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Truck Camper Magazine Blog

Bear and Beer

In the spirit of Brian’s story on Tuesday, this week’s Question of the Week was, “Have you seen a bear while truck camping?”.

“We did encounter a bear years ago while camped at Chimney Creek Campground in the Sierras.  We were eating dinner in the camper and I happened to look out and see a huge brown bear heading for our campsite.  I closed the door and we watched as he nosed around our campsite.  He finally wandered off.  Joann had decided earlier that she wanted to sleep outside with her sleeping bag in some nice tall grass and breathe the fresh air.  She is normally calm and collected, but that really scared her.  Needless to say, the idea of sleeping outside was quickly changed.  Unfortunately we didn’t have a camera with us.” – Jack Purdy

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Above: Look carefully, there’s a bear in there, right in the center.

“We spent one summer on the Klamath River near Happy Camp, California, dredging for gold.  It was late one afternoon when we spotted a brown bear chomping on blackberries across the river.” – Bonnie Belza

“We live on northern Vancouver Island where black bears are very common.  We see lots of bears when we boondock.  They have never bothered us.” – James Becker

“Every time I go camping I see BEER.  I love BEER.  I fear no BEER.  Most of my photos of BEER are very, very blurry.  Sometimes on warm days you can hear the BEER calling.  Did eye “reed” that wright?” – Ron Humphress

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“I have seen bears while camping.  Fortunately, they were a ways away, which is a good thing.  I had one sniffing the back of my tent many years ago, so the truck camper is a good alternative.  In the pictures are few of the bears I saw in Alaska.  The bear cub was cute, but got in trouble with Mama Bear for looking back at me.  I was never in peril, so I’m not sure these bears count.” – Mark Turnbull

“About eight years ago, I took my son to compete in the Mountain Bike National Championships held at a ski resort in the mountains of West Virginia.  We took our truck camper to camp onsite for the weekend and parked it in a remote parking lot on top of the mountain. 

The first night, before his race, we decided to turn in early to get well rested for the big day ahead.  Before hitting the sack, I placed our large cooler directly under the left rear camper jack and cranked the jack down on the top of the cooler lid to keep the raccoons from getting into our food. 

At about 2:00am, we were suddenly waked up from a sound sleep.  The whole camper was shaking.  I’m thinking it must be an earthquake!  My son was closest to the door.  He got up quickly, grabbed a flashlight, and opened the door.  There in the flashlight beam about four feet from him was a bear standing upright, pushing on the corner of the camper to get access to our cooler. 

Needless to say, my son slammed the door shut and locked it in a hurry.  The bear was not scared off so we started yelling and then banging pots and pans.  It did finally leave our site but hit all the other campsites one by one.  There were people all around us yelling and banging pots and pans for an hour.  So much for a good nights sleep before his big race.” – Fred Carey

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“For those who have read John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” you might remember that Charley was a great travel companion until they went to Yellowstone Park.  The Ranger at the entrance to the park told John to be sure to keep Charley on a leash as there are lots of bears in the park.  John did not think it was necessary because Charley was such a good traveler. 

They had not been in the park for long before the first bear appeared, and Charley went off like rocket, barking and growling and jumping all over the truck like a wild animal.  John could not control him, so he turned around and headed out of the park as fast as he could.  According to the  book, it took a long time to get Charley to get back to normal!  John, never did see Yellowstone. 

Last year we were in LaVeta, Colorado staying at the Two Fox Cabins and campsites, and we were told that bears sometimes come down in the night to go through the trash bins.  In the middle of the night, our dog, Buttons, went off like a M-80 fire cracker.  He went nuts running all over the bed barking and growling like he was possessed.  Then a young man camped in a tent next to us got up and started banging on a pan with a stick and chased the bear back to the hills.

Buttons is a Maltese and weighs just at four pounds, but that night he could have been a 100 pound Wolf Hound!  The next day we spotted a black bear licking his chops after a nice dinner in the trash bin.  I think the bear was on the look out for a big dog and a man with a pan and a stick.  Dogs don’t like bears!” – Jim Holyfield

“In June, when we were in Glacier National Park, we saw two bears on different days.  Sadly we could not get a clear picture of the bears, we just have the picture in our minds.  We never came across a bear on the trails while out hiking, but they were nearby.  There was fresh scatt, bear tracks, and digging along the trails.  Bear crazy?  Maybe.  Nature crazy?  You bet!” – Rich Bain, the TC life

“I have seen lots of bears out camping over the years.  I could tell you lots of funny stories of encounters with the many critters that run around we like to camp.  Here are two for you. 

Have I seen bear while out truck camping?  Well, not really, but I saw the damage.  About eight years ago I still had a fifth wheel camper.  It was late when we pulled into nice area to camp in Gila National Forest, over in western New Mexico.  I didn’t even disconnect the camper from my truck.  My wife, two kids, three dogs, and I were tired and went to bed. 

When we got up in the morning, the back window of our pickup had been popped out.  The kids chip bags were scattered all over, and there where little paw prints all over the hood of my truck and long scratches sliding from top to bottom.  We still enjoyed the weekend of camping and fishing. 

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