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Re: Bear box at Sunrise Lakes

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Bear box at Sunrise Lakes
February 14, 2008 04:53PM
I believe there is bear boxes at High Sierra Camp near Sunrise Lake, but is there bear boxes at Sunrise Lakes camping spots? If not does tnat mean I must use a bear canister?
avatar Re: Bear box at Sunrise Lakes
February 14, 2008 11:08PM
They have them at all backcountry campgrounds next to all High Sierra Camps. However - I wouldn't count of having them available. They tend to fill up and it can be a bit awkward when people claim bear boxes as their own (I've seen locks placed on shared bear boxes which were then cut off by rangers). I was in Little Yosemite Valley (I know - not near a HSC) and the bear boxes were already full even though it was less than half full. The NPS has apparently been reducing them for aesthetic reasons and to encourage the use of canisters. People were placing their bear canisters on top of the bear boxes. I think the backcountry campgrounds are where the recommendation for the canister at least 100 ft from a tent is impractical.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcans.htm

Rental is only $5 for up to two weeks for the Garcia canisters in Yosemite. They've got plenty and you can just drop it off in a deposit box when you're done. Each one is identified with a number.

avatar Re: Bear box at Sunrise Lakes
February 15, 2008 03:59PM
Ronj,
I think bear canisters are required whether or not a bear locker is around where you might camp, the thinking being that you must have a way to protect your food even when you stop for a meal away from the campsite that might have a locker.

Sort of like being required to carry chains in the winter even though you have a four wheel drive vehicle with snow tires on it.



Post Edited (02-15-08 23:14)



Old Dude
avatar Re: Bear box at Sunrise Lakes
February 16, 2008 12:04AM
mrcondron wrote:

> Ronj,
> I think bear canisters are required whether or not a bear
> locker is around where you might camp, the thinking being that
> you must have a way to protect your food even when you stop for
> a meal away from the campsite that might have a locker.

I've been through it, and I haven't heard that canisters are actually required if one plans on camping where bear boxes are available. If you checked the link, canisters are definitely recommended even where boxes are available but may be full. If the boxes are full and you end up storing food outside without a canister, that's a possible fine and loss of permit (I've heard rangers might even force people to pack up and leave in the middle of the night). Not to mention a possible loss of food and a reward for a bear (and reinforcement that people=easy food sources).

I can understand why people might want to skip the canister. I've got a Bear Vault, and even that weights almost 3 lbs and is awkward to carry. There are a lot of decent packs that won't work with that kind of bulk. It's still better than the alternative of techniques that don't work well in Yosemite. I had neighbors with canisters, and a bear went right through their campsite without batting an eye at their canister (stored the recommended distance).

> Sort of like being required to carry chains in the winter even
> though you have a four wheel drive vehicle with snow tires on
> it.

Well - one of the typical recommendations is that the first night's food doesn't have to be stored in a canister if you're bringing one along. I didn't cook smelly food and carried along all my food in a daypack while I was firing up my stove. The real recommendation is to never leave your food where you can't reach it. I met a teenage kid who just left his entire backpack (unsure if it had food) alone for a few seconds when a bear just dragged it away hoping for an eventual meal.
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