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Episode 113: What You Need to Know About Being Safe in Bear Country

| Updated Nov 9, 2016

If you camp in bear country, you need to listen to this interview. So much that has been written about bear safety is wrong. In this episode we talk to perhaps the foremost expert in bear attacks and he shares foolproof advice on how to stay safe and be bear aware. Also, lots of tips, advise about boondocking and a hilarious off the beaten path report in which our correspondent ended up in a nudist camp!

Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.


Show Notes for Episode #113 Nov 8 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:


One task we RVers all have that is no fun is doing dishes… Anything that can make that chore less time consuming is welcome. So this week, you will love our tip about a product that combines an ultra-durable Bounty paper towel with the grease-fighting power of Dawn dish soap. It comes from our friend Joette George, who we met on a recent camping trip. [spp-timestamp time=”8:00″]

jennifer2bountydawnThe product is called “Bounty with Dawn” and the company claims it produces results that are four times cleaner than a used dishcloth. It is the thickest, strongest Bounty available on the market, with 70% more fibers in each sheet and cloth-like durability to stay intact while cleaning. Bounty with Dawn can even be reused—simply rinse and wring the grease out to keep tackling any mess with just one sheet.

Designed to leave virtually no streaks behind, Bounty with Dawn can be used on almost any surface. It is especially great for pots, pans, countertops, stovetops, glass, granite, stainless steel and mirrors.

It’s widely available in food, grocery and mass retailers all across North America or on Amazon, where you can get a roll of three for a little under $14.

Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.


A listener wanted to know why Alde hydronic heaters are not available on toy haulers. Mike explains the Alde system is now an aftermarket product; it must be built in to production coach. Right now, on RVs, its primarily available on Roadtreks and Winnebagos…mostly Class Bs. The bigger RVs are really boxes that are just bolted and welded on a frame. Class Bs are custom built. [spp-timestamp time=”12:23″]

Another listener asks about finding cheap places to boondock. Mike refers him to, and the following stories on the RV Travel Blog blog: [spp-timestamp time=”15:15″]

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.


Chuck Bartlebaugh, founder and director of the Be Bear Aware Campaign.
Chuck Bartlebaugh, founder and director of the Be Bear Aware Campaign.

This week we talk to perhaps the top expert in Bear Safety and bear/human interactions in North America, Chuck Bartlebaugh, founder and director of the Be Bear Aware Campaign. [spp-timestamp time=”27:42″]

Chuck has vast experience with bears and how to avoid conflict and he shares it in this interview. Chuck notes that there is a lot of information out there on television programs, in advertisements and even in literature used by government field workers on how to properly react to bears in the wild.

Counter Assault Bear Spray
Counter Assault Bear Spray

Chuck has researched human-wildlife conflicts extensively, studying why an increasing number of people are attempting to approach and interact with wild animals. He worked with National parks, Universities, bear biologists and wildlife research agencies for decades. He has traveled extensively photographing and observing human-wildlife interactions in national parks, forests and refuges in the lower 48 states, Canada, and Alaska.

Among other things he talks about:

  • Why Bear Spray is the most effective means to stop a bear attack
  • How you should use bear spray and when
  • Why you should never hike alone in bear country
  • The differences between black bears and grizzly bears
  • How a charging bear can reach speeds of 30 miles and hour
  • Why it’s important that everyone in a hiking group have their own can of bear spray
  • What it means when a bear turns its back to you
  • Signs that a bear is about to charge or attack
  • Why yelling and screaming and whistling at a bear is never a good idea!

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV


Steve Van Dinter
Steve Van Dinter

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on a handy Travel App: [spp-timestamp time=”54:16″]

Hope you’re getting your rest now because the holiday travel season is almost upon us.

And as you and millions of others get ready to visit family and friends this year, wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra pair of hands keeping track of your flight times, hotels, and other relevant trip info?

Well as luck would have it there’s an app for that – and it’s free.

The app is called TripIt, and it’s one of my top five most used apps.

You can manually input all of your relevant travel information and it’ll keep track, but what I love is that you can give it access to automatically scan your email and when it sees you booked a flight, hotel, rental car, etc., it automatically just adds it to the app.

You don’t have to lift a finger!

In addition, if you’re traveling with others or have family coming in from all over the country, you can easily share your itineraries or coordinate rides from the airport.

All that for free!

There are a number of premium features you can pay for, but when it comes to a powerful free travel utility, you can’t do much better than this.

Again it’s called TripIt and it’s free for Android and iOS devices.

With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT –  How they ended up in a nudist colony! [spp-timestamp time=”57:50″]

Patti and Tom Burkett
Patti and Tom Burkett

By Patti Burkett

Today I’m going to tell you how we sometimes end up in the odd places we do.  We began visiting unusual places on the many camping trips we took with our three daughters.  Limited vacation time meant lots of miles and long days on the road, so Tom looked for a way to give the girls some entertainment.  Roadside America is a book (now a website too) that’s helped us find shoe trees, giant mining shovels, and UFOs.   The girls were mostly unimpressed.  Their most frequent comment was, “Dad, do we have to!”

Now our girls are grown and we mostly travel by ourselves, stopping partly for tradition, but mostly to stretch our legs.  Last month we were on our way up to the Roadtrek gathering in the Porcupine Mountains.  We’d agreed to drop our twenty-something niece off in Madison on the way, and after 325 hard, fast miles we needed a break.  “Heyl”, I said, “here’s a 16 foot high sundial that really tells time.”  “Cool,” everyone agreed.

The giant leg sundial
The giant leg sundial

“There’s only one problem,” I said.  “It’s at a nudist colony.”  Did you know that Lake Village, Indiana right off I-65, is the home of not one, but two of these resorts: one for families and one for adults. Sun Aura Resort has been a nudist colony since the 1930’s and encompasses 300 acres of clothing optional fun with cabins, camping and yep, you guessed it,  RV sites!  Reasonable rates too.

Now I’d thrown down the gauntlet and no one wanted to be the first to back out.  Our niece, a veteran of these expeditions, called one of my daughters to tell her the plan.  “Did she wish she was here,” I asked.  “No, she just said ‘I’m really sorry my parents are so weird.”

We walked in and, as promised, there were friendly, fully clothed staff happy to show us the sundial out behind the building.  They escorted us through the club house where a single couple was dining.  I was relieved that he, while shirtless, was wearing pants.  My relief evaporated when I realized she was eating her cheeseburger deluxe in her altogether.  She’s sitting at the table, I thought, can’t see too much.

Out we went to marvel at the just restored sundial, a long and shapely woman’s leg.  A bit of history from our guide, a few pictures to mark the occasion, and we headed back through the clubhouse to the car. And who should we meet at the door, in an awkward, “you first, no you”, moment?  The snack bar couple on their way out.  Embarrassed, I looked down.  Oops, not there.  So I looked up. Also not the best choice.  We held our our giggles until we got back to the Roadtrek, and found ourselves with plenty of adrenaline for the next ‘leg’ of our trip.  From off the beaten path, I’m Patti Burkett.


Two shows this weekend… [spp-timestamp time=”1:01;50″]

Portland Metro RV Show

November 10-13

Expo Center
Portland OR

Tampa Bay RV Show

November 10-13
Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

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And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-11-09

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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