Originally Posted by Merlin III
I haven't yet been able to understand how you spray bear mace from inside your tent at a bear who is grabbing you from outside your tent?
Originally Posted by CaseyB
That is my actual worry time. I'm fine when moving or hanging. As soon as I close that zipper....'what the f was that
I carry mace, which as you pointed out would be useless in your tent. What then? Stab the bear with a little knife as he is munching on your leg pulling you out.
I know it might sound crazy but you really don't have to worry about the bears too much, even up here. I'll shoot out some advice from limited time chasing them around Yosemite and riding through Canada and Alaska:
-Black bears are really like dogs, most of them run away the moment you approach them since most people are physically bigger than any of them. If they don't run away, they're curious or really trying hard to snag your food the moment you look away. They rarely get confrontational and if they do, it's usually because of being conditioned to go after human food.
-Browns and Grizzlies will usually give you space, as long as they know you're there and you don't sneak up on them. When you're hiking and bushwhacking, this involves paying attention to the direction of the wind and the noise level of the area around you. If a brown can't hear or smell you, it can be easy to surprise them. Usually they'll know you're around from a long way off and hide out in the brush until you go.
-A few things to keep in mind are to NEVER store food in your tent. Always in the boxes on the bike for me, since they're hard bags. Regardless, the odds of a bear actually trying to get inside your tent with you in it are incredibly minimal. You might hear the odd story or legend about it happening but 99.9% chance it doesn't happen. But if you're gone and there's food in there, don't be surprised if gets torn up.
-If you do get confronted, stand your ground. Bears rarely charge right out the gate and will give you some warnings that they're pissed like walking sideways, huffing (loudly) and pawing the ground. That might be a good time to back away slowly or chuck something loud to spook them off. The whole playing dead thing is debatable, since most people have an instinct to live and will probably try to beat the crap out of any bear pinning them down.
Yes, the big browns are dangerous but it's not in the situations you might think. It's all about the mother and cub separation and when the bear feels surprised or threatened that the situation turns deadly. And don't fire off mace from inside your tent, you'll probably blind yourself