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Sleeping in minivan, bear safety tips?
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(04-20-2017, 01:57 PM)Queen Wrote: BTW, are you bringing something to paddle??  There are some wonderful lakes and rivers to throw a boat into.

I wish, have to visit relatives so no time for paddling and hiking much.  This is a test run to see if I can handle camping in my van during summer/fall months. If it works out, I will add a roof rack and bike racks for my toys.  Of course other stuff to that I think is important such as a refridgerator and cassette toilet. Maybe when I do my trail run will get more ideas. I have been reading alot of books on van camping to figure out some things.  Looks like alot of you have been doing this for a long time and have alot of knowledge to share   Smile I am grateful for that.
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Well, if you get the urge to paddle, a lot of state parks rent boats.
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Beachcamper (04-20-2017)
Def bring your tent. If you're worried just hang your food and keep it away from your camp. I live in Maine and look for bears on purpose and they are NOT easy to find even when you want too. In Michigan 90% of the bear population is in the Upper Peninsula just as an FYI.
I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
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That is one of the problems with the tail veil system, you have to leave your vehicle open. I would leave the tail veil at home and take a screen tent. In Michigan, the mosquitos are what you should fear. There are not many bear in the lower peninsula.

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I am familiar with your mosquitoes up in the UP, Minnesota and Michigan. While horrific, they are slow and easily killed. Compared to our no see ums and lightening fast salt marsh mosquitoes here in the Everglades. This is why I got this DAC tent with no see um mesh. It is not a tail vail.
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Spiff's comment about rodents reminded me of something I saw many years ago (I had a Corvair -- THAT long ago). A couple who were tent camping next to me hung their food from a tree branch. But they had a 'contraption' hanging above it to keep rodents out (I asked). It looked homemade from some kind of sheet metal (like for metal roofs, but flat). He had formed it into a cone with wingnuts, and it was hanging above the food bag. If the rodent climbed down the rope and let go, he would slide down the metal, miss the food bag, and hit the ground. No part of the food bag extended beyond the cone. It was kind of like this, but larger, extending beyond the width of the bag underneath:

Some bears know how to hook their claws in the crack above window glass and pull it. Like this one (save time and go right to the 3:00 mark):
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Kathleen (04-21-2017)
Let's all stand real close to the bear to take photos..... make sure no one scares him away so he can learn real well how to open cars....

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OMG! Even black bears break open cars.  I wonder why those stupid people just stood there filming instead of trying to scare that bear away. Def will NOT bring the tent and will buy bear spray. I will also remove center console so I can get in drivers seat and speed away should one come sniffing around. Honestly feel more comfortable camping in the wilderness away from habituated animals. All this camping around people and anywhere with road access is making me a bit paranoid.

Train chaser, I saw a similar contraption such as you describe while camping in a remote lake in aldonquin.  A couple used a tin pie plate over their bagged food they hung up in the tree.
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I want to start out with an appology.  I have resisted temptation since this was first posted. ~~~

Any bear trying to get sleep in their minivan should always consiter location.  Avoid hiking locations.  There are stupid humans with pepper spray.  They do not even hve the brains to season themselves, but will try to spray you.  Avoid anywhere that you hear dogs.  During hunting season, go stealth.  Labeling the van as a tofu delivery vehicle is best.  Hunters will go the other way if they see it.   "Ask me about Amway"  bumper stickers are also good.  Always sh*t in the woods, and cover it carefully.  For some reason bear poo attracts hunters and philosophers. Cover the windows so you will not be spoted.  Always use your CPAP.  Nothing is louder than a snoring bear.  Bag your trash.  One gallon honey jars and pick~a~nick baskets around the camp is like a neon sign saying BEAR CAMP!  Also a clean campsite will lessin the chance that Ranger Smith will come exploring.  

Good luck.
Trouble rather a tiger in his lair than a sage at his books. To you kingdoms and armies are mighty and enduring, to him they are toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger. G Dickson.
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The following 6 users say Thank You to GotSmart for this post:
mayble (04-24-2017), gsfish (04-21-2017), ArtW (04-21-2017), Kathleen (04-21-2017), Almost There (04-21-2017), Optimistic Paranoid (04-21-2017)

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