Any precautions taken would be good ones. I remember a Denver hiking friend sending me the front page clippings from the Rocky Mtn News and Denver Post about that (rare) black bear attack in RMNP five years ago.
We're planning on a 3 or 4 day bp in late June there. We'll take precautions AND spend the $30 once we get there to buy a can of bear spray, while remembering the 45 bear attacks in the continental US from 1990 to 2005. In the same time how many murders in the US? In the 10s of thousands, no doubt. How many dead in car wrecks? In the six-figures?
Not to discourage your thinking about it - but don't take it to the point of sillyness. You absolutely need to take all the precautions necessary with your food and other "smellibles" like toothpaste and deodorant and toiletries. But under normal situations I wouldn't worry about clothing too much. If you were to spill a bag full of food down the front of yourself, yes, I'd make some good effort to wash those clothes, but realisticly face it - you stink. As long as you stink mostly like a human everything is fine. I don't worry about the clothes I cook in. I do not cook in my shelter or anywhere near it. Realisticly, remember, I'm going to smell just from my body odor, and frankly, every time I fart <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Do take appropriate precautions with food - store it properly, cook it away from anywhere you are sleeping.
Don't panic or take it to the level that you aren't going to have any fun. I wear most of my clothing at night <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
You didn't fill in your profile sir. We do not know where you live nor where you are going. More info please. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
In the time I've spent in the Seirras I have only encountered maybe 4 bears. I've never had a maurading bear outside of a national park. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
In Grizzly country the rules change. In parks the rules are very complex. In the wilds of the west, they'll run from you an phenominal speed, and by the way they can swim faster than you can. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Normally I only hang my food and then normally more in an anti rodent manner than an anti bear manner. All my my toiletries and stuff in my pack stay in the tent with me. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Animals have more respect for tents than you may think - its a funny smelling boulder to walk around and sniff and growl at. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
Anyway it works for me. If I'f in a situation where I thought I might have bears I'd use my 50 feet of parachute cord to hang it up, preferably over a lake or cliff edge, but I've seen bears climb 5.4 to get up where I stashed my food and they got it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> The other thing is I'll go out 100 yards from my tent on the obvious game trails and pee on the obvious "scent tree". By staking my space this way I have camped right in the home territory of a huge wild black bear near the head waters of the Mokelumna River, and he left me alone. Oh yes - I generally bang on a pot just as its getting dark and after I've marked my space and I yell with the banging and I yell something like "OK GUYS I'M HERE AND THIS IS MY SPACE FOR TONIGHT". Just to be sure every animal for amile knows I'm there. Ever whisper at a bear? Scares the heck out of em. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
I'll go out 100 yards from my tent on the obvious game trails and pee on the obvious "scent tree".
Yeah, so I tried finding that scent tree and couldn't so figured I'd just pee on all of "the usual suspects." Had to fill and drink my platypus 3 times. Almost done, and run across this tree, conveniently, helpfully blazed:
Well, there is a bit you've left off as far as detail goes.Just remember, if you can, find some rocks, a pair of trees or a tree that splits, or even a log and just wedge the bear can in between nice and tight. Bear cans are to keep bears out of your food, not keep the smell inside. If there is anything that smells inside the bear can, they're going to know it is there. Just keep it 100 yards or so from camp and cook/eat 100 yards from camp and where your bear can is.
As far as your clothes go, try not to cook in the ones you sleep in but don't freak out if you do and have no choice but to deal with the clothes you've got on. I've hiked all sorts of bear infested places and have yet to have a bear even bother camp. That's a risk I take but there are so many smells on you as it is that can attract bears it is ridiculous. Just try not to spill anything on yourself. You have to figure too, the smell is going to be on you whether you've got clothes on or not when cooking/eating.
If you want to hang clothes, thats fine. Cooking clothes would be the preferred ones to hang, but how many pairs of clothes do you really plan on bringing to deal with dirty and cooking smells? Hopefully not that many otherwise your wasting space. Just be aware of what you're doing and how things are set up when you go to sleep at night and you'll lessen any chances of unwanted bear encounters. I feel like there's stuff I'm leaving out but hopefully this helps you.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle
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