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Re: Pop-Up Camper

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Pop-Up Camper
March 21, 2009 10:39AM
Now that we're clear about not using the refrigerator in the pop-up camper, we're worried that even though all our food will be stored in a bear box, the camper could have smells in it from all the food that has been stored and cooked it in the past six years. Since I can't find other posts on pop-up campers and trailers, I'm guessing it is of no concern, OR people just don't bring such rigs to Yosemite. Advice anyone?

avatar Re: Pop-Up Camper
March 21, 2009 11:33AM
My sister's never been to Yosemite, but she does have a pop-up trailer and she spends quite a bit of time at Devils Postpile/Minaret Fall area, which isn't too much different than Yosemite (and not that far from there, either). She does not use her fridge and bears have not been an issue in 10 years.

I think the bear issue gets overblown.
avatar Re: Pop-Up Camper
March 21, 2009 11:56AM

While cleaning out stuff is recommended, pretty much everyone comes into Yosemite in a vehicle that's been used to transport food at some time. Maybe there's a soda spill or a few crumbs. Yosemite's "bear aware" videos actually show people merely removing food wrappers and soda cups, but it looks like minor smells would still be there. They recommend vacuuming the carpets and upholstery if you can, but you don't have to go overboard.

In the backcountry pretty much everyone stores food in their packs, but makes sure they're in the bear canister when setting up camp. I certainly didn't rinse off my pack, and there was a bear going into someone else's camp which didn't actually go after anyone's food.

While it could be bad for you if a bear breaks into your pop-up camper, that's not the main concern of the NPS. Their primary concern is if a bear actually scores food and learns that breaking into vehicles pays off compared to looking for natural food sources.

avatar Re: Pop-Up Camper
March 22, 2009 11:38AM
That's the issue, isn't it? Stupid people, smart bears. Once both learn, we'd all be better off.

Heeeey Boo-Boo! C'mere, have this yummy sammich, it'll make for a great photo!
avatar Re: Pop-Up Camper
March 22, 2009 12:10PM
The deal is that once a bear scores good grub, it tries to repeat it. They seem to be creatures of habit.

The story I heard from a ranger was about a particular bear that broke into a Camaro and got a particularly satisfying meal. That same summer the bear learned to recognize that model of car on sight and proceeded to try and repeat it about two dozen times, earning the nickname "Camaro Bear".

Then there was the bear that learned to recognize canned food and got good at chewing through metal cans. Apparently it got known as "Snaggletooth" because it had damaged a lot of its teeth. What finally got it was when it tried biting through a can of pressurized whipped cream, which exploded in its mouth and got stuck..

Post Edited (03-22-09 12:12)
Re: Pop-Up Camper
March 22, 2009 02:31PM
I've seen various types of campers or tent trailers used without problems. They do tend to over-emphasize the cleaning issue, probably for good reason though. They need to get across to people that it's important to look through and get everything that might attract a bear.

Probably if you vacuum and clean all the little places where crumbs or dropped food might have accumulated, and do some cleaning for any grease etc. that might remain, you should be OK.

No guarantees of course. There's always the technique used to keep marmots from ripping up your tent...just leave it open. Except then you'd have all sorts of critters exploring while you're away.

Post Edited (03-22-09 21:01)

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