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RideWithWill

(colorado) Bears and moto camping, any of you guys never had an issue?

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Probably seen my other posts about moto camping but being in CO, bit worried about bears (was chased once when I lived in Virginia). Wondering if you guys (the ones that moto camped) had issues with bears while keeping food and stuff in your bags. Also cooking by your camp site. 

Talked to a few folks and a lot of people reported never encountering a bear and they say they leave food out and everything. 

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Cook away from your tent
Keep a fire if permitted
Hang your food in a tree away from camp along with your trash.

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Only once. He visited 4 different rigs in our camp looking for breakfast, before attempting to hotwire  and steal the trx250ex shown. I threatened to call the game warden and he ran off while flipping me the bird. Sold the quad later that season and have not seen another bear since. Coincidence????

 

(you'll also see the BBQ in the bottom right hand corner which likely lured him close). Keep your food elsewhere and you will likely not have a problem. 

 

bear.jpg.3901b99ed386d2bb7ccc98e68af3b98b.jpg

 

 

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Bears like to hang out near campgrounds where horde campers tend to be sloppy with leaving food and food related things out.  They are simply opportunists. As to be expected, the dumpster areas are a lure.  Even with bear proof cans, people are sloppy and sometimes things fall outside of the enclosure.  Repeated conditioning keep the bears coming back.  Lots of bears always wandering around in Ouray is a prime example of this. Generally, our little black bears arent an issue, but Id be more careful in times of the year when a momma bear is likely to have cubs under her care.  Wearing a ding-a-ling bear bell if you are hiking is a great deterrent to prevent startling them and getting an unwanted reaction..  On your bike, even if you come up on one quickly enough that both of you are startled, you can skeedaddle on the bike easily, and the bear will likely run, too.  As others say, be conscientious with your food related items at camp, and avoid campgrounds if you are still concerned.  Usually, just making your presence know to them at camp, or sternly telling them to &%$#@! off is enough.  Unless rabid, starving, or with cubs, they might as well be pussycats.  Kind of like most sharks.  Personally im more concerned by running up on a moose, or a mountain lion when trail running.  And two-legged critters in the backcountry are by far the most unpredictable and dangerous.

*none of this applies to Brown Bears- haha

Edited by N.dica

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I grew up in alaska dealing with bears all the time, do not play games with grizzlies.

They will walk right into your tent if you have food in there.
They will easily break into an rv as well.
Always store your food tied up in a tree, or in your buddies tent.

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1 hour ago, N.dica said:

Bears like to hang out near campgrounds where horde campers tend to be sloppy with leaving food and food related things out.  They are simply opportunists. As to be expected, the dumpster areas are a lure.  Even with bear proof cans, people are sloppy and sometimes things fall outside of the enclosure.  Repeated conditioning keep the bears coming back.  Lots of bears always wandering around in Ouray is a prime example of this. Generally, our little black bears arent an issue, but Id be more careful in times of the year when a momma bear is likely to have cubs under her care.  Wearing a ding-a-ling bear bell if you are hiking is a great deterrent to prevent startling them and getting an unwanted reaction..  On your bike, even if you come up on one quickly enough that both of you are startled, you can skeedaddle on the bike easily, and the bear will likely run, too.  As others say, be conscientious with your food related items at camp, and avoid campgrounds if you are still concerned.  Usually, just making your presence know to them at camp, or sternly telling them to &%$#@! off is enough.  Unless rabid, starving, or with cubs, they might as well be pussycats.  Kind of like most sharks.  Personally im more concerned by running up on a moose, or a mountain lion when trail running.  And two-legged critters in the backcountry are by far the most unpredictable and dangerous.

*none of this applies to Brown Bears- haha

yeah that is what I am reading. Seems bears tend to be around the populated ares but tend to avoid unpopular camping spots...like middle of nowhere sent tent kind. I plan on camping away from common sites, hence the reason I want to get a pop up tent or something similar, to take on 4x4 roads. 

My main concern is just at night when I am sleeping, but from what I researched, they are not that active at night. 

So I think Colorado only has Black bears and have not seen grizzly bears since the 1970s and like you said, black bears are very timid and more of a flight than flight

 

thanks for the info!

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yeah that is what I am reading. Seems bears tend to be around the populated ares but tend to avoid unpopular camping spots...like middle of nowhere sent tent kind. I plan on camping away from common sites, hence the reason I want to get a pop up tent or something similar, to take on 4x4 roads. 
My main concern is just at night when I am sleeping, but from what I researched, they are not that active at night. 
So I think Colorado only has Black bears and have not seen grizzly bears since the 1970s and like you said, black bears are very timid and more of a flight than flight
 
thanks for the info!

Don’t worry about black bears they are very scared of people and will leave you alone. You can scare them off by yelling quite easily. Unless you leave food sitting around they won’t bug you.

But Grizzlies have zero fear of people and will jack you up because it’s Tuesday.
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Had some black bears getting in my crap up in Rampart years ago when tenting. Woke up to sounds, unzipped tent and they took off. Moved stuff to under my truck. Repeated while trying to fall asleep, again unzipped tent and they scattered, finally threw crap inside my truck. Talked to RV goers the next day who watched the whole thing.

as stated just make noise, off they go.

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last fatal bear attack that i remember in Colorado.

https://apnews.com/27f4f3de1ae9ea76af36bfb6fa8a5d99

 

Reportedly killed the last known Grizzly in CO in the San Juans in late seventies.

https://the-journal.com/articles/152973

 

 

Have tent camped a number of times over the last 4 decades.  Zero bears encountered.  If you are real worried about it, buy a bear canister to store food.  To hike into some wilderness areas you are required to have one.  They definitely dont hold a lot of food.

If I tent camped anywhere there are Grizzlies (MT, ID, WY), I would be armed and have bear spray.  We dont have that concern in Colorado.

 

 

Edited by SilvFx
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Been camping in tents for 12 years here. Never seen a bear. My sister used to live in Hoonah Alaska and a bear mauled and killed a guy in the middle of town. Never seen it care to meet a wild grizzly.

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Bears aren't the only critters that will raid for food. Racoons can be just as bad or worse, no opposable thumbs but very nimble prying fingers!

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8 minutes ago, 00boob said:

Bears aren't the only critters that will raid for food. Racoons can be just as bad or worse, no opposable thumbs but very nimble prying fingers!

I've seen them open unattended jam jars.

Regardless of how you camp, keep your camp site clean, don't leave food in your tent and if there are bears etc, better safe than sorry and use proper food storage (hanging etc)

Edited by filterx
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1 minute ago, filterx said:

I've seen them open unattended jam jars.

Regardless of how you camp, keep your camp site clean, don't leave food in you're tent and if there are bears etc, use proper food storage (hanging etc)

While backpacking in BIG SUR some years ago, racoons raided our camp at night. One got into my pack and tore the s#!t out of it. Stole a packet of onion soup mix. I didn't know what it had so I chased the little thief for a quarter mile before he turned, gave me a growl, dropped the packet and took off. Looked at me like "here. tastes like crap anyway!

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Had a bear in camp at the old wild horn campground on 717. Was pretty small and took off once people made noise. That was 15+ years ago. Have not had any issues since.

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Mice devoured my Klim buttpack for a Cliff bar.  Shoulda hung it from a tree.

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I put my Camelback down on some cacti once. Poked a hole in the bladder. Lesson learned.... it's the small things like mice and cacti that get ya!

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This is simple for anyone that has been around bears and other wildlife.  Just don't leave food around where they can have any chance of getting to it.  And, if you wash any pans or utensils dump the water a ways from where you are camping.  Same goes for brushing your teeth, brush your teeth away from your camp, the smell of the toothpaste you spit out is like candy to animals.

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On 11/20/2019 at 9:42 AM, RideWithWill said:

Probably seen my other posts about moto camping but being in CO, bit worried about bears (was chased once when I lived in Virginia). Wondering if you guys (the ones that moto camped) had issues with bears while keeping food and stuff in your bags. Also cooking by your camp site. 

Talked to a few folks and a lot of people reported never encountering a bear and they say they leave food out and everything. 

Have had a few black bear visits, no resulting issues. This was when tent camping and at our house in Estes.

As others have stated, black bears are far less aggressive than brown ones (griz). That said, I would not be callous like some you've talked to and leave everything out. Thats inviting a problem, and can lead to creation of a problem bear. Put food away after cooking and coolers out of sight if possible. Something else you can do is keep your grill a ways from your tent. 

If in griz country, you need to take extra measures like hanging food and the clothes you cook in. 

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