I Believe in the Importance of Bear Lockers

Tammy - Fairfield, California
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

My belief developed after having a little incident happen at Calaveras Big Trees. I have always tried to follow directions although sometimes I get lazy and don’t do everything that I should do, and this would be one of those times.

While camping with family and friends as we do every Labor Day weekend and after enjoying a delicious BBQ dinner and of course S’mores, I headed off to my tent for the night.

Later that evening our whole group was awakened by a sound in the dead of the night. We could all hear heavy breathing of some sort of wild animal extremely close by, so close by that we could hear it breathing, and then the eerie sound of a screen tent being ripped open. Next, we could hear the sound of that wild animal crunching away on something. Only, I knew what that something was- a bag of Doritos that I carelessly left in a plastic container instead of the bear lockers that were provided for us. Because in my mind, my silly thinking mind, putting the Doritos in a plastic container was just as good as using the steel metal containers called bear lockers. After all, anyone who has ever used a bear locker knows what a chore it can be to try and add something else to an already over-filled bear locker.

Luckily for me and everyone else camping with us that night, the bear just ate the Doritos and left and did not want to eat any of us for a midnight snack. Although, now I had a big Doritos mess to clean up, we were without a screen tent, I was giving a verbal warning and a citation by the park ranger and to this day am still teased the about the time I invited a bear to camp. I am happy to say that I am more responsible today and always make sure every last bit of food and any other item with a scent is securely put away, because after all, I could have put my family and friends in danger from my carefree attitude about not using the bear lockers.

As you can imagine, this not only instilled my belief in always putting everything correctly away, but, at that very moment, I realized the importance, I mean, “REAL IMPORTANCE” of using a bear locker. Because as much as I like bears, preferably from a far, far distance or in the zoo, I don’t ever want to invite one for dinner or even offer it a treat like Doritos, again.