Wanderer wrote:That's the answer, like it or not. If we're supposed to make you feel better about breaking the law by giving you feel-good answers, then maybe you should consider that those first days that you mention are probably the days when you're in the areas most frequented by habituated bears and therefore, arguably, the most inmportant aeas for you to properly store your food!
First off, I do not really care about your validation or whether I get a "feel good" answer.
Second, I feel that I am as conscious as the next about being ultra safe and protecting the life of the bear - in all instances. Everything than can go into the biggest can I can find (repacked of course) does go into the can - crammed in tight.
Who elected you god anyway? Nobody came down rudely on you or your opinions...until now. The fact remains that today there are giant loopholes in the laws...whether or not you are on one ridge (inside YNP) or outside - 1/8 mile away, can make all the difference in a $5000 fine or not - and whether you can hang or not. Even the origional poster admits that his uncle puts a flask in a crook of the tree - never bothered but still illegal. Do you always put everything inside of your canister? Always? Is there a loose chapstick or other small item that you keep out, in your pocket or tent? - thus are you deserving of a fine? How about while preparing food...Is there food out...for how long? Can you justify that...period? How about uneaten leftover meals...where does that food go? What about those items that do not fit when you are outside a bear can required area? Is it right then to keep stuff down? or do you hang food in those areas? Does that make that legal? If you spill food on your jacket, does the jacket then have to go in the can? How about spilling on a tent...or on a thermarest? Where do you draw the line on this? How about your stove? Is there food on the outside thus making it necessary to put it in the can too? I hear stories about critters eating clothes (salt) or treking pole handles...boot laces too...and what about trash?
At some point, common sense must enter into the equation somewhere. I am not advocating blatent disregard of the law here, I firmly advocate that all overnighters must carry a can - always - in all parts of the the Sierra. It should not matter where in the Sierra...How about you? Do you always carry one? I do.... period, but at some point, a honest attempt must also be recognized...period.
What about if those first few days if you are not in a high habituated bear area...does that then make storage less important?
That is my answer...like it or not.