Dometic Fridge in Pickup Bed and Bear Country

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WRTurner-Arch

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I camp often in the Sierras and recently upgraded my experience with a Dometic Fridge that I plan to keep in the back of my Gladiator when going dispersed camping. I am contemplating the best practice with the fridge at night when we are getting ready to sleep. Keep it in the bed of the truck or bring it inside the cab? A bit concerned that either is not the perfect bear-proof option and brown bears in the Sierras certainly have experience breaking into vehicles. Thoughts or experiences? Thanks!
 

Trail_pilot

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I don't have a fridge in my Jeep (... yet?) but with coolers full of food I have always just tossed them back into the Jeep at night even though it only had a soft top on it. wouldn't stop a bear but made me feel better lol. I have also from wedged the cooler under the Jeep when it sat a little lower so the lid wouldn't open. however I am sure you are not going to want to move your fridge around all the time so maybe just throw a couple of tie downs over it to keep it closed and hope for the best?
 

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Interesting question. A bear can open your cab in nothing flat. I watched a bears peel a windows open like a can of sardines, more than a couple of times. I have found that the bears in dispersed areas are not overly interested in your food. The ones that around camps and National parts are another story. If worried I would bring the frig. into the tent or get a big container of cayenne pepper and put it around the frig.THIS IS ONLY FOR CALIFORINA’S BLACK BEARS. All the brown bears in CA were killed many years ago. Brown bears, Grisly and other brown bears I would not sleep with the frig. ever, ever.

What do you do with the ice chests before? Have bears been much of a issue?
 

WRTurner-Arch

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Interesting question. A bear can open your cab in nothing flat. I watched a bears peel a windows open like a can of sardines, more than a couple of times. I have found that the bears in dispersed areas are not overly interested in your food. The ones that around camps and National parts are another story. If worried I would bring the frig. into the tent or get a big container of cayenne pepper and put it around the frig.THIS IS ONLY FOR CALIFORINA’S BLACK BEARS. All the brown bears in CA were killed many years ago. Brown bears, Grisly and other brown bears I would not sleep with the frig. ever, ever.

What do you do with the ice chests before? Have bears been much of a issue?
All of my camping in the Sierras previously have been in organized campsites that have bear boxes for your food and coolers so that has not been an issue. This will be my first time going dispersed camping so it is a new frontier for my family. It sounds like bears will be more of a problem at organized campsites because they know humans and food are there, lesser of an issue with dispersed camping?
 
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WRTurner-Arch

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I don't have a fridge in my Jeep (... yet?) but with coolers full of food I have always just tossed them back into the Jeep at night even though it only had a soft top on it. wouldn't stop a bear but made me feel better lol. I have also from wedged the cooler under the Jeep when it sat a little lower so the lid wouldn't open. however I am sure you are not going to want to move your fridge around all the time so maybe just throw a couple of tie downs over it to keep it closed and hope for the best?
Agreed, ideally don’t want to move it around much so I would prefer to keep it my bed. It will be attached to the slide/bed so developing some sort of cluster for the lid might help. Just hope I don’t attract them to get that close in the first place!
 
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TahoePPV

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Many bears can recognize the shape of an ice chest and tha5 it has food inside. If I were leaving a cooler of fridge in a pickup bed, do something to break up the outline as a line of defense.
 

MMc

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All of my camping in the Sierras previously have been in organized campsites that have bear boxes for your food and coolers so that has not been an issue. This will be my first time going dispersed camping so it is a new frontier for my family. It sounds like bears will be more of a problem at organized campsites because they know humans and food are there, lesser of an issue with dispersed camping?
Yes, that doesn’t mean it is not a issue, but for me it is far less. If you are going to leave in the truck bed I would gather some rocks and have bear spray at hand. Rocks, noise, bear spray all help keep the bears away. You can cover it with a tarp or something but bears have a very good nose too.
 

FindAReason

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One thing that many seem to be disregarding is LNT.

Just putting food in non-bear proof containers and hoping nothing happens is irresponsible and disregarding LNT principles. If a bear gets your cooler, you have failed in upholding the basic tenants of LNT.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
 

Trail_pilot

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One thing that many seem to be disregarding is LNT.

Just putting food in non-bear proof containers and hoping nothing happens is irresponsible and disregarding LNT principles. If a bear gets your cooler, you have failed in upholding the basic tenants of LNT.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
Though I agree that it is very important to leave no Trace that you were every there and leave it better than you found it.
It's great to preach but adding a suggestion as to how you would go about doing so may help more than an obscure open ended post.
I am going to come off a bit rude in this post but it's just not helpful.

It's not teaching anything. It's more discouraging.
 
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NMBruce

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I have been lucky, done a lot of camping in the San Juan’s & Gila NF, been to Alaska twice and the Arctic Ocean once and never had a bear problem with my ARB fridge or Yeti cooler (cooler always outside). We have lost 3 trash cans at home, because a bear has rip of the bear proof lid.
Not sure if this works, but my brother in law loves watching those shows about life above the Arctic Circle and this one lady has started putting out Bleach around her trash. she said the bears have stopped coming around. So I now carry bleach with me camping and spray it around the whole camp site, figure it can hurt.
 

FindAReason

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Though I agree that it is very important to leave no Trace that you were every there and leave it better than you found it.
It's great to preach but adding a suggestion as to how you would go about doing so may help more than an obscure open ended post.
I am going to come off a bit rude in this post but it's just not helpful.

It's not teaching anything. It's more discouraging.
The solution is to use bear proof containers or appropriate hanging techniques as dictated by whatever agency has authority over the land being used. I don't know of any fridges that are bear proof, so the solution is a bearproof cooler.

Apologies for not spelling it out more thoroughly. Pointing out bad advice does not always need a fully developed alternative though.
 

Trail_pilot

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The solution is to use bear proof containers or appropriate hanging techniques as dictated by whatever agency has authority over the land being used. I don't know of any fridges that are bear proof, so the solution is a bearproof cooler.

Apologies for not spelling it out more thoroughly. Pointing out bad advice does not always need a fully developed alternative though.
So what your recommending is he put the fridge in his truck at night. Locked up. .... So option number 2 in his original post.
You just used a whole lot of unnecessary and condescending words to get there.
Got it.
I understand what you are thing to say I'm just saying you could maybe try not to sound so elitist about it. Nobody here is an idiot so don't treat them that way.
 

FindAReason

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So what your recommending is he put the fridge in his truck at night. Locked up. .... So option number 2 in his original post.
You just used a whole lot of unnecessary and condescending words to get there.
Got it.
I understand what you are thing to say I'm just saying you could maybe try not to sound so elitist about it. Nobody here is an idiot so don't treat them that way.
I am not treating anyone like an idiot. I was simply pointing out that people leaving regular coolers under soft tops are not doing their due diligence in regards to LNT. If people were not saying that sort of behavior is acceptable and laughing about it, nothing would have needed to have been said about LNT.

As it stands though, only one person pointed out the responsibility to nature in regards to preventing animals from getting your food. Only personal impact seems to be getting discussed, which is not the entire conversation that needs to be had.
 

Trail_pilot

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I am not treating anyone like an idiot. I was simply pointing out that people leaving regular coolers under soft tops are not doing their due diligence in regards to LNT. If people were not saying that sort of behavior is acceptable and laughing about it, nothing would have needed to have been said about LNT.

As it stands though, only one person pointed out the responsibility to nature in regards to preventing animals from getting your food. Only personal impact seems to be getting discussed, which is not the entire conversation that needs to be had.
Your saying that me putting my bear proof cooler in my Jeep at night is bad practice got it
 

FindAReason

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Your saying that me putting my bear proof cooler in my Jeep at night is bad practice got it
Correct.

And I brought up LNT for perspective on why it is not only you that deals with the consequences of inadequate preparation. LNT is not about the individual, it is.about everyone that comes after.

A bear learning that jeeps have easy food in them is a danger to the bear, and everyone else that the bear comes across in a similar setup.

We have all seen how bad bear problems are in places like Yosemite, it is up to us to police ourselves and ensure that more remote areas don't end up dealing with the same problems as more accessible parks.
 

Trail_pilot

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Correct.

And I brought up LNT for perspective on why it is not only you that deals with the consequences of inadequate preparation. LNT is not about the individual, it is.about everyone that comes after.

A bear learning that jeeps have easy food in them is a danger to the bear, and everyone else that the bear comes across in a similar setup.

We have all seen how bad bear problems are in places like Yosemite, it is up to us to police ourselves and ensure that more remote areas don't end up dealing with the same problems as more accessible parks.
So it it a being in the woods problem? A bear proof cooler problem? A jeep problem? Should I forage for berries? No that would take away from the ecosystem. I better stick to the highway and McDonald's
 

genocache

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Trail pilot, a bearproof container or hanging from a tree works best and I think we can all agree that inside a vehicle is not bearproof. The issue becomes how much food did you bring and can you fit it in a bearproof container or a hang. What ever do not put it in your tent with you either! This "food" also includes such things as chapstick and deodorant that bears smell and might think, Umm, that smells TASTEY!
 

MMc

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I don’t understand using a bear proof container for items that are stored in a fridge. Unless I missed something, those items are to be kept cold. Hanging a 60#ice chest from trees is no easy task. I was a big wall climber and know more tricks than most, I have boosted ice chested/ fridge twice, not a fan.
 
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