Camping season is here and many of us are planning a weekend this summer or multiple weekends to get away from the business of life for a few days, take the trailer, or a tent, rent a cabin, and enjoy what nature has to offer. A weekend by the lake, out in the wilderness, or wherever you choose to escape is always a great way to spend a summer trip. As the temperatures rise this summer, it is important to take every precaution possible this year. Some of them may be obvious but others not so much. A recent incident is a good reminder of what to do to avoid a similar situation.

Black Bear Locked in Car Dies from Heat

Credit: CoyStClair
Credit: CoyStClair
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Over the weekend, a black bear was discovered in a man's car dead, after getting locked in the car. It was able to claw its way into the man's car before the door shut on it and locked it in the car. The temperature was 95 degrees that day, with the heat index reaching 140 inside the car. The heat is what lead to the bear's death and serves as a reminder of a few different things. Bears have noses that are seven times stronger than a dog's and can smell food from a distance. It is believed that the bear could smell food and was trying to get into the car to get the wrappers, soda, and other food left in the man's car.

Bear-Proof Your Car When Camping

Credit: Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash
Credit: Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash
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As a friendly reminder, make sure to bear-proof your car this summer when camping. While you may not expect one to come into your camping area, it is best to be prepared. Lock your doors when you are not in or near your car. Make sure to throw away all soda cans, and wrappers, and remove all extra food from your car. If a bear smells it and knows it is there, it will try to get to it. Make sure to roll up all windows to help contain the potential smells as well. If you do find yourself in this rare situation, make sure to contact Fish and Game right away. 

Heat in Cars this Summer

Credit: MarianVejcik
Credit: MarianVejcik
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While keeping a bear out of your car may seem like a rare situation to find yourself in, dealing with the heat in the car is not. If a car gets hot enough to kill a bear, imagine what it will do to your children, your pets, or even yourself. Yes, a bear does have more fur and would overheat quickly, but the result can be the same. Make sure to not leave your pets or children in the car when running errands, camping, or for any circumstance this summer. The heat index in that car was almost fifty degrees warmer than outside. Imagine sitting in a car that is almost 150 degrees for an extended period. 

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While the story of the black bear is tragic, it does serve as a reminder of what the heat can do, and that we need to make sure to be aware when camping that we are in their home. Clean up your trash, don't leave food around, and make sure you take every precaution you can. Be safe, be smart, and enjoy camping this summer. 

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