Are pop up campers safe from bears?

In this short guide, we will discuss: Are pop up campers safe\ from bears? We will give you all the advice you may need to prevent any bear encounter. We will also give you a few basic tips for surviving a bear encounter while camping with a pop-up camper. 

Are pop up campers safe from bears?

Pop-up campers are safe from bears and as long as you will take some necessary precautions and know how to react if you see a bear while camping, you will always feel safe on your trip.

The best way to avoid encountering a bear is prevention. To prevent our furry friends from coming to visit you when you are camping, here are a few tips:

  • Keep food out of the reach of bears. In furnished campgrounds, store all food (including your pet’s food) in the trunk of your car that you have taken care to lock.
  • If you are wild camping, make sure the food is inaccessible to bears. Hang food very high (at least four meters) in a tree, and at least two meters from the trunk of the tree.
  • Do not cook near your pop-up camper. In addition, you have to change location very often: do not stay in the clothes you wore when you were cooking.
  • Throw dishwater on a slope, so that it runs as far away from your camp as possible.
  • Dispose of your rubbish in a container inaccessible to bears. When camping in the wild, burn what you can and hang the rest of that waste with all your food.
  • At night, when you get out of your pop-up camper, use a flashlight to avoid unexpected encounters.
  • Dispose of fish scraps in a brisk current or deep water, not on the shore near your camp.

And in case you meet a bear while camping:

Use your common sense. To get started, educate yourself and don’t camp in areas where you see signs of bear presence. When hiking, stay on the trail and make lots of noise to reduce the risk of suddenly falling on this animal. Sing, clap, yell at the top of your lungs to make sure you keep them away.

Cubs are cute little things. But don’t try to stroke them: Mom bear is never far away!

Group travel is safer than solo travel. With binoculars, you will observe the surroundings as you travel.

Do not run away if you meet an aggressive bear: useless, it runs faster than you. Walk calmly to your camper and drive. If that is not possible, try to stop the animal. To do this, behave aggressively:

Shout, throw things at him, hit him with sticks. If you have a horn or a can of pepper spray, now is the time to use it to try bear hunting. Fight: this is your best chance for survival.

It is strongly recommended that you take all necessary precautions, but most bear encounters are of no consequence. That said, by following these safety instructions, you will make sure that living together in wilderness areas is even more harmonious!

Usually, bears are not particularly keen on getting to know you. They run away as soon as they hear, see or even smell a human being. But there are also exceptions to the rule!

It is therefore strongly recommended not to feed the animals. However, some people do it anyway. And for the bear, it is very difficult to resist human food. Emerged from their hibernation, the bears wake up hungry. But when offered fish, marshmallows, bread and other foods, they begin to see humans as a most valuable source of nourishment. And unfortunately, it happens that the bear becomes very aggressive.

What to do if you see a bear while camping

If you see a bear when getting out of your pop-up camper, stop and keep calm. Avoid running away. Get out your pepper spray (we strongly recommend taking one on each trip).

If the bear seems NOT TO BE AWARE of your presence:

Turn back silently without attracting his attention.

If the bear IS AWARE of your presence:

Bears sometimes feign an attack to get out of the way: they charge, then retreat at the last moment. Bears can also respond defensively by barking, growling, snapping their jaws, and folding their ears back.

  • Keep your cool. Your calm demeanour can reassure the animal. Screaming and sudden movements could trigger an attack.
  • Talk to the bear. Speak calmly in a firm tone. This will let him know that you are human and not prey. If it rises on its hind legs and waggles its muzzle in the air, it is trying to identify you.
  • Back up slowly. Never give in to the temptation to run! The bear might be chasing you.
  • Do not put your backpack on the ground. You might need it to protect yourself. If you must continue on your way, take a wide detour or wait at a safe distance and give the bear time to get away.

If the bear APPROACHES you:

Stop and stay calm. Avoid running. Get out your pepper spray. Evaluate the bear’s behaviour and find out why it is approaching.

Final tips for a safe trip with your pop-up camper

To stay safe and protect the wilderness, travel with two goals in mind: limiting your impact by avoiding encounters, and managing your groceries, food smells and waste.

  • Camp in designated areas where they exist.
  • If you are wild camping, cook, eat and store your food at least 50 m from your tent, in the direction of the wind. Choose a location with good visibility, to prevent animals from approaching unnoticed. Avoid camping, cooking, or eating near streams, thick brush, animal tracks, or berry patches.
  • Eliminate odours on your person and in your camp. Keep sleeping bags, tents, and clothing worn to bedtime free from food, drink, or food odours.
  • Leave your scented products at home. . Store your toiletries and personal effects with your groceries.
  • Store your groceries, garbage, and food for livestock or pets away from your tent. Make use of the facilities provided for this purpose at designated backcountry campsites. If you are wild camping, hang them between two trees at least 4m above the ground and 1.3m from the nearest trunks and branches, or use bear-proof containers.
  • Wash and store your dishes and utensils immediately after use. Drain the dishwasher in a colander and add the food particles to your waste. Dispose of dishwater in designated areas or at least 50m from where you sleep.
  • Bring back your garbage. Avoid burning them, burying them, or placing them in dry toilet pits.

Finally, as long as you take all the necessary precautions, your pop-up camper can keep you safe from a bear encounter! If you have any questions or comments about the content, please let us know. 

FAQ on Are pop up campers safe from bears?

Are pop-up campers good?

Yes, pop-up campers are good. Pop-up campers are practical models with little consumption, in which the roof is raised in just over two minutes, and that allows you that functionality of having it parked at home and deciding to go out for a weekend without a problem. 

What is the best pop-up caravan to buy?

Among the best pop-up caravans to buy are the Coronet Series F S2; Goldstream RV 16FT FKST; Jayco Expanda OB 18.58-2 PT; Jurgens Jindabyne PT2210 and the Olympic Javelin.

Do you store a pop-up camper with the top up or down?

The correct way to store a pop-up camper is with the top down to prevent sun and wind damage. Extreme temperatures and adverse weather will affect a pop-top caravan more than other RVs and campers.


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