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Them damCan Regs.

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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby freestone » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:25 pm

There are lighter choices than the Garcia. If you take an Ursack to Trailcamp I doubt that there will be anyone there to arrest, snitch, or fine you. Its like the weather, you run the risk. Your actions will define your beliefs and the Sierra will be your springboard for that personal statement. Many people use the wilderness these days for this. Dogs, fire, a shampoo and bath, toilet paper, coffee can fish stocking, neurotic hatchet chopping, the kitchen sink... Its time to get real here. The Ursack is better than nothing at all, but don't think for a minute that its the best solution to protect the bear, because arguably its been proven otherwise.



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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby SweetSierra » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:05 am

I used my Bearikade expedition (2 pounds, 5 ounces, 900 cubic inch volume--it's huge) on an 8 day solo trip in August. It actually had 9 days worth of food in it, as I was planning on a 9-day trip but cut it short by a day. I began backpacking in the Yosemite area in the late 1970s and, as others have said, backpacking for many years was synonymous with bears. Since bear cannisters arrived on the scene, I haven't seen a bear at my camp sites (except at Thousand Island Lake). As someone else said, bears don't go up into Sierra sub-alpine or Alpine areas looking for food from backpackers any longer because they know that, although they can smell food, they're not going to be able to get to it. I love that the expedition holds a long trip's worth of food, and I was able to fit it into my Kelty Cloud large size pack. I could feel it at my back but after a day, I didn't notice it all that much. Someone on a trip I took earlier this year fit it into the bottom portion of their pack without a problem. I had to put mine in vertically and it was a challenge fitting my other gear around it. Still I was able to do it.

I read once how a person needs about 4,000 calories a day backpacking, and I've never eaten that much, even on strenuous off-trail trips (I'm 5'7, about 130 pounds). Personally, I don't think it's necessary to try and eat (and carry) what you're burning. It's a personal thing. (As long as I have a few Mountain House beef stroganoff dinners in my pack and granola for breakfast, I'm good :) I know I'm going to lose weight on trips.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby calipidder » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:58 pm

I used my Bearikade expedition (2 pounds, 5 ounces, 900 cubic inch volume--it's huge) on an 8 day solo trip in August. It actually had 9 days worth of food in it, as I was planning on a 9-day trip but cut it short by a day.


Heck, I just fit eight days in my weekender. And I always end up carrying too much and eating quite well. Never understood how people can't fit food in those things - stop carrying watermelons and steaks! :wink:
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby Cross Country » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:02 pm

By Almost There "You have it exactly backwards".

By frediver "Nah I think you have it backwards".

By yosehiker "I hope you are joking".

Good going frediver. You recognized that this is a matter of opinion.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:36 am

Cross Country wrote:By Almost There "You have it exactly backwards".

By frediver "Nah I think you have it backwards".

By yosehiker "I hope you are joking".

Good going frediver. You recognized that this is a matter of opinion.


An opinion with considerable evidence, but an opinion nonetheless, yes.

Bears have been breaking into things in the Sierra for decades - if you talk to some of the old hands who've been going out there since the early 1900s they'll tell you stories. The increase of bear activity has risen hand in hand with the increase in human presence.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:21 am

freestone wrote:The Ursack is better than nothing at all, but don't think for a minute that its the best solution to protect the bear, because arguably its been proven otherwise.

...while it has been "arguably its been proven" to be effective, and arguably as effective as cans, and a much better solution for mountaineers, lightpackes, a large segment of experienced packers, and long distance backpackers. Here are some testimonials of users of Ursacks and there are plenty here at this forum:http://www.ursack.com/ursack-fieldtests.htm If someone feels safer with a can, then use it. Just remember that all containers are bear-resistant, not bear-proof. Meanwhile, how about we not get into these "my container is better than your container" debates. I am not going to marginalize anybody choice of containers, and I expect the same from others.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby frediver » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:31 am

Protecting Yogi is not the issue here breaking the cycle of people equal food is.
If bears are attracted to the smell of people/food then a Ursak with Aloksak
should work as well as a can maybe better. Aloksaks are reported to be sent
free bags, cans are definitely not. So why not require food in sent free bags in
container of choice, after all it's the food scent that attracts bears isn't it?
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby atreehugger » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:45 pm

What about counter-balancing food hang when the appropriate tree is present and you have the knowledge and experience to do it correctly. If this is not the case...just sleep with the food.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby markskor » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:51 pm

frediver wrote:Protecting Yogi is not the issue here; breaking the cycle of people equals food is.

Wrong - Protecting Yogi is the issue. Their home and we are just visiting.
The only way to break the cycle (people = food) is to deny bears access to carried food, force them to look elsewhere. Smell has little to do with anything.
While it is quite possible for an experienced woodsman to escape from carrying a can the majority of the time with little if any consequence, how egocentric is this? All it takes is one time, bearcan, ursack, or hanging where the bear succeeds and the cycle continues on.

A fed bear is (soon/destined to be) a dead bear.
Ursacks may work, and well, 98% of the time, but that is still too high as the few recorded failures only continue the cycle. Bear cans, at least the ones considered legal, have been proven to work better ...Carry the frickin' can.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby frediver » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:01 pm

Ha-Ha we could go on and on with this and still get nowhere, the rules are what they are, like them or not.
So what happens is you store all your food and stinkies in your can, where do your store your electrolyte flavored water ? I'm thinking that "stinks" of food as well,
do bears like lemon/lime, cherry, orange? Even if you only have "plain" flat water
at night your container still stinks !
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby frediver » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:08 pm

It's a matter of perception.
No I am not worried about protecting Bears in this discussion, if I was then closing the backcountry would be the best way.
I am all for protecting its visitors, US , from uncontrolled encounters with bears,
Yogi is protected by default.
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Re: Them damCan Regs.

Postby Mike M. » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:20 pm

Wow! This thread has ballooned into quite a discussion.

I hiked the Muir Trail, from south to north, in 1973, near the high point of backpacking's popularity. These were the days when many trailheads had their own manned kiosks for hikers to obtain wilderness permits. Up to this time, my hiking experience had been in the Yosemite backcountry, where bears were (and are) problematic. We religiously hung our food -- you had to if you wanted to keep yogi away from your vittles. Imagine my surprise, then, when other hikers on the JMT in 1973 poked fun at me when I hung my food the first few days out of Whitney Portal. It was apparently common knowledge (except to me) that bears were not a problem until you reached the Yosemite area. The only exception was Vidette Meadow, where hanging was encouraged. So after a few days, I went with the flow and stopped hanging my food.

This changed gradually during the next decade, perhaps due to learned behavior as bears became more accustomed to the lure of human food in these years of heavy backcountry use, perhaps due to changes in the way the Park Service dealt with (or didn't deal with) problem bears -- I'm not sure. Whatever the explanation, by the late 70s, hanging food was common practice the length of the JMT. Certain areas on or near the JMT trail became notorious for bear problems -- Kearsarge Lakes might be the best example.

I don't like being forced to carry a bear canister. The requirement makes multi week trips -- the kind I favor -- problematic. I advocate placing bear boxes in areas of heavy bear activity. Many such boxes are available in SEKI, until you get north of Mather Pass. Why not extend placement along the trail north of Mather Pass?

Here's what I do today: I carry a Bearicade Weekender, which has a capacity of about 650 cubic inches (about the same as the more common Garcia) and weighs less than 2 lbs. I repackage all my dinners and smellies into one-gallon plastic freezer bags (not zip lock bags) and carry them in the Bearicade. Certain items won't fit -- crackers and stuff like that. On a two week trip, I can get about half my food (the most bear desired) in the Bearicade; the other half I hang or secure in a bear box.

My alternative, if I want to adhere to the letter of the regulations requiring canisters, is to: a) carry two more canisters; b) hike without the bulky food items (e.g., forego my crackers or crush them up and put them in plastic bags) and get by with one more canister; c) arrange food caches; or d) only plan on one week hikes. I'm not willing to carry two or three canisters in my pack and I prefer longer hikes and am unwilling to pay hundreds of extra dollars to arrange food caches. So I choose to live on the edge of the regulations, mindful of their intent and mindful of my desire not to lose my food to bears.

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