Many folks enjoy going off-grid for back-to-nature camping. However, along with the tranquil hikes through the woods comes the genuine danger of wild animals. What happens when you’re enjoying nature, and a bear comes calling?
How do you protect yourself from a bear? Do you run away from them? Should you forego camping off-grid altogether?
That’s not what Carolyn did. She faced a bear head-on, meeting its challenge. She also lived to share a video about it! Read on for more about Carolyn, how she survived a bear stalking her campsite, and what you can do to enjoy your time amid the wild animals on their home turf.
Who Is Carolyn’s RV Life?
Carolyn’s RV Life is a website and YouTube channel about Carolyn Higgins’ experience as a solo full-time RV camper. Carolyn has been on the road since 2016, ditching the traditional American Dream in 2016 in her 29-foot Class C motorhome.
She has since visited 48 states. Carolyn documents her travels on her website and YouTube channel, sharing tips and tricks for other RVers. She is an advocate for solo travelers, and she hopes to inspire other women to hit the open road.
Was Carolyn’s RV Life Stalked By a Bear?
A bear didn’t genuinely stalk Carolyn. While camping off-grid near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a bear entered her campsite. The bear hung around her campsite long enough for her to film the encounter, which she posted to her YouTube channel.
The bear wasn’t bothered by Carolyn’s dog barking or her yelling at it. It eventually sauntered into the woods. She didn’t see the bear again, but its tracks were all around her campsite, so she took steps to protect herself and her dog.
What Did Carolyn Do to Protect Her Supplies From the Bear?
Most of Carolyn’s supplies were within her RV. However, since she was planning to remain in the area for a few days, she needed somewhere to store her trash. So she built a bear hang.
She slung a rope over a tree branch to lift her trash can several feet off the ground. This is no small endeavor, as Carolyn showed in the video.
The branch has to be high enough to lift the trash can out of a bear’s reach, which will stand on its hind legs to try and grab it. It must also be far enough on the branch away from the tree trunk so the bear can’t climb the tree and access the can, which a bear is likely to attempt.
How Do You Keep Bears Away While Camping?
Bears are attracted to campsites because they can smell food. To avoid attracting bears, keep your camp clean and free of food, trash, or other odors. Store all food and garbage in airtight containers inside your vehicle, in a protective bear canister well away from your camp location, or hanging high from a tree in a bear hang.
Never leave food out in the open, even if you plan to be gone for a short time. If you’re cooking near your campsite, keep a clean camp stove and don’t leave any spilled food on the ground.
Also, avoid using lotions or perfumes with strong smells, as these can also attract bears.
How Likely Is a Bear Attack While Camping?
Contrary to popular belief, bears are not naturally aggressive animals, and attacks are rare. In most cases, a bear will only attack if it feels threatened or if it is protecting its young.
However, there are still some steps you can take to avoid an attack. First, camp in an area you know is free of bears. If you are in a place where people have seen bears, keep all food and garbage securely stored away from your campsite.
You should also avoid hiking alone in bear country. Go with a group, or at least bring a dog along and make noise as you walk to not startle any bears that might be around. Most bears will move away from any unknown noises.
By taking these precautions, you can help reduce the risk of being attacked by a bear while camping.
More Popular YouTube Videos From Carolyn’s RV Life
Carolyn has documented much of her travels and experiences on her website and YouTube channel, “Carolyn’s RV Life.” The bear video was a fascinating glimpse into how to handle a bear encounter, but she has many other videos that cover various topics related to RV living.
RV Living in Winter: How I Stay Warm in My RV When It’s FREEZING Outside
RVs are notoriously underprepared for cold-weather camping. Even RVs companies advertise as “all seasons” aren’t ready for winter weather. However, Carolyn lives in her RV year-round, even in the colder months. She has learned how to not only survive but thrive in the cold.
In her video “RV Living in Winter,” Carolyn walks viewers through the steps she takes to better insulate the interior of her rig. This includes ensuring that her pipes don’t freeze and don’t suffer breaks if freezing occurs. She also talks about how to access water, stay warm, and even flush the toilet when the fresh water tank freezes.
Garbage Inside My RV?
Carolyn’s video “Garbage Inside My RV” is a follow-up to her bear encounter video. She received many questions about why she didn’t keep her trash in her RV instead of using a bear hang. After all, her food and other items with odors were inside the rig.
There are several good reasons not to store trash in your rig. Chief among those reasons is the smell can be atrocious in a small space, but there are other even more practical justifications that Carolyn discusses in this video.
8 Reasons RV Boondocking SUCKS
Carolyn’s RV Life features Carolyn’s adventures in off-grid living, also known as RV boondocking. So why did she do a video about why RV boondocking sucks?
Carolyn goes down a list of eight challenging situations you may face when RV boondocking. Though they aren’t all reasons that boondocking sucks for someone who enjoys the lifestyle, like Carolyn, they are good things to think about when considering RV boondocking.
Should I Worry About Bears When Camping?
So, should you be concerned about bears when camping? Absolutely! Still, that doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Carolyn didn’t let it stop her from enjoying the great outdoors. You don’t have to, either!
Take a few simple precautions, like the ones we’ve outlined in this article, and you can significantly reduce your chances of having an encounter. If you see a bear, remember to back away slowly, make lots of noise, and keep your distance.
With some knowledge and common sense, you can enjoy nature safely while avoiding any run-ins with bears. Have you ever had a close encounter with a bear while camping? Let us know in the comments below!
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