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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Ask A Bear: Will My Farts Attract A Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Q: Will my farts attract a bear? Don't laugh—I've always wanted to know.—Kasi, via email

A: Oh boy—I usually treat this forum as a place for people to get sincere answers about the behavioral habits of myself in the wild. But this is the goofy question I get almost more than any other. I think maybe it's time to let the hot air out of this one.

While there is some small evidence grizzlies could occasionally be attracted to fecal matter, there is no evidence that human flatulence would attract me. No scientific tests have been attempted to this bear's knowledge. Why not, you ask? The phrase "vanished like a fart in the wind" is perhaps a truism best applied here—I can only imagine the difficulty in testing this (not to mention getting funding).

Even the most potent gas events will dissipate quickly—perhaps not quickly enough for your tentmates, but quickly nonetheless. The smell doesn't linger long enough to be more of a factor than your own human smell (which I can already detect) or any food or scented items you might have on you (which you should know by now to stow).

As for noise, I'm more likely to be attracted by your tentmate's anguished screaming at your baked-bean byproducts.

So as far as I can tell, go ahead—let 'er rip. If you wake up murdered, you can be sure it won't be my fault.

—BEAR

Got a question for the bear? Send it to askabear@backpacker.com.

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Sep 29, 2011

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Sep 29, 2011

I can assure you that the washroom was empty of all life forms - including the Restroom Steward.
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May 09, 2011

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Oct 03, 2010

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boneguru
Jun 25, 2010

keep up the good work, lighthearted and funny at times if it must be, keeping people in the know is better than fearmongerering, there is too much whining, enjoy!

dropkick
Jun 25, 2010

My cousin once went on a grapefruit diet. (Supposed to burn more calories digesting grapefruit than you get from it).

We were at his parent's house watching t.v. he got up and went to the bathroom, and then returned a short while later.

About 15 minutes later I got up and went to the kitchen to get a drink of water. While standing at the sink a miasma of the most horrendous smell imaginable surrounded me, it was my cousin's flatuations coming from the open bathroom.

Gagging, I retreated back toward the living room, however the scent seemed to cling to me like a coating of oil. I still shudder thinking about it.

That day on my cousin's recommendation I had been trying out his grapefruit diet. That night I was forced awake by my choking on the smell of my own flatuation. I quit the diet.

I have been sprayed by a skunk and this was 10x worse.

If your worried about your farts attracting bears eat some grapefruit - Trust me nothing will want to come anywhere near you.

chelassed
Jun 24, 2010

I love the 'Ask A Bear' section. It's lighthearted yet educational. Don't tell me you've backcountry hiked in Yellowstone & haven't pondered these very questions.
Keep em commin.

Poopoopants
Jun 24, 2010

What amazes me is that this bear can type so well! I think you've forgotten the Taco Bell fart. That should keep them away!

Poopoopants
Jun 24, 2010

What amazes me is that this bear can type so well! I think you've forgotten the Taco Bell fart. That should keep them away!

Bare Truth
Jun 24, 2010

My brother and I have tested our own toxicity levels while on a weekend trip to Vegas. I can assure you that the washroom was empty of all life forms - including the Restroom Steward. NO farts don't attract anything....

funds
Jun 24, 2010

Figuring out how to study this might be hard. Funding shouldn't be. Our government routinely funds studies of such overwhelming importance quite generously.

Poopoopants
Jun 24, 2010

What amazes me is that this bear can type so well! I think you've forgotten the Taco Bell fart. That should keep them away!

rodrigo
Jun 24, 2010

"A blackberry pie fart ... might cause you some problems"

So, what you're saying is that it's only a problem if the fart is ... berry smelly? *rimshot*

Jeff
Jun 24, 2010

Great Stuff. Being a Scout leader The boys have tons of Bear Questions.We can always use creditable answers.
As far as Studies go I have conducted my own. At Camp we have Latrines nearby which have never brought any visitors in known bear areas. Dumpsters and food in tents have.
As the saying goes "Does a bear *#it in the woods" Why not us
FART freely.
Keep up the good work

James
Jun 24, 2010

I am so sick of Backpacker using bear fear mongering tactics as an attempt to generate interest. Not only is it complete BS, but it implants an unnecessary fear of bears in newbie backpackers... they feel the need to arm themselves and shoot at any bear they see because of this unfounded fear.

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