@Philreedshikes  I also wear an elephant bell, no elephants within THOUSANDS of miles, so it MUST be working, right?

People used to ask me if there are bears in the Alps. My answer, "Of course not.  All the cows wear bells."

Now those bells are big and loud, unlike like the puny ~1" ones sold in stores as "bear" bells.

[Actually in recent years bears have been re-introduced to parts of the Alps so that's no longer an accurate response.]

> Do bear bells work? Or is it more likely that the noise caused by the outfitter PACK TRAINS themselves warn bears off instead??

That would be my guess. The ones sold in stores are too small and make too little noise to rise above the sound of two hikers chatting. Perhaps their sound is higher frequency and bears can hear that better. 

While we're discussing bears, some years ago when I was visiting Banff, several trails were restricted to parties of 5 or more due to recent bear activity. I asked a warden (Canadian for ranger) why 5 and not 4 or 6? His response, "Well there's never been a report of a bear attacking groups of 5 or more." I hopethink he was being serious... 


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