You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than ever having a close encounter with a hungry bear, but recent events; including an aggressive black bear having to be put down in Yellowstone National Park on July 11, a grizzly attack on a camper just outside the park on July 18, and an attack on a solo hiker yesterday in the Walker basin area east of Bakersfield, CA have elevated awareness of the risks associated with camping in bear country. With that in mind, we look at a pair of gadgets this week designed to protect your campsite sleeping area through the night.

Electric Bear Fences

The Pentagon™ Electric Bear Fence and the UDAP Bear Shock™ Electric Fence are backpack-capable solutions that operate on D-size batteries (six for the Pentagon and two for the UDAP). Their power-consumption is about the same, at around three months for the Pentagon’s six batteries and one month for the UDAP’s two batteries.

It is important to note that neither of these solutions are replacements for good bear-country practices, like keeping your campsite clean and keeping your food properly stored. More information on bear safety is available from the Center for Wildlife Information. For a good night’s sleep, however, each one promises to send the biggest bear quickly on his or her way.

Happy camping!

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  2. Gary

    Just an FYI : A recent study in Montana bear country in which victims of bear attacks were interviewed demonstrated that “on average,” the victim didn’t see the bear coming until it was an average of roughly 15 feet from him/her.

    In other words, you need to have your bear spray at the ready because you are only 15 feet from the attack when it happens. You can’t be digging around in your pack, you can’t be wondering what to do, and you sure can’t run.

    The bear spray has to be used BEFORE the animal even reaches you because spraying it on its body won’t work. The directions on most bear spray containers state that the product has to be sprayed INTO the bears face.

    Bottom line: there isn’t much time to react in a bear attack.

  3. Martin Dockery

    Not a bad idea, however, it seems to me that I can do the same thing by using a hot wire (electric fence) around the campground, and it would cost a lot less. A solar panel can be used to provide the charge (current).

  4. I agree that bear spray is a good idea. I imagine reeling-up the wire (or rolling-up the fence) on these is a real pain. I wonder if these things make campers feel too safe, and they get sloppy?


  5. John Jackman

    i have had two direct encounters with bears. First one was when I was in Banff Park and we left a bag of cookies in our tent by mistake during the daytime when we went to another activity. A bear showed up during the day and ripped open the side of the tent. Luckily we had a second small tent that kept us going. While on the same trip we were at another nearby park, Yoho, and while getting ready to prep dinner there was a commotion a few sites away from us. In about two minutes a bear came wandering through our site and crossed over across from us to raid the cooler on the neighbour’s table. The bear simply took hold of the cooler and popped the top off and just stuck his head in and ate what he wanted and moved on. The bear was very nonchalant about the encounter and just looked at anyone making noise or honking or the dogs barking.
    During the same trip a couple were attacked by a grizzley and killed up in the higher meadows.

    I have had a number of other encounter but generally just fleeting or the dump bear experince..

    If in bear country it is a good idea to get some bear spray to at least have chance if the encounter is bad..

    These product look good but a bit time consuming to set up . I can see doing it if staying for a few days but a single night would be easy to skip doing it….