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How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby SPeacock » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:44 pm

I thought, depending upon where you are going, that each had to have their own bear can, even if you are planning on using the big bear boxes.

Wife and I, in a Bearikade, got 9 days for two of us. You have to pack for the amount of calories you are expending and wish to replenish. Figure 400-600 Kcal per hour, up hill, at altitude with a big pack.

We took a lot of very dense carbohydrates, rice, pasta, pita bread, and cooked our meals. Cost us a bit extra in weight of fuel and larger stove, but we ate better than with freeze dried that only have around 300 Kcal a serving or so.



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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby rlown » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:51 pm

SPeacock wrote:I thought, depending upon where you are going, that each had to have their own bear can, even if you are planning on using the big bear boxes.


Just checked my permit info for Inyo. It doesn't say everyone has to have one; All it says is all food, garbage and toiletries must fit into whatever bear can(s) you are carrying for capacity.

Even Yose's bear page at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcans.htm seems to confirm this. Those in my group each has a can, because, well, They're pretty comfortable to sit on around the stove or at camp in the evening. Slap my sleeping beanie over the top and it's a pretty nice sit. :)
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby h_lankford » Sun May 01, 2011 4:04 am

some sources quote huge Calorie consumption, thus fewer days per BearVault.

Many of us find that high altitude suppresses appetite. I can go for a week or two eating just 1500 Cal per day and not feel hungry. Yes, because of the workload, you burn off some fat in the meanwhile. Younger, leaner, faster people might not be able to skimp on Calories so easily. If you are a low-Calorie person, you can obviously get more days per BearVault. One way to think of this planning is this: have you ever brought food back? If so, lighten up next time.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 01, 2011 8:28 am

With 3 teenagers, you will have mutiny with 1,500 calories per day! When I took my teens (and they were girls) on a long trip, they cleaned out all the trail food the first few days. Teens are ALWAYS hungry - be sure to have LOTS of munchies. And I would not even consider less than 2,000 calories per day per person. 2,500 calories per day for young people is normal (and that goes for myself even though I am over 60!). I would let the teens have their own bear cannister full of trail food. My teens were not that keen on breakfast, but boy could they consume trail bars and gorp.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun May 01, 2011 10:57 am

In 2009 when I was doing a 300 mile hike I ate only 1500 calories a day. Big mistake!!! Not having proper food energy will effect you greatly on the trail! You will be climbing switch backs after a good nights rest and yet have no energy at all while your wide awake and it's a horrible feeling. Tons of munchies is a good idea not only for calorie sake but for general morale.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby SPeacock » Sun May 01, 2011 4:49 pm

I'll be darn. It does say just to have enough canisters to go around - whatever that is.

Bears are very food savvy. If they had something good that was in a freeze dry container, I'm betting they will figure out that the next one left out in the open is yummy too.

You get fined on the east side (Whitney Portal) if you leave brown shopping bags of clean clothes, empty clean ice chests, empty soda cans, candy/cracker wrappers, cigarettes, etc. in view in a vehicle. They have some pretty desperate critters over there.

For many it is the first time they have cleaned the car out since they left Chicago.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby rlown » Sun May 01, 2011 4:59 pm

guyd, the other way to look at this is as a learning experience. There are 5 of you; rent two cans, and let the teens plan their menu (with guidance of course), with your stuff already in one can. Account for garbage, toiletries, etc. If you fill up 2 cans during prepack (size again your choice), you just rent another and one of them get's to carry it.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby guyd » Sun May 01, 2011 6:02 pm

Thanks all of you.

That backpacking will be my first real backpacking experience (we do only car camping or day hikes), and will be in the middle of a two week vacations. I'll rent 75% of the backpacking gear from LowerGear and have it shipped in an hotel. Since we will fly from Canada I'll (probably) not be able to prepare any food home and go through Customs, so we will have to buy in a store the day before and repackage in the hotel room.

I will plan our menu ahead of time, but I will have rented the canister before that. We will probably stick with no cooking - only boiling water!
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby rlown » Sun May 01, 2011 6:09 pm

have a good trip! err on the side of extra snacks..

oh, and post a Trip Report with pics when you get back..
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Re: Two

Postby kpeter » Sun May 01, 2011 9:16 pm

gregw822 wrote:(Also, if you carry freeze-dried, the vacuum packaging is odor-proof. Has to be. If molecules of the air could get out, they could also get in, hence the product wouldn't stay vacuum packed. If the small molecules that make up the air can't pass through pores in the packaging, then neither can the larger molecules responsible for food scent.


Don't count on this, though. Bears that learn to associate food with humans are attracted to the smell of humans as well as their food. Even if the food is airtight you won't be. It is not that they want to eat you, it's just that your odor tells them food is near. Once they arrive they will depend on their memory and vision to sample any freeze dried dinners they see lying around, even if they are odorless (until they rip them open.)

Odor-proofing food can't hurt, and it seems to be enough in areas where the bear's have not learned to associate food with humans. I use opsaks instead of cannisters in Idaho, for example. But Sierra bears are better educated.
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