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Quick and dirty bear perimeter alarm
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Quick and dirty bear perimeter alarm on 02/21/2014 21:17:48 MST Print View

I was looking at one of the "personal security" alarms, which make a racket and flash lights if you pull a lanyard and activate the switch. They are cheap and light, weighing 3 ounces with a 9 volt battery. I'm sure there are other lighter versions. This one came with a clip on the back like the one on a pager and I removed that, leaving the molded plastic bosses and I added a small split ring. I ground down the diameter of the switch plunger to loosen it up a bit.

My idea is to tie the black box to a tree and run a string around my camp or below my food bag, creating a trip wire to active the alarm and wake me up if I get a visitor, or better yet, the 135db noise and the flashing light will scare away the intruder.

personal alarm

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
False Alarms? on 02/21/2014 21:43:05 MST Print View

Sounds like an interesting idea. I think the trick would be a setup that is sensitive enough that a bear would trip it but not so sensitive that a breeze or a bird perching on the line would set it off. Waking up to a 135 decibal alarm would be annoying.

Edit - I doubt its water proof but there is a pretty simple solution to that. Just hang your cook pot over the alarm like an umbrella.

Edited by Cameron on 02/21/2014 21:46:32 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Quick and dirty bear perimeter alarm on 02/21/2014 22:04:54 MST Print View

Waterproofness may be an issue in your neck of the woods.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Manual version on 02/21/2014 22:19:27 MST Print View

The manual and UL version, of course, is your bear bell tied to a monofilament line strung around your camp. BUT you'd have to do the shouting, arm-waving, and flashlight-shining manually, too.

You'd think somebody would've made a perimeter app for a smartphone, already.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Bluetooth and laser bear alarm? on 02/21/2014 22:25:04 MST Print View

A laser activated alarm with a bluetooth phone link would be cool. My version is $5 though.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Re: Bluetooth and laser bear alarm? on 02/21/2014 23:24:41 MST Print View

Dale, where did you get yours?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Bluetooth and laser bear alarm? on 02/22/2014 00:03:48 MST Print View

A thrift store. You can get them in big box stores, eBay, etc. They make one with a door jam switch that will go off if the door is opened. I bet that could be put under a bear can, to alert when the can is moved.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bluetooth and laser bear alarm? on 02/22/2014 08:45:04 MST Print View

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Some more expensive options on 02/22/2014 10:43:21 MST Print View

The PackAlarm with it's 330-foot perimeter line seems especially intriguing. 8oz. It actually seems like it might be a neat option in serious bear country.

A line or laser that can be set higher off the ground is probably better than a motion sensor, since I'm pretty sure a raccoon or other smaller critter would set off a motion sensor.

Edited by acrosome on 02/22/2014 10:55:24 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Some more expensive options on 02/22/2014 11:01:50 MST Print View

Clever with the pack alarm using plastic rings as line guides. That was a concern of mine. Split rings would work too. I was thinking of something like Zing-It line that would slide on tree bark, about 2' off the ground. Fishing line would work using the line guides. 6" off the ground and a hair trigger might work for raccoons.

The solution that comes to mind for weatherproofing is a ziplock sandwich bag.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Amazon options on 02/22/2014 11:04:16 MST Print View

This one on has good reviews and free shipping:

Mace Security 3 in 1 Sport Strobe Alarm

There also seem to be many similar alarms, but in a smaller form factor alarms that are similarly activated by pulling a pin:

Vigilant 130dB Personal Emergency Panic Alarm

Sports Authority carries Spectra or Dyneema fishing line. I think it is 50-pound test.

Edited by clear_blue_skies on 02/22/2014 11:08:35 MST.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What's the end game? on 02/22/2014 21:52:20 MST Print View

I have to admit that I don't think any of these systems would work like you all want them to in real camping situations, but just assuming that they would... I'm very curious:

What are all you guys planning to do when the alarms actually go off?

A. Hope that the hungry (and highly food motivated) wild animal(s) (that are probably not bears, by the way) will be permanently thwarted and won't find a way around the "security system" the second time around in a half an hour when you are sound asleep again?

B. Get out of your sleeping bag (10 seconds), get dressed (20 seconds), put your shoes on (10-20 seconds), get out of your shelter and, in the middle of the dark, try and locate and chase said animal away?

I'm just not seeing the end game here.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What's the end game? on 02/22/2014 23:18:37 MST Print View

Lift up the side of my shelter, put a flashlight on the offender--- if it hangs around, reset the alarm.

I'm not really worried about it, but the alarm is chaeap and adaptable if you want one. I really want an electric food bag.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: What's the end game? on 02/22/2014 23:44:08 MST Print View

why would i need to get dressed? unzip bag, which takes way less than 10 seconds, slide on shoes, charge at bear naked with trekking poles

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: What's the end game? on 02/23/2014 00:00:22 MST Print View

That should get the bear laughing hard enough to remove any threat :)

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
I'm with Derek on 02/23/2014 10:31:03 MST Print View

I'm with Derek, I don't understand the point. Reminds me of all the car campers in Yosemite valley at night, banging their pots and pans and yelling "BEAR!". Just properly store your food and go to sleep. Let your preparations be the lesson for the animals, no reward.

Unless you are talking about needing this for grizzlies or wolves. I could see the need for those :)


Larry Swearingen
(Larry_Swearingen) - M

Locale: NE Indiana
Alarm ?? on 02/23/2014 11:55:25 MST Print View

All I know is that I'm gonna be PISSED if some Ahole has a car alarm going off at night because a bear walked close to his food bag !


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Alarm ?? on 02/23/2014 11:59:03 MST Print View

Yeah, I wouldn't use it in a campground. I'm usually solo.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: Alarm ?? on 02/23/2014 13:20:34 MST Print View

Me too! I'm with Larry. Just pack your food and smellies correctly and there is no need for an alarm system.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Seems Unnecessary... on 02/23/2014 14:42:39 MST Print View

...Also it will go off every time a deer walks through camp, which in some places might be multiple times per night.