Goat Rocks Wilderness Summer Bear Phobia
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joseph daluz
(jfdiberian) - F

Locale: Columbia River Gorge
Goat Rocks Wilderness Summer Bear Phobia on 02/23/2006 12:24:30 MST Print View

This summer I am going to the Goat Rocks Wilderness area via the PCT. I sleep under a Cat Tarp 3.0, plenty big enough for another individual, and not going so deeply into the wilds alone is more appealing to me, because I have an irrational fear of being molested by a bear and I don't think the tiny 1.0oz pepper spray I carry with will do crap. It's totally irrational I know, but there it is.

pack nwcurt
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Goat Rocks Wilderness Summer Bear Phobia on 02/23/2006 16:33:24 MST Print View

In the Goat Rocks?? No need to worry. I've been there a bunch as it's "local" to us Washingtonians. You're much more likely to have a rutting elk harass you than a bear. Besides, there are only blacks that far south of the Canadian border, and they're not habituated to people. We're still very luck up here with bears. Once in awhile there's a bear in Olympic who'll get some food from a careless backpacker, but we don't have the bear issues that places like California and Yellowstone do. Can't remember the last time I even HEARD of a bear issue in the Cascades....

-Curt

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Goat Rocks Wilderness Summer Bear Phobia on 02/23/2006 21:53:58 MST Print View

Joe,

I too once suffered from bear phobia. I developed it after reading a Readers Digest story about two young women that were mauled to death by grizzlies in different incidents on the same evening in Glacier National Park back in the late '60s. Only a fool wouldn't fear the power a grizzly has in its possession.

I'm over my phobia now. What cured it was when I began soloing because I never saw a bear while hiking with others and of course your mind can conjure up all sorts of scarry scenarios about the unknown.

After I began to solo I started to see bears and after seeing how they reacted to me my fear subsided. Every black bear I've seen I caught sight of first and each one instantly turned and ran upon senseing my presence. There are probably ten times as many bears that have seen me that I've never caught sight of because they took off before I saw them.

Enjoy your hike and hopefully you'll see a bear, at a distance of course, because seeing one is the best way to overcome your phobia.

Robert

Mark W Heninger
(heninger) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Goat Rocks Wilderness Summer Bear Phobia on 02/23/2006 22:39:56 MST Print View

I was the same way. I grew up just north of Glacier National Park in Canada. As a boy scout sleeping in a tent I remembered each and every story of the maulings that would periodically occur.

But black bears are much different. If you do your part and take care of your food/campsite then there is little to worry about.

Of course, I won't go into Grizzly country now if I can help it, but black bears just don't bother me.

Get out, enjoy and don't worry about it.

joseph daluz
(jfdiberian) - F

Locale: Columbia River Gorge
going alone on 02/23/2006 23:20:19 MST Print View

Yeah, you all are right. I should just go solo and carry a can of pepper spray (i've long since stopped carrying a sidearm because of the weight). After a while, the only person's company I can stand is my own... so far. But then again, I've never really hiked with anyone who liked to hike, so there's always the possibility that it could be enjoyable to hike with another.