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#127227 - 01/24/10 01:57 AM Bear Proof Canisters
Colindo Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 10
Loc: United States
I've noticed the popularity of making these canisters required in many of the national parks. I believe they are of some importance and if they are required then they should be used. My question is...What is a good canister that is somewhat light and compact. I was looking around at them today and they all seemed to be ridiculously heavy and big. I would really hate to have to rebuy gear in order to fit this thing in my pack.

Im doing the JMT this july and will have to come up with something for that trek. Any recommendations on alternatives? Or at least the best of the bear canisters?

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#127234 - 01/24/10 08:10 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
The "best" by popular acclaim is the Bearikade at close to $300. A somewhat heavier (38 oz) but certainly adequate canister is the Bear Vault 500 at about $70. I used the Bear Vault on my southbound JMT through-hike and it served me quite well even with 10 days of highly compressed food leaving Muir Trail Ranch.

The "big" part of bear cans is pretty much inescapable unless you plan on resupply every few days. The JMT between Whitney Portal and MTR is not designed for easy resupply.

You may want to check on the legality of an Ursack for this coming summer. I have heard rumors of it now being approved. Used in combination with the bear lockers provided at a lot of the popular campsites, you may be able to skip the bear can.
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#127238 - 01/24/10 11:59 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
You need to look at the websites for each jurisdiction as there is now no more SIBBG blanket recommendation. I heard that in Inyo NF they are accepting canisters and Ursack but the website language strongly favors bear canisters. You will probably never see Yosemite accept anything but the cans, the bears are more persistent there - we had to drive bears away at least twice a night every night we spent close to the JMT. The only way of avoiding that is to camp far enough off the beaten path. We had Bear Vaults and Bearikades.

You can rent the Bearikade, but for a long trip (if I had no further use for it) I'd probably buy it and then sell it used - since I have never seen one for sale used, there's probably a pretty good market for it.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#127239 - 01/24/10 12:23 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Pika]
Zalman Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Olympic Peninsula, Washington,...
Originally Posted By Pika
The "best" by popular acclaim is the Bearikade at close to $300. A somewhat heavier (38 oz) but certainly adequate canister is the Bear Vault 500 at about $70.


Both of these companies also make smaller models (the Bearikade Scout and BearVault 450) which are slightly lighter and less expensive.
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It's easy to be a holy man on top of a mountain.
-- Larry Darrell

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#127250 - 01/24/10 02:17 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Lori, when was your trip that you had to scare off the bears? Last July, while I was finishing up my breakfast at the bper cg at TM, someone was holloring at a bear. It was still dark so I just kept an eye out but never saw anything. I haven't seen a bear for quite a while now bping. The only bear I have seen for a bit now was a bear in the afternoon at the Mary Lakes area by Mammoth at the start of a trip three years ago. I hit Yosemite in early Oct. out of TM and have never seen a bear or scat, even a couple years ago in June at Rancheria Falls area.

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#127264 - 01/24/10 06:12 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: hikerduane]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
We were hiking from TM to Reds Meadow the first week of August 09 (when that freak snowstorm hit). In TM, we were in the backpacker campground - a ranger with a dish was tracking a problem bear, followed by a ranger with a paintball gun - we heard them shooting at the bear most of the day. The deer don't even flinch as they graze along the river when they're firing the gun....

In Lyell the following night, a bear woke us up by knocking over a pot walking through camp and we had to yell and wave - he was licking one of the Bear Vaults.

The following night we went off the JMT about a mile to Laura Lake and had no bears. We hid the canisters in foliage under rocks. There were folks across the lake who said they had bear issues, but they had the bearproof panniers and didn't seem to be hiding them.

The night after we were in the Shadow Creek drainage on a bench above the trail. We had a bear come through camp three times - drove him off each time. We buried the canisters in granite flakes (about 10 lbs per flake) and heard him moving the rocks each time.

Last May there was a bear in the grassy area before Wapama Falls just wandering around, grazing and rooting around in the grass, but we didn't see or hear any at Rancheria - rangers insist there are active bears in that area and I believe them, but some ignoramus hung a sack of stuff very badly and it wasn't touched.

Other than that, I've seen no bears - went out toward Dinkey Lakes two or three times, out north of Courtright, in and around Yosemite and out to Ostrander Lake (saw a TON of scat on the trail tho), up to Alta Peak and back - heck, on the Alta Peak hike, one guy went back with someone who had altitude sickness symptoms and saw THREE bears on the trail, and I saw none!

Two years ago I stayed at Alta Meadow solo - was sound asleep until I heard something ripping apart a log - had to be a bear. But it didn't touch the bear canister.

So, yeah, they are out there and very active, just not always where you are. TM campgrounds appear to be the place to go, if you want pictures of bears with radio collars...
_________________________
"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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#127265 - 01/24/10 06:16 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Zalman]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I have a BearVault solo, which works, but I hate the lids. On a cold (low 30F) morning, trying to get it off is a total PITA. The first lid I had got to the point that it spun off without catching, which is NOT good, but to the company's credit they sent me a free updated replacement. Now I get to deal with two tabs.

The Bearikade I rented was absolutely wonderful. Used the back of a knife blade to unlatch and the lid just lifted off... if only they weren't so expensive I'd have a Weekender.
_________________________
"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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#127266 - 01/24/10 06:57 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I got the Weekender for Christmas a year ago.:) When I was still using my Garcia Machine, I stuck it in some rocks one night, had a little bit of green dribble on it the next morning, deer kept circling my camp the previous afternoon. I have more issues with deer than anything else. You can't scare deer very much.

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#127279 - 01/24/10 11:09 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
Paul Offline
member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 778
Loc: California
I have 2 bearikades and an older Bear vault. The Bearikades are great - significantly lighter than anything else, and they have an excellent track record. The bear vaults are heavier, and the lids can be difficult to turn. I have strong hands (carpentry will do that to ya) and though I can grip the lid just fine and turn it, I often have trouble holding the canister, since it takes two hands on the lid and I have only my legs - generally encased in slippery nylon or polyester - or my feet (awkward as hell) to hold the canister. No such issues with the Bearikade, and no redesigned lid every year or so due to bears getting the hang of it, as has happened with the Bear Vault. I would highly recommend the Bearikade - costs more but worth every dime.

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#127286 - 01/25/10 03:37 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Paul]
Colindo Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 10
Loc: United States
Im having a really hard time imagining spending more money on my food storage than my tent.

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#127295 - 01/25/10 10:18 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Nothing is bear proof, just resistant. Canisters work the best of course, due to their not giving rewards.

But...if hiking in an area with no grizzlies and no habiuated black bears (ones who have learned to be aggressive in stealing food) Ursack bags shine. Outside of California in the Sierras, there is often no official rules in parks or forests on what is and isn't allowed. Most park websites DO have rules posted under the hiking and backpacking section. NF's though tend to often have no rules.
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#127304 - 01/25/10 12:33 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Then don't. You can get a small but approved by every Sierra jurisdiction I've seen Bare Boxer for forty bucks. You can rent the Bearikade for a week for about the same cost. Sequoia-Kings Canyon rent the Bearikades for 5/6 per night then 2 for each additional night thereafter (they have the weekender and expedition for rent). Yosemite rents the Garcia canisters for even cheaper. Hang your food everywhere else....

Those of us who go all the time into the Sierras have a different economical situation. We buy because four years of rentals when you go out every month makes less sense.
_________________________
"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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#127328 - 01/25/10 04:55 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
As Lori points out, if you hike enough in certain areas it pays back quickly.

For example I backpack on the Olympic Coast in the ONP quite often. Out there canisters are required due to raccoons. For me every time I go it was a $3 "donation" to rent a Garcia canister that was too big. So we bought a Bear Vault Solo that is perfect for overnighters to 2 nighters. It is paid for many times over.

Same with the 2 Ursacks I have - At less than $50 each they were paid off years ago.

One thing that canisters and Ursacks offer is ease of use - which is priceless when tired at night. No thinking. You go stash it and go to bed.

Hanging food in a tree is about as much fun for me as getting my teeth cleaned. Seriously! So every time when I am done in 30 seconds with my food I think how my time is worth something, even in the wilderness. wink
_________________________
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www.trailcooking.com

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#127359 - 01/25/10 09:31 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Like was mentioned earlier, buy it, sell it when done with your trip if renting is a waste. The Bearicade is a rare animal to find used. Should have a good chance to sell it later.

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#128183 - 02/05/10 04:52 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: hikerduane]
Jeff Offline
member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 41
Loc: Nevada
I own a couple of Bearikade Expeditions and a Weekender. My wife and
I packed 12 days of food in 2 of the Expeditions. The Weekender is for
shorter trips. I will never wear them out and I hope to get another 25 or
more years worth of trips out of them. I can't say my tents or pack will
last that long.

I bear bagged and hung packs most of the 1990's and I would have one
or more nights on each trip where bears would keep me awake trying to
get me bags out of the tree. I also found it a pain trying to find suitable
trees when in the higher elevation areas. I now use the bear cans and
put ear plugs in and enjoy a nice sleep. I still run into other hikers who
had the unpleasant experience of trying to defend their food.

I justify my paying for my backpacking gear by the savings of camping out
verses paying for hotel rooms while on vacation.
_________________________
Jeff MyBackpackTrips

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#128719 - 02/12/10 04:55 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Jeff]
barking spider Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Springfield, IL
We felt like it was too heavy and that it was more thn we wanted to spend, but ended up getting one last year with our REI rebate.

We got the Bear Vault 500. It works great for 1-2 people. We carried seven days worth of food for two in last fall. We make all of our own food for the trail so it may be the determining the amount of supplies you can carry in it.

Even though it is supposed to be tough enough to prevent most bears from getting in to it, I still tied it up and hoisted it up into a tree 50 yards or so from camp. Never had a bear try to get it. They do work well for containing food odors. When I take the lid off I can smell my jerky, but I can't smell a thing with the lid on. I realize a bear has a better sense of smell, and may still smell the food, but at least it seems to reduce that possibility to some degree.

It also makes my wife feel a bit more secure, because she has a phobia about bears. Not bad enough not to backpack, but enough to get a food vault.

The bear vault also makes a great stool with the lid screwed down tight. So if you carry a chair of some sort you can eliminate that.

We too invest in quality camping gear versus paying for one time use hotel stays. Waking up to the sounds of nature is way better than the vacuum of the cleaning lady down the hall.

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#128723 - 02/12/10 05:42 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: barking spider]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
You're lucky you didn't camp where the bears are very canny and determined. You're not supposed to tie a rope to a canister. It gives the bears something to hold onto and the bears in Yosemite especially will jump out off trees and grab the bag/canister, breaking the rope and probably the branch. That's defeating the whole purpose of the canister. If you're going to hang a bag is lighter to carry! Hanging is for bags, putting the canister on the ground with nothing tied to it and the lid fastened properly is the right way to use a canister.

It is NOT odor proof - that's not the point of them either. It's also not ant proof, they will crawl in between the threads of the lid. Nor is it waterproof. I put mine in the hollow where a tree has fallen so the bear can't do more than roll it around, or in a crevasse under a rock, as far from inclines or water as I can get it - and at least 20-50 feet from camp. Sometimes I put a rock or pine cone or pot on it so I know if it's been touched.

Sorry to sound all lecture-y and scolding, but improperly stored food will in some areas not just get your food lost to bears, it will potentially contribute to the death of a bear and a big fine for you - national parks will ticket you if a bear gets your food. Please use food storage containers in the manner intended. It saves bears. I applaud your efforts to do what you thought was necessary - that's more than the careless people who don't even think about it do, the ones who made bear canisters necessary in the first place by letting bears steal their food and get used to easy calories.
_________________________
"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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#128727 - 02/12/10 07:13 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
barking spider Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Springfield, IL
Didn't realize you're not supposed to hang canisters. Just seemed to be an added protection. No offense taken.

I read others comments about locations they hid there canisters and those made sense.

Will change how we use it in the future.

Thanks

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#128730 - 02/12/10 08:23 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: barking spider]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Yes, a lot of people seem to think it will help to hang them. But they were really designed as an alternative to hanging. I don't know where you were hiking, it's probably not a real issue in a lot of areas - it struck me after I posted that most people who get the bear canister are doing so because of some regulation but that isn't necessarily true of you. Some do get them because they are that concerned. It probably would have been more of an issue in an area where bear canisters are actually required, as those are generally areas where hanging is no longer effective.

I also run into a lot of folks who are afraid of black bears - even the habituated ones who are no longer afraid of people will run away if you yell and wave and carry on at them. It's not unheard of for them to be aggressive, but more rare than for brown bears. Maybe that's not really reassuring for your wife, it didn't reassure some of the folks in my hiking group either frown but in most areas it's not really going to be a problem. They just like your food as much as you do.
_________________________
"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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#128741 - 02/13/10 01:44 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I had a lady Ranger at Purple Lake in the John Muir Wilderness ask me why I had not hung or tied up my Ursack TKO when they were stil approved. I told her that you could no longer tie it to a tree as it had the potential to damage resources and it wasn't designed to be hung in a tree. She asked for my name and email addy. Never heard anything from her. She had a small crew with her and they were rearranging fire pits to the three rock design, a smaller size.

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#128754 - 02/13/10 10:36 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: hikerduane]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
A lot of confusion... maybe they should print the instructions on the Ursack and the canisters. That way the user will know how to use, and the onlooker can be easily shown why you're not hanging the Ursack.
_________________________
"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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#128763 - 02/13/10 11:58 AM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I had the original TKO and bought the aluminum insert upgrade. Since the Ursacks are not approved (may change) if I feel a need to protect my food in an area where canisters are not required, I'll bring just the bag which weights 5 oz. and tie it to a tree, as I am camping with little use anyway. I see more damage on the hike in by porcupines than campers.

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#128769 - 02/13/10 12:07 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: lori]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
Another reason to not hang a bear can is that about the one way a bear can get into a bear canister is if it drops from a sufficient height to crack the plastic.

In terms of odor, to reduce odds of a bear visit, a person can use an odor proof aloksak inside the can. I think most don't; I tend to use one with an Ursack but not an actual bear canister.

The amount of scent that escapes from a can --- and whether or not ants can crawl into it --- depends on the type/brand. The threaded screw-on cap of a Bearvault model isn't going to allow ants to crawl in. It's certainly not odor proof, but I would guess that it's more so than the older black plastic Garcia type.


Edited by BrianLe (02/13/10 12:07 PM)
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#128791 - 02/13/10 10:18 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: BrianLe]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By BrianLe


The amount of scent that escapes from a can --- and whether or not ants can crawl into it --- depends on the type/brand. The threaded screw-on cap of a Bearvault model isn't going to allow ants to crawl in. It's certainly not odor proof, but I would guess that it's more so than the older black plastic Garcia type.


Someone needs to tell the ants that, before more of them die when the sun hits my canister... little teeny tiny ones. I carelessly threw an empty ziploc in rather than zipping it into the trash bag so they must have been after particles of potatoes. I found a dead carpenter ant in the bottom when I got home once but I'll allow for it possibly hitching a ride on something I was putting away...

_________________________
"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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#130075 - 03/04/10 03:07 PM Re: Bear Proof Canisters [Re: Colindo]
skunkcreationz Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Florida
I don't know if you would be interested, but my company is currently developing an anti-odor food bag that will block almost all smells. I've tested it on raccoons, bears, and mountain lions. Within the last week, my preliminary bear testing showed good results, and is now ready for further testing. The bears were unable to locate the food hidden within the bag.
Currently, I'm searching for people who would like to test these bags out, and provide critical feedback. They can be used inconjunction with your bear canisters, or by themselves. Let me know if you are interested? I can arrange for free samples in exchange for helping me out.

You can email me at skunkworx@ymail.com

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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: 6370
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!
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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.
_________________________
"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....
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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 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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: 6370
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....
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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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