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Lightweight Fences for Bears

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Lightweight Fences for Bears

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Old 03-27-08, 08:02 PM
  #1  
Niles H.
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Lightweight Fences for Bears

In some areas, for some people -- especially families and other groups -- these might be a good option.

Most people can manage to shave off a little weight here and there -- and even without saving some weight elsewhere, 3.7 pounds isn't always so bad.

There is a good video here,

http://www.nols.edu/resources/resear...fence_xl.shtml

and more information here,

http://www.udap.com/bearshock.htm
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Old 03-27-08, 10:44 PM
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The Applachian Trail has all but removed their bear fences. Bear attacks are very rare. The best way to prevent a bear is to use common sense, like not keeping your food in your tent in bear country.

I also can't see how this is powered by 2 D batteries (3 volts) but yet maintain a 6,000 volt charge for 5 weeks.

And what about any smaller critters that touch this thing or if a human accidentally touches it?

Secure your campsite right and you don't have to worry about such items.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:46 PM
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Niles: I am sure that you are providing the above information as a public service. My knee jerk reaction follows:

At times I start to think that people want to control every possible or potential problem or risk that they might encounter on tour. Fear of the unknown seems to have infected our international, national and personal thinking and planning. These fears are inflated all out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the subject at hand. You are at greater risk stepping into the bathtub than from a bear encounter.

For every bear story endlessly highlighted or hyped in the media the odds of a bear encounter at any time or place remains low and can be reduced further by simple camping techniques like cooking away from your tents and storing all food and other attractants in bear boxes or hung properly.

Touring is not a risk free activity but I will always worry more about car encounters than bears encounters.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Niles: I am sure that you are providing the above information as a public service.
No, actually, Niles H. is a troll and should be ignored.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:11 PM
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I have spent lots of time camping in bear country. I can't imagine any motivated bear being deterred by a little fence. Better to think about keeping you food as far away from the tent as possible and as inaccessible to bears as you can.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Niles: I am sure that you are providing the above information as a public service. My knee jerk reaction follows:

At times I start to think that people want to control every possible or potential problem or risk that they might encounter on tour. Fear of the unknown seems to have infected our international, national and personal thinking and planning. These fears are inflated all out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the subject at hand. You are at greater risk stepping into the bathtub than from a bear encounter.

For every bear story endlessly highlighted or hyped in the media the odds of a bear encounter at any time or place remains low and can be reduced further by simple camping techniques like cooking away from your tents and storing all food and other attractants in bear boxes or hung properly.

Touring is not a risk free activity but I will always worry more about car encounters than bears encounters.
I totally agree. Yes - be wise and take precautions. But we do that all the time - when we step into the bathtub we step carefully so we don't slip and hit our head, we look both ways before crossing the street, we test out logs for stability before stepping on them... I think the issue is that so few people have actually had encounters with bears, so we don't know "intuitively" what to do.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
No, actually, Niles H. is a troll and should be ignored.
Damn straight!

He starts simply bizarre threads with absurd ideas bordering on the paranoid.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:18 AM
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Perhaps you could combine the power supply for the fence with the microwave power supply in order to save weight
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Old 03-28-08, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by spinner View Post
Perhaps you could combine the power supply for the fence with the microwave power supply in order to save weight
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Old 03-28-08, 10:11 AM
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I can imagine getting up in the middle of the night, unzipping, and having that stream come into contact with the hotwire. Rude awakening indeed.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:22 AM
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Really stupid to carry a fence around.

A Glock 9mm , a machete, and a steel bike frame would keep you much safer and last years longer.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:57 PM
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Niles H.
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Niles: I am sure that you are providing the above information as a public service....
Yes, glad to see that at least someone gets it.

Regarding the bear fences: The National Outdoor Leadership School also gets it, as do many of the people who have used these fences and offer their testimonials about them.

*******
Personally, I've had very close encounters (including surprises at extremely close range) with bears (including when sleeping and when eating), and would seriously consider carrying one of these in certain areas and at certain times of the year.

Statistically, bear encounters are rather rare. But these statistics are misleading, because they usually take a much larger and more general population, which includes many many many people who have virtually no chance of encountering bears.

When a person is living (camping, sleeping, eating, etc.) among them, the situation is very different, and the chances of encounters are much higher.

In some areas, one is virtually certain to have encounters.

Contrary to what some people are claiming, absence of food and food odors is not a reliable solution (again, during certain times in certain areas, with certain populations of bears).

If one talks with experienced rangers in areas that have a lot of bear problems, a clearer picture emerges.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
No, actually, Niles H. is a troll....
Falsehood, plain and simple.

Last edited by Niles H.; 03-28-08 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by diesel_dad View Post
I can't imagine any motivated bear being deterred by a little fence.
If you watch the video, you can see how deterred they actually are.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Touring is not a risk free activity but I will always worry more about car encounters than bears encounters.
I absolutely agree that cars are a greater threat for the majority of cyclotourists.

However, some camp in (intensive) bear country, and the bears can be a very legitimate concern.

Perhaps my own perspective is different because I have had so many encounters. Some of them have not been a joke at all -- they've been some of the most memorable and adrenaline-saturated moments of my life. Researching matters after these encounters, and speaking with rangers and bear experts, concerns were well confirmed and validated (even enhanced in some cases). If I were taking a family with children into these areas, I would almost certainly use one of these fences.

Part of the reason for posting the information is that some of the readers and participants here have mentioned plans to travel in bear country, and have mentioned wondering about precautions to take.

These fences are a very viable option for such people.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
..absurd ideas bordering on the paranoid.
Sorry, false.

Try bordering on the apodictically well-confirmed by multiple experiences in a variety of areas.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:14 PM
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Y'know, the first thing I did when I saw Niles' post was laugh out loud.

However, I happened to run it past a few friends of mine with some outdoor experience, though, and much to my surprise they did NOT think it was a completely insane idea. In particular you can get a pretty good jolt out of a couple of D batteries. So it might even work.

Personally I'd want more than one video as evidence of its effectiveness. It's also rather expensive.

I also would not plan to keep the food inside my tent and then surround said tent with the fence; for even if it does work, it's not necessarily fool-proof. E.g. another animal could easily damage the fence, or you might not set it up right, and voila you've got a furry visitor.

I suspect that overall, bear-proof canisters, "Ur-sacks," and getting your food as odor-proof as possible is still going to be more effective and easier to carry. The bear fence strikes me as a good secondary line of defense, that is really only useful if you are in an area where the bear population is high, bears are somewhat habituated to humans, and it will be difficult to replace your food supplies. (I think that narrows it down to, uh... Alaska? )

My understanding is that bear attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, but it's still not a good thing for them to become habituated to human food.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:20 PM
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Niles H.
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Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
I totally agree. Yes - be wise and take precautions. But we do that all the time - when we step into the bathtub we step carefully so we don't slip and hit our head, we look both ways before crossing the street, we test out logs for stability before stepping on them... I think the issue is that so few people have actually had encounters with bears, so we don't know "intuitively" what to do.
Yes, the precautions are not mutually exclusive.

There is no reason you cannot take appropriate precautions in the bathroom, while going down stairs, while driving, while flying a plane, while swimming, while with children who are doing such things, while choosing what diets to feed ourselves and our families, while exercising, while crossing the street, while crossing streams and rivers.....

AND while traveling and living among bears that have become conditioned to associate human beings and their possessions and campsites with unusual amounts of food.

There is nothing that says you have to sacrifice the latter in order to have the former.

*******
For some people bears are basically an abstraction. They haven't had the encounters and don't know how common they are in some areas.

They also don't know how destructive bears can be to campsites and equipment. They also haven't seen the aftermaths of maulings.

There is a good video showing some bears going through a campsite.

I've had it happen, and I've talked with others about it. It happens.

Even without food present, bears will do this. It isn't uncommon in certain areas.

It's expensive and trip-disrupting, among other things; and it's worth taking appropriate precautions in areas where it is a reasonable probability or likelihood.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by spinner View Post
Perhaps you could combine the power supply for the fence with the microwave power supply in order to save weight
You make joke.

It could work though.

Last edited by Niles H.; 03-28-08 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:35 PM
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This thread is a joke.................
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Old 03-28-08, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
...(I think that narrows it down to....)
Add Yosemite Valley, Little Yosemite, Tuolumne Meadows, many parts of Yellowstone, Tahoe National Forest, Hetch Hetchy, Lassen, Sequoia National Park, BLM lands, much of the Sierras, Glacier.............

(If experienced rangers in these areas are consulted, many of them will confirm. The bears with the worst reputations are actually not in Alaska but in the Sierras.)

Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
My understanding is that bear attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, but it's still not a good thing for them to become habituated to human food.
Attacks on human camping gear and possessions, particularly in some campsites, are actually extremely common in certain areas.

********
Although attacks are relatively rare, they do happen. Maulings and fatalities occur both with grizzlies and with black bears. Most knowledgeable rangers recommend strongly that people know the best protocols before they are faced with encounters.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
This thread is a joke.................
Not so, except in certain minds that just don't get it.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
Not so, except in certain minds that just don't get it.
I don't think you get it. What a stupid idea.

Anyway, spring bear season starts soon. Maybe its time for a new rug.

Last edited by ricohman; 03-28-08 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:47 PM
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The reason the batteries last so long is that the fence is just sitting in potential most of the time. They very rarely need to apply much power.

*******
It's also worth mentioning that raccoons (which are close relatives of bears, and share many behaviours) can also be quite destructive, especially in certain campsites.

They often move in when you are asleep or when the campsite is temporarily unattended.

And in some areas there are other types of animals that can be a problem.

These fences could be quite useful in some of these situations as well.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
The reason the batteries last so long is that the fence is just sitting in potential most of the time. They very rarely need to apply much power.

*******
It's also worth mentioning that raccoons (which are close relatives of bears, and share many behaviours) can also be quite destructive, especially in certain campsites.

They often move in when you are asleep or when the campsite is temporarily unattended.

And in some areas there are other types of animals that can be a problem.

These fences could be quite useful in some of these situations as well.
Even more helpful would not be keeping food in your tent.
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