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-   -   Bear Bells yay or nay? (https://forums.clubtread.com/11-hiking-backpacking/83385-bear-bells-yay-nay.html)

61146 06-27-2017 08:26 AM

Bear Bells yay or nay?
 
With being what I humbly consider a well seasoned camper/ hiker and backpacker this topic has always intrigued and amused me..the whole bear bell saga, to attach one of these annoying and peace shattering devices to one's pack and venture fourth into wilds.
Admittedly they do make enough noise to drive a small army away but do they actually scare off the bears which they are intended for?
My experience has always been that when we hear bear bells on the trail it was usually from a group of newly minted backpackers hiking for the first time...and having likely picked them up at the local souvenir shop prior to hitting the trail, they've always sounded like a small herd of cattle as they meet at the trailhead, clanking in unison.
So the age old question remains, yay or nay to bear bells?

Just for the record, in a moment of weakness..we do have our own Silverfoot bear bells that we picked up decades ago and never used..they sit lonley, unappreciated and a bit dusty in our gear room.;)

pdomansky 06-27-2017 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Spork (Post 794217)
With being what I humbly consider a well seasoned camper/ hiker and backpacker this topic has always intrigued and amused me..the whole bear bell saga, to attach one of these annoying and peace shattering devices to one's pack and venture fourth into wilds.
Admittedly they do make enough noise to drive a small army away but do they actually scare off the bears which they are intended for?
My experience has always been that when we hear bear bells on the trail it was usually from a group of newly minted backpackers hiking for the first time...and having likely picked them up at the local souvenir shop prior to hitting the trail, they've always sounded like a small herd of cattle as they meet at the trailhead, clanking in unison.
So the age old question remains, yay or nay to bear bells?

Just for the record, in a moment of weakness..we do have our own Silverfoot bear bells that we picked up decades ago and never used..they sit lonley, unappreciated and a bit dusty in our gear room.;)

I don't use them, I personally find the sound intrusive. IMO, I think the provide a false sense of security to the person (s) wearing them. I am a firm believer in making lots of noise (talking loudly, singing etc) to make your presence known. Bear bells are often too quiet and can't be heard around rivers, lots of wind, etc.

cwwmbm 06-27-2017 11:59 AM

When we hiked in Grand Teton few years back a park ranger stopped us and very politely said that bear bells are not effective, they are too mechanical for bears to be scared of them, and in fact sometimes makes them curious. She said that bear bells are prohibited to be sold in Tetons, and while they can't prohibit anyone from carrying it she strongly recommends to reconsider.

Since then I don't carry them - I figured a park ranger should know :)

61146 06-27-2017 01:41 PM

We are of the same mind,they are incredibly annoying and not effective from what we have witnessed and read about.We generally talk loud, sing our favourite Bee Gees tune and make a ruckus to let the carnivorous fauna know that we are about.
I'd be interested in hearing more opinions from others, because I do know that some people swear by the bells.

SBoom4 06-27-2017 02:09 PM

I think they are kind of pointless. They're not very loud and just plain annoying. When we hike in bear country, we just make enough noise along the way so as to not startle any wildlife. We also tie our tin cups on the backs of our packs and smack them with our hiking poles every so often to make them clank. For the most part though, we are making enough noise simply by talking and having fun.

happiestoutdoors 06-27-2017 02:32 PM

Parks Canada's official position is that bear bells don't work. http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/parks-cana...ells-1.3451972

I find that I often hear hikers talking as they approach, then when they are closer, I hear their bear bells. The human voice carries much further than a bell.

IslanderBob 06-27-2017 03:07 PM

Excellent video with one of the top North American bear researchers. Highly recommended. Bear bells discussed (annoying, but not effective).


61146 06-27-2017 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IslanderBob (Post 794321)
Excellent video with one of the top North American bear researchers. Highly recommended. Bear bells discussed (annoying, but not effective).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PExlT-5VU-Y

Great video and explanation..
Agreed, the bells are highly effective at being annoying!

SBoom4 06-28-2017 05:11 PM

Anyone else here legit stoked to have our disdain for bear bells validated? lol

kossi 06-29-2017 05:46 AM

I would be a threat to my wife, if she were carrying bear bells while hiking.

Despite the fact, that these bells are useless, I wonder why people put them on a backpack, I think originally they were meant to be attached to the feet?

But what I also donīt like are people who bring their stereos on the trail. I think that is even worse.

xj6response 06-29-2017 10:10 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Bells are dangerous mostly because they turn me into a raving, hiking pole throwing nut job :) .. plus they tend to make predators curious :eek:

Attachment 210841

61146 06-29-2017 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xj6response (Post 794777)
Bells are dangerous mostly because they turn me into a raving, hiking pole throwing nut job :) .. plus they tend to make predators curious :eek:

Attachment 210841

I sense the force in you is strong young Jedi... ;-)

xj6response 06-29-2017 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Spork (Post 794785)
I sense the force in you is strong young Jedi... ;-)

yes, Obi-Wan, those bells ..I hate the f#*&^%g things!!

pdomansky 06-29-2017 12:16 PM

Now you can buy "muted" bear bells from MEC. I looked at them the other day, and was really wondering what the point is... Aside from the fact that they don't work, I could barely hear them ringing a foot from my ear...maybe I am going deaf but... they will market anything to make a buck.

woodland.telegraph 06-29-2017 12:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My friends and I have have gotten in the habit of yelling James Brown! Hit me once - heeea! Hit me twice - Heeea Heeea!

Bears have a natural fear of James Brown.


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