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Old 05-18-11, 10:30 AM   #1
donquixote17
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Pacific Coast Wildlife

I'm leaving on a pacific coast tour in 4 days from Bellingham to San Diego and I'll be camping 95% of the time. What animals or bugs should I be aware of in Washington, Oregon, and California?

I grew up backpacking in Alaska, so I know how to keep my food from the bears, but is that necessary along the pacific coast?

Will I need mosquito repellent?

And I know almost nothing about being smart around snakes.

If you have any advice on how to deal with animals and bugs along the coast, I'd appreciate your help. If you don't think I should worry about them, let me know too.
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Old 05-18-11, 10:54 AM   #2
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Ticks, may carry Lyme disease..
Raccoons rather than bears want at your food..
but there are some areas,
like Northern Cal 'Lost Coast' where there are , Bears
so the don't eat in your tent, and bringing the bear jar may still be advisable..

Mozzies are not so much of an issue, right on the coast due to the wind
but calm air times and locations they show up.
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Old 05-18-11, 11:23 AM   #3
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Poison Oak. Learn to identify it, and avoid it like the plague.

Ticks are never fun, and I have a strong dislike of them, but they only carry Lyme disease around Mendocino county. The rest of the coast, they just suck your blood.

As far as snakes, don't bother them, and if you see one, let it go on it's way. They aren't that hard to figure out.
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Old 05-18-11, 11:38 AM   #4
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Not too many problems this time of year. A good rule of thumb is that if a campground provides a bear box for food storage, use it. Also agree that in Washington and Oregon raccoons are a bigger problem than bears when it comes to food, bring a line and hang food from a tree branch. Snakes are not a problem in the north, not sure about southern California. Carry insect repellent and use it if you feel you need.
Stop and eat at the Otis Cafe in Otis, OR, just north of Lincoln City.
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Old 05-18-11, 11:55 AM   #5
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What's been said. I've encountered the odd rattlesnake here and there, not more often than once a year. Raccoons are an issue in California as well. Ticks are everywhere and you'll likely pick some up if you go walking through tall grass/heavy brush. But on a bicycle tour, staying in developed campgrounds, you'll not likely encounter any. In campgrounds your biggest hassles are likely to come from raccoons and other campers.
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Old 05-18-11, 01:08 PM   #6
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Stop and eat at the Otis Cafe in Otis, OR, just north of Lincoln City.
Great place!Ate there when I cucled the Oregon Coast years ago.
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Old 05-18-11, 01:19 PM   #7
donquixote17
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Thanks for the advice everyone. Looks like racoons and ticks are the ones to look out for. And good call on the poison oak. I need to figure out what that looks like.
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Old 05-18-11, 02:34 PM   #8
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poison sumac

poison oak

poison ivy

If it has leaves of 3,let it be......

Leave the snakes alone and you'll be fine.

Ticks,not a big a deal.Stay in the campgrounds and you should be fine.If you do some hiking,you should look yourself over just in case.

Racoons will eat you out of house and home and don't think a buckle or clasp will stop them.I think the harder you make it,the more they like it.

Pack rats,not a big problem in campgrounds,too much action for them.

Squirrels,can be a bother at times,but nowhere near as aggressive as racoons.

Bears,they will either eat you or they won't,food or no food.Unless you carry a 30-06,they're going to do as they please.

Last edited by Booger1; 05-18-11 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 05-18-11, 03:46 PM   #9
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Stop and eat at the Otis Cafe in Otis, OR, just north of Lincoln City.
+1
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Old 05-18-11, 05:05 PM   #10
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Watch put for beggers!

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Old 05-18-11, 09:07 PM   #11
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The wiley and illusive jackalope
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Old 05-18-11, 11:20 PM   #12
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+2 or is +3 for the Otis Cafe. We had a battle with Raccoons last summer on the California Coast. They unzipped my wife's bento bag and ate her M&Ms. They also took one of my front panniers right from underneath the rainfly and managed to drag it about 15' before I heard them. They also checked out all the other panniers that were sitting on a picnic table. I hit two of them with a blast of Halt, but it did not seem to slow tham down. All I managed to do was get it all over our panniers. In retrospect it is funny, but it got pretty serious for a few hours.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-19-11 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 05-20-11, 10:33 AM   #13
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A photo above prompts this addition. The No. 1 vector for the fleas that carry bubonic plague in California is the common ground squirrel. A few cases are reported each year. It's best (for a couple of reasons) not to get too cozy with them. Otherwise, nothing to worry about.
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Old 05-20-11, 11:29 AM   #14
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The plague in squirrels is correct,in fact ,many campgrounds have signs stating just that,be careful.They have been known to carry west nile virus and some bad parasites also.Cute,but not that cute.One thing you don't have to worry about is rabies,rodents(squirrels are big hairy rats) rarely carry rabies.

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