Bears close campground - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 13 Old Jun 26th, 2018, 10:50 pm Thread Starter
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Bears close campground

I'm headed up to Glacier week of July 9th. Should I worry about Grizzlies up there? I saw that last year they closed a campground inside Glacier to tents allowing only hard side RVs because of the bears. I'm starting to become worried I'll be in danger. Any advice? I'll be on my RT camping all around Glacier park and will be eating food and cooking meat and stuff around my campfire. Thanks
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post #2 of 13 Old Jun 27th, 2018, 10:09 am
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Re: Bears close campground

I've camped for years around bears (grizzly and black) and have never had any issues, including up on Beartooth Pass (which supposedly has the highest concentration of grizzly bears in the lower 48).

If I remember correctly, most if not all the campgrounds around Glacier have lockers where you can store food and basically anything with a food type smell (that includes your toothpaste, BTW). Definitely use those lockers and DON'T keep anything inside your tent. Some would suggest you not sleep in the same clothes that you made food in or even keep them in your tent, but I've never had an issue with that. You could lock food up in your bike, but be warned a bear can and will easily destroy your bike getting to the smell.

Remember, you're not on the bears menu so it's not like they're lurking in the woods waiting for their opportunity to haul you off and eat you. Just take some basic precautions and you shouldn't have any problems.

Enjoy your trip...Glacier is a beautiful park to visit. Whitefish, MT is also a beautiful little community to spend some time in with great restaurants and friendly people, although somewhat overrun with tourists in the summer. Check out the comfortable coffee place downtown, Montana Coffee Traders...amazing baked goods!
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post #3 of 13 Old Jun 27th, 2018, 1:36 pm
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Re: Bears close campground

I always avoided places with known bear activity, but that's just me. I'm a scaredy cat. Even without that notice I always kept this on hand.
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post #4 of 13 Old Jun 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Bears close campground

Originally Posted by Gruivis View Post
I always avoided places with known bear activity, but that's just me. I'm a scaredy cat. Even without that notice I always kept this on hand.
That's a good idea. I carry a little revolver but I think I'd be real lucky to do more than scare a bear with it. If I were in a 4 wheeler I'd carry a shotgun.
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post #5 of 13 Old Jun 28th, 2018, 6:53 pm
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Re: Bears close campground


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post #6 of 13 Old Jul 13th, 2018, 8:38 pm
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Re: Bears close campground

I was camping up in Wyoming and Idaho recently as part of a road trip. I talked to a local forest service staff member before heading up and was advised to carry bear spray. I stayed at national forest campgrounds and the areas did indeed have steel lockers for storing food. Also posted at the campsites were some guidelines for bear safety. Ultimately, I had no bear encounters but it looks like some basic precautions will discourage the bears from entering the area. Regarding the use of a firearm, I think the bear spray is a better option. If you do shoot a bear, even in self defense, you might still have some explaining to do. And unless it is a big gun, you might just piss-off the bear creating more of a problem. Bear spray requires much less accuracy and much less administrative overhead in the case that a deterrent is required.
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post #7 of 13 Old Jul 14th, 2018, 1:34 pm
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Re: Bears close campground

I have backpacked in Glacier (03) The NP had closed an area due to bear activity, but this was in the back country and not the campgrounds. There were bear poles that you hung your food from so you might want to add some cord to your camping kit. (Cant remember if it was provided or not) Campgrounds may have bear boxes for food storage. Headed to Yosemite next week and they require bear canisters, which isn't too bad of a way to carry food on a bike as it is waterproof and gives you a seat in camp.


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post #8 of 13 Old Jul 14th, 2018, 5:02 pm
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Re: Bears close campground

Watched the Eclipse last year while in Glacier. Some bears showed up. Hundreds of people ignored the Eclipse to watch the bears loping was really funny. Anyways, give the bears plenty of space. And, as has been said, be smart with your food.

Eat some Huckleberry ice cream for me and some Huckleberry Pie. At one place, I paid about $8 for a piece of pie...I didn't regret one cent from the first bite on.

Enjoy a very beautiful part of the world!
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post #9 of 13 Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 11:46 am
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I was camping in Glacier a five years ago. Though I cleaned up after my evening and morning meals I left some cleaned pots out on the picnic table the next morning along with some candles from the night before while I did a day hike to Triple Divide Pass. I came back at the end of that hike to find a note from the Ranger service saying I’d left a bear invitation on the picnic table. The Park service people then left me some literature and returned early the next morning to run my plates and licence and issue me a friendly reminder, in the form of a $75 ticket, to take the bear precautions very seriously.

They reviewed the process of having to tranquilize a bear and relocate it and then close the campgrounds for weeks if a bear comes around and finds ANY food or interesting smells. If the bear return a second time they have to kill it.

I learned my lesson. Oh, btw the candles happened to be scented, which they said was a big NO no.
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post #10 of 13 Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 8:50 pm
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Re: Bears close campground

In 1979 I was camping at Jenny Lake campground in Grand Teton National Park. I had a Honda CB500-4; I was sharing the site with a backpacker and someone with a Honda Civic. In the evening the backpacker and I were putting our food on the bear poles. A ranger stopped us and told us to put the food in the Civic. A bear had been visiting our campsite at night and they had a baited trap nearby.

In the middle of the night I woke and and thought I heard something. I stayed quiet, there was definitely something outside the tent. A while later I heard the clang of a metal gate, and later a truck leaving. In the morning I talked to a ranger. The bear had strolled through our site, passing between my tent and the backpackers tent. Then it smelled the bait and went to the trap.
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post #11 of 13 Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 12:00 am
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Re: Bears close campground

Camp where there are a bunch of Harleys. Bear like them because they usually have more meat on their bones
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post #12 of 13 Old Aug 11th, 2019, 9:22 am
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Re: Bears close campground

I was in Romania a couple of weeks ago on the R1200RT when a bear came out of the trees and started sniffing the air. He was within about 10 feet of me. I was past him by the time it registered what i had just seen. Got it on the bike camera though.

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post #13 of 13 Old Aug 11th, 2019, 8:01 pm
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Re: Bears close campground

I was camped in Jasper on an early ride in 1979 or 1980 and I was awoken when a bear came into my camp, pulled the food bag and my little BSA mess kit from where I had it hung over a branch and destroyed all of it to get to the goodies. I don't remember if they had lockers then but it scared the $hit out of me and I still have that pan somewhere with the tooth mark on it.

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