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Extra Wall Protection From Bears

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Old 08-31-2014, 01:32 AM   #1
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Default Extra wall protection from bears

Hi,
My wife and I have been looking into buying a yurt for a while now. Only concern we have is brown bears breaking in through the walls of the yurt. The region where we want to put up our yurt is problematic of brown bears breaking into cabins and even a few yurts. I have thought of sheet metal in between the outer shell canvas and

insulation

, building the yurt on top a garage/shop to installing a pulsating electric fence to be on when we're not home. I am leaning more towards beefing up the walls, but if anyone has any ideas or have already done some bear prevention/protection I am open to ideas.
Thanks


Last edited by jhkj14; 08-31-2014 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

Hello,

You might consider buying a new type of yurt we've developed called a Yurt-Cabin. It has solid walls, regular house windows, and a steel door as standard features. And it doesn't cost any more than a fabric yurt. Take a look at FreedomYurtCabins.com.

If you do buy a fabric yurt, someone told me once that bears hate the smell of ammonia. A bear had come into the basement of my cabin when I had left the door open. I was afraid it would come back and damage the door trying to get in again. I had stored some food down there. So I sprayed ammonia all around the door, and rigged up a bottle full of ammonia with some fabric stuffed inside to gradually "wick" the ammonia smell out. I left it by the door and I never had a problem again.

But I suspect if a bear really wants to get into your fabric yurt, he'll find a way. They are attracted to the smell of food, so if you control that, you shouldn't have a problem.

Good luck,
Richard
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

A determined adult brown bear is capable of tearing through any standard 3/4" sized wood wall lattice. If you are really worried about brown bears, I think a high platform with a secured stairs is the $$$ solution to keeping bears out.

Ground level options. I'll assume you are planning to have your exterior wall 8' tall. An unorthodox approach would be to stucco the yurt wall. Bears won't get through stucco and the mesh it is attached to. Rip 4x8 sheets of OSB stucco backer to 1' width and install vertically. Staple the stucco lath to it, scratch and brown coat. The 'look' of the stucco wall wouldn't matter because it would be covered inside and out with standard yurt fabric cover.

Another offbeat option is to eliminate the lattice wall and frame a circular wall. Do the above stucco treatment on the outside and leave it visible like regular stucco. Advantage is not only protection but insulating is a snap and cheap. Your choice of interior finish matrerials. Your choice of interior wall treatments. T&G or ship lap boards installed vertically immediately come to mind.

Another alternative would be to wrap the exterior side of the wall lattice with chain link fencing, and cover that with the wall flashing you mentioned. Install the fabric, install the fencing, install the flashing and then whatever

insulation

and wall covering. All metal is covered by fabric.

Gopod luck. A dog and an 'Alaska special' - 12 gauge with extended magazine loaded with slugs- is a final suggestion.

Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

Pardon the typos.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

#1 bear protection is odor control. Bears sense of smell is like sharks being able to smell blood in water. So controlling odors is the first step. Cleaning up after meals removing any odor causing food waste. Storing food in as air tight containers as you can find. Or up in an anti bear food cache. An elevated pantry away from the house with metal collars around the legs to prevent climbing.

The bear cache is the standard for people living in bear country. Not having bird feeders, pet food, dirty grill, etc all also help reduce odors. Be vigilant about trash, and store trash in a bear proof container double bagged to reduce smells.

#2 protection, electric fence. You can ring your yurt with an electric fence to shock any would be bear into leaving your place alone. Draw back is it does need power, and can look unsightly if just put up around the place. You can blend it into the landscaping or decking to make it less of an eye sore.

#3 avoidance, elevated platform. Raise your yurt up enough and gate your stairs so they don't allow a bear access.

Hopefully these ideas will help. Key to not having a bear problem is to not give them a reason to consider you place a food source. So odor control is the #1 thing to work on first. Once you have a bear problem because it was attracted to your place, it will keep coming back. so keep the odors in control and you will have a much easier time.
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Last edited by ineffableone; 08-31-2014 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

BTW there is a reason why most cabin doors swing out instead of in. It is due to bears. A bear can push a door in if the hinges swing in fairly easy, but having the door swing out and having a very heavy duty door jam prevents them from pushing the door in. Just another consideration would be to beef up your door jam and hang the door to swing out rather than in.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

Thanks for all the ideas, will take into consideration. The main reason we want to start with a fabric yurt is affordability; our first (home.) Ideally I would like to raise the yurt on a platform, but given building on (tundra) accounts for re-leveling year round if not monthly. I would like to go with a framed wall yurt, but that adds $$$ fast. And recently viewing and learning about yurts from a builder/seller, it fits with what we want right now. I have also heard that bears don't like the smell of ammonia, but I'll have to do more research on the negative effects of it. I am not familiar with stucco, but will do more research into it, and how it can fit into the building process and the pros/cons of it. Chain link fencing I am against on, it would enable the bears claws to grab onto and pull. As far as personal protection from wildlife, there are no worries there, my wife may sometimes even think I am a little (over prepared) for something that can eat us. On the affordable side, I am leaning towards an electric fence, for when we are not home.
Thanks guys!
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Last edited by jhkj14; 09-02-2014 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

I found this thread while looking for advice on keeping bears away from yurts. Since putting mine up in 2014, we have had multiple visits from black bear... and a lot of damage ranging from minor to more substantial and widespread. This yurt is used about 1-2 times month on average, in the Idaho backcountry.

I knew from the onset that bear could be nuisances so took the most often suggested precaution: Keep odors down, particularly food odors. Most backcountry yurts I've been in reek of meat grease, particularly bacon. For that reason, we've never cooked meat in our yurt nor have we allowed guests to cook meat. We've been absolutely anal about cleaning the kitchen and utensils thoroughly, not storing food, toothpaste, etc inside. We even began cooking outside...and took the hand sanitizer out...because we discovered the bear is/was attracted to that. Still.... we continue having problems which has me constantly wondering why.

The one thing at our place that seems to get hit every time is the outhouse. The bear seem to be attracted to our poop of all things. So... I am going to empty the "contents" of our sawdust bucket toilet and bury each time before we leave. I also suspect that bear have come to associate man-made items with food... and even if they don't smell something, they will try to get inside anyway... just to make sure... whether it's a yurt, box, sauna, car, whatever. On our last break-in, the bear tore through our vinyl window and pulled a sheepskin rug outside (it has an odor to it, as my sniffer found). So, that too is no longer left in the yurt.

Lastly, it seems the bear around our place will tear up things indiscriminately. A barbie doll left on our sauna door: Ripped up twice now. Tire on the wheelbarrow: Shredded! Seriously?? Why would a bear be interested in a tire!!!??? The chimney on the sauna: Ripped off! And I could go on....

So, when I read things like "you'll be fine if you don't leave food" which... seems a fairly common belief, I have to laugh... or think to myself the person writing that has no personal experience...or, they have far less pesky bears than we. No food? Our bear don't care!

I have considered lining my walls with corrugated metal roofing... on the outside. It wouldn't cost too much and would save a lot of headache with patching rips in the cover. But.... it would be a pain to install and wouldn't look all that great. So, for now, I'm trying a trip line attached to a device that fires blank 12 gauge shotgun shells. What a pain to disarm the thing every time I go to my yurt but....we'll see if it works. I'm hoping the loud bang will scare the thing/s off!!

Other things I have or am considering: A scarecrow holding a windmill (or something that spins in a breeze) I move during each visit... though bear may be too smart for that; Solar powered electric fence (though I don't know much about them); Cans of bear spray scattered a short distance from the yurt, with a little bacon grease (or similar food bait). That's a tip I got from an Alaskan outfitter for grizzlies. They bite into the cans, get a mouth and face-full of spray and bolt! But...I'm not sure I want to "bait" a bear to my place with food odors. What if that's not enough to deter the bear... or other bear smell it can and start coming around!??

Anyone out there have firsthand experience with problem bear and methods of keeping them away... or from tearing things up? Tired of spending all my time at the yurt patching damage instead of enjoying the place.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

Never bear proofed a yurt. However I have thought about bear, and critter proofing tents. My easiest idea was chain link fencing wrapped around the lattice, under the cover, and attached with tie wire. While no bear could tear chain link fence apart, it certainly could trash the yurt if motivated. Claws in those links would be easy to pull. The corrugated metal paneling sounds like a possibility, either over the fencing or as is.

Easiest of all and best to keep all critters off the immediate property is electric fencing. I have watched a few videos online of that fencing being installed, and bears getting zapped. This includes grizz and brown bear. If I had a yurt in bear country I absolutely would go for the fencing for starters. Plus it seems to me that it would keep other critters out as well.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Extra wall protection from bears

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
Never bear proofed a yurt. However I have thought about bear, and critter proofing tents. My easiest idea was chain link fencing wrapped around the lattice, under the cover, and attached with tie wire. While no bear could tear chain link fence apart, it certainly could trash the yurt if motivated. Claws in those links would be easy to pull. The corrugated metal paneling sounds like a possibility, either over the fencing or as is.

Easiest of all and best to keep all critters off the immediate property is electric fencing. I have watched a few videos online of that fencing being installed, and bears getting zapped. This includes grizz and brown bear. If I had a yurt in bear country I absolutely would go for the fencing for starters. Plus it seems to me that it would keep other critters out as well.

After I posted, I researched solar powered electric fencing. I dismissed it prior due to my experiences with them on the family ranch years ago. Weeds touching them created sparks which I envisioned starting a fire at my yurt which is set up in an area that gets bone dry later in the summer. But, I see that technology has changed and fire is said to be of no concern now. Wish I would have held off on the trip wire and explosives and put that money towards an electric fence. Still, I'm pretty sure the fence is the direction I'll be moving towards.


Thanks for your post. I welcome any other thoughts from you or others.


Best!
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