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Bravefoot
02-09-2006, 07:00
I've hiked in Montana where every night I raised foodbags 40 feet at campsite bear poles or trees. I read there's alot of bears near the AT in NJ and I've seen hikers raise food bags on the AT in NC while section-hiking up there one year. But really, how necessary is it to string-up food bags nightly in every state of the Thru-Hike?(BTW, I understand the tuna can on a string stuff to keep little critters out of raised foodbags, but my greater concern is bears in this posting).

gargamel
02-09-2006, 07:18
There was a poll regarding this issue with quite a lot answers. Maybe you wan't to have a look at it:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3185

It seems to me that the majority of hikers uses either a bear bag or a bear canister, but most of them are more concerned about critters than about bears.
As I read it there are certain areas you could be fined if you don't hang your food. (e.g. GSMNP)

HTH

Deerleg
02-09-2006, 07:21
In the Smokies and at some other shelters along the AT bear cables are set up. Personally if Iím staying at a shelter that has the cables I use them which has been maybe 20% of my AT experience. With a little care I donít think you will need to do this every night. Iíve done most my AT hiking in the early fall and have seen only one bear and read that some thru hikers have not seen a single bear on their trip. You will probably know if bears are active in an area based on shelter entries, and your own observations, bear scat, broken branches in apple trees etc.

Peaks
02-09-2006, 09:25
Foot,

Real simple answer. When in an area that has active bears, use a bear box or bear cable or hang your food. When in an area that does not have active bears, then just use a mouse hanger if staying in a shelter.

How do you know if you are in an active bear area? The shelters will have a bear box or bear cable. And read the trail register. If there are bears in the area, it will be entries in the shelter register.

If you see mounse hangers in shelters, then it is probably not an active bear area.

Known areas with active bears include Georgia, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park, New Jersey, and parts of Maine.

K-Man
02-09-2006, 10:06
Don't mess around in Jersey. I have friends who have been backed into shelters for their food here.

carolinahiker
02-09-2006, 14:46
Another way to know if a bears around you here him yelling "Hey BOBO", sorry couldnt resist.

Footslogger
02-09-2006, 14:56
The way I look at it ...all it takes is one bear incident and your food supply is gone. Hanging a bag isn't that big of a deal. If you've got concerns I would tell you to hang a bag. Lots of hikers don't and have had no bad luck ...but I'd rather error on the conservative side.

'Slogger

BW2006
02-09-2006, 15:34
I live in jersey and you do need to bear proof your food from bears. There are many of them and they check out the shelters every day while on their "rounds". Most shelters have bear boxes. Use them! Our bears are not shy and are very used to people and will almost walk right up to you. Sometimes you can sit in the shelter and watch them try to get into the bear boxes. They put on a great show! I hear the Smokies bears are similar. They are all a bunch of bums and their only concern is getting food don't be afraid of them but have a healthy respect for them and use simple precautions with "smellables" (including toothpaste etc.) and you will be fine.

BW2006
02-09-2006, 15:37
One more thing about the bears. They look very sweet tempered when you see them but DO NOT attempt to feed them or get close to them. People get bit every year doing stupid things like trying to feed them for a photo. A fed bear is a dead bear because they then become a nusiance and we don't want them dead!

Lone Wolf
02-09-2006, 15:39
I personally don't think it's necessary to bear bag. I always sleep with my food bag in my tent.

fiddlehead
02-09-2006, 23:12
I agree with lone wolf (above post) and even did that in Montana (Bob Marshall wilderness)

wacocelt
02-10-2006, 05:26
Best way to avoid bears, or any other nuisance, is to avoid places where alot of people stay. I normally sleep with my food in my tent as well, except for when I stay in or near a shelter.

LostInSpace
02-10-2006, 13:02
I agree with lone wolf (above post) and even did that in Montana (Bob Marshall wilderness)

I definitely bear bagged when I was in the Bob. Saw far to many signs of griz to consider doing otherwise.

Sly
02-10-2006, 13:30
I definitely bear bagged when I was in the Bob. Saw far to many signs of griz to consider doing otherwise.

Other than Yellowstone and Glacier, in the Bob and other griz habitat I gave bear bagging a moments thought, then fell sound asleep after cooking and eating my meal. Except for the National Parks, NJ and other areas that have bear cables/boxes etc. I sleep with my food and have never had a

Pacific Tortuga
02-10-2006, 14:23
I personally don't think it's necessary to bear bag. I always sleep with my food bag in my tent.

I'm sure you could get away with this in most places but I wouldn't give you a 'true statements chance in Iran' if you were in the backcountry of Yosemite. One might think they are only black bears but most have ties to the cripts and bloods in south-cental L.A. Breaking ,entering and eating everything. Them bars are down right mean. I saw them steal holloween candy from children,shimmy up a pine,eat them and throw the wrapers down on the traumatized kids, :-? just aint right.
I'm sure the AT bears are raised better than that.

mweinstone
02-10-2006, 19:39
i bigfoot proof my food by bringing armed guards and barb wire

Grinds
02-10-2006, 20:30
I usually always hang my food, but I only keep it in a stuff sack. Do you really need a bear bag?

Lone Wolf
02-10-2006, 20:36
No. Just a stuff sack is fine.

Grinds
02-10-2006, 20:36
That's what I figured. How heavy is a typical bear bag?

Cosmo
02-10-2006, 21:31
I personally don't think it's necessary to bear bag. I always sleep with my food bag in my tent.

We've had two recent incidents in S Mass with bears and food. At Sages Ravine, a bear clawed into a camper's tent (while he and his girlfriend were inside) to get at food (summer sausage). It took about 20min to scare the bear off. (It was reported that the girlfriend took considerably less time to break off her relationship with her hiking companion).

Later that year, two hikers left their packs on tent platforms at Race Brook Falls Campsite to day hike Mt Race. Upon their return (in broad daylight), two bears were going at the pack with the food.

We have installed cables at the sites in the area, and will be installing bear boxes in all of them between Sages and Hemlocks this spring.

Bears have a good memory. One "jackpot" free lunch, and they will return on a regular basis looking for more. Ultimately these bears will become so habituated that they will be shot, captured and/or relocated--not the thing to do to wild animals.

Take personally the responsibility to respect and protect these animals. Make your food and other smelly stuff inaccessible to bears (and other critters). A small pulley, a couple of cheap fake carabiners from the local harware store and a couple of lengths of rope make it pretty easy to set up a hoist almost anywhere.

I have an "Ursack" (not something I'd be comfortable placing within a bear's reach), but it does defend its contents well from other, more acrobatic food seekers.

Cosmo

Smooth
02-10-2006, 21:54
Ya,

A post like this really showes who really does go out and camp. And who likes to talk about it. I got bear stories that go back to when I was 4.

Sleep with food in your tent.......indeed..........Master Camper.

Lone Wolf
02-10-2006, 21:58
Ya,

A post like this really showes who really does go out and camp. And who likes to talk about it. I got bear stories that go back to when I was 4.

Sleep with food in your tent.......indeed..........Master Camper.
I bet I've camped a heck of a lot more than you have, Rookie Camper.:banana

Smooth
02-10-2006, 22:20
Central Park ????

Seeker
02-10-2006, 23:42
Central Park ????

you've been a member since all the way back to... december 2005... wow!

guess lone wolf's 5 thru hikes and a few thousand posts can't beat that...

LWolf, i know... you've got nothing to prove... but someone had to say it...

Smooth... please read a profile before you say anything else similarly intelligent and well thought-out...

fiddlehead
02-10-2006, 23:52
I definitely bear bagged when I was in the Bob. Saw far to many signs of griz to consider doing otherwise.

You may see signs of Griz in the "Bob" but it's rare to see one. They don't like you either. I talked to a ranger there that had been living there 5 months out of the year for 17 years and had seen 4 grizzly bears. All from far away (except one of them) none of them threatened him or his food. The bears in the "Bob" are NOT National park bears and still have a fear of man. I talked my "sleeping with my food" over with this ranger and he agreed with me and told me (off the record of course) that he does the same.
Anyway, my food is important to me and although i've seen hundreds of bears while alone in the wild, i have only felt threatened when i scared one sleeping and another while she and her 2 cubs were eating. They NEVER tried to fight me for my food.
I even slept with my food in Glacier but only because a rat was starting to chew through it and someone had just sent me a Russel Stover's candy bar to celebrate my finish in a few days. i wouldn't do it again, nor advise it.

LostInSpace
02-11-2006, 02:20
You may see signs of Griz in the "Bob" but it's rare to see one. They don't like you either. I talked to a ranger there that had been living there 5 months out of the year for 17 years and had seen 4 grizzly bears. All from far away (except one of them) none of them threatened him or his food. The bears in the "Bob" are NOT National park bears and still have a fear of man. I talked my "sleeping with my food" over with this ranger and he agreed with me and told me (off the record of course) that he does the same.
Anyway, my food is important to me and although i've seen hundreds of bears while alone in the wild, i have only felt threatened when i scared one sleeping and another while she and her 2 cubs were eating. They NEVER tried to fight me for my food.
I even slept with my food in Glacier but only because a rat was starting to chew through it and someone had just sent me a Russel Stover's candy bar to celebrate my finish in a few days. i wouldn't do it again, nor advise it.

I don't disagree with anything you say about the girz in the Bob. I talked with a ranger that was doing a bear census, and she had only actually seen three griz that season, but said there definitely a lot more around than three. She was conducting the census by collecting fur from the rub spots on the trees, then sending it to a lab for DNA analysis. She was tacking strips of barbed wire on the worn spots of trees to collect the fur.

There were always lots of fresh tracks in the morning around the thimbleberry patches, but most of those were from black bears.

Although we didn't eat a lot of smelly food, I just felt more comfortable hanging a bear bag. Once I got the technique down, it took me no time at all.

Smooth
02-11-2006, 18:42
I apologize, I see L. Wolf's profile as: golf.

I apologize, I better go camping more.

Pacific Tortuga
02-11-2006, 19:22
I apologize, I see L. Wolf's profile as: golf.

I apologize, I better go camping more.



Everyone steps on a little bear dung now and then here :o

Lord knows I have :clap

Lone Wolf
02-11-2006, 21:44
I apologize, I see L. Wolf's profile as: golf.

I apologize, I better go camping more.
Let us golf. Me and you. Damascus. Trail Daze. The Hobo Open.

MOWGLI
02-11-2006, 22:00
Everyone steps on a little bear dung now and then here :o


Stay out of my bathroom! :D

Pacific Tortuga
02-11-2006, 23:11
Stay out of my bathroom! :D



NAW,I thought all you had is pinstripes in there,pardon me...


same thing :bse

MarcnNJ
02-17-2006, 15:51
Let us golf. Me and you. Damascus. Trail Daze. The Hobo Open.


I want in on the action......

L. Wolf, Ill give you 4 shots a side........