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Just rambling... about bears and shelter and just thinking...

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pipascus

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Never been trekking, though I have been hiking.
Some thoughts are...
I'd like a tent. I know the lean-to is more period correct, but I don't like the idea of a snake or other critter in by bedroll. Also, the idea of a bear. Maybe it's silly, but I already had a bear poke its nose against my tent at night in the smokies: I woke up at about 1AM from the sound of something slowly coming closer, then saw the woman I took looking at me with eyes as wide as saucers (I think it was a full moon). The thing just pushed the fabric in more and more, but I couldn't hear the breathing. I grabbed my 1911 with my right hand, just in case, and, once it got to about a foot pushed in, I backhanded it with my left. Thing took off running; sounded like the forest was coming apart-and I actually laughed. But still, man, that scene in the movie BACKCOUNTRY! I know bear attacks are rare, but I don't want to be the one who draws that short straw to a bear biting my head! Ran into another bear hiking on the AT. Big sucker! We were in a group of four and he went around us after smelling the air and bobbing his head side to side a bit. He stopped just a few yards away and just stood there, eyeballing us from the corner of his eye until we walked on.

I was teaching art to middle school kids and an Apache boy in 5th grade showed me some gnarly scars on his head. Said he was with his dad and mom and sister hiking a year or so earlier, and a cougar just ran out and grabbed him, dragging him off a bit. The dad hit the cougar with rocks and it wouldn't let go, he said, so his dad shot it.

I've been hiking out by Flagstaff and here in the White Mountains and its common to see bear scat and big cougar prints all over.

So... my point is, I think I will carry a Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt loaded with Buffalo Boar, because a flintlock it useless if I wake up to a hungry bear chomping on me!
I guess an exception would maybe be if traveling with two or more others who are also armed with flintlocks.
 

tenngun

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Treking is a free for all. If your with some bodies you all decide the rules. By your self you have a jury of one. So if you want a hand gun in your pack that’s ok.
Tents are a trade off. No correct tent is light weight. Even a plain tarp is going to be about eight pounds.... the same about as a gallon of water. No period tent will help keep the creepy crawlies away.
Panther primitives and civil war out fits sell small wedges, half shelters and an open face shelters.
 

Zonie

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Pipascus:

Since your in the White Mountains in Arizona, be sure to keep off of any reservations if you have a firearm on you. The Indians will confiscate your firearms and vehicle as well as fine you if you enter their lands armed.

Bears will pretty much leave you alone if you don't have any food they can smell on you or in your tent. That makes eating outside the tent almost mandatory so no small pieces can end up on the floor.

(It's against the forum rules to talk about modern firearms outside the Premium Member area of the forum so, please don't get into discussions about your choice of guns unless they are traditional muzzleloading guns.)
 

pipascus

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Treking is a free for all. If your with some bodies you all decide the rules. By your self you have a jury of one. So if you want a hand gun in your pack that’s ok.
Tents are a trade off. No correct tent is light weight. Even a plain tarp is going to be about eight pounds.... the same about as a gallon of water. No period tent will help keep the creepy crawlies away.
Panther primitives and civil war out fits sell small wedges, half shelters and an open face shelters.

I've been thinking of a way to make a sort of closed in diamond shelter tarp. I remember reading someone used very tightly knit cotton and water proofed it. Said it was great as a tent and weighed almost nothing.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I've been thinking of a way to make a sort of closed in diamond shelter tarp. I remember reading someone used very tightly knit cotton and water proofed it. Said it was great as a tent and weighed almost nothing.
Well, none of the historic tentage that I've ever seen had a sewn in floor..., not sure you can "snake proof" one, without the floor being sewn in.
You could have a tent maker adapt a current tent, but canvas is going to be heavy, and adding a floor is more weight...

How did folks deal with snakes before nylon tents with floors ??

In an environment where snakes, vampire bats, and other creepy crawlies are a real threat, i.e. the jungle, the solution is to sleep in a hammock with a tarp hanging overhead. Not sure where you are, or if the trees are sufficiently plentiful to allow that...,

This could be replicated with linen and linen canvas:
Jungle Hammock.JPG


A trekking lean-to is often made thus, but the ends are open, as you have observed.

LEEN TO.jpg




LD
 

pipascus

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Well, none of the historic tentage that I've ever seen had a sewn in floor..., not sure you can "snake proof" one, without the floor being sewn in.
You could have a tent maker adapt a current tent, but canvas is going to be heavy, and adding a floor is more weight...

How did folks deal with snakes before nylon tents with floors ??

In an environment where snakes, vampire bats, and other creepy crawlies are a real threat, i.e. the jungle, the solution is to sleep in a hammock with a tarp hanging overhead. Not sure where you are, or if the trees are sufficiently plentiful to allow that...,

This could be replicated with linen and linen canvas:
View attachment 48154

A trekking lean-to is often made thus, but the ends are open, as you have observed.

View attachment 48163



LD

I have thought of a hammock, but it's just too restrictive as an enclosed shelter for me.
I have thought of a diamond shelter with the regularly open areas having an addition of much thinner material to serve as a barrier for snakes, and a sort of "warning" barrier from bears. The encounter I had in the smokies: the bear that pushed his snout against my tent wall... I still feel that barrier provides a sort of deterrent, or delay system. If it wasn't there, the bear would have been able to lick my face if it wanted to. With the barrier, even though practically paper thin, eliminated its ability to see me and also seemed to give it just enough doubt to pause and smell, which bought me a few seconds to think. Waking up at 1AM to find a bear pushing its nose into one's tent isn't the most reassuring feeling, I don't want to imagine the feeling if there was no fabric there at all!

On the other hand, I am not looking to trek to necessarily do a historical experiment: especially if I am alone. Just like I will use a modern canoe, I can use a modern tent. Seems more likely that if alone or with one other person, I will use a modern backpacking tent. If in a group, I would be fine with the historically correct shelter.
 

Rifleman1776

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I have two books with stories of bear attacks in Alaska. One is devoted to modern day events, the other is based on oral history and legend for years past. Both emphasize clearly that a tent is virtually no protection at all from a hungry bear. Several years back a fellow in Alaska made the news frequently for his illegal escapades with grizzly/brown bears. He claimed he was "one" with the bears and they would not hurt him. Then, he and his girlfriend took a hiking camping trip. Both got eaten by bears. He is now really "one" with the bears. Also, there seems to be quite a lot of evidence that women having their period attract and, possibly, anger bears making them extremely dangerous. I had a personal experience with camping and bears in 1960. I was in the Air Force in Washington state. A couple friends and myself liked to go hiking in the Cascade mountains. Our equipment was utterly basic. A couple military blankets held together with large laundry pins, some food stuffed inside and that was about it. We slept on the ground with the blankets for warmth. One morning I woke up smelling 'something'. Looking around, only inches from my face was a big pile of bear droppings still steaming. o_O
 

Zonie

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I have two books with stories of bear attacks in Alaska....

We slept on the ground with the blankets for warmth. One morning I woke up smelling 'something'. Looking around, only inches from my face was a big pile of bear droppings still steaming. o_O
I guess that answers the question about what bear's do in the woods??

My guess is, he was trying to tell you what he thought about you traipsing about in his wilderness. He just wasn't very accurate delivering his message.
🤣 🤣 🤣
 

Dale Lilly

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When I was about twelve, we were in Yellowstone Park. Middle of night a small black bear entered our tent. Dad, sister and I were awake … Mom .. woke up and, groggy, just smacked the bear on the nose. It sat down, cried a bit, and hi-tailed it out of there. Then mom shook like a leaf for ten minutes. Polecat
 
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I have hunted black bears and had a few interactions with them when hunting deer, I believe the blacks are more curious as to what you are or looking for a meal in case your camping, I would never challenge a black bear especially a sow with cubs then you have big problems, You just need to make sure the bear is aware of your presence and make a slow retreat, I prefer the slow retreat method and never run, I believe this triggers the bears natural instinct that you are prey. As to camping run a very clean camp and use a bear bag for your food items. Funny story a friend (city boy)and I were trekking in the green ridge state Forrest that evening we set a lean too for the night and he ask about bears I explained the bear bag set up and he followed suit but only hung the bag about 4 ft. off the ground I just rolled up in my blankets and went to sleep. Never was in grizzly country but from what I have read of those guys that is a whole different situation the only way I would like to see one hunting is with one of the unmentionable rifles and at least 300 yards away from me.
 

pipascus

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I have two books with stories of bear attacks in Alaska. One is devoted to modern day events, the other is based on oral history and legend for years past. Both emphasize clearly that a tent is virtually no protection at all from a hungry bear. Several years back a fellow in Alaska made the news frequently for his illegal escapades with grizzly/brown bears. He claimed he was "one" with the bears and they would not hurt him. Then, he and his girlfriend took a hiking camping trip. Both got eaten by bears. He is now really "one" with the bears. Also, there seems to be quite a lot of evidence that women having their period attract and, possibly, anger bears making them extremely dangerous. I had a personal experience with camping and bears in 1960. I was in the Air Force in Washington state. A couple friends and myself liked to go hiking in the Cascade mountains. Our equipment was utterly basic. A couple military blankets held together with large laundry pins, some food stuffed inside and that was about it. We slept on the ground with the blankets for warmth. One morning I woke up smelling 'something'. Looking around, only inches from my face was a big pile of bear droppings still steaming. o_O
I agree about the tent being no protection. But what I think it does is possible offer even a few seconds of warning. Maybe gives me a couple of seconds to react in contrast to waking up with my head in the bear's mouth.

As far as your encounter, that must've been something. Imagine waking up to the bear actually depositing his gift beside you!
 

tenngun

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Watched ‘A Walk in the Woods’ last night. I’ve not read the book.
So I don’t know how close the movie was to the real thing. Howsomever Nolte and Redford do manage to scare off black bear by picking up thirst tents from the inside, shaking it while yelling loud. Not a trick I could do with any shelter I’ve used in the woods.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I guess an exception would maybe be if traveling with two or more others who are also armed with flintlocks.
In the case of a group of three or more, you have a fire watch. Each person takes a 3 or 4 hour watch. With a cougar or bear threat, you don't want your life depending on a sleepy-eyed person suddenly awakened, trying to bring a flintlock into alignment on the attacking critter in the dim light of a dying campfire. 😮

You want a good fire, or better yet an alert person using a small, very bright LED flashlight to illuminate the target ..., perhaps a modern handgun in 10mm would not go amiss either? Suffering a historically correct injury or authentic manner of death is generally not the purpose of the hobby, eh? ;)

LD
 

Grenadier1758

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Watched ‘A Walk in the Woods’ last night. I’ve not read the book.
So I don’t know how close the movie was to the real thing. Howsomever Nolte and Redford do manage to scare off black bear by picking up thirst tents from the inside, shaking it while yelling loud. Not a trick I could do with any shelter I’ve used in the woods.
Most of the sort of effective methods is that you stand close together with arms outstretched and something to make it appear that you are quite large and much bigger than the bear. Most bear will back down from a much larger adversary that is not running away.
 

Bledfor Days

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I do a fair bit of backpacking here in BC. Food is the number 1 attraction for bears. I use a goofy sounding rule called the 'Bearmuda Triangle.' Prepare and eat your food 100 yds from your tent or shelter and hang your food 100 meters from there. We have an incredible amount of bears because of the abundant food sources and mild weather. I have one that frequents the field across from my house.
He looks like a black haystack. Crappy pic taken with phone through a cheap spotting scope.
20200105_145338.jpg
 

Rató:rats

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black bears seem to be able to detect a particularly unappetizing fare, human waste. So have a designated bathroom area and bury your sh** well
 

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