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Discussion: bears

in: Suzanne; Suzanne > 2016-08-22

Aug 24, 2016 5:31 AM # 
Did you feel at all nervous setting up camp? I guess grizzlies are unlikely to bother your tent (so people tell me) but I think I'd be hyperaware of any little noises.
Aug 24, 2016 7:30 AM # 
I was definitely nervous when we left the road and started hiking, after having just seen two bears near the road and because the first 1/4 mile had lots of brush and less visibility. Beyond that there was quite high visibility.

And, by the time we set up camp it had been a long time since we'd seen a bear and didn't seem to be the same type of terrain (no blueberries or bear poop spotted too close to our tent... although a half mile away there definitely was some). We also had put all the food in the bear-proof canister 200 yards from our tent. And, cooked 100 yards from the tent. And, we've always been careful to never eat in the tent now or in the past. So, it felt ok.

It was a little nerve racking once we'd seen the two sets of bears on the hike back to the road, within about 2 miles of the road. We were supposed to keep ~300 yards away from any bear, and we were worried that if we spotted another one we'd be sort of stuck between the groups. That said, they seemed to mostly stay in the same rough area for a while so once you saw them you could stay out of their way.

The Denali backpacking permit center was very concerned with making sure that we handled food really well, so that bears wouldn't associate food with humans or with tents. But they didn't seem worried at all about the fact that we'd see bears while hiking... as long as we didn't approach them. I think the main thing, besides being good about food, was to make some noise if going through any brush so that you don't surprise them accidentally. So, in the end, it was mostly beautiful to see them just being bears & doing their thing (far away from us).
Aug 24, 2016 8:04 PM # 
So now bears associate humans with karaoke instead of food :)
Aug 24, 2016 11:16 PM # 
Not everybody has a singing Ross to keep them company, sadly...

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