Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Default Bear and Cougar Safety: Pacific Northwest

    I am planning to go solo car camping (inside of the car) in the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests of Oregon. It's free and it's close to the ocean. In many ways it's a spiritual journey, i.e., I need to get out of the city for awhile or I will go insane, but I definitely want to come back in one piece.

    I have read dozens of safety tips, regarding how to NOT attract bears to your campsite (car in my case), and how to remain aware of your surroundings - with respect to cougars. However, much of the information contradicts other advice that is offered. Some say that "bear proof" containers are the only way to go - while others think that the "bag trick" is fine; and some say that even an oil leak on my car is an open invitation to a bear.

    Can I hang my food, garbage, toothpaste, or petroleum products from a tree - and feel free to fall asleep in my car without fear of becoming lunch in the middle of the night?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    I've seen the same contradictory advice with regards to bear safety. The key things I've taken away from all of the advice are:

    -Don't let bears perceive you as a threat - you will lose that battle. Twice when hiking off of Skyline Drive in Virginia I've encountered bears; one time it was just a visual of two cubs nearby, another time it was mamma and three cubs. Both times, I backed away from the area and the bears soon left.
    -Don't give bears the opportunity to easily score food (e.g. garbage should be tied in a difficult to reach location up off the forest floor)

    I've not seen anything about petroleum products causing any particular issues.

    As far as cougars, I've not been in situations where I've had to concern myself with them; perhaps I should, as recently in my home area folks have reportedly seen them out and about.

    Indeed, it's been my experience that raccoons and skunks are the more troublesome nocturnal woodland creatures.

  3. Default

    Thanks Mass Tim:

    Now I feel like some of my observations about the varied opinions are correct. At the end of the day - literally, I will just make sure that nothing in my car or on myself resembles the smell of food. If it's even close, I'll double-bag it and hang it high!

    Best regards, Henning

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default With Respect to bears and your car

    Bears have very good eyesight. Never leave anything in your car that looks like it could contain food. So remove all trash bags, coolers, from the car. They can also smell -- and one of their favorite triggers is sun screen. Remove everything from your car that has any kind of scent.

    If approached by a bear or a cougar -- always stand as tall as you can -- if either kind of animal is feeling aggressive they will assess how big a threat you represent -- You want to be the biggest animal out there. And like Tim mentioned, slowly back away. Get out of the sight of the animal by moving at right angles away from them.

    In the west, cougars are becoming a bit of a threat, so make sure you stop in and speak with rangers if you're going to be hiking/camping in an area. There more of an issue in Southern California than in the area you're heading.


Similar Threads

  1. Pacific Northwest Honeymoon
    By MstbBaker in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-18-2011, 07:04 PM
  2. Pacific Northwest in 7 days...HELP!
    By slv426 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-26-2010, 11:43 AM
  3. Pacific Northwest
    By lolofosh0sh0 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-25-2008, 09:04 AM
  4. Moving to Pacific Northwest
    By 52Cran in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-04-2007, 11:24 AM
  5. Pacific Northwest Coastline
    By imported_Jennifer in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-05-2004, 12:25 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name