Forum Index > Trail Talk > What to do when you arrive at your planned campsite, and there is a bear hanging out in it?
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texasbb
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texasbb
Misplaced Texan
PostSun Sep 11, 2022 6:09 pm 
It's never happened to me (though a bear tried to join me once after I set up camp), but I think my thinking would go like: Is it a grizzly? If yes, leave. If no, does it leave when it sees me coming? If yes, set up camp and relax. If no, does it leave when I yell, throw stuff, and bother it? If yes, set up camp and relax but verify. If no, leave.

Flower Sniffer, tinman
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Randito
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Randito
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PostSun Sep 11, 2022 6:23 pm 
I was hiking a little section of the AT in NY and there were a number of signs warning of bear activity. When I got to the shelter that was about the right distance for the day. There were other people there , a story of how bears had come to the shelter the night before to investigate any food availablity. One of the other hikers expressed excitment about finally getting to see how well his bear vault was going to work. I choose to hike another mile or so and illegally camp a couple hundred yards off the trail hidden behind a little hummock. Since I had a hammock I didn't even leave any crushed moss trace of where I camped. I also had no bear interactions. Who wants that sort of drama? I've seen bears a few times over the years -- usually their butts as they are running away -- but sometimes a bit better view

awilsondc, Flower Sniffer, Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Sep 11, 2022 6:51 pm 
Just try to make friends, maybe offer them a beer. I think they prefer Hamms..

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Flower Sniffer, thunderhead
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treeswarper
Alleged Sockpuppet!



Joined: 25 Dec 2006
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treeswarper
Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostSun Sep 11, 2022 6:53 pm 
Release the hounds.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities

Flower Sniffer
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coldrain108
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coldrain108
Thundering Herd
PostSun Sep 11, 2022 7:06 pm 
Flower Sniffer wrote:
I"m specifically looking at something up near the Seven Lakes Basin, so permits are pretty enforced.
That very thing happened to my wife and I up there. We we're permitted for one of the ridgetop sites, but a big grouchy bear was there. All waving and yelling was greeted with a dirty look. Luckily we ran into a ranger and she told us that they keep one of the Heart Lake/Lunch Lake sites reserved for emergency use. We fit that description and spent the night at Heart Lake.

Since I have no expectations of forgiveness, I don't do it in the first place. That loop hole needs to be closed to everyone.

Flower Sniffer, thunderhead
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RumiDude
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RumiDude
Marmota olympus
PostSun Sep 11, 2022 7:24 pm 
Flower Sniffer wrote:
RumiDude wrote:
Not much you can do to get away from bears on the High Divide area. Also not much history of actual bear threatening behavior around there.
Yes, I fully expect to see bears, and I'm fine with that! I like bears! That's not really what I was asking about!
Well when you narrowed your original question down to the Seven Lakes Basin in ONP, I replied directly to that scenario. Your permit for Seven Lakes Basin will designate the particular lake but not a particular campsite. So you could just look to see if other campsites were available. Otherwise most bears in that area will move away from human activity; some move rapidly and others just kinda mosey away. But the idea is that they generally don't hang around if you make some noise and such to let them know you are there. It is not difficult to avoid bears up there. If I saw a bear in Seven Lakes Basin hanging at a campsite eating something other than berries, then I might begin to worry a bit. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

Flower Sniffer
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thunderhead
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thunderhead
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PostSun Sep 11, 2022 8:42 pm 
Black bear i would be unconcerned unless it was behaving strange. I was in the sierra one time and got to the one water source and a black bear was there. Being deep inside the NP this bear was not afraid of us but also totally ignored us. We didnt want to hike however many miles to the next sure source, so we just set up camp and didnt bug him... he didnt bug us. We also had bear canisters so our food was 100% secure... helped convince us to just camp near the bear. Ive met a lot of black bears and never had one threaten me so maybe im a little complacent... but i really think the black bear risk is very low. Grizzly is an entirely different story of course.

Flower Sniffer, Chief Joseph
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HitTheTrail
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HitTheTrail
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 7:33 am 
thunderhead wrote:
... but i really think the black bear risk is very low.
I was sitting near the bank of ice creek last tuesday eating lunch when I looked up to see a very large black bear bounding across the creek straight at me in a full-on charge. When I stood up and made it known I was a human it turned around almost in mid-air and took off at the same speed. I am sure it just smelled my food. We followed large bear tracks up the ice creek trail the next day for a couple of miles but didn't see any bears.

Downhill, thunderhead, Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 8:07 am 
HitTheTrail wrote:
I looked up to see a very large black bear bounding across the creek straight at me in a full-on charge
That'll get your heart cranking! We had a big bear bluff charge is at Monogram lake 20 years ago. It was a real eye opener! I fully understand bears are not blood thirsty, savage beasts who are out to kill us, but I also never write them off as harmless. We started carrying bear spray and bear vaults after that incident.

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
Sniffer of flowers
PostMon Sep 12, 2022 8:16 am 
RumiDude wrote:
But the idea is that they generally don't hang around if you make some noise and such to let them know you are there.
Yes, that's the idea, but in my experience, bears in the National Parks don't always get that memo! 😁 Outside the parks they seem to be fairly reliable at running away, but I've met bears at Rainier and in the Olympics who just won't budge! My original question wasn't really about this upcoming trip specifically. I just mentioned that to illustrate the whole permitted camp thing. I'm really mainly just curious what other people do in these situations. Particularly when there aren't other camping options available.

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 8:24 am 
Chief Joseph wrote:
I think they prefer Hamms
That may be the beer refreshing, but I'm pretty weight conscious. I only carry whiskey these days! 🐻

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 8:27 am 
Randito wrote:
I've seen bears a few times over the years -- usually their butts as they are running away -- but sometimes a bit better view
That's a gorgeous pic!

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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hbb
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hbb
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 10:35 am 
Flower Sniffer wrote:
I’m specifically looking at something up near the Seven Lakes Basin
I think you will be hard pressed to steer clear of bears in Seven Lakes Basin in September. If you are really concerned about it, you might want to pick a destination with fewer berries.

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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 11:44 am 
hbb wrote:
hard pressed to steer clear of bears in Seven Lakes Basin in September
Thanks. I'm not trying to avoid bears. I just wanted to know what people do when there's a bear upon arrival at a permitted campsite. 😁

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

zimmertr
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 11:54 am 
Flower Sniffer wrote:
Chief Joseph wrote:
I think they prefer Hamms
That may be the beer refreshing, but I'm pretty weight conscious. I only carry whiskey these days! 🐻
I as well, beer is too heavy. Some of the old times might recall the old Hamms commercials from back in the 70's with a bear in them. At a local bar a bear was spotted coming out of the dumpster with a Budweiser in it's mouth, Hamms no longer available.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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