Afraid of Bears whilst Camping? Why not bring a Portable Electric Fence?

warning graphic images on first cite

I was perusing the Bear Spray website here , when I saw an advert for a portable electric fence called Bear Shock. :smack: You have got to be kidding me. I seriously doubt a full grown, hungry, Kodiak bear will stop at that. Pluse look at the pick, and look how close they can actually get to the tent. Do you really want to be pissing off an 800 pound animal that close to where you sleep? I certainly don’t. I’d rather rely on my Glok, and a can of Bear spray.

What do y’all think? Is this crazy? Or a novel, good idea?

I’ve seen a cute widdle black bear go over a real electric fence without a second thought.

I wouldn’t feel terribly secure in the belief that a device powered by two 1.5v cells was keeping a Kodiak away from me.

Besides, there’s no protection like keeping your food up and away from your sleeping area. (Yeah, I’ve woken up with a bear pokin’ his head into my tent. Scared the bejeesuz out of me, but since there was nothing good to eat in the tent, he lost interest and buggered off. I’m so glad I’m not good to eat.)

You wish it’d be that easy to get rid of me. :smiley:

Read that page carefully. The Bear Shock is not intended to address the problem of bears in the backcountry. It’s intended to address the problem of fear of bears in the backcountry. As in, it won’t actually keep the bears away, but if you’re a sucker, it’ll make you feel better, and that’s something, at least.

It might make you feel better up to the point that you get up at night and, in a dazed (and on my camping trips, likely half drunk) stagger, looking for a place to take a whiz, go stumbling right into your own electric fence.

Or whiz on it. Which, as Ren can tell you, you should not do.

Who goes camping in a swamp?

My brother’s ‘neighbor’ down the lake a ways laid down sheets of plywood with 16p nails driven through at 6" intervals all around his cabin to keep the grizzlies from smashing through the walls in search of food. The result: lots of bloody footprints, a hole in the cabin wall, and devastation inside. Not to mention the blisters from driving all those nails.

Actually The Okefenokee Swamp has overnight camping and such. Us bears from the swamps gotta have our share of pic-a-nic baskets to steal too, after all. :smiley:

so it does the same thing as a pair of Joo-Janta 200 SuperChromatic Peril-Sensitive sunglasses, only not as well, right?

Well, it won’t stop a bear who smells something tasty in the area, but it may keep a random bear from wandering into your tent.

How much is 6,000 volts, anyway? What if a human touched it? Serious damage or just a good shock and no real harm?

Or the prospective customer in question could just do a little research and learn the actual magnitude of the alleged threat.

So they’re like [thread=10841]deer whistles[/thread]?


Poking its head in your tent? You got off lucky. Try a bear poking it’s jaw onto your ankle, then poking its claws across your tent-mates face. On the plus side, I (almost) always get to trump anyone’s animal attack story. :slight_smile:

While walking across the lines and the squares,
Be careful not to step on the bears.
There’s bears in the stairs and sometimes in pairs,
Very difficult to get along with.

Bears! Everywhere! Beware!
Lookout, lookout!
Lookout, lookout!
Bears! They don’t care who they scare!
You better beware!

It looks like a photo from the cover of one of those Wresting Magazines.

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear

Chefguy I am not surprised by your anecdote, I have witnessed bears exhibit amazingly high pain thresholds. If a bear wants to go/get in someplace, they generally do.

I called the landfill and the Borough Engineering Department, and everybody must be having a Monday, as no one was able to tell me the voltage of the electrified fencing which surrounds our landfill “off the top of their heads”. The best answer I received was “It’s the same kind of fencing used for livestock”. Perhaps the inconvinience of the electrical shock is sufficient to dissuade the bears to try the dumpsters here in town, because that’s where they like to feed now. (!) The village I lived in has installed the same kind of fence, and apparently it is also effective in keeping the bears out of the dump, but hey! The pickings are better in the village and at the cannery.

Most of the adult brownies I have encountered have been closer to 1200 lbs than 800 lbs. Big bears, very impressive animals. Out of all my encounters, I have had only one bear seriously charge me, and it wasn’t an actual charge. An idiot lodge employee had been baiting bears all summer to enable their clients to get photos of the bears without the dump as a background. The bear which charged me in the autumn was looking for breakfast, and I wasn’t on her menu! My home had been built on her trail, and she and I had plenty of encounters which culminated in each of us tearing off in opposite directions.

Stranger On A Train excellent advice, and thanks for the links. I am very much against the attitude of “It’s a bear! Ohmygod, get me the gun!” which seems to prevail with so many people. A beast that size and with that much power and intelligence should be respected. That is how I have always gotten along with them! (wanna see my kinship-with-the-bear tattoo?)

Dambit! You beat me to it! :smack:

Most electric fencers top out at around 10,000 volts. 6k volts would be fine, but to be effective on large animals the fence needs to be not only electrified but heavily constructed. As soon as a wire is shorted to ground, a fencer powered by a couple D cells is completely useless, so a portable fence like in the OP would shock a bear right up until the bear knocked a pole over. Temporary fences of that sort are fairly popular for letting cattle graze fields after harvest, or generally any area that’s not ordinarily fenced. Even with a badass AC fencer on them, though, they’re only useful when you have a herd of cows that’s not prone to testing fences. Cows not accustomed to respecting fences will walk right through them.

If you ask me, marketing a fence like that as bear protection is just begging for a grizzly-sized liability suit.

I think you are placing entirely too much faith in your Glock pistol. It doesn’t come in any caliber that is sufficiently powerful to stop a large brown bear, even 10mm. You are only likely to make the bear madder becasue of all those annoying bee stings.

True - and like my uncle always says, "Never trust your aim. If something is charging you you had better wait till it is at the end of the barrel before firing. And never aim for the head, especially on a grizzly…’