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Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?

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Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 11:48AM
We are headed into bear country Thursday and are pretty much ready to roll. However, there have been numerous discussions on what exactly we have to worry about regarding bears. We know all of the obvious or normal items that need to be in bear cannisters. Most of the discussion has centered around first aide kits. Our cannisters are filled to the rim. It is to the point that on the trail we will have to hang overflow items. Also, we have a very well stocked first aide kit in our car. Any thoughts out there on whether or not we need to leave it at home or will that one item be OK in the trunk of our car?

Thanks all !!! bear Backpacker
avatar Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 12:02PM
You might not need a fully stocked first aid kit. You could easily just stash a small set of first aid supplies in a plastic bag or perhaps just get a small first aid kit and add to it as needed.

I remember buying a small Johnson & Johnson first aid kit (First Aid To Go) for maybe $1 at Target. The other thing that works great is a Benadryl itch stick to treat bug bites. It's about the size of a pen and should fit in a crack between your food.

http://www.jnjredcross.com/first-aid-kits-supplies
http://www.benadryl.com/products/allergy/topical/benadryl-extra-strength-itch-relief-stick
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 12:37PM
The big test is what you can afford to be without. Some first aid items have an aroma that could make a bear curious. I also feel vulnerable leaving anything in the pack in a ziplock or other packaging that could be associated with food, so I try to make those items less obvious. There's plenty of evidence that bears will use the "chomp first -- taste later" process of evaluating edibles if given the opportunity.

If you're practicing good bear techniques in general (containers, campsite layout, etc.), many "modern" bears will see the bear cans and simply move on to another site where people may not be as well prepared.
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 12:26PM
Quote
bigpapa
We are headed into bear country Thursday and are pretty much ready to roll. However, there have been numerous discussions on what exactly we have to worry about regarding bears. We know all of the obvious or normal items that need to be in bear cannisters. Most of the discussion has centered around first aide kits. Our cannisters are filled to the rim. It is to the point that on the trail we will have to hang overflow items. Also, we have a very well stocked first aide kit in our car. Any thoughts out there on whether or not we need to leave it at home or will that one item be OK in the trunk of our car?

There is never any need to take a pre-packaged first aid kit on a hike. Get two ziplock bags. Put the stuff with an odor into the one destined for the bear canister, and the rest of the stuff in the other. For example with regard to placing things into the bag for the bear canister:

small scissors: no
Ace Bandage: no
first aid ointment: yes
pain pills: no
bandaids: yes, mine have a odor
large gauze pads and bandage tape: no
blister pads: may have an odor. Depends on the brand.
needle and thread: no

and so forth. You will find that the bulky items can usually stay out of the canister.

By the way, the average car's first aid kit will probably not have what you need the most: Nothing for sprained ankles, contact rashes, and large abrasions. It will be good for small cuts, headaches, and not much else. Maybe yours is much better, though...

I am leery about leaving anything in the car. We put a few things in a plastic roof carrier somethings, but that's it.
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 01:10PM
I think the rangers want medications in the bear bin. I think it is more to prevent possible problems if the bears eat your Viagra or anti-depressants.
avatar Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 01:10PM
Why worry? Just leave it at home.

Just so you know... in Yosemite... no hanging of items (feel free to hang Marmuts though).
My First Aid kit includes: 3 bandaids, 1 Ibuprofin/day, Anti-Itch cream, Anti-biotic Cream

The creams are individual little packets.

So... it takes no room in the bear can.

If this is useless info. My apologies...

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 01:56PM
Quote
chick-on
Why worry? Just leave it at home.

Just so you know... in Yosemite... no hanging of items (feel free to hang Marmuts though).
My First Aid kit includes: 3 bandaids, 1 Ibuprofin/day, Anti-Itch cream, Anti-biotic Cream

The creams are individual little packets.

So... it takes no room in the bear can.

If this is useless info. My apologies...

Have fun

Hm. Well, you are a minimalist. Also, a chick-on sized pack holds less than a six pack.

Here are couple of thoughts. I don't backpack very often, but have definitely used the ace bandage and the large gauze pad (with a roll of top quality medical tape). I have used the gel-filled blister pads many times, and have a special tape that usually prevents them from occurring in the first place. I also have two specialty items that I carry on certain trips where they might be useful: One is a blood-clotting pad that is used to help control bleeding from gashes (it's not actually medically active, but contains dry pellets that suck the moisture out of blood, making it clot much faster). That one was very useful when a mountain biking friend tore a big hole in his leg using the big chain ring. The other is a packet of re-hydration salts. I used to join some friends who would do Half Dome every September. Sometimes that month can be brutally hot, and I used them to revive our trip leader, who passed out from dehydration or something at the top of the cables.

Another thought. Tylenol is great for pain, like for an altitude headache, but it does nothing for inflammation. I have found that a couple of aleve (naproxen) pills, with water and a candy bar, have an almost miraculous effect on people whose knees give out while trying to get back down the trail from Half Dome. Or similar examples of out-of-shape people over-doing it.

Come to think of it, that only thing that I have used on myself is the blister preventing tape. I'm always going with people who don't get out very often. Maybe chick-on only hikes with people as good as he is. Or else: People who can carry him on their shoulders. I'll have to ask the marmots if blisters will form on your toes, if you don't own shoes....
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 01:12PM
I always keep a large first aid/earthquake kit, that has almost everything in it that you can think of, in the car and I took out the compressed food packages out of it when I bought it. (I put the food in a separate bag which I take out in bear country. It has been in the car when every car around us was broken into and the bears passed us by. Maybe we were lucky or maybe there was not enough food like scent to attract the bears. If you are backpacking then do what the people suggested above and divide the smelly from the non smelly, take only essentials and leave the other kit at home.
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 01:38PM
All you need is duct tape.
avatar Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 03:07PM
Quote
waterman
All you need is duct tape.

Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 03:11PM
Quote
waterman
All you need is duct tape.

Duct tape slides off my skin.

It's great to stick together shoes that are falling apart, or to patch random other gear, but it also slides right off Camelbak bladders. Leukotape sticks real well to skin and to Camelbaks.

I take leukotape and reserve duct tape for gear.
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 03:04PM
Bears in Yosemite have been getting properly hung bags for years, don't do that.

Pills, lotions, lip stuff, fish bait, wet wipes, sunscreens, and everything else with any hint of scent go in the bear canister. So do wrappers and all trash with a scent. So do your soaps and toothpaste. Doesn't matter how hermetically sealed the packet is. So do the bug sprays (yes, it says on Garcia canisters not to put DEET in - do it anyway, the stuff is in a bottle).

Rangers are now telling you to put used toilet paper in as well. You need to pack that out of the park anyway so remember a ziplock bag for that. Don't bury it. Ends up everywhere along the trail, very unsightly, animals will un-bury it.

Some basic analgesics and band aids are a good thing to have - so are antihistamines (you don't know you won't be allergic to something along the way) and anti diarrhea meds (it really really really sucks rocks to have the squirts while backpacking, and it's potentially dangerous if you get so bad you are dehydrated).
avatar Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 15, 2011 05:14PM
Quote
AlmostThere

Bears in Yosemite have been getting properly hung bags for years, don't do that.

It's really too bad that some backpackers every year still try hanging their food in Yosemite. It gives an opportunity for fresh training to a new generation of cubs from their mothers on how to take them down.

Just think if for let's say 30 years no one tried that method of food storage in the Yosemite backcountry. A new generation of bears would eventually not know how to take the food down from the trees. As of now, the bears each year have ample opportunity to teach their young the techniques on circumventing that method of food storage.
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 16, 2011 06:54AM
To follow up on my posted question, we have no intention to hang food. However, we may hang overflow toiletries and such. The focus of my question was whether or not steps need to be taken to in one way or another bear-proof first aide kits.

Pounding head on desk

Thanks to everyone for your constructive input.
avatar Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 16, 2011 06:58AM
My 2 cents:
If you hang ANYTHING... and you camp in hot spots... Good Luck
Bear may rip that sucka down just for fun (I would if I was a BP Bear)

If it goes in your mouth... or you apply it to your skin... it goes in bear can.

Again: If this is useless info. My apologies... tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Is there a need to place first aide kits in bear cannisters?
August 16, 2011 09:53AM
Quote
bigpapa
To follow up on my posted question, we have no intention to hang food. However, we may hang overflow toiletries and such. The focus of my question was whether or not steps need to be taken to in one way or another bear-proof first aide kits.
.

To follow up: do not hang anything.

Yosemite bears will get a rock down if you hang it. They will also steal an empty pack because they know what they look like, and break into a car to get a totally empty ice chest because they know what those are too.

I was in the wilderness office in Wawona one day - a couple was arguing that they did not need a bear can, because they would eat all the food on the first day. They were given a rental can for TRASH. The ranger would not let them go without it. The ranger lectured them on putting EVERYTHING in the bear can because the bears will get it, and they will eat it, and a fed bear is a dead bear. Do not hang anything - for the bears' sake.

Oh, if the bears don't matter... do it so you don't get caught hanging things, and get the $5,000 fine.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2011 09:57AM by AlmostThere.
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