Remember what I said about why it is important to hug trees? This is from one of the local parks.
I found a place that I wanted to camp this weekend: Hickory Run State Park, PA. The only catch:
Attention All Campers: Because of an active bear population, overnight guests are required to store all food and any scented items such as toothpaste, deodorant, and dish soap in their vehicle while away from their site. This includes when leaving the site for even a short period of time, day or night. Park staff will enforce these rules and failure to comply may result in a citation.
I checked some reviews to find out if this was just a warning to make people cautious or whether this is a serious thing. A reasonably high percentage of people talked about bears roaming through the campsites at night, so it is a serious thing. Even if they don’t try to eat you, I think that would make it hard to sleep. And I’m worried what they would do to a dog if it barked at them (although RD was too scared to bark at a skunk, so I doubt she would stand up to a bear, but you never know).
This is one of my top reasons for rebuilding the trailer so that I can sleep in it. I may just be being a wuss, but I think I would have a hard time sleeping knowing the only thing between me and a bear is a thin piece of tent material. By the way, bear attacked are rare, but they do happen. And there have been multiple attacks at Hickory Run.
Bear mauls woman camper at Hickory Run State Park (2005). FYI – you’re supposed to fight black bears but play dead with brown bears. When black bears stalk people as described in this article, they are usually looking for food (i.e. the kind of food that walks upright).
Second Bear attack at Hickory Run State Park (2007). Oops – they left food out at the campground. Still, they got yanked out of the tent.
I’m pretty sure getting attacked by a bear would end my camping days. I’d rather not find out.