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OK.  So I have a few dislikes about camping.  Humidity, insects and sand are among them.  But those things are just on earth to make your life miserable.  There’s another camping dislike of mine that spends its time actively trying to hunt down and kill you.  I’m talking, of course, about bears, and the menace is spreading.

Now, not all bears are out to kill you, of course.  Some of them are bear scientists locked away in bear laboratories trying to unravel mysteries like doorknobs and dumpster latches.  This is why it’s vital to our survival as a species that we stay one step in front of Smokey the Menace in the arms race.  Fortunately, there were some brave companies at Outdoor Retailer doing just that.  To wit:



The CampGuard Motion Alarm System

This product may look like a regular battery-operated camping lantern, but it does so much more!  It offers 360 degrees of protection and early warning against ursine invaders.  When set out at your camp site, this lantern will detect motion up to 35 feet away, through all 360 degrees.  When motion is detected, it lights up, and emits a warning tone that is supposedly severely annoying to bears.  (Fortunately, we’ve got a few scientists of our own to figure that stuff out.)

The CampGuard Motion Alarm lantern is available on Amazon, thanks to the folks at BrightPath LED.  I recommend getting about 8, so you can set up a complete perimeter defense.

Counter Assault Bear Products

Counter Assault was there with two products.  The first of these was Bear Spray.  I’m sure we’ve all heard of bear spray before.  But being based in Montana, I tend to think they know a little bit about bears – considering hat half the state is closed down due to bear activity and so technically, they’re behind enemy lines.  I was told they’ve tested this product against bears effectively at up to 30 feet.  I don’t want to know who they had test the product for them (particularly at lesser distances)…

The second product Counter Assault was offering was, hands-down, the coolest thing that’s ever been exhibited at Outdoor Retailer.  A PORTABLE ELECTRIC FREAKING FENCE!  That’s right.  They’ve developed an electric fence that runs on just D-cell batteries, and can generate 8000 volts of bear-deterring electricity.  I asked, and they provide a way for RVers to hook the electric fence up directly to your RV’s 12 volt power system.  This should provide increased run-time and increased voltage for the fence, which are always good things.

The fence packs down into a small nylon bag for storage and transport.  In keeping with the arms-race theme, they’ve named the fence The Pentagon.

I hope to try some tests with these products in the future.  Unfortunately, Stef is likely to veto any really cool test I come up with, or anything that involves grandchildren.  So I’ll likely have to conduct my testing in secret  Stay tuned!