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#130078 - 03/04/10 03:18 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
skunkcreationz Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Florida
Here's a sample of some of my company's anti-odor bags that I'm looking to have tested. Badger Bags - Don't get badgered!





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#130099 - 03/04/10 05:12 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Very few of us carry bear-canisters except where they are legally mandated, and none of the areas with which I'm familiar would accept an "odor-proof" bag as a substitute. Open and close it a few times, taking food in and out, and there will be plenty of food odor on the outside of the bag! I hope you haven't invested too much in developing these things!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#130111 - 03/04/10 06:11 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: OregonMouse]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
And since I hike most of the time where I must have a bear canister, and the bears recognize food containers on sight, it would be a pointless exercise for me to use odor proof bags.

I'm curious how one tests an odor proof bag with a mountain lion, which is not at all interested in hiker food.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#130134 - 03/04/10 09:19 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I'd agree...there isn't any reason to use odor barrier bags in canisters and cougars have little if any interest in human food.

While odor barrier bags do work the real issue with them is what Granny points out - you can't control smells from hands as you open and close the bag in the backcountry. The other issue I have had over the years with other barrier bags is the zip top being the weak point - they always go out first.

Raccoons, birds, rodents, skunks etc do more damage than big animals do when it comes to food. The issue being that people think of bears as being the danger....but there are more small critters out there.

Still, if the closure on the bags is improved over other styles, I'd love to hear about it!
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#130216 - 03/05/10 02:51 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
skunkcreationz Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Florida
There are many valid points that people have raised. Obviously, cross-contamination is an issue. This is where I want to test this theory out. How much is too much, and at what point does this not matter? Can the bears detect the cross-contamination of a backpack, when the food is within one of these anti-odor bags. Yes, they may scenting, that is smelling in the direction of the bag, but they could quickly lose interest and move on.

If one of these bags is used in conjunction with a bear cansiter. It might reduce the chances of the bear finding it. If they can't detect the food located within the bag, then they might get discouraged and move on. Testing the ieda is the best bet to determine what works and what doesn't work. Anybody can say that it won't work and give reasons, but actual testing may prove new results.

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#130217 - 03/05/10 03:04 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
skunkcreationz Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Florida
In response to the cougar testing. The cougar testing was a test to determine if the cougar can smell what's inside of the bag. You can apply this to a backpacking scenario if you want, but given the percentage of cougar incidents, they are few and far between. I know people at animal sanctuary's and they have access to their enclosures and cages. Their knowledge of the animal, and how it reacts to certain foods was a basis for this test. What would happen if you put their favorite food within the bag, and then hid it within their cage. Would they find it? Well after hiding some of their favorite foods within the bag within their enclosure, NO they didn't detect the food.

Next, the food odor being released when you open a bag might not be significant enough to attract a bear. I would imagine the food odor drifting off before any animal could track it. If the bags are made strong, they should resist other little creatues from getting into them.

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#130224 - 03/05/10 04:19 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By skunkcreationz
If one of these bags is used in conjunction with a bear cansiter. It might reduce the chances of the bear finding it. If they can't detect the food located within the bag, then they might get discouraged and move on. Testing the ieda is the best bet to determine what works and what doesn't work. Anybody can say that it won't work and give reasons, but actual testing may prove new results.


Reason one: bears have eyes. They see canisters. They know what a canister is, in areas with a lot of backpacking traffic.

The black bears in my area are smarter than you're giving them credit for. The black bears in other parts of California won't give you the time of day - you'll never see them. They've never been trained to appreciate human food in the first place. But the raccoons and rats know what a food sack is and ravens in some places will investigate anything. Not all animals rely entirely on smell, especially habituated ones.

Sorry, these things have been repeated multiple times in the thread, and they are still true....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#130234 - 03/05/10 06:34 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Originally Posted By skunkcreationz
If the bags are made strong, they should resist other little creatues from getting into them.


It won't though - the thick bags of Mountain House meals are nothing for a chipmunk to go through.

Bear canisters work in that the animal gives up after not getting a treat - it doesn't have to be smell proof - that is the beauty of it. Another example is the Ursack bag - I have woken up a couple times to find it covered in small animal poo pellets - the local squirrels were at it all night but gave up eventually after not getting in. Sure they could smell treats but they didn't get any.

A bag of plastic though...no matter thickness will eventually fail or be dragged off (Ursack bags are tied off with Kevlar cords). All an animal needs is time and at night they have plenty.

On cougars......they are more interested in semi rotten meat on a carcass. I don't worry about them ever, outside of avoiding like the plague a kill zone (and you can't miss that....the dead elk out by a river bed that stinks to high heaven).
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#130272 - 03/06/10 01:38 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2860
Loc: Portland, OR
The difficulty here is that you are basing all your ideas on an idea of how animals behave and why, which is mostly modeled on your imagination - or, to put it differently, on thought experiments. And because your mind has offered up this theory as a plausible one, no amount of contrary information will touch it, so long as the information is not your own personal observation.

This apparently being the case, you will not be satisfied that your theory is false without thorough, firsthand testing with real wild animals in a real outdoor setting. Your major problem is that it will be all too easy for you to draw false conclusions from negative results.

There's an old joke that has some bearing here.

A man is walking down the street and encounters another man who is busily muttering incantations, burning incense, and bowing in all directions. Intrigued, the first man asks the second what he is doing.

The answer:"I'm keeping wild tigers away!"

The first man exclaims, "But this is Wichita, Kansas. There isn't a wild tiger within 5,000 miles of here!"

The second man looks smug and says, "See. It works!"

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#130274 - 03/06/10 01:47 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By skunkcreationz
Testing the ieda is the best bet to determine what works and what doesn't work. Anybody can say that it won't work and give reasons, but actual testing may prove new results.


Here's a test I'd love to see..

Take a standard extra large size ziploc freezer bag bought at the grocery store.

Take any number of bags sold as "odor proof"

put food in them with the outside of the bag in a clean pristine state.

Test them all against animals. see if there is any significant difference.


If there is, then please repeat the test again, using the odor proof bag for the same test, after giving them to backpackers to store their food in for a week on the trail. compare that to a new ziploc bag (because lord knows I'm gonna use a new one. it's cheap!)


Sorry, the only thing I smell in any of the odor proof bag discussions is snake oil. I have more food smell in my beard after I eat on the trail, in my breath in the morning after waking up, in my underwear after my on-trail flatulence with a high fibre diet, than sits on the outside of a clean sealed ziploc.

(and the ziploc will not stop bears, critters or anything else. hang properly or use a canister or ursack)

I use an ursack. I don't use the silly op liner, I use ziplocs.


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#130276 - 03/06/10 02:32 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
smell proof bags won't be unsmelly after the first time you open it.

As much as this is hyped, I cook in my tent and I carry food in my pack and I never wash either and neither attracts animals. Food smell alone is not adequate unless there is actual food. The idea of a candy bar wrapper bringing ursus into your truck has not been demonstrated to me, there are lots of french fries under the seat of my truck.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#130282 - 03/06/10 06:22 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Jimshaw]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
My understanding is that habituated brown bears are smart enought to see a candy wrap, associate it with food, and break into a vehicle. Same ideas as bear sees food bag, knows it has food it in and sends cub up the tree to break the branch the bag is hung from. The bears don't need to smell the food if they have a strong enough association.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#130283 - 03/06/10 06:25 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: thecook]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
cook
I'm just saying that all of the nights my truck has been parked in bear country with candy bar wrappers and french fries under the seat, I've never seen bear paw prints on the rtruck.
And you mean black bears. A browny would just sit on the truck and bust it open.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#130284 - 03/06/10 07:08 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
skunkcreationz Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Florida
Yes, I think we can all agree that bears, are almost as smart as some humans. They can recognize objects, and associate them with food. They can be resourcefull, and find a way if necessary to get at your food.

That being said, you have to be creative in how you hide your food, and store your food. If you got a bear canister, and the bear comes to the campsite just because it knows humans got food. It will find the food from its deductive reasoning using both sight and smell. If you hide your food in a bear canister, and that canister has the anti-odor, non-plastic bag inside of it. Then, use your creativity in hiding it. Don't let the bear find it. For some people,and some locations, that will be harder than for others. I wanted to have some avid campers try these bags out, and give some feedback as to the results. Effective field testing is the only way to determine how effective they are.

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#130287 - 03/06/10 08:11 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Jimshaw]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Black bears do break into cars in the Sierras, usually in the national parks where the traffic is at an all time high, giving the bears plenty of time to figure out there's a tasty prize in that treasure chest. Yosemite bears are really fond of minivans.

But it does not happen every single day. Bears do get backpacker's food every single day, however, because the people think they can hide food under a rock, or get away with hanging it, and Yosemite is full of bears who are happy to leap out of a tree on a hanging sack, or have small cubs to teach to climb out and chew the rope.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#130288 - 03/06/10 08:14 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
You're a very optimistic person, which I admire, but you're not getting it.

This summer, take your creation on the JMT. Camp near the trail every night in the obviously overused places. Don't forget lots of coffee so you can stay up late to watch how the bears find your carefully hidden bear canisters no matter what you do. That will be the standard you will have to meet - testing with animals that aren't habituated isn't going to cut it.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#130302 - 03/07/10 05:59 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
skunkcreationz Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Florida
How often do you go on the trail? Where is this trail at?

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#130303 - 03/07/10 06:22 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Now that we know that our fearless inventor knows little or nothing about hiking conditions in other parts of the US....
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#130305 - 03/07/10 07:04 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: skunkcreationz]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Where is the John Muir Trail?

Maybe you need to not focus so much on animals and look at backpacking in general.

I'm not convinced at all that you really understand the nature of the problem you're trying to tackle.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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