Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Have you ever had a bear in your campsite?

As RVers, we’ve all probably seen our fair share of bears, haven’t we? Perhaps you’ve seen a bear or two in Yellowstone or Alaska, Maine or Washington, and if you haven’t… well, you’re either lucky or missing out, depending on the situation! Wink.

Have you ever had a bear in your campsite? If so, tell us the story, please! We love hearing about (safe) bear encounters.

RV Travel
RV Travel
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Lois A TibbettsDurkee
1 year ago

When we had a tent camper my hubby and I were lying in bed early one morning. I told him I heard sounds outside. He said it was just the guys at the boat landing. I said “No it’s a bear.” Then we heard a riiiiipppp and there was a 14″ tear in the canvas right by our feet. He got up and chased it away while I got out the needle and thread to sew it up. Later, after we had been out on the water for a while we came back and found another rip in the same area as the first one. We went inside and found milk all over the floor as well as all of our butter and meat lapped up. Years later, in a National Forest campground near Haines, Alaska we were inside looking out when a HUGE grizzly bear came up the slight hill between us and the empty site next to us and slowly walked through our site. He was behind the picnic table, and the top of his back must have been close to a foot above the table. I took a picture of it because I knew I would have to have something to prove I was telling the truth.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

Yes at Philmont Scout Ranch in 2011. We followed the “Bearmuda Triangle” campsite guide, and a woke to a big, stinking pile of bear {bleeped} near the tents. Papa bear reminded us this was
his forest and we were the visitors.

Bruce Haskell
1 year ago

Before the age of bear-proof garbage bins:
We were camping at Shenandoah National Park and sleeping rather late. Early one morning we heard giggles and laughter outside of our small trailer which were ignored and went back to sleep. Upon rising and venturing outside, we found our rubbish bag fully spread out on the ground. Our neighbors said…” you missed the show! A black bear sat in the plastic bag and dined on the garbage like at a picnic”.
Sorry I missed it!

1 year ago

Yosemite. Mama bear and two baby bears. In one night the mama bear ate two weeks worth of our groceries that were in closed plywood boxes with lids and roped shut. The eight of us (2 parents and six kids) all “slept” in the back of the pickup truck under a campershell top. All one of my brothers could talk about was that the bear would get his grape chapstick.

1 year ago

I did experience a herd of Bison trample thru the campground some to the left and some to the right of my tent site so I just stood by my tent whilst they came though while camping at Theodore Roosevelt NP. They didn’t pay any attention to all of us camping there, they were headed to the river.

1 year ago

Yes a few times but with some firm persuasive steps they left quick with an experience hopefully to keep their distance from humans. I’ve had my encounters while hunting. Be aware of your surroundings and always give them a route to escape. Those of less intelligence would stop feed or learn how to storing food/trash properly we would cut issues with wildlife. But we seem to have a whole lot of stupid.

John Koenig
1 year ago

No bears but, back when I had a fiberglass “egg” travel trailer, I woke up to see a bison just outside my window! Looking further, there was a whole herd of bison moseying through my campsite (I was in the southern section of Theodore Roosevelt NP). Had any of them taken a “dislike” to my “egg” they could have easily destroyed my trailer.

1 year ago

When we pulled into our campsite at the Quartz Creek Recreation Area in A!aska’s Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a ranger immediately stopped to warn us about a young male grizzly hanging around the campground. Half an hour before we arrived, he had rummaged through the campsite behind ours. Seems the absent van campers there had left two 12-packs of unopened pop sitting on their picnic table. Not only did the bear destroy the pop, it also destroyed the screened enclosure over the table. That evening, a couple who had been fishing noticed the bear following them back to their campsite. Needless to say, we did not spend a lot of time outdoors during our two days there!

Dale N Roberts
1 year ago

Aug 1959 in Yellowstone we had just set up our tents, Mom cooking dinner, family stopped and were having a picnic dinner. A black bear scared them away and set on their table eating their dinner. A park ranger stopped and stuck a burning flare in the bears face. The bear ran in to our camp, Mom tossed her hot dish water on the bear and across the river it went. Lots of bears in Yellowstone then Dad even got bit by on the elbow while trying to taking a picture of her 2 cubs. She thought it was food as everyone was feeding them. Luckily we left a day or two before the earthquake.

Michael Galvin, PhD
1 year ago

Not RV campground, but backpacking in Yosemite high country in the mid-60s, no tent, woke up to two cubs a few feet away from the tops of our heads. Thankfully they took off when I turned the flashlight on.

1 year ago

We’ve had black bears in the bed of our truck in campgrounds in two places – Shenandoah Mtns. along the parkway in Virginia and at JBER (Joint Base Elemdorf-Richardson) in Anchorage, Alaska. There was nothing stored in the bed of the truck or inside either time. They were just curious. Our Labrador retrievers inside the 5th-wheel went a little nuts both times!

1 year ago
Reply to  Sue

And you didn’t ask, but we’ve had moose in our campground numerous times in Alaska, Montana, and New England.

1 year ago

My son and his family was at Yellowstone a few years back. They were woke up in the middle of the night with some rocking of the trailer (a 1960’s with aluminum skin). When they went out the next morning there were several pawed scratches on their trailer, by a smaller sized bear.

Terry Colquhoun
1 year ago

We had javalinas troop through our campsite last night. Spilled our outside garbage can (good thing it was empty!) Cottonwood,Arizona.

Gary Byler
1 year ago

Another Stub Creek Cabin, Colorado bear story. A couple of families rented the cabin over the 4th of July and that evening had fish tacos for dinner. In the middle of the night 1 mother was sleeping In the LR on a futon with a child when a noise woke her. It was a warm night and the windows were open, she got up went to a window peaked out and found herself nose to nose with our bear peeping in. She let out a bloodcurdling scream the bear let out a loud frightened roar and both jumped back. The Bear knocked empty coolers and a chair off the porch in it’s fleeing from there. The families didn’t sleep the rest of the night and left in the morning.

Gary Byler
1 year ago

While volunteering at Stub Creek Cabin, CO in 2012 a bear would frequent our campsite trying to find whatever. It clawed and chewed on our co-host’s Tailgater thinking it was a cooler. It constantly tried to get in our small bear proof dumpster knocking it over and around. Knocked over our aluminum can container. Our co-host planted his game camera to catch it in action. One day he told me he finally got a few photos. Upon our viewing them he caught me approaching the dumpster and throwing a bag of garbage in. Never did git a photo of the bear.

1 year ago

Yes, a couple of times. I’ll just share one story. Years ago, while camping in the Sierra’s, we ignorantly left our ice chest in the back of the pick up. The noise woke us up so we looked out the window of our little trailer and there was the bear, who had opened up the ice chest, sitting with his head tilted back swigging a Pepsi! He or she left claw prints that scratched the lid of the ice chest. We kept it for years so we could tell our story. We also have a blurry picture of it rummaging around our campsite. It kept coming around for days, so I got even better pictures, but from a long distance. Needless to say, from then on we locked up everything inside the cab of the pickup.

Phil Atterbery
1 year ago

Now, for the back story. During the first year of our on going relationship (1974) my DW wanted to go tent camping in Yosemite in an area she had been to in her childhood. Okay, sleeping on the ground wasn’t my idea of camping. I grew up camping with a 27′ Avion. Anyway, we went, we pitched the tent, and my DW planned to cook a pot roast after she showed her “city boy” the wonders of Yosemite. We went, we saw. An hour later we returned, just in time to witness a bear raiding our ice chest. And just like that, my DW grabbed her great grandmas cast iron skillet and takes off after this little camp wrecker of a bear. Seconds later my DW is being chased by a park ranger.
Bear escapes, DW is not happy with the ranger, roast is lost, tent is totaled. Got rained on, left the park for Fresno & abandoned the camping thing for a while.

Eddie D.
1 year ago

While backpacking the Smokies, my friend and I encountered a black bear at our site, right after breakfast. We already cleaned up the area. We clanged on our messkits to drive the bear away. He left. Then we heard others making noise down the trail to chase the bear away. The bear returned to our site and he got up on its two legs. We made more noise and the bear finally went.

Dan A
1 year ago

We had one in our home base campground a couple years ago. We kept our trash closed tightly, no dog food out, but we have wild raspberries and and we have grapes and fruit trees.
We avoid him and he avoids us.

1 year ago

We camp host in Yosemite at Bridalveil Campground. Before the campground opened we had a Bear get into a Old Style Bear Locker and enjoyed our dog food. It was very early in the morning. Our dog was going crazy. I know why Bear Lockers have harder locks.

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