Summer in Alaska means great adventures in the wild and infinite land for free camping. When you decide to go, be aware of possible troubles with the main inhabitants: bears.
Camping in a bear country requires some planning. Of course, it helps to adopt safety rules and carry the right equipment to protect you from bear intrusions. IBC7 Camping & Hunting provided the following list represents the necessary items to have with you.
7 Necessary Items for Protection from Bears
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#1. Bear resistant containers and airtight bags
You must keep the camp free of food and odors by using these containers built specifically to withstand the attacks of hungry bears. Carry also several airtight bags for smaller things, they are always practical to have;
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#2. Bear spray or deterrents
It can be life-saving when a bear is preparing to charge you. It is not harmful to the animal but dissuades it by causing a temporary irritation of the nose and eyes. If you plan on carrying one, make sure you are able to use it properly because, if sprayed downwind, it could hit you instead of the bear;
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#3. Electric fences
This solution is very effective in discouraging a bear entering your camp. It is only intended to cause fear to the animal that, by touching it, will be frightened and run away unharmed.
Make sure to have these 4 pieces:
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- A charger or energizer to generate a high voltage and low amperage charge, delivered in short pulses, so the animal can detach and escape;
- uninsulated electrical wires to conduct the pulses charge;
- several posts to pitch in the ground to support the fence;
- a grounding rod 4 ft. by 5/8th in. of metal. Attention: it saves the bear’s life and yours, don’t forget it!
#4. Garbage incinerator
Fire is the best mean to clean a field from food waste. The incinerator is fast and destroys every crumb of your trash. A fire pit is not the best solution because it takes too long to burn garbage and its smell will attract a downwind bear. Furthermore, a plantigrade digs out what hasn’t been completely destroyed;
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#5. Bear hang
Even if there are bear-resistant containers, it’s useful to have one. Make sure to carry a bear bag, a throw bag, a 40ft/12m rope, a small carabiner, and collect a sturdy short twig. These items will make your bear hang. The right suspended position is on a tree out of a bear’s reach, 12ft/4m above the ground, 6ft/2m away from the trunk;
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#6. Odorless food
Choose food that doesn’t require preparation or that doesn’t smell too much during cooking. Avoid smoked salmon, bacon, frying eggs, barbecue, etc.
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#7. A cooking/eating set of clothes
Bears smell your clothes if you cooked and go after you even if you enter your tent. Use the same set of clothes just for cooking and eating and, when you finish, make sure you put it in an airtight bag securely hidden in the cooking area, 100 yards from your sleeping area.