VanDweller Community Forums

Full Version: Wilderness Camping Dangers
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
Truly, it's not people we fear camping in the wilderness. It's wildlife. People think moose and elk are cute and great to watch and that's true from a distance or a vehicle. I have had a small white tailed doe stamp her foot at me in Ontario and threaten to charge me and she was my height and I was afraid! I had to stand behind the raspberries on a fence until she left. That's nothing compared to a moose who's unhappy with your close proximity! I opened the door two weeks ago and nearly ran smack into a couple of moose - female and yearling. The top of mom's back was higher than my head...and they did not run away! (Elk are about the same size. A few passed by the front of our F150 on the road and we could see under their bellies over the hood.) and they are not afraid of people. I stood perfectly still until the moose was satisfied that I was not a threat to her child, almost as big as she was, and then I slowly backed away. A lone male buffalo, horns and all, slowly meandered up the road last month, right past us. I got him on film, but when I moved, he stood still and watched me. It would not have taken much for him to charge. You put your life on the line if you hike around here during rutting season! The males will charge the cars. There's a herd of wild buffalo numbering over 200 just down the road.

It's a great place to get pics for painting, but make no mistake, it's dangerous and I haven't even mentioned the grizzlies and wolves! I saw wolf tracks last week, all around the compound and right by our camper. HUGE feet in the snow. I've seen them a couple of times this winter but never seen the wolf. Others have seen him. We get grizzly reports from time to time too, mostly from the rangers who have to shoot them because they have lost their fear of people and look to them for food. (I really wish tourists would quit feeding the bears from their cars!) The stone sheep, cariboo, foxes and beaver are small enough to handle, thank goodness, or we wouldn't be able to go anywhere!

Sorry for the long post. The upshot is, you might want to take some protection of some kind with you when you go wilderness camping - male or female, and not just for the people.

after years in the field I have developed a sense about how close to be and know when and how to back off.   never approach wildlife give them their space and never get between a mother and her offspring.  also don't feed any wildlife not just bears it does more harm than good.  highdesertranger 
I've seen more wildlife in my back yard [where I used to live] than in all the campsites I've stayed in.  That includes numerous black bears, one grizzly bear, several moose, cougars and coyotes.  We had wolves in the area but I never saw one.  Once saw a wolverine in the front yard!  They are quite rare.

People are still, to me, the scariest predators out there. 
+1 on the people mockturtle.  highdesertranger
I carry bear spray with me when I am traveling, generally works on all mammals including humans, unfortunately this means you as well....but it is still one of the better self defense products imo, you can also cross the Canadian U.S. border carrying it without problem.
Sheryl makes a good point, respecting wild animals is critical to ones safety if you plan on being around them.
I have never been attacked. I have found it best to stay still even if moved toward. You are bigger than them for the most part and they do not want to be hurt.

Most  NF's honor Coniaeled Carry Weapon permits. You can carry concealed in a National Forest with it. Black bear smallest is 38 and brown bear is 45 Mag. (if it makes you feel safer). Most people staying on BLM lands have a weapon in their RV.

I feel much safer in the forest than in a Walmart parking lot. Statics supports this.

James AKA Lynx
you can carry bear spray in Canada now?  back in 96 when I drove to Alaska it was a no no,  a 12 gauge wasn't a problem.   I bought some bear spray in Alaska and gave it to a fellow prospector when I left.  highdesertranger
Just don't forget that a big gun should also be a necessity in the woods (if legal) as it gives you more options.

Bear spray sometimes don't work, not even against this Pit Bull where a whole can was used on him and "it barely released".  Now you'd think it was the Bear Spray alone, but right before this, a good 20+ minutes was from 3-4 grown men kicking this Pit Bull in the head, face, etc. multiple times with steel toed boots and beating it with a baseball bat....even the owner of the Pit took a turn to repeatedly beat it over the head with a baseball bat....after which, Animal Control came with steel batons to beat on it some more.  Finally, a FULL CAN of Bear Spray got it to "barely release".

The Pit Bull wasn't even dead...was leashed and taken away to be euthanized.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrBS6EQ9G-I


So Bear Spray is good, but not even close to guaranteeing  anything...including a bear that really wants you that day.
taser maybe?  would that work?
In most states Taser's are the same as a gun. James AKA Lynx
Pages: 1 2