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  1. #21
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    My thinking is that by that time of year, there isn't any food for bears at higher elevations


    if its warm out-----they will be out......

    bears in the Park dont really have a hard hibernation....

    if they are hungry and/or its warm, they will come out...

    i have seen bear prints in the snow many a time....

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    no.....im saying dont park at davenport gap.....

    parking at big creek is much safer.......

    park there or at the rangers station on the way into big creek.......


    When you say "safer".... Are your meaning our car is safer? Or there is a concern for physical safety, because if that's the case I need to be "prepared"...

    And if there is a saftey issue is it limited to the parking area or should I be concerned about the Davenport Gap shelter....?

  3. #23
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    car break ins and car thefts have happened at davenport gap.....

    while they can happen anywhere, this is one of the worst places.........

    as for the shelter-------ive only stayed there once, and it was in winter, and i had the place to myself.........

    doubt you have an issue at shelter....

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' Sassy View Post
    Do you mess around with bringing a bear horn, bear spray, or a bear canister?
    Other than a hiking pole, I've never carried anything in the way of bear protection. I've always felt comfortable bringing my kids along, with the only caveat that I don't let them out of my sight to ensure they done face an encounter with a bear or wild boar by themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashepabst View Post
    canisters aren't necessary --all Smoky sites have cables to hang your food, or even your entire pack (probably a good idea at shelters what with all the mice).
    The only prescribed method of protecting your food in GSMNP back country is hanging. Otherwise, the only purpose a bear canister would serve is to protect your food from mice.
    However, simply hanging your food or your entire pack is NOT adequate protection against mice. The mice simply climb the bear cables.

    On my most recent camping trip, I had my entire pack and food bag hung from the bear cables under a garbage sack to protect it from potential rain. Mice chewed a hole thru the garbage sack big enough to climb thru, then proceeded to use the side of my pack as a point of purchase to chew into my food bag.

    I've also heard various stories regarding mice chewing thru packs to get to food (my primary GSMNP back pack has been the victim of minor mouse damage). It's often suggested that you hang your pack with all the pockets open so that the mice will not chew thru the pocket to see what is inside.

    My current suggestion on protecting your food on the bear cables is to place your food in a silnilon roll-top dry bag... fill the bag with as much air so that when you close it, it's blown up like a balloon. The idea is that the mice climb down the cable to the top of your bag, but then can not climb down the sides of the bag without sliding off. Since I started doing this to protect my food, I've often found mouse poop on top of my food bag in the morning, but no mouse damage (that is until I hung my back pack along side the food bag defeating the whole purpose of blowing the food bag up like a balloon).

    I've also heard a way to protect your food from mice is to use the tuna can trick... Take a used tuna can (or anything that is open on one side) and poke/drill a hole in the bottom of the can. Get a length of string and tie a knot in the middle of it such that when you push the string thru the tuna can, the knot will support the tuna can. Hang the string from the bear cables with the tuna can facing down, and your food bag from the bottom of the string. The idea is the mice can't get past the tuna can. Actually, the Davenport shelter uses this type of system. Unlike other shelters, there are no bear cables at Davenport. Instead, the shelter is still enclosed behind a chain link fence, and there strings in the shelter from which to hang your food protected by a large cone (the mice are unable to get around the cone).
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 08-27-2018 at 16:29.

  5. #25
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    also------use a redundant system when using the bear cables...

    as in, take a carabiner and clip bag onto the cable-----do not just use the open faced hook.....

    bears and other critters have learned that with an open faced hook-----they can shake the cables and bag will fall...

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Other than a hiking pole, I've never carried anything in the way of bear protection. I've always felt comfortable bringing my kids along, with the only caveat that I don't let them out of my sight to ensure they done face an encounter with a bear or wild boar by themselves.


    The only prescribed method of protecting your food in GSMNP back country is hanging. Otherwise, the only purpose a bear canister would serve is to protect your food from mice.
    However, simply hanging your food or your entire pack is NOT adequate protection against mice. The mice simply climb the bear cables.

    On my most recent camping trip, I had my entire pack and food bag hung from the bear cables under a garbage sack to protect it from potential rain. Mice chewed a hole thru the garbage sack big enough to climb thru, then proceeded to use the side of my pack as a point of purchase to chew into my food bag.

    I've also heard various stories regarding mice chewing thru packs to get to food (my primary GSMNP back pack has been the victim of minor mouse damage). It's often suggested that you hang your pack with all the pockets open so that the mice will not chew thru the pocket to see what is inside.

    My current suggestion on protecting your food on the bear cables is to place your food in a silnilon roll-top dry bag... fill the bag with as much air so that when you close it, it's blown up like a balloon. The idea is that the mice climb down the cable to the top of your bag, but then can not climb down the sides of the bag without sliding off. Since I started doing this to protect my food, I've often found mouse poop on top of my food bag in the morning, but no mouse damage (that is until I hung my back pack along side the food bag defeating the whole purpose of blowing the food bag up like a balloon).

    I've also heard a way to protect your food from mice is to use the tuna can trick... Take a used tuna can (or anything that is open on one side) and poke/drill a hole in the bottom of the can. Get a length of string and tie a knot in the middle of it such that when you push the string thru the tuna can, the knot will support the tuna can. Hang the string from the bear cables with the tuna can facing down, and your food bag from the bottom of the string. The idea is the mice can't get past the tuna can. Actually, the Davenport shelter uses this type of system. Unlike other shelters, there are no bear cables at Davenport. Instead, the shelter is still enclosed behind a chain link fence, and there strings in the shelter from which to hang your food protected by a large cone (the mice are unable to get around the cone).
    Great info!!!

  7. #27
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    Thanks!!!!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    also------use a redundant system when using the bear cables...

    as in, take a carabiner and clip bag onto the cable-----do not just use the open faced hook.....

    bears and other critters have learned that with an open faced hook-----they can shake the cables and bag will fall...

    Thanks!!!!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    no.....im saying dont park at davenport gap.....
    parking at big creek is much safer.......
    Davenport Gap is where the AT meets the GSMNP boarder. There's room to park about 4 to 8 cars there. But in the past, cars parked here over night had a higher incident of break-ins compared to other trail heads in the park.

    The recommended place to park a vehicle over-night in the general area is the Big Creek Ranger Station located near the Chestnut Branch Trailhead.
    If you park at the ranger station, you can get from Davenport Shelter to your car by either hiking 1.0 miles to the park boundary, then hike 1.5 miles of road walking to get to the ranger station. Alternately, you can avoid the road and hike 0.9 miles back up the AT from Davenport Shelter and then take the 2.1 mile Chestnut Branch trail to your car.

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