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Bear Boxes - do you leave food in them?

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Bear Boxes - do you leave food in them?

Postby shadow11 » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:25 pm

I do not and it seems like it is not the right thing to do, but I just got back from a backpack and noticed some people do as there was food left in some bear boxes.

One person in our group wanted to leave their excess food on the last day (I think because they saw others have done it) in the bear box and I told them it wasn't cool to do that because it was like leaving your garbage in the back country for somebody else to pack out. Their philosophy was that it was being nice for somebody who might be out of food. They ended up carrying it out because they never thought of the other side of somebody having to pack out their garbage.

Just wondering of what everybody elses thoughts are?



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Postby markskor » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:45 pm

You carry it in...You carry it out - unless you personally talk with someone on site who is in need, and they accept responsibility.
Just to leave it wishfully, as a "gift"...well, that goes against all that we here strive for.
Keep our Sierra clean!
BTW, I consider single malt scotch, (Oban or similar) as the only possible exception.
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Postby copeg » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:13 am

I'm with Markskor on this one...pack it in, pack it out. I have twice cached food in a bear locker, and always picked it several days later, but I've never left anything. I have carried out trash I've found in a bear locker - I felt that was almost as bad as leaving your trash behind at your campsite. If you've ever passed through a resupply point on the JMT like Red's Meadow or Muir Trail Ranch, you'll notice the tons of food left behind by thru-hikers - I'm guessing none of which is taken by other hikers. I think the same would hold true for food in a bear locker, it would sit there until either a hiker or most likely a Ranger happens by to pack it, with the exception of some single malt scotch of course.
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Postby Timberline » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:06 am

Hey, Markskor, were you referring to the freeze-dried or de-hydrated single malt scotch? A fellow backpacker offered me a taste of his de-hydrated variety some years back when we camped at Margaret Lakes. Mmmmm, good. Wicks away the trail sweat real neat! :D

Yeah, I second the motion about not leaving food behind on the assumed chance it might get used by another backpacker in need. Most of my trail time occurred in the ages before bear cannisters and boxes came on the scene, and in my experience the flip side of this issue always seemed to work out - - someone truly in need of vittles shouldn't be shy about it, and one shouldn't be hesitant about helping out. My son and I once divvied up our larder with some novice hikers at 4th Recess Lake who had lost their food to bears along Mono Creek. We made do just fine for a few days with what remained, made some lasting friends, and kept the wilderness pristine.
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Postby Rosabella » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:07 am

I'd never leave food in a bear box... not only because I also consider it "littering" but also because I'd NEVER consider eating someone else's food....even with a sign saying "help yourself".

Who knows how long it's been there, and (call me paranoid) but I don't think I'd trust food that I didn't know where or who it came from. I've never been THAT hungry on the trail. :)

I've seen food in the bearboxes that looked as if it had been there a while, so obivously I'm not alone in my distaste :\
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Postby shadow11 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:57 pm

Thanks for the info. I agree with all above and was just making sure I wasn't being stupid by letting them know you couldn't leave food in the bear boxes.
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Postby SPeacock » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:06 pm

Read the small print...it is not allowed.

If they catch you, I think the penalty is you have to eat it ALL right then :)

The rangers really consider that a big PITO, because they have to pack it out.

There are trail bums who live off the food left in the cans. I'm not sure they are concerned if it is last nights or last weeks. If you see somebody along the way that looks like they could use extra - and you have it - ask them if you can unload it on them. They might appreciate not having to run the gauntlet of irate backpackers missing food.

But then, there are also regulations about feeding the wild life..
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