Monday, November 28, 2022


Bear startles RV Shrink from deep sleep

The Shrink scores food from a trail “angel.” The Shrink likes to keep his identity private but we don’t think this photo will give him away.

Our RV Shrink, Dick Mallery, who has been popular with our readers for years for his sage advice, is not only an avid RVer, but an avid hiker. This past week he passed 1,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, from its beginning near the Mexican border all the way to north of Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada. He likes to hike about 25 to 30 miles a day.

Here’s a report from his wife about his recent encounter with a bear.

Donner Lake looking west

“After Donner Pass where he camped [in a tent] for the night, he was startled out of a deep sleep by a noise. He thought he was having a nightmare when he woke up to the sight of a bear’s head at the entrance of his tent. The bear had busted through the outside zipper and all that was between the two of them was the tent netting. Dick yelled and, fortunately, the bear took off. Dick had left his bear canister with my brother, Joel, because he didn’t want to carry the extra two pounds since it wasn’t required. He was only required to carry his food in the canister through the Sierras and Lassen National Park. I asked him why he didn’t hang his food and he said if he hung it the bear would get it for sure! Keeping it in the tent with him he would be able to protect it and at least have a chance to negotiate. :-}” 

We are happy to report that all is well. The Shrink is still on the trail, but we’re told he’s coming off soon. We’ll keep you posted if he encounters any more bears or other wild creatures (squirrels don’t count!).


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
F. Gisler
4 years ago

I live not far from Donner Summit. Beautiful area. Full of bears.
Keeping food or anything that could be food (chapstick, lotion, toothpaste, etc) in a tent while you’re in it, is foolish! Could have been much worse. Glad he’s OK and now better informed!

Steven M Jenkins
4 years ago

People ask this man for advice???

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago

Well, “people” advice; obviously not “bear” advice. 😉 —Diane at

4 years ago

Seriously, food in your tent in bear country??

His sage advice just got lowered several notches.

4 years ago
Reply to  Robbie

Agree. Very bad decision. His advice is suspect after this.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Just keep in mind (or bear in mind?) that the RV Shrink’s advice is usually regarding people, not bears. 😉 We at, as well as a lot of our readers, think he has pretty sound (and frequently humorous) advice when it comes to people and relationships, etc. But we’ll also agree that food in his tent was probably not his best idea. We’re just glad he survived to tell about it! 😀 —Diane at

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.