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  1. #21
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    For the life of me, I don't know why its only that section still. That section has had that regulation for a long while now, but bears are consistently found on the other side of the road near Wolf Laurel Top. Perhaps the ones on the other side of the road are more well behaved? LOL
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
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  2. #22
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    For the life of me, I don't know why its only that section still. That section has had that regulation for a long while now, but bears are consistently found on the other side of the road near Wolf Laurel Top. Perhaps the ones on the other side of the road are more well behaved? LOL
    Other members of this site have speculated that requiring a canister in order to overnight on Blood mountain is a roundabout way of reducing the number of campers and amount of overuse that this popular spot gets without resorting quotas or a permit system. That seems plausable to me.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  3. #23
    Registered User ChuckP's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts on this:

    this past autumn my wife and I did an out and back from Tesnatee Gap to Neels Gap. On the return journey we met a guy who was camping near Wolf Laurel Top. He was walking to Neel's to get some food: he claimed that a bear (or someone/thing else) had made off with his canister. We found that pretty ironic.

    My wife and I also did an out and back overnighter from Amicalola to Springer just after this past Christmas. We were the only ones at Springer shelter/campground complex (amazing!). The GA ATC has installed bear boxes there and a notice indicated that they have installed bear boxes at all the non-wilderness shelters in GA. I actually think this is a good idea. Of course there was also a note imploring people not put their garbage in the box. So what did we find when we went to store our food for the night? You guessed it.

  4. #24
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    I hiked the Art Loeb Trail a couple of years ago. Bear canisters were (and are) required in the Shining Rick Wilderness portion. There was even a volunteer "ranger" at the parking lot off the Blue Ridge Parkway informing everyone.

    Nonetheless, two groups hiked in without canisters the night we were there. One or more bears got all the food bags of those two groups.

    Those the-rules-are-for-lesser-mortals a**holes not only endangered all of us, plus hikers coming later, but probably got a bear or two killed.
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  5. #25

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    On the weight question, has anyone played with the carbon fiber bear canisters yet?

  6. #26

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    CF seems awfully pricey for the weight delta. I think you're looking at an extra $220 to save 7 oz.

  7. #27
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland Goat View Post
    On the weight question, has anyone played with the carbon fiber bear canisters yet?
    We have, we pulled the trigger a couple years ago on one (wild ideas weekender), their use is becoming more and more required in CO as well, do the math and it's not that bad..... 31 ounces for the bear canister vs. 5-6 minimum for a food bag and cord setup, so 25 net ounces for complete piece of mind is a lot of ounces, but the canister does double as a camp "chair" and fits in the top of our packs nicely. We still don't carry it when not required most of the time, but occasionally do. The rest of our kit is so light, we may just start carrying it all the time in any bear country. Then there's the rodents..... again, nice to have complete piece of mind.

  8. #28
    Can you dig it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    For the life of me, I don't know why its only that section still. That section has had that regulation for a long while now, but bears are consistently found on the other side of the road near Wolf Laurel Top. Perhaps the ones on the other side of the road are more well behaved? LOL
    I was part of the decision team that developed this regulation. The reason that it's just for this particular section is because there was a time when this section had a seasonal closure to camping due to bear activity. We negotiated the release of this closure and the terms were that overnight visitors were required to carry a personal food storage device. So, short answer: it goes back to a boundary established in a previous decision.

    Sarcasm is correct overall: Bear Can requirements are likely coming, they won't be the end of the world.

  9. #29
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    Good discussion going on in this thread. I didn't realize some of the areas I used to frequent (such as Shining Rock) now have a requirement to carry bear canisters. It sure makes sense in that I have hiked a lot of the Wilderness areas in NC, and people have historically been very messy there. Lots of trash in fire pits, trashed campsites, etc.

    Me personally I don't care either way if canisters become required or not. I have one (Wild Ideas Weekender) that I purchased for my 2013 JMT thru, and I have used it off and on throughout my AT sectioning journey. One thing I can say is that it gives piece of mind, and that in and of itself is worth the extra weight. Also, as mentioned by others it makes a great camp chair, which for me is not insignificant as I normally just sit on the ground.

    One thing of historical interest related to the OPs post is that I hiked the GA section in 2008, and there was a problem bear up on Blood Mountain that year (he actually harassed me at the Slaughter Creek tentsites in the middle of the night, and I found out he had gotten someone's food from the Blood Mountain shelter the next morning). I kind of kept up with it, and there was a post on here (I think) where they think a hunter finally got the guy the next year. Anyway, it was maybe a year or two after (so perhaps 2010), when this regulation to carry a bear can if camping in the 5 mile stretch became a requirement. Since then there has been a lot of confusion over it.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
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  10. #30
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    I suspect bear canisters will be required in more and more areas as the years go on. As much as I think Ursaks and other methods are better overall in some ways, I also recognize that the bear canisters are far easier and less prone to failure versus other methods. I don't mind the weight as much as the bulk of the canister.

    So it goes. Cutting down boughs for bedding is a practice the few (any?) of us were alive to make use of in the day on a regular basis, we don't bury our trash anymore, more parks are requiring people to pack out TP, backcountry campfires are becoming more and more a relic of the past, and when I get my backcountry permits I am often asked if I have a GPS in addition to a map and compass.

    All things change. Our practices, our outdoors culture, and even the gear that is considered important versus 20, 10, or even five years ago.

    And taking a bear canister is a part of this change many of us will have to get used to in the years ahead.
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  11. #31
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    I suspect bear canisters will be required in more and more areas as the years go on. As much as I think Ursaks and other methods are better overall in some ways, I also recognize that the bear canisters are far easier and less prone to failure versus other methods. I don't mind the weight as much as the bulk of the canister.

    So it goes. Cutting down boughs for bedding is a practice the few (any?) of us were alive to make use of in the day on a regular basis, we don't bury our trash anymore, more parks are requiring people to pack out TP, backcountry campfires are becoming more and more a relic of the past, and when I get my backcountry permits I am often asked if I have a GPS in addition to a map and compass.

    All things change. Our practices, our outdoors culture, and even the gear that is considered important versus 20, 10, or even five years ago.

    And taking a bear canister is a part of this change many of us will have to get used to in the years ahead.
    Alas, some folks seem to be going too far in the direction of SUL, (Stupid Ultra Light), for their own good.
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  12. #32
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    One of the funny thing about bear canisters on places like the PCT is that most everyone starts out from Kennedy Meadows or Lone Pine with more food than a canister will actually hold. So in a way it is kind of pointless.

    Maybe I eat too much but I can't fit 5 days of food in a full size bear canister.

  13. #33
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    One of the funny thing about bear canisters on places like the PCT is that most everyone starts out from Kennedy Meadows or Lone Pine with more food than a canister will actually hold. So in a way it is kind of pointless.

    Maybe I eat too much but I can't fit 5 days of food in a full size bear canister.
    It can be tight, you're right.

    Remember that your first day's lunch, dinner and snacks don't have to fit, because you'll eat them before you need to stash the canister.

    But yeah, it can be tight.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

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