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bear alarm

light and noise alarm frightens bears away from tents, etc
  [vote for,

A number of tension lines are strung around a tent, making it impossible for a bear to approach it without disturbing them, whereupon a flashing light and a noise alarm, mounted above the tent, are triggered. The noise will be something like a smoke alarm sound (or whatever bears hate most), except louder. The unit is battery powered.

The lines can also be triggered by cougars (mountain lions) and other large animals, such as coyotes, but there is a simple way for humans to walk through easily. (I'll not get into details, for now.) Birds, squirrels and other small critters will not easily trigger them.

The alarm will go off for 2 minutes or so, then shut off, or you can shut it off manually, which you would do if the bear runs off, or if it was a false alarm. You can also turn it on manually, if you see an animal approaching, or if the bear hasn't left the area after 2 minutes.

Regular bear precautions should still be followed, of course (ie: no food in tents), but if a curious bear does try to mess with your tent (and people inside), my guess is that 99.9% of them will take off when the alarm is triggered. This I need to research more, but offhand I think bears would hate a blaring alarm and flashing lights.

Bear attacks on people, awake or sleeping, are not really frequent, but frequent enough to warrant sensible measures. A small, light version of this bear alarm which you carry with you when hiking or doing stuff in bear territory might also be worthwhile. You could use it in addition to bear spray.

Lack of fear, but an abundance of respect and precaution, are your greatest defenses, IMO, but some practical scare tactics can also be useful.

lightning, Jul 03 2011

When the alarm sounds ... http://www.youtube....watch?v=4ba1BqJ4S2M
... just shoot the bear. [neelandan, Jul 08 2011]

Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear kills hiker http://www.bbc.co.u...-us-canada-14057707
Surprised a mother with cubs. [8th of 7, Jul 08 2011]

Morris Dancers as an Offensive Weapon? http://www.youtube....watch?v=RZjLATAUwao
How is this NOT a double entendre? - [Grogster, Jul 08 2011]


       // your greatest defenses //   

       No, your greatest defense is a Mossberg 12-gauge loaded with Brenneke rifled slugs.   

8th of 7, Jul 03 2011

       //a Mossberg 12-gauge loaded with Brenneke rifled slugs//   

       No style, the Borg.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 03 2011

       If an armed defense is chosen, you still need to know the bear is there. If you're sleeping, it may be sitting on you before you wake up, or have you so wrapped up in your tent that you can't maneuver your gun, let alone shoot without danger of hitting your tentmates who are tangled up with you. You will also be happy for the flashing light which allows you to see it.
lightning, Jul 04 2011

       A much simpler solution would be to fit the bear with bells, similar to those worn by Morris dancers.
Twizz, Jul 05 2011

       .... or even an actual troupe of Morris dancers, who would spring up on becoming aware of an approaching bear, and prance around distractingly, perhaps even going so far as to inviting the bear to join in.
xenzag, Jul 05 2011

       or eat them instead of you!
dentworth, Jul 05 2011

       [lightning], the military boys have flares with tripwires already, and you can buy them in the civilian world. Your idea sounds like more fun though.   

       Marked for tagline: "I'll not get into details, for now"
normzone, Jul 05 2011

       // I think dragonsbreath shells would be more effective against bears, //   

       Please test this theory. I would really like to know what happens to somebody who sets a bear on fire. In fact, please get it on video. I could use a good laugh.   

       *For anybody who cares, the only thing dragonbreath shells are good for is ruining your shotgun, your eyebrows, your immediate surroundings, the rest of your day, and your criminall arrest record in rapid succession. Novelty ammunition is a bad idea. Guns aren't toys. Rant over.*
Alterother, Jul 05 2011

       Fitting bears with bells - hmm, yeah, good idea, ha ha :-)   

       Dogs would be good bear alarm, yeah, though owning one and always taking it with you is far from doable for many people   

       For triggering the alarm, I'm not leaning away from tension lines and towards 4 foot wide screening (something window screening) which is suspended 6 inches above ground and surrounds the tent. The principle is the same, the bear activates by stepping on it, causing tension on a switch, but it is all kept low, so there seems less chance that the bear gets tangled in it (and goes beserk...)   

       Thanks for all comments
lightning, Jul 06 2011

       Surprised no-one's suggested tying the Morris dancers directly to the bear.
spidermother, Jul 06 2011

       Feeding the morris dancers to the bear would be more expedient. And more humane. And would produce more or less the same desirable outcome.
Alterother, Jul 07 2011

       I personally don't dislike Morris dancers (although they've been regarded as odd since at least the 16th century). I also play the crumhorn, so... err... besides, shut up!
spidermother, Jul 07 2011

       //though owning one and always taking it with you//   

       You don't own a dog, the dog owns you.   

       And he might condescend to share your company on a trip if he thinks you are good enough.
neelandan, Jul 07 2011

       You're thinking of cats. You can (and should) act as the owner of a dog.   

       I shared a house with someone who used to lay his coat on the ground, tell his dog to 'stay' on it, then leave for work - and the dog would stay put, all day!
spidermother, Jul 07 2011

       //I have 2 dogs who accompany me almost anywhere I go... trust me, I'll know the bear is there.//   

       Yes, yes you will.
They will also alert you to the presence of a sasquatch but it will be by curling up into a little ball and shivering without making a sound.

Just something to keep in mind.

       Pardon my rudeness. Good idea.   

       I've woken up many (relatively speaking) mornings with bear tracks around my tent or sleeping bag. They really don't look at us as a food source and mostly just want to figure out what our stink is I think.
There are some cool videos from the thirties filmed around Jaspar and Bamff Canada from when people used to let their kids dip their hands in honey and then let the bears lick it off of them... which started the whole problem with them in the first place. They associate us with food but not for our flesh.

       Bears are cool, it's us that suck.   

       If a bear charges you, then nine times out of ten it's a feint because they can't see worth shit.   

       If they've got a tooth ache, then all bets are off.   

       [fries] s'funnny I always think of you as kinda *fragrant*.   

       this is marvellous - but I can't laugh out loud here.
po, Jul 07 2011

       Well, I am strong... but smell isn't everything.   

       Wouldn't it be more to the point to turn off whatever techno-whizzery the bears have rigged up in a cave somewhere that pinpoints all peanut butter sandwiches in 10 mile radius?
not_morrison_rm, Jul 07 2011

       [2Fries] has it pretty much right about bears. I've run into them in the woods, had them check out my campsite, and chased a score of them out of my garbage cans. They're not overly dangerous if you respect the fact that they're bears.   

       One trick I have employed while camping: when stringing my food/garbage up in the tree for the night, I tie on a bell or a couple of soda cans to dangle a few inches below. If an enterprising ursine (who has little else to do than sit around all night thinking about how to get my food out of the tree) actually manages to reach it somehow (and they occasionally have), the ensuing noise will scare them off and probably wake me up.
Alterother, Jul 08 2011

       [Linky]. I don't mind bears. They perform a vital function in the forest (eating tourists, and, obviously, Morris dancers).   

       NOTE OF CAUTION TO FOREST TOURISTS: Encountering wild beasts in the forest can be dangerous! To get as close as possible to them (for purposes of taking pictures, petting them, feeding them table scraps, etc) be sure to rub yourself down with honey or sugar-water to mask your human stench. In no time at all, you will be practically (and literally) invisible!   

       Bun [+].
Grogster, Jul 08 2011


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