Smokey The Bear History, Merchandise And More

by frugalrvers

If you want to know Smokey The Bear history or view great Smokey Bear merchandise, pictures, gifts, videos and more, visit us to get your fill of this famous fire fighting bear.

Who didn't love Smokey The Bear when I was a kid. Though he is still seen today, he was my hero as a child. Yep...Smokey told me only I could prevent forest fires! I was his little bear soldier...part of his team. Anyway, this cute merchandise is perfect for reliving those memories...

Smokey Bear History And My Personal Memories

My Smokey The Bear Big Golden Book - The True Story Of Smokey The Bear

My Smokey The Bear Big Golden BookI have my own Smokey the Bear history to share with you, as you browse through this fun walk down memory lane of vintage Smokey Bear commercials, fun merchandise and more. The photo you see of the the big golden book is mine, in addition to the inscription my father wrote to me in 1972 on the inside (visible in the other picture). 

I was born in 1968 and since I was a little girl, I was infatuated with bears. Not teddy bears, though I had quite a few, but real black bears and grizzly bears. I spent most of my childhood in the noisy, dirty city of Chicago. My parents were divorced and my dad was an outdoor enthusiast, eventually retiring off the grid in Glacier Nat'l Park later in life.

He did all he could to get me out west on vacations. We camped, went 4 wheeling and saw a lot of wildlife. We also went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and my paternal grandparents would take me to the Great Smoky Mountains as well. Of course, I didn't see bears all of the time, but I did get the thrill on occasion, which only made me crave my favorite creatures that much more.

Because I was raised to love and respect nature and the forest, Smokey the Bear was the "ultimate" bear I admired. I loved seeing him in books, I always felt his presence when camping in the outdoors and pretty much deemed him the leader of all bears everywhere. Little did I know, as you will read further on, that a real forest fire happened in our family - and Smokey came into our lives once again.My Smokey Bear Book Inscription

This Smokey Bear golden book you see is in my bedroom at all times, and blends in with all of my grizzly bear photos and other brown bear decor.

As an adult, I've been told that the grizzly is my totem, being drawn to the Great Bear so much that I moved across the country to live in grizzly habitat in northwest Montana. I think they're right...

Smokey The Bear Song

This Smokey Bear Song Brings Back Memories

Vintage Smokey The Bear Commercial

Watch This Smokey The Bear Video

How Old Is Smokey The Bear?

Plus Other Smokey The Bear History

For a little recap on Smokey Bear history, you can read all about him here.

Our Own Real Life Forest Fire And Smokey Bear Story

"Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires"

In 2003, my family experienced the power of a forest fire. To this day, we are in awe that my dad and his wife's property made it through, while all of the trees around their cabin remained intact. All of the forest that surround their property is gone - and living across the river from the western boundary of Glacier National Park, their view from their porch is astounding.

Here is the forest service information regarding the fire that destroyed neighbor's cabins: Wedge Canyon Fire 

Smokey the Bear has had his work cut out for him in northwest Montana this past decade. In the remote, rugged drive to my dad's property, over half of the fifty miles of forest have been burned down by forest fire. In my dad's fire, the severe drought coupled with a lightning strike started the process. In other fires, people threw cigarettes out the window or had campfires that weren't put out. Montana has been in drought state for a long time and with the dense, dry forest it only takes a spark to start the process.

For days, the ominous cloud and smell of fire lingered on my dad's property. The firefighters made camp up in this remote terrain, trying to build fire lines while helicopters dropped water from the sky. Though it was growing, it seemed that it was kept at bay. My father spent all day dousing the property with water, including the cabin and outbuildings. The fire department allowed him to stay and were aware he was there, in case the fire should warrant evacuation.

One day, mother nature took over - the winds blew and the fire started heading right for my dad's home. The firefighters came to the door and told my dad "it's time to go."

Heartsick, my dad left with the team and they parked south of the fire's direction. My dad describes seeing it jump the road, heading right for his property. He could hear the propane tanks on all of his neighbor's cabins explode one by one, and felt certain one of those "booms" meant everything he owned just went up in flames.

However, when it was safe to re-enter the property, everything was gone - all of his friend's cabins - and every tree was scorched and would need to be taken down - but his buildings remained unharmed, with even green grass on the lawn (see photo of my dad's brother-in-law watering the green grass with all burned trees in the background - all trees had to be taken down, burned beyond being salvageable). The Associated Press interviewed him and no one could believe everything was spared. He had a large clearing around his home, which has been attributed to playing a large role in sparing his property.

The fire continued on, jumped the river, and burned up a large area in Glacier Park. My dad had built quite a relationship with the firefighters and when the fire finally subsided, he had them all autograph a Smokey Bear sign I'd given him as a gift, which is now mounted on his living room wall. It is the notorious "Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" slogan with a picture of Smokey the Bear.

A Smokey The Bear Costume

All You Need Is A Bear And A Smokey The Bear Hat
Realistic Brown Bear (Full) Adult Costume
5655 - USA Made Wool Felt Campaign Trooper Hat
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Smokey The Bear Books, For Children Or Adults

Books Make Great Smokey Bear Gifts

Smokey the Bear books are a treasure for both young and old. Those who grew up admiring Smokey Bear will be excited to revisit books from their childhood. For children, they can begin learning the magic of Smokey's message through each page they explore.

Smokey's message is as important today as ever - only YOU can prevent forest fires. With less forest to enjoy and more people spending time in the outdoors, it isn't hard to envision the rising risk of wildfires being started by cigarette butts or careless campers not extinguishing their campfires.

As I know from seeing it first hand, fires start quickly, spread quickly and take away an enormous amount of habitat for the wildlife who used to live in those woods that burn to the ground. It does only take a spark...that's it.

So for Smokey the Bear fans, treat them to a vintage book with their favorite fire fighting bear. For kids, give them books about Smokey and use it as an opportunity to talk about taking care of nature and respecting the beautiful forests. Smokey the Bear books are sure to please any and all.

Many books about Smokey Bear can only be found in used condition anymore - but more many that just makes them more appealing. I know I wouldn't want my personal Smokey book any other way.

The True Story of Smokey (Smokey Bear)

THE TRUE STORY OF SMOKEY BEAR 1969 Softcover stapled comic book format

official Smokey Bear Book Set (with Plush Doll)

Smokey Bear, famous friend of forests and firefighters, can now be your child's best friend, too. This cuddly plush toy is ready for imaginative playtime and comes packaged with...

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Updated: 03/14/2016, frugalrvers
 
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frugalrvers on 01/10/2012

Thanks for posting, all of ya!

Jimmie, I do have to give poor Smokey a little slack...I like to think that he is stretching his "only you" statement to include reporting smoke, etc...I know, I know...I just love that bear, so gotta believe that is what he meant :)

ohcaroline on 01/10/2012

I have some good memories of the bears in the Great Smoky Mountain Park. I once lived across the road from the park and saw bears in the area and even when I was at work.

Jimmie on 01/10/2012

I only remember that famous line, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires." Of course, that's not totally true since forest fires are also a natural occurrence. We learned about that at Yellowstone. Still love Smokey, though.

ThePartyAnimal on 01/09/2012

Love Vintage Smokey Bear Merchandise and have a bunch myself. MY favorite to collect are the old posters.

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