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    If the weather is bad I will eat some foods in the popup and only at the table. I would avoid eating the really stinky or messy type foods inside. Cleanup is the most critical though both inside or out. I make sure everything is cleaned up right away. I dump the trash in appropriate bear proof trash bins, keep food, toiletries etc in the car. My dishes are wiped down with a paper towel until everything is mostly off so my gray water hardly has food partials etc. Most bears I’ve encountered though go for the easier opportunities so never stick around long. Only time I had one stick around was when my camp neighbor broke the cardinal rule about leaving trash out. Some other neighbors managed to bang some pots and pans to chase it off. Thankfully every where I’ve camped where bears were a problem, rangers were always quick to confiscate anything left out.
     
  11. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Don't depend on the rangers. You need to do your part.
     
  12. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    It is not that hard. Clean up very well after each meal and store your food in the vehicle - out of sight. You can cook in or out and eat in or out, whatever works as long as you clean up well afterwards.
     
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  13. Arruba

    Arruba Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If you want to assure yourself that your cleanup is effective, bring some bleach and wipe down or clean your surfaces & stuff with it. We’ve used it rafting through bearville and haven’t lost a raft to a Yogi strike yet.

    Of course you have to be ok with the smell.
     
  14. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    The further someone lives from bears, the more common attacks or your food being eaten by them, becomes. Ask the people who live in bear country, its not that hard to camp and not be attacked on a daily bases..:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  15. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    And make sure you burn all the clothing you ate in and don’t breath, burp or fart in your sleep. Been camping in prime grizzly county for twenty five years. We eat in the camper when we have to and usually breakfast when it’s 10 deg outside in September. Never had a problem. Keep a clean camp carry bear spray and stay alert. Bears are opportunistic and will grab an easy meal but are naturally afraid of people and especially barking dogs.
     
  16. Mtlangst

    Mtlangst Active Member

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    Well i lived in Alaska for three years and tent camped. Hiked by myself etc.., all the time while there. But now i have small children so that changes your perspective alittle bit. I think i will allow cereal in the popup for breakfast and i always keep everything in the TV.
     
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  17. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Bears like campgrounds with easy prey like coolers and food left out. They don't like humans so much and rarely ever try to get into where people are sleeping. When I was a teenage we camped on trails off of the Kangamangus Highway. We were drinking beer and eating lots of food. We had coolers and food everywhere. I never saw a bear, saw lots of bear poop. Now that we camp at campgrounds we see bears almost every trip.
     
  18. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Why do people even own a camper? It probably has a stove, fridge, storage, etc, you paid for it, use it.
    I camp in bear country all the time, I store food, use the fridge, cook and eat in my PUP on every trip and I have never had an issue with a bear. Seen a few cars torn open (nobody inside) and lots of coolers destroyed, I've had bears walk within 100ft of my camper and never give it a second look. Just use common sense and keep it out of sight. The bears will smell food on you and around your campsite but generally if they can't see it, you're ok. I have found the best bear deterrent is either a human nearby or a dog nearby. Keep food out of SIGHT, you cannot control the smells.
     
  19. 60man

    60man Member

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    I have done a lot of camping in heavy black bear territory. I have had a family of bears under the wing of my pup and could hear them breathing and sniffing around. This with my wife and 3 girls in the camper with me I was glad that I never keep, stored or eat food in the camper. I have a screen room for that. I go camping to enjoy and relax, no to worry about a bear or cat coming in my camper.
    Keep you sight clean and follow the camp grounds recommendation and all will be good.
     
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  20. Karen McGinn

    Karen McGinn Member

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    I've never had food (stored, prepped or consumed) in my tent. I won't in pop-up, for same reasons:

    1 - animal risk
    2 - bug risk (ants)
    3 - forgetfulness risk (self)
    4 - residual odor risk

    I'll heat water for coffee, if can't do so outside...but that's it.
     
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