Poll

Did you carry a bear spray when riding the Rocky Mountain sections of the Transamerica Trail?

Yes
0 (0%)
No
6 (100%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Author Topic: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains  (Read 1723 times)

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Offline BikeFreak

Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:24:12 pm »
This poll is for those people who have toured the Transamerica Trail, more specifically the Rocky Mountain sections which is a bear habitat. The poll is targeted towards those cyclists who have camped out at all times, especially in remote USFS campgrounds (or alike).

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 06:05:03 pm »
You will be very lucky to see a bear on the TA. I know that we didn't.  We were only a couple places where they said we missed a bear sighting by a day or less.  I definitely wouldn't bother with bear spray.

If you should do the Sierra Cascades route you will probably see a lot of bears.  I know that we did.  I still wouldn't bother with bear spray there either.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 11:00:52 am »
The funny thing about wildlife habitat in the western Unted States? It's growing into the urban areas as certain species become very good at thriving among the humans and their vast supplies of free food and nice places to hide.

I'd carry bear spray only in the areas where bear encounters are likely. Sightings are not the same thing and the difference depends on the individual bear as much as all of the variables of speed, distance, hunger, curiousity, bad temper and previous experience.

But bear information is difficult to parse. Park personnel don't want any liability issues and they dont' trust you so they say to carry sprays. Biologists will tell you a different story. Wildlife enthusiasts and hunters have another story that often involves a statement like, "Sprays are useless. You need a gun. A big gun." Carrying firearms while bike touring is yet another interesting topic.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 04:43:23 pm »
I wouldn't carry bear spray except possibly in some areas of northern Canada. I can mitigate (not eliminate, of course) my risk by rigorous safe practices. Don't ever take any food or other smellies within a hundred yards of your tent.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 07:39:10 am »
The funny thing about wildlife habitat in the western Unted States? It's growing into the urban areas as certain species become very good at thriving among the humans and their vast supplies of free food and nice places to hide.

Funny you should mention this. Just got done watching a story on GMA this morning about a bear that took a dip in a residential swimming pool in Monrovia, CA.

Last week I saw two different stories about bears. One was captured in Steamboat Springs. The other in a heavily populated area Bucks County, PA, not that far from Philadelphia.

Saw one bear on the TA at the campground Jenny Lake in the Teetons. (Despite being warned that a bear had been seen around camp during the previous few days, an uncaring cyclist left his trash on his picnic table while he wandered off to try to get a cell phone signal.) It was a young one. Likely something had happened to the mother or she drove him off after becoming pregnant again early. A few pots and pans banged together scared him off.

As noted, your chances of even seeing a bear are generally remote, except maybe in Yellowstone where you won't be doing any wilderness camping unless you leave the bike behind and go into the backcountry. The three black bears seen during my rides on the Northern Tier wanted nothing to do with humans. They simply crossed the road and went about their business.

BTW...Unless you are going to be traveling up some unpaved road for a few miles, those U.S.F.S. campgrounds are not likely to be that remote. Many are right along the highway and can be heavily occupied depending on the location and time of year. Madison and Colter Bay campgrounds in Yellowstone N.P. were insanely crowded near the end of June. I did see some old evidence of bear activity (ripped up tree stumps) at the primitive ACA/U.S.F.S. campground on the east slope of Togwotee, but even that place is close to the highway. And with it's stunning view of the Teetons, it's worth any risk you might be exposing yourself to. Just use the bear box.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 07:39:38 am »
Bear sited yesterday in Princeton, NJ, which is not exactly in the wilderness.

Offline HONDO

Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 08:51:02 am »
If Im in bear country I carry it whether its a day hike, camping trip, whatever. I feel better with it, it doesnt weigh that much and I feel Im worth the $50 it costs. Maybe Tim Treadwell and his girlfriend would be alive today had he had a can with him.Just my 2 cents worth.