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Bear Canisters/Food Handling in the Sierra

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Re: Bear Canisters/Food Handling in the Sierra

Postby markv » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:43 pm

Hi Snowmann. I store mine in the first convenient spot (like a depression or a place surrounded by downed trees) more than about 20 feet from my tent. If this were grizz country i'd store it much further and pay attention to downwind, etc., but Sierra bears know bear cans well. They'll just paw at it to make sure it's closed properly, perhaps rolling it around a little (which is why i like it to be in a depression or someplace else it won't roll far away). Once i had a little tiny bit of plastic baggie sticking out, and the bear went to a lot of trouble to yank at it and slobber all over the can before giving up. But i've never heard of a can completely disappearing...only rolling a little ways.

Put your empty food packages in it if at all possible. Of course if somehow you run out of room and you're not by a locker it's better to leave out an empty package than it is to leave out food, but it's not good for the can expect the package to be shredded to bits.
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Re: Bear Canisters/Food Handling in the Sierra

Postby LaGrangePoints5 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:35 pm


1. I did most of the John Muir Trail, and I didn't put my bear can right next to the tent, but maybe 20-30 feet away. I've had bears walk through camp between the tent and the bear can and the bear can was right where I left it. I've also left out a coffee pot once (in the Olympics) that I just boiled water in, and had it bitten through. The bear cans work!

2. And, yes, the trash goes in the bear can.

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Re: Bear Canisters/Food Handling in the Sierra

Postby OldHiker » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:42 pm

This is all about two things. The first is "the bear" and the second is "the human" and, it is in that order. The whole concept here is to protect the bears and that's why folks should use bear containers through designated territory and hang their food in other areas (use bear bins when you can) plus ensure that you and your equipment isn't attractive to bears.

Personally, I never have food in my tent - don't eat in my tent nor drink anything but water, I always hang all food and stinkies and I carry spray but then I hike in the Rockies where there are both Griz and Black bears plus Mountain Lions and mice that chew through just about anything.

Now, if you've ever looked at what bears are capable of, you'll realize that they can get into just about anything. I've seen locked plastic coolers ripped apart, car doors torn open and the Plastic Bear Containers "popped" so nothing is perfect but, I think we need to do what we can.

From "the human" perspective, while bear encounters are infrequent, they do happen and so I like to minimize the potential for an encounter. In a campground I figure that if I'm "cleaner" that other people then Mr. Bear will go after them. So I do hang and carry spray and in my tent have a knife (for rapid exit).
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