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Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking

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avatar Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 11:20AM
You are required by federal regulations to store all your "food" properly throughout Yosemite National Park. You must have your food stored unless it's within arm's reach (so, don't go for a swim or take a nap while leaving food out).

"Food" includes all food and drinks, regardless of packaging, along with trash, toiletries, and other scented items. These items must be stored in either an allowed bear-resistant food canister or food locker. Hanging food is illegal throughout Yosemite.

Bear-Resistant Food Canisters
Bear canisters are hard-sided portable containers intended to fit within a backpack and capable of storing several days worth of food. You may use any allowed canister (however, only the Garcia Backpackers' Cache 812 is available for rental in Yosemite).

Food lockers (limited availability)
Food lockers (bear boxes) are only available at designated campsites in Little Yosemite Valley and adjacent to the five High Sierra Camps. You are encouraged to carry canisters even when hiking in areas where bear boxes are available because they may be unavailable or full in these busy areas. Canisters increase your freedom in selecting campsites away from developed or highly used areas. Food lockers are communal: personal locks are not allowed and will be removed.

How to Use a Bear Canister
The most important part of using a bear canister is what goes inside it. Make sure all food, all trash, all toiletries, and all other scented items are inside the bear canister. This includes but is not limited to all sealed or packaged food, sunscreen, soap, mosquito repellent, lip balm, deodorant, medications, and feminine products. As a general rule, if you put it in your mouth on on your skin, it should probably be stored in a bear canister.

The bear canister only works if it's closed and locked! Be sure to keep it closed and locked, even while you're around your campsite. Place the canister on the ground in a flat, level area 100 feet or more from your campsite. Take care not to place it near a cliff or any water source, as a bear may knock the canister around or roll it down a hill. Do not hang or attach anything to the canister (ropes attached to the canister enable a bear to carry the it away). You can place pots and pans on top of the canister as a bear alarm if you like. (Read about what to do if you see a bear.)

The best way to carry a bear canister is inside your pack. Think of it as a big stuff sack, though it will always occupy the same amount of space. Later in your trip, when you have eaten some of your food, you can place other items inside the canister to conserve space.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2010 11:21AM by eeek.
Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 12:22PM
do you have to put alcohol in a bear canister?
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 01:31PM
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wookie
do you have to put alcohol in a bear canister?

Do you want to deal with a drunk bear?
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 02:11PM
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wookie
do you have to put alcohol in a bear canister?


From the original post (which was copied from the Yosemite NP site):
"Food" includes all food and drinks, regardless of packaging, along with trash, toiletries, and other scented items.

There doesn't appear to be much ambiguity in that quote.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 03:20PM
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szalkowski
Quote
wookie
do you have to put alcohol in a bear canister?


From the original post (which was copied from the Yosemite NP site):
"Food" includes all food and drinks, regardless of packaging, along with trash, toiletries, and other scented items.

There doesn't appear to be much ambiguity in that quote.

It depends. I can't think of anyone who would store water in a bear canister. I used disinfection tablets and waited overnight. I suspect that my 1 gallon bottle wasn't going fit in the bear canister, or that a bear would be terribly interested.

Really though - the most a bear would do is sniff a water bottle and realize there's nothing good to be had.

The alleged reason for putting everything in the bear canister (I was told that even used toilet paper had to go in there) is that it might attract bears even if it doesn't present a reward. Now the toilet paper doesn't seem to be much for a bear, but I was told that was the rule since it smells.

Of course people brush their teeth with minted toothpaste and go to sleep smelling like a breath mint. Backpackers lay out their cookware, which no matter how well it's been cleaned, isn't going to be absolutely odor free save being sprayed with Easy-Off.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 04:44PM
Used toilet paper goes into odor proof bags. You can find them at REI and other places.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 05:20PM
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tomdisco
Used toilet paper goes into odor proof bags. You can find them at REI and other places.

I was told that two Ziploc freezer bags should do the trick. I won't get too specific, but I didn't need to use any toilet paper the one time I went backpacking in Yosemite.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 09:18AM
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y_p_w
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tomdisco
Used toilet paper goes into odor proof bags. You can find them at REI and other places.

I was told that two Ziploc freezer bags should do the trick. I won't get too specific, but I didn't need to use any toilet paper the one time I went backpacking in Yosemite.

Ah, pine duff and leaves! Way to go.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 01:12PM
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tomdisco
Ah, pine duff and leaves! Way to go.

Leaves like these?

avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 01:24PM
My favorite!!



Old Dude
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 10:03PM
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eeek
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tomdisco
Ah, pine duff and leaves! Way to go.

Leaves like these?


There's a house in my neighborhood with those. I mean right in the bushes that separate their front yard from the sidewalk. I could swear the owners of the house have intentionally left them them there without any warning signs or any attempt to remove them. The first time I walked by I had a double take, since I couldn't imagine anyone who would have them along a well travelled sidewalk where anyone could accidentally brush up against them.

That house also has fences/bushes that are way high, with very little visibility of the house from the street.
Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 02:01PM
Are ursack http://www.ursack.com/ursack-catalog.htm food sacks allowed?
We are considering doing JMT next year and these food sacks caught our attention.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 13, 2010 02:04PM
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SkBunny
Are ursack http://www.ursack.com/ursack-catalog.htm food sacks allowed?
We are considering doing JMT next year and these food sacks caught our attention.

Doesn't look like they are: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/containers.htm
Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 04:03PM
No, they are not. And after talking to a shop owner of a little gear store in Santa Cruz, I wouldn't use them anywhere there are habituated bears, either. The owner talked me out of one when I told her where I hike. She said she gets them returned with the bottom torn out when people take them into "problem bear" areas.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 07:44PM
We waz toldz that even Ibuprofun had to be putty in can on Friday.
Gimme break.

Lots o bear footy printies... no bears... no rattlers...

Marmots hiding too. They all scared o me.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 07:47PM
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chick-on
We waz toldz that even Ibuprofun had to be putty in can on Friday.

Probably because it often has a sugary coating. Either that or bears like it for their muscle pains.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 09:11PM
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eeek
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chick-on
We waz toldz that even Ibuprofun had to be putty in can on Friday.

Probably because it often has a sugary coating. Either that or bears like it for their muscle pains.

Maybe Advil. I remember taking regular Sudafed in those red tablets, and they were definitely sugar coated, although their formula seems to have changed. What the heck would happen if a bear ate too much ibuprofen? Maybe they don't feel the sting from those rubber bullets? Or maybe it kills their liver. I just heard that the typical OD on ibuprofen or aspirin would just trigger an upchuck before it gets fatal.

I just use generic ibuprofen (those orange tablets with "I-2" stamped on them) and there's no way there's anything sugary on them. Maybe there's something in the binding agents that hold the tablet together, but I doubt it.
avatar Re: Bears & Food Storage While Backpacking
June 14, 2010 09:22PM
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y_p_w
What the heck would happen if a bear ate too much ibuprofen?

It might cause gastric bleeding.

Quote

I just use generic ibuprofen (those orange tablets with "I-2" stamped on them) and there's no way there's anything sugary on them. Maybe there's something in the binding agents that hold the tablet together, but I doubt it.

I doubt it's really a problem unless there's a coating. Most pills taste very bitter.
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