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Re: toopid question #1

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toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 05:12AM
The boss and i have been discussing our plans for our trip and have come up with a few questions, I have deemed toopid. I heard once that there was no such thing as a toopid question but....
Being from the East coast our bear encounters are much less likely than in Yosemite. We have all the "normal, everyday, run of the mill" bear encounter info pretty much down. Stay together, make noise, dont run, never give up the twinkies etc etc. But there you are out in the middle of nowhere Yosemite snooring next to your exhausted child when you hear a bit of snorting, scratching, sniffing outside your tent. Hopefully outside your tent. What do you do? Make noise? Stay quiet? Hope that you only do a #1 and not a #2 in your jammies? Seriously what is the best course of action?
Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 08:23AM
Ignore them at night - They are just looking for food and as long as you have bear canisters you will be fine - Keep food and smelly things out of the tent - There is a good possibility that you may not even see any bear - Last year, over a few trips I only saw one and it was in the valley. So if one comes around in the middle of the night sleep through it - Any snorting you hear is probably a deer anyway

Greatest odds are the only bad bear experience you will have ever encountered in life was in New Orleans in 1985 - I know that's a memory I want to forget
Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 08:35AM
OUCH! we have since redeemed ourselves in nawleans thanks to tom and BB
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 08:24AM
First, I'd make sure it wasn't my ex mother in law. Second, I'd make lots of noise. Banging pots and pans together is very effective. That almost always does the trick.
Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 08:37AM
two posts.... two answers... interesting, we will see what follows
Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 09:32AM
Here's a recent post from our blog---you can read more of this stuff on our website:

Fear, fear, fear...

What's the deal with bears?

Why is it that so many people see to be concerned about bears? Not only are they a regular topic on many chat boards, but Backpacker Magazine devotes a column every single issue to bear questions. Every single issue! And now they have a complete website article discussing every possible thing that might or might not affect a bear. Among the issues discussed are bear bells, cans, bags, sex, toothpaste, wasp spray, pepper spray, menstruation, marijuana, and electric fences.

Really? Come on...

What a waste of time and energy. As we've said before, we rarely see bears in the back country. In fact, we wish we would see them more often. But we also avoid heavy concentrations of people--especially stupid people who ignore the rules--and it seems that those people attract most of the bears. If you want to meet a bear, go to a big public campground and watch the dumb people leave their food out. Other than that, bears are pretty low profile.

But that doesn't seem to matter to people who don't backpack so much--or to fear-mongering editors. They would prefer to talk all bears all the time, as if they were Boogey Men waiting around each corner to catch and eat unwary hikers.

Get a grip. Please.

In the Sierra there have been 12 bear attacks since 1980--and none of those were in the backcountry. (Way more people have been struck by lightning.) In fact, if you really want to freak out, 130 Americans are killed by deer every year. 65 are struck by lightning. 100 are killed by bees. 20 are killed by cows.

Got that? Cows are more dangerous than bears--about fifty times more dangerous.

We've seen exactly one bear in the backcountry in the last five years. It was a spectacular sight. The sun backlit the bear's fur, and it positively glowed. And yes, we did have to tell the college kids at a nearby camp that we had seen a bear, and that they should clean up their camp. They did. The bear never reappeared.

So give it a rest. Keep a clean camp, use a bear can, and enjoy your time in the High Sierra without worrying about bears.

Instead, worry about important things, like whether you are going to catch fish tonight...or see a shooting star.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 15, 2013 10:47AM
Quote
balzaccom

Got that? Cows are more dangerous than bears--about fifty times more dangerous.

What should I do then if I see a cow in the backcountry? grinning smiley tongue sticking out smiley
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 15, 2013 10:55AM
Quote
PineCone
Quote
balzaccom

Got that? Cows are more dangerous than bears--about fifty times more dangerous.

What should I do then if I see a cow in the backcountry? grinning smiley tongue sticking out smiley

Act like a chick-on. Cowz n Chick-onz mutually respects each udder.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28235,28235#msg-28235

or four da lazie peeps:


Hoover Wilderness
or (Hoofer ?)

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: toopid question #1
April 17, 2013 12:25AM
Summit of Mt. Olancha, 2009





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2013 12:26AM by Ken M.
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 17, 2013 03:10AM
Quote
Ken M

Summit of Mt. Olancha, 2009

Down the slope of Mt. Olancha, near its base, is one of the sources of "Crystal Springs" bottled water (another source being near Mt. Shasta).
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avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 17, 2013 01:31PM
Quote
plawrence
Down the slope of Mt. Olancha, near its base, is one of the sources of "Crystal Springs" bottled water (another source being near Mt. Shasta).

Do you mean Crystal Geyser?
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 17, 2013 02:17PM
Yes I did.

Thanks for the correction. (When I was typing it late last night, the name didn't sound right but no other name popped into my mind and I know they advertise that all of their water comes from spring sources, hence Crystal Springs, but I was actually referring to Crystal Geyser bottled water.

.
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 25, 2013 12:11AM
Quote
PineCone
What should I do then if I see a cow in the backcountry? grinning smiley tongue sticking out smiley

Steak dinner.
Re: toopid question #1
April 15, 2013 01:01PM
Don't diss the cows. Statistics have to be taken with a grain of salt. People come in contact with cows much more than people come in contact with bears so there is more of a chance to get hurt by a cow than by a bear.

What to do if you come across a cow hiking? Cows don't have the best vision and can be easily spooked so if you come across a cow, just let them know you are there. And stay away from any calves. If you are in a field, don't be surprised if they come towards you because they are hoping that you have some grain with you and they are also curious. Most of the cow attacks are by breeding males that are huge and are only thinking of sex so if you are not careful, you might get pinned between them and a fence. Growing up with cows and having worked with a large animal vet, I learned to be very careful around bulls.

If you are in a field or in a free range situation and a cow starts chasing you, cross a stream or depression in the ground. Cows have a hard time figuring out how deep something is so they won't cross things that they think might be deep. This is why when you are in a area where free range cows are, on the roads they no longer put steel grates in the roads to prevent cows from crossing. All they do now is paint some lines on the road that look like grates and the cows will not cross them.

When it comes to farm animals, I am more afraid of hogs than I am of cows. If you fall and can't get up, like if you had a heart attack and are unconscious they will eat you.
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 09:56AM
I agree with the previous poster.

The American Black Bear, the only type of bear that inhabits Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, isn't going to adversely disturb anyone who had followed all the Yosemite backpacking rules and regulations set forth by the Park Service.

As long as one keeps their food (and all of their scented items like toothpaste) in their bear canisters (and keep their bear canisters away from their tents), they won't have any problems dealing with bears at night while they sleep.

In the campgrounds within Yosemite Valley, they'll bang pots and make a lot of noise to scare the bears off since inevitably someone in the campground probably hasn't stored their food or scented items properly in the provided bear boxes.

While backpacking, as long as you (or anyone in your campsite) didn't leave any type of food or scented item in or around campsite, especially in or near the tents, then there shouldn't be any need to try to scare a bear away from the campsite, even if a bear decides to drop by for a visit.

Just don't be tempted like some people are to take a "small snack" like a candy or energy bar inside your tent for a "midnight snack," thinking that a bear wouldn't notice. Bears have an excellent sense of smell and could easily go after the small candy bar if it got a whiff of it.

.
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 02:47PM
Quote
plawrence
there shouldn't be any need to try to scare a bear away from the campsite, even if a bear decides to drop by for a visit.

It's still not a good idea to just let the bear play with your bear container. Shoo the bear away and go back to sleep.
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 03:19PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
plawrence
there shouldn't be any need to try to scare a bear away from the campsite, even if a bear decides to drop by for a visit.

It's still not a good idea to just let the bear play with your bear container. Shoo the bear away and go back to sleep.


True, one might end up with a search & rescue mission for one's canister (even though the food inside of it would remain intact). I was just assuming that the bear wouldn't be playing with any of the gear (including the food canister) but just looking and sniffing about camp. But if the bear is messing with one's gear, then yes, shoo it away.

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Re: toopid question #1
April 18, 2013 07:27AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
eeek
Quote
plawrence
there shouldn't be any need to try to scare a bear away from the campsite, even if a bear decides to drop by for a visit.

It's still not a good idea to just let the bear play with your bear container. Shoo the bear away and go back to sleep.


True, one might end up with a search & rescue mission for one's canister (even though the food inside of it would remain intact). I was just assuming that the bear wouldn't be playing with any of the gear (including the food canister) but just looking and sniffing about camp. But if the bear is messing with one's gear, then yes, shoo it away.

.

One might also have a broken-into canister if you give the bear enough time.

This has happened. Not often, but it does. On the Rae Lakes loop in past years, rangers issuing permits at road's end will tell you, put the bear vault if you have one in the bear locker while you are in Paradise Valley, the bear there does CPR on them and pops the lid off. Rumor has it there have been Yosemite bears who have managed to break a can on granite...

It pays, IMO, to drive them off. And take care to put the canister where it's not easily/quickly rolled off into oblivion - water, cliff edges, long exposed granite hillsides, etc. I favor tree wells (pits where a tree fell over) or burying the canister in 50 lb granite flakes (early warning system - bears often are very, very stealthy).
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 08:33PM
Quote
eeek
It's still not a good idea to just let the bear play with your bear container. Shoo the bear away and go back to sleep.
The goal here is to make the experience of visiting a campground a bad experience for the bear. You're right, don't let it play with your stuff and shoo it away. When the bear gets comfortable around people it becomes a danger to people. Shooing a bear away may save its life.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2013 08:57PM by eeek.
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 05:59PM
I'm going with bang stuff together and make noise as well, even if bear canisters are more effective than the old counterbalancing, there's no reason to encourage a bear (by forbearance) to hang out next to tents at night.
Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 04:17PM
thanks everybody! the kids will be reading this so they don't go for the hidden late night snack in their sleeping bag. toopid question #2 coming soon to a thread near you... wait for it....
avatar Re: toopid question #1
April 14, 2013 10:24PM
Also don't let them eat during the day or night near that area where they're going to sleep in their sleeping bags because the crumbs or other remnants of what they ate or drank could attract bears but more likely other critters (like rodents) to that area.

In other words, keep the "dining and cooking area" of your campsite away from the "sleeping area" of your campsite.
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