Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada.
Interest: Getting outside in any capacity.
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.
“Real adventure is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive, and certainly not as the same person.” - Yvon Chouinard