Since I published the first bear spray story last year, I have had dozens of friends and strangers tell me their own stories of bear spray mishaps or send me links to bear spray accidents in the news. It seems that bear spray is used quite often, and almost never on a bear.
One friend, however, took it a step further and wrote a hilarious account of a time that a “bear” invaded a campsite in Glacier Bay National Park. Here is his harrowing tale:
Bear Spray Story Part 5: The Invaded Campsite
Written by Michael Augello
Cartoons by Jeff Bell
So, it was 2003, a bunch of Lodgies (a person who works at the lodge) wanted to go camping overnight in the Beardsley Islands. In order to get to the Beardsleys, one must kayak through the “cut,” a narrow passageway you can only get through during high tide. Unfortunately for my roommate and I, we had to work in the restaurant until close. High tide was at 3PM, and our shift started at 5pm. Our friends left around 2pm and began their journey into the enclosed waters.
Determined to go camping, my roomie and I decided to kayak through the cut during the day and hide our kayak in the woods at the far end of the Bartlett River Trail, a mile and a half hike from the lodge. That way, when we got out of work, we could simply hike the trail, jump in our kayak and search for our friends through the darkness.
After work, we hiked and arrived at our kayak around 11PM. After kayaking about an hour and half, we saw a small campfire in the distance. As we approached, we realized everyone had already settled in for the night and instantly decided to terrorize them by secretly approaching and thrash around the tents as angry bears.
As we hit their tents with branches and stomped around, we hid our laughter as our friends began to feel the fear of the great outdoors.
As we became louder and closer the screams began. It wasn’t long before one of the brave campers started screaming “Where’s the bear spray?!
In the darkness the search was difficult. As fear ripped into them the screams elevated and now we heard “WHERE THE F*** IS THE BEARSPRAY?!?!?”
Our muffled laughter turned to our own fear when someone said they got it.
We hit the tent one more time with branches before The Hero of the Night sprayed the bear spray out through the screen…
backfiring into the tent and forcing everyone to run out of the tent directly into the mouths of hungry bears!!!
Hahahaha.. of course it was not so funny in that moment for them, and after the anger subsided we stayed up the rest of the night joking and laughing. No one slept that night with such high energies and a tent uninhabitable. It was probably the best prank I’ve ever pulled! ~MA
So, who wants to go camping with Michael?
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