Camping in the great outdoors means that the closer you get to nature, the closer nature gets to you. A good example is RVing in bear country. Don’t automatically assume that your RV is safe from bear attacks. Any RV can be a target.
Is your RV a bear’s lunchbox?
Rules for RVing in Bear Country
Tent campers are more prone to horrific bear attacks like this one in British Columbia, but your RV is still at risk. According to The American Bear Association, bears can remember food sources for many years. Once a bear has broken into an RV for food, they’ll consider other RVs as giant lunch boxes.
Bears only look for the easiest opportunities to nab food. They don’t want to come out into the open to run into you, but they will if you provide them with an easy opportunity to chow down. You can escape any damage to yourself and prevent rogue bears from being killed by:
- Keeping a tidy campsite. Don’t leave trash, coolers or anything outside or in your vehicle that might scream “food!” to a bear. When you dine al fresco, bring in everything, even citronella candles. Bears find any scented object delicious.
- Remembering you’re in bear territory. Don’t go looking for bear encounters to post on Instagram. If you see a bear, don’t encourage interaction by drawing attention to yourself.
Don’t mistake them for Yogi Bear.
Bears are solitary creatures and want to avoid human contact. But if food is involved, all bets are off. If you encounter a bear, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources recommends:
If you see a bear that is close or it does see you STAY CALM. BE HUMAN. Stand tall, wave your arms, and speak in a loud and low voice. DO NOT RUN! Stand your ground or back away slowly and diagonally. If the bear follows, STOP.
If a bear is charging almost all charges are “bluff charges”. DO NOT RUN! STAND YOUR GROUND. Wave your arms and speak in a loud low voice. Many times charging bears have come within a few feet of a person and then veered off at the last second.
If a bear approaches your campsite aggressively chase it away. Make noise with pots and pans, throw rocks, and if needed, hit the bear. Do not let the bear get any food.
What Kind of Bear Attack Weapon is Best?
Some people think they need to carry a lethal weapon when RVing in bear country. For your safety, experts say that common sense is your best defense:
- Bears hide in thick, dense brush. Use caution when camping in secluded areas.
- Don’t hike alone. Most bear attacks happen to solo hikers.
- Know the warning signs of a bear attack. “An agitated bear will lay its ears back and will make loud huffing noises, popping its jaws, pawing the ground with its front claws, and swinging its head from side to side. It may even be add short bluff charges. “ – RV Magazine Online
Will you be a statistic?
Alaska DNR representatives believe that carrying a can of bear spray is enough protection if you get into a bear altercation. “This incapacitating spray teaches bears a lesson without permanently maiming them,” say officials.
As the saying goes, a fed bear is a dead bear. Protect your RV by following the rules when RVing in bear country and you won’t end up a dead camper either.