In last week’s Whitehorse Star, there was a short article advising campers that “Environment Yukon has banned tents at the Million Dollar Falls campground.” Why? An incident involving a bear tearing open a tent.
Being a tenter myself, my biggest pet peeve when using campgrounds is the lack of bear-awareness that people camping seem to have. I find this especially true with people in hard-top campers, trailers, and RVs. With only a thin piece nylon material separating me from bear claws in my two-man tent, I feel somewhat vulnerable, like a piece of fresh meat neatly packaged up in nylon instead of plastic wrap, ready for a bear to dig its teeth in.
For example, on an early morning walk around Liard Hotsprings campground last summer, there were garbage bags (with garbage, of course) hanging on the side of some campers nearby and a couple of picnic tables not cleaned up from the previous night’s meal. Incidentally, one of the hotspring pools at Liard is closed every August partly because of increased bear activity. There was even a fatal mauling by a black bear several years back. I can’t help but to wonder if the increased bear activity is linked to a general decrease in bear-awareness at local parks.
Not only does this lack of proper garbage and food storage/disposal put humans at risk, but these scavenger bears end up having to be destroyed.
Regardless of your mode of camping, please keep your campsite clean. The bears and I thank you!