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Lyell Canyon with kids

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Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 10:09AM
Hi, we're doing a 6 adult + 6 kids (4-6 y.o.) + 2 llama backpacking trip into Lyell Canyon this week.

1. Does anyone have a recent mosquito and bear activity report around Tuolumne Meadows?

2. We are taking all bear safety precautions we have read about such as separation of bear canisters/tents/cooking areas, but are there any other recommendations around setting up our camp? For example, is it better to keep all of our tents (i think we have like 5 smaller tents) close together vs. separated? perhaps it makes no difference to a hungry bear? i've heard banging pots and pans are common to try and shoo them away -- but doesn't that mean we'd have to keep those cooking equipment nearby our tents?

thanks for any advice,
drew
avatar Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 12:07PM
Quote
andrewsan
i've heard banging pots and pans are common to try and shoo them away

A whistle works better.
Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 12:36PM
Bears are not hungry for tents, tent campers, clothing, or anything like that. They're hungry for easy food like unlatched bear canisters, granola bars tucked into backpacks, fragrant wrappers stuffed into pants pockets, and so on. Put the tents together and the food far away.
Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 12:44PM
In general, keep the food away from the tents. It is always tempting to have a snack in the tent but it is a bad idea, especially with kids.

Also in general the bears there simply aren't going to bother you but they will try and take your food if it is accesible.
avatar Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 02:21PM
Keep the llamas nearby. There haven't been many llamas in the area and they are unfamiliar to bears. They tend to avoid unfamiliar smells. I've never had any bear problems on any of my llama trips. You still have to use bear canisters. I've always carried a boat horn, the kind with the can of compressed something an a horn that screws on top. I figured it makes such a loud noise the bear wouldn't want to hang around.
avatar Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 06:59PM
Wow, what a trip! Llamas, bears, little goats - don't forget the marmots....

People blowing whistles, air horns, banging on pots....

This sounds like a zoo with a hockey audience!

Maybe add a couple of camels and an elephant.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2012 06:59PM by QITNL.
Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 07:17PM
Quote
QITNL
Wow, what a trip! Llamas, bears, little goats - don't forget the marmots....

People blowing whistles, air horns, banging on pots....

This sounds like a zoo with a hockey audience!

Maybe add a couple of camels and an elephant.


Ha! I guess we'll be keeping bears and other backpackers out of our camp! Thanks for all the comments
Re: Lyell Canyon with kids
July 02, 2012 07:32PM
Sounds like a great trip!
When camping up the Lyell (if I remember correctly) you must camp beyond the trail to Ireland Lake so what happens is a lot of people camp at that spot. As a result it has been in the past a “hot spot” for bear activity. Myself I prefer to camp without a tent so that I can look up at all those beautiful stars and see the bear. Make sure that you picket those Llamas very well so that they don’t get away when the bear does come and sleep near them so that they wake you and you get to shine your flash light and see that bear, also have your camera ready with the flash on you don’t want to miss a good photo of your trip. As far as whistles, air horns and banging on pots and pans don’t bother disturbing the silence of the night, the bear most likely will come into your camp site just as soon as you turn in.

Keep all your food and scented stuff in the bear canisters put them away from where you sleep and you will be fine. The bear is going to sniff all around your camp site they are very silent and you will only know that they are there because your Llamas will tell you (picket them well). Also the bear is likely to come by twice once as it goes down the trail and then again after it makes its rounds and returns to where it started from.
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