HST Community      The necessity of a bear canister

The necessity of a bear canister | High Sierra Topix  

The necessity of a bear canister

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.

The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Brien » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:44 pm

I've been backpacking off and on in the Sierras for probably 25 years and I've never used a bear canister. I've always put my food in a bag and thrown it over a tall branch away from camp. Even though I've never had a problem, I know my food storage isn't ideal. So I wanted to get some feedback from others on this technique and if it is adequate of I'm just running on borrowed time.

For lunch and dinner I only eat freeze dried meals that are sealed. For the mornings I pack coffee, creamer, sugar and oatmeal which I seal into individual meal packets with a food sealer. I also pack energy bars (not sealed). I put all my food in a dry-bag and host it at least 15' off the ground.

Is this food storage sufficient?



User avatar
Brien
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:41 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:10 pm

It depends on where you go. If you visit a place in the Sierra, that requires the can and you didn't take one, that would be completely illegal. If they stop you, you generally will be turned around and made to walk out.

If you go to someplace like lets say Trinity Alps or FS land that doesn't require a can, then what you do is probably fine as long as you trust your skill on hanging food properly.

If you do a search on the upper right hand area of the site for "bear canister" you will find a ton of discussion on the topic. This topic also should possibly be relocated to the Outdoor Gear Topic, but not my call.

And don't say Sierras again. It makes Markskor boil over. :)

Russ
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6357
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Brien » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:19 pm

Thanks for the info Russ. I didn't know there were some places it was illegal to go without a bear canister. I'll do a little more research.
User avatar
Brien
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:41 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:22 pm

well, the NPS (Yose, Seki) are a fine example where the can is required. And they ask you during the wilderness permit process on the can point if required.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6357
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Brien » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:45 pm

So far I have two trips planned, Loch Levin and Lake Aloha. I don't recall seeing a bear canister required at either.
User avatar
Brien
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:41 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:53 pm

well, for Desolation Wilderness: http://www.recreation.gov/permits/Desol ... rkId=72202

BEARS AND FOOD STORAGE

Protect yourself by using bear canisters for food storage, or by hanging your food using the counterbalancing method.
Bear proof food storage containers are available for free rental from the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, LTBMU Supervisor's Office, or the Pacific Ranger District.


They don't say the require them, but that region has a LOT of hungry bears, and hungrier given the drought. Free rental at Taylor Creek. :)
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6357
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:17 pm

I always take a bear canister in the Sierra. I've had bears go after them, too, in areas where they are NOT required.

There are plenty of people who have "always" slept with, hung, or done nothing at all special with their food, but there are also plenty of people who have had their food stolen, their gear ripped apart, their canister made to disappear (this is also a thing - placing the canister correctly), their food bag torn down along with the branch.... The difference between the two is usually simple - along came a determined bear. And that was that.

There are plenty of rangers who can tell you the stories - lots of them in Yosemite. Sequoia rangers issuing permits were warning people not to leave their packs anywhere unattended, as there are bears on the popular trails that steal packs when you step off to take a leak.

So, yep, I do take a can, always, and will continue to do so since I prefer trips that are relaxing and drama free, instead of becoming another example of someone who underestimated a bear I'd never met yet.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2244
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby austex » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:08 pm

A bear can well placed and as heavy and as and $ conscious as a BearVault plus as much of a PITA (size/weight) it can be=peace of mind for a good nights sleep. *priceless* in any part of the Sierra. YMMV
User avatar
austex
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:51 am
Location: Austin, Texas
Experience: N/A

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Jimr » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:40 pm

Cans make great stools, so If you must carry one, there is a spillover benefit. Saves wear and tear on $60 pants from not sitting on a granite rock.
OH yeah they make a great laundromat and dishwasher as well.
In our thirst for freedom, we must be careful not to drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 1615
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby gary c. » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:52 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
There are plenty of rangers who can tell you the stories - lots of them in Yosemite. Sequoia rangers issuing permits were warning people not to leave their packs anywhere unattended, as there are bears on the popular trails that steal packs when you step off to take a leak.
.

I saw this happen on a Yosemite trail. My friends and I were coming down the trail from Sunrise Creek. As we reached the Half Dome junction we saw a bear walk really fast up to 4 packs standing upright about 10ft off the trail and started to grab one. We yelled and held up our trekking poles and he turned and just lumbered off. The 4 guys that owned the packs were only another 10ft off the trail taking a pee. The rangers told us that that bear had been hanging out at that trail junction for a couple weeks snagging packs when hikers took them off for a break before starting up the trail to Half Dome.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
User avatar
gary c.
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:56 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest