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Old 07-30-2012, 08:11 PM   #11
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We had no problems when we camped at Yosemite, but I was paranoid so I put the cosmetics and other smelly items into the bear box, plus sprayed the area around the velcro seals with ammonia. They tell you to hide things that the bears recognize, such as coolers and soda bottles, bags of chips, etc. When we left during the day we closed the curtains on the TM. While driving around, we covered the cooler with towels to disguise it.

Then only close encounter we've ever had with a bear was when we camped one year at Lake Almanor, Rocky Point campground. Our neighbors were 3 or 4 20-something guys, tent camping, they were good camping neighbors. One night a bear ripped into their cooler and ate their steaks, hamburgers and bacon. You should have seen the size of the claw marks on that cooler, and the bear footprints. That was one big bear! We didn't even wake up when it happened.

We've seen them around, at Mammoth Pool and other parts of Yosemite, but that's the only time we've had one come so close to the campsite. I keep pepper spray in the camper, but haven't had to use it yet.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:30 PM   #12
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We have camped in Yellowstone, and in the high Sierras. In both places, entry was forbidden to tents and to campers with canvas sides, but entry was readily granted to a TrailManor.
I hear people say this from time to time and I hear of salesmen at RV dealers telling people this. I can't understand where it comes from or why it persists because it is just plain incorrect. Yellowstone, Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon do NOT deny entry to people in tents and canvas pop-up tent trailers. I know this because I have camped at all of those places in tents and pop-up tent trailers. In fact, the last time I was at Yellowstone (last summer) those two types of camping rigs accounted for more than 50% of all camping rigs in the park.

Yellowstone has 12 campgrounds and only one requires a hard-sided camping vehicle. This is the Fishing Bridge RV Park. Some people claim that is because the stream there is a place bears like to come for fish. Other say it's just that Xanterra, the concessionaire, wants to save the utility sites for the big rigs and cram as many of them in there as possible. (It's a horrible place to "camp." It's like being in a mall parking lot at Christmas time.) The bottom line is that people can camp in the other 11 CGs, whether park- or concessionaire-operated, in sleeping bags on the ground with no tent, in a tent or in any kind of mobile rig with or without canvas.

The park rule is that no food, cooking/eating equipment or toiletries may be stored in a tent or soft-sided camping vehicle such as a pop-up tent trailer. It has to be locked in a bear box or in the tow vehicle out of sight whenever it is not being actually used. Such items can be stored in hard-sided vehicles and the TrailManor qualifies as a hard-sided vehicle.

If anyone doubts me on these points please call these parks and find out the truth for yourself.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:41 AM   #13
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Like you, I can only report my own experiences. But you are right, my hurried response was not specific enough to avoid unintended interpretations. In each case, what I should have said was "I have camped in Yellowstone and the High Sierras, and in the specific campgrounds I chose, entry was forbidden to canvas ...". It never occurred to me that anyone would interpret my statements to say that entry to all of Yellowstone was fordibben, or entry to all of the High Sierras was forbidden - but I should have been more specific.

At the bottom line, the best idea is, as you said, to check with the specific campground in which you plan to stay.

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Old 08-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #14
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I have backpacked in Yosemite 3 times. For the first two times we used the classic technique of storing food on a rope between two trees. On the last trip bear proof canisters were required for all backpackers. I have 2.

Somewhere I read that the way they certify a new product is they take it to a local zoo. At the zoo is one of the particularly nasty bears that has been permanently removed from Yosemite.

They allow the bear to watch them put his favorite snack inside the canister and then seal it and drop it near him. If it survives an hour then it has passed the test and is certified.

This might be an urban legend.

Bears have learned to see the rope between the trees and send the cubs up to chew through the rope. A friend of mine has had good success by using fishing line instead of rope. In the dark, fishing line is invisible. If there are only two trees then a very smart bear might figure this out. But if there are many trees then it becomes a guessing game, or the bear just gets confused.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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The reason we bought the TM in the first place is that we wanted to feel comfortable cooking in our camper. And living in Colorado, I didn't feel that way about a canvas sided pop-up. Like others have said, if a bear really wants in, a camper is not going to stop him, BUT it seems to be the general opinion that the TM, even with the canvas velcro, is seen as a hard-sided trailer, and you can expect to have the same liberties and restrictions as you would in any other hard-sided trailer. I don't think we have ever stayed at a place WITHOUT bear boxes, and we have never had any trouble or felt timid about storing food and cooking in our TM.
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bears, safety, security

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