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Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)

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Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 02:26PM
It just occurred to me that I have no idea how to backpack for just one night in bear country. I have a 16" tall Bearikade and a Bear Vault 500. The former holds 7 days provisions for two people if packed carefully, and the latter about 5 days x 2 people. They weight about the same, 2.5 lbs give-or-take. Seems silly to bring along such a big canister for just one night (meaning just breakfast and maybe lunch and a few snacks to be protected overnight, with sunscreen and... that's about all).

I don't have time to order something smaller (like a Bearikade Scout - still large enough for 5+ days for one person and $225) or really the desire to pay for something that I use once or just a few times. What do others do? No hanging food allowed. Nothing smaller and lighter weight available for rent from Wilderness Centers (correct?). I guess I could just not eat on the second day...

I've thought of brining something in a sealed can for food on the second day (beans, fruit, pasta, etc) and an opener. I'm no expert but if factory sealed and requiring a can opener, it would not have much scent, even at 100x a dog's sense of smell. But I'm not an expert. And I suspect that if questioned on a trail by a NPS Ranger, s/he would not like an answer like "I have no food" or (better yet) "my food doesn't smell...".

Worse case I'll just suck it up and bring the BV500; it just seems like there's a better way (that apparently eludes me)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2016 02:28PM by ags.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 03:06PM
Sigh...(entitled?) -
Thoughts -
There is no reason that you can't put other items inside either bear can, along with your food... Stove, headlamp, clothes... anything just to fill the bear can up and thus not take up valuable (small) pack space.
For me, the only difference between a week-long trip and one that is shorter, is the amount of food carried. Pack accordingly.
Tests have shown a Yosemite bear can find an unopened can of tuna, one foot underwater.

The wilderness permit rules say: unless there are bear boxes provided at your destination camp, (IE - LYV), you must carry a bear can if staying overnight.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2016 03:09PM by markskor.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 03:32PM
Quote
markskor
Tests have shown a Yosemite bear can find an unopened can of tuna, one foot underwater.

The wilderness permit rules say: unless there are bear boxes provided at your destination camp, (IE - LYV), you must carry a bear can if staying overnight.

...and up-front I made clear I realize I'm not an expert, and I don't think that the Rangers would agree even if I were miraculously correct. Hence my inquiry. In fact, it wouldn't totally surprise me if a Ranger didn't approve (probably mostly disbelieve me and think I was lying about it) if I said I didn't have any food at all with me (on the second day - eating it all on the first). They probably require an approved canister in one's possession with or without food, just to avoid such arguments.

Quote
markskor
Sigh...(entitled?) -

No clue how to interpret this.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 05:47PM
Quote
ags
Quote
markskor
Tests have shown a Yosemite bear can find an unopened can of tuna, one foot underwater.

The wilderness permit rules say: unless there are bear boxes provided at your destination camp, (IE - LYV), you must carry a bear can if staying overnight.

...and up-front I made clear I realize I'm not an expert, and I don't think that the Rangers would agree even if I were miraculously correct. Hence my inquiry. In fact, it wouldn't totally surprise me if a Ranger didn't approve (probably mostly disbelieve me and think I was lying about it) if I said I didn't have any food at all with me (on the second day - eating it all on the first). They probably require an approved canister in one's possession with or without food, just to avoid such arguments.

Quote
markskor
Sigh...(entitled?) -

No clue how to interpret this.

I read this thread quickly and was a bit taken aback reading the comment "entitled"...

Folks, I love this forum because it's generally frequented by people offering each other good advice and support. The "entitled" comment didn't have any indication of being a joke... and frankly, given the sharp nature of so many posts and comments by people... mostly anonymously... it was hard to read it as anything but a jab at AGS.

And I've actually *met* AGS and his wife on the trail. And they struck me as very nice, *very* enthusiastic people who care about the environment. And who are curious about gear and how best to use it. In no way would I say "entitled" reading his query. He may not have been aware of the BareBoxer Contender (I put a link in a different response below before I decided to comment on this particular issue.) And putting non-food items in the bear can may be something he thought of, but wasn't sure was a good idea. I don't put *just anything* into my bear can, because I don't want the food smell to transfer into items that absorb smells readily. I *have* put non-food items in the bear can which I later carry and store out of the bear can. I have had no issues with bears (knock on wood). Am I being too cautious? I don't know for sure. So, AGS' open query makes sense... is it *safe* to put something in a bear can that will later not be IN the bear can? If they really can smell that well, will that make that item a risk? But that's not the real point of my comment.

I personally do not like to read denigrating comments on sites. If you have an issue with a person, deal with it in a private manner. I would like to think insults and slights are beneath those of us who actively want to share here.

And it's entirely possible, the comment was meant in jest... but... people are rushed... tired... otherwise distracted... why not make it clear you are joking with a smiley or emoticon or "jk" or some other quick method?
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 04:11PM
Quote
markskor
Tests have shown a Yosemite bear can find an unopened can of tuna, one foot underwater.

What tests are those?
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 03:58PM
The regulation is clear. Your question basically is, "can't I get around this if it's only one night?" The answer is no. A bear may not be able to smell the contents of a sealed can of food, but I have read at least one account of a bear able to smell food from the label on canned food. And/or, a bear may have run across canned food before and recognize the can by sight as a food source. From there the can will be no match for a bear's jaws.

Others I know who take short trips in YNP use either a Bearikade or a Bare Boxer. While it may seem like "excess" weight, it really is the minimal approach within the law and it doesn't add up to that much. Think of it this way, you're only carrying that "extra" weight for one night, so it shouldn't be big deal. For a single nighter you might be able to better predict the weather and potentially could leave rain gear or warmth layers behind, you may not need a battery recharger, you could bring just one pair of socks, and other ways to offset the extra weight.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 04:52PM
It may be due to the disrespect many of us have seen for park regulations. It may be due to my wording. It may be something else.

** In any case, I'm *not* looking to "get away with" breaking the rules. **

I'll presume for now that even if I had no food at all, but stayed overnight in the backcountry, and a ranger stopped me, I'd need to present approved food storage. I can verify whether or not this is true when picking up my permit (and undoubtably cause great concern among the rangers regarding my intentions to comply or not...).

My motivation is that I always take longer hikes, with heavy and bulky packs. I looked at this as an opportunity to experience "the other side" of light-and-fast hiking. If I can comfortably add 50% to my speed that opens up so many more options. So I'd suggest what I'm actually asking if there are more compact and lightweight methods to comply with bearproof food storage regulations - and it appears so far the answer is "no!".

An example would be the (not yet approved in YOSE/SEKI as far as I know) mesh food bags by Ursack. I'd actually not consider them for a longer hike even if approved; if found by a bear, despite resisting the bear's attempts to get at the food, it seems to me the "saved" food would be not very appetizing. On day 4 of a 7 day trip, that would not be good. On day 2 of a 2 day trip, I can survive. In other words, I may take the risk (if regulations are met and bears are not habituated to human food by my actions). Or some much smaller size hard-sided canister could be a solution.
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 05:08PM
Where do you live?

You can borrow my Bare Boxer.

If it makes you feel better. (it won't)
JKW and I took a 16" can and a 10 1/2" can on Sunday/Monday TQ trip.
Overkill? Uh... a tad... and we didn't even have a bag o chips!
crying



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 05:12PM
Also, when exactly are you going?

Feel free to PM if need for stealth required

Ursack was allowed one season... and quickly removed due to misuse by humans...
and abuse by bears.... (mine got whacked in Lyell Canyon) (no food lost) (just a couple of
puncture holes)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 05:33PM
Quote
chick-on
Where do you live?

You can borrow my Bare Boxer.

If it makes you feel better. (it won't)
JKW and I took a 16" can and a 10 1/2" can on Sunday/Monday TQ trip.
Overkill? Uh... a tad... and we didn't even have a bag o chips!
crying

PM Chick-on... we also have a BareBoxer Contender and live in a different area, if more convenient to you.

Frankly, I'm used to carrying our Bearikade Custom 16" can on all trips now. More room for Cheetos and/or chips.. And I can stuff other stuff in the can as well, as others have mentioned!

I personally use my big can to help me in and out of the tent too. Can be used as a stool for those not wanting to sit on the ground. Lots of handy uses. I don't think about it at all. Overnight? sure. 6 nights? sure.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 07:52PM
Will have to respond more appropriately in a bit. Until then, this is the result of my knee-jerk reflex to search on Bare Boxer: (I can't figure out how to embed the image, but you get the idea...)

Men's Buck Naked Performance Boxers
Men's Buck Naked Performance Boxers
$22.50 - Duluth Trading Company
No tax
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 09:05PM
Get them in red...

Wear them outside your silk underwear...
Pretend you are Super Man
smiling smiley

JKW put link above... here it is in www formats
http://www.bareboxer.com/

The lid is famously over engineered...
I'd advise using the Bearikade... (I only have a Weekender... so my cape no fit in it... with the 16" maybe your
entire costume will fit in it... along with a couple boxes o Twinkies)
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 09:06PM
Quote
ags
Will have to respond more appropriately in a bit. Until then, this is the result of my knee-jerk reflex to search on Bare Boxer: (I can't figure out how to embed the image, but you get the idea...)

Men's Buck Naked Performance Boxers
Men's Buck Naked Performance Boxers
$22.50 - Duluth Trading Company
No tax

I don't want to see chickon in anything like that!
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 05, 2016 07:24AM
Quote
Bearproof
Quote
ags
Will have to respond more appropriately in a bit. Until then, this is the result of my knee-jerk reflex to search on Bare Boxer: (I can't figure out how to embed the image, but you get the idea...)

Men's Buck Naked Performance Boxers
Men's Buck Naked Performance Boxers
$22.50 - Duluth Trading Company
No tax

I don't want to see chickon in anything like that!

Maybe I be in da 4 purr cent

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 05, 2016 07:28AM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
More room for Cheetos and/or chips.

You folks are my kind of people! smiling smiley
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 05, 2016 06:37PM
I have one too and I live in Manteca. You are welcome to borrow.



Old Dude
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 04, 2016 09:54PM
Yeah, we take our bear can even where they are not required. it's just easier. But for a short trip, we do exactly what we do at the end of a longer trip--put a lot of non-food items in the bear can: fishing gear, stove, fuel, towels, deflated sleeping pads (the latter two are critical elements to the prevention of any of the previous items making incessant rattling noises in the bear can...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 05, 2016 09:58AM
I am sorry my "entitled" comment offended you. You obviously seem the experienced backpacker, one who cares about the wilderness, LNT, and the need to obey the posted rules...Kudos! Respectfully though, your question offended me. You say you are going somewhere where bear cans are a required carry if staying overnight.

As GRinGeorgia stated - The regulations are crystal clear. Your question basically is, "can't I get around this if it's only one night?" As you have already purchased two bear cans, you obviously know the regs.

Too many times have heard all the excuses: One night, I never go where bears go, I've never lost any food before, too heavy, I know how to hang, etc, etc... You then add/rationalize more - "My motivation is that I always take longer hikes, with heavy and bulky packs. I looked at this as an opportunity to experience "the other side" of light-and-fast hiking. If I can comfortably add 50% to my speed that opens up so many more options." (Confused as to how your carrying 2.5 extra pounds is going to make you 50% faster?)..."bears are not habituated to human food by my actions"..."Seems silly to bring along such a big canister for just one night"..."I don't have time to order something smaller".... telling the Ranger, "I have no food" or (better yet) my food doesn't smell..." (BTW, if you touched it; it smells.)

** In any case, I'm *not* looking to "get away with" breaking the rules. **...but you make mention the possibility of:
- lying about it if I said I didn't have any food at all with me...
and, regarding my intentions whether to comply or not..."

Again very sorry if offended anyone here...welcome any responses. Bring it.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 05, 2016 01:27PM
Good grief. This site is too valuable for this. Summary:

Q: Are there any approved, compact (~250 cu. in) and lightweight (<1 lb.) backcountry bear-proof containers sized for solo, single-night trips into bear country?
A: The Bearikade Scout and Bare Boxer Contender are both larger and heavier, but are currently the smallest options available. Contender claims 3 person-days, 275 cu. in and 1.6 lbs; Scout claims 4-6 person-days w/ 500 cu. in. and 1.75 lbs.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 05, 2016 07:11PM
Thanks to all who offered use of their smaller canisters. Very, very considerate of each of you.
I'm going to use one of mine this time. If short trips like this become more common for me, I'll look into alternatives.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 06, 2016 03:30PM
AGS,

If you are planning more shorter trips this could be a lighter option, especially if the lid works with your stove. If you use a Jetboil or similar the pan as a lid concept isn't such a benefit.

http://lighter1.com/products/

The smaller Bear Vault 450 is a good value option but still around 2lb, I like this because of the wide and easy to open top. I do as Mark suggested a fill it with other suff if I don't fill it with food.

Regarding smaller bear cans, apart from the obvious reason that they need to be big enough to carry enough food to be useful, the other reason they are big is so bears can't get their teeth around them. This is why canned food isn't considered bear proof because they just bite them and either rip them open or just puncture and suck. If somebody made a bear canister much smaller that what is available now it would need to be made much stronger so probably end up being no lighter.

I know of somebody that uses a Pelican case + Combo lock for shorter trips and it has held up to at least one bear encounter and has the teeth marks to prove it. This is definitely not a Yosemite approved option.
Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 06, 2016 04:39PM
Thanks, that's a useful tip. I'll keep that in mind.

Fully understand that canned food isn't a defense since they're small enough to be "bite sized" and are just punctured by the powerful teeth/jaws.
avatar Re: Odd question: how to backpack for *only* one night? (bear aware)
October 06, 2016 06:33PM
Quote
Bilko
If somebody made a bear canister much smaller that what is available now it would need to be made much stronger so probably end up being no lighter.
The size is not only so the bear cannot bite into it right there on the spot but also so it can't pick it up and carry it away. So anything significantly smaller, regardless of its strength or weight, won't work.
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