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Thread: Gear theft

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i realize you were making a joke but this happens in the smokies...
    Russell Field and Cosby Knob shelters have "resident" bears that will take off with a pack....
    they have learned to associate a pack with food so when a pack is left unattended, they will grab it...
    Patman on this board has a story about it happening to him....
    We witnessed people dropping their packs at the side trail to Mt Cammerer - not so very far from Cosby. Nobody stayed behind to keep an eye on them. Very foolish. And that side trail is pretty flat, only 0.6 miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    We witnessed people dropping their packs at the side trail to Mt Cammerer - not so very far from Cosby. Nobody stayed behind to keep an eye on them. Very foolish. And that side trail is pretty flat, only 0.6 miles.
    Not only foolish, but also illegal (at least in National Parks such as GSMNP). When ever food is not being transported, prepared, or consumed, Nation Park Service rules requires food to be properly stored (which generally means either hung 10' off the ground and 4' from things like tree trunks, or by what ever local rules stipulate, such as bear canisters for places like Yosemite NP).

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Not only foolish, but also illegal (at least in National Parks such as GSMNP). When ever food is not being transported, prepared, or consumed, Nation Park Service rules requires food to be properly stored (which generally means either hung 10' off the ground and 4' from things like tree trunks, or by what ever local rules stipulate, such as bear canisters for places like Yosemite NP).
    Well, if they're using bear canisters then any food inside their packs is also probably in the bear canister. It may be dumb to keep the canister inside your pack, but I don't think it's illegal, is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    What about when going into town? Do you usually leave your pack outside of a business or take it in? Any issues when leaving it outside?
    I've never had anything stolen in the backcountry, though I rarely leave my gear anywhere unattended, and never on or near a trail of any kind. However, I have had my entire pack stolen in town, after stashing it to go into a restaurant. My practice now, and advice, is to never let your pack out of site in or near town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalman View Post
    Well, if they're using bear canisters then any food inside their packs is also probably in the bear canister. It may be dumb to keep the canister inside your pack, but I don't think it's illegal, is it?
    From what little research I've done, it doesn't appear that it is illegal to leave a bear canister inside an unattended pack.

    But illabelle was talking about a trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bear Canisters are not required in GSMNP because camping is only allowed at designated back-country campsites, and every campsite has Bear Cables to hang your food. So there would be no expectation of the unattended packs illabelle saw to contain bear canisters.

    There is a slight chance that the packs were legally left behind... if they hikers removed their food/garbage bag and carried that with them (or did a proper food bag hang). But if the hikers were too lazy to carry their packs on a level 0.6 mile dead-end trail, they were likely too lazy to seperate their food from their pack.

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    But if the hikers were too lazy to carry their packs on a level 0.6 mile dead-end trail, they were likely too lazy to seperate their food from their pack.



    yup......


    and in my many years of hiking/backpacking in the Park------i can count on one finger the amount of hikers that i have seen using a bear canister.........

    the only reason this guy was using is, was he wanted practice with it for future hikes and his partner was carrying the tent that they were using (ie...splitting weight)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    yup......


    and in my many years of hiking/backpacking in the Park------i can count on one finger the amount of hikers that i have seen using a bear canister.........

    the only reason this guy was using is, was he wanted practice with it for future hikes and his partner was carrying the tent that they were using (ie...splitting weight)...
    I used a bear canister in GSMNP... ONCE. I was testing out my gear/pack setup for a JMT Thru where I would have to use a bear canister.
    Obviously more weight, but I must say I like the convenience of the bear canister, keeps rodents out as well, and you don't have to jockey for spots on the bear cables.

    However, I find it interesting that based on all the rules and regulations to apply the GSMNP, I believe it's illegal to use (only) a bear canister for food storage. I doubt a park ranger would give a back packer a ticket for using a bear canister, but the only food storage methods I've found listed as legal for GSMNP is storage in a vehicle, storage in a bear locker (some of the front country campgrounds have these for motorcyclists), hanging from the supplied bear cables (or the one bear pole at CS47), or a bear bag hang (10' off the ground and 4' away from tree trunks).

    Consider this discussion a 'case-in-point' that what ever national park you may be going to, you have to find out what are the local rules for proper food storage. For example, while in Yosemite NP, it is illegal to store food in your car over night. Bears are plenty strong enough to break into a car, and the YNP bears have learned that. Fortunately, GSMNP bears have NOT learned they are strong enough to break into cars, and so for now, placing food in your car is considered safe food storage in GSMNP.

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    Fortunately, GSMNP bears have NOT learned they are strong enough to break into cars, and so for now, placing food in your car is considered safe food storage in GSMNP.


    according to some of the videos sent to our station-----this is not true anymore.....

    granted, most of the damage has been in town (gatlinburg) but bears have been getting into cars....

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Fortunately, GSMNP bears have NOT learned they are strong enough to break into cars . . .
    Tell that to this bear

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    Tell that to this bear
    I've seen that video, and if you pay attention, the owners left the windows cracked open and the bear pretty much accidentally broke into the car.

    Now I don't know about the video's TNhiker is talking about, but bears breaking into completely closed up cars either isn't happening or is such a rarity that it's generally not a problem and GSMNP regulations still considers food in cars to be proper food storage.

    By contrast, bears in Yosemite NP have learned to do things like get their claws around the door frame and simply use their strength to open the car like a sarden can... and they've taught their cubs this trick. Current regulations for Yosemite NP REQUIRES all overnight food storage to either be the bear boxes provided at every front country campsite, or bear canister for those in the back country.

    And for those that don't realize it, YNP and GSMNP are both inhabited by black bears. It's not a bigger, stronger species of bear in YNP, it's simply that the bears there know how to break into cars, GSMNP bears have not LEARNED to break into cars (doesn't mean they don't occasionally stumble across the solution every once in a while, but they have not learned how to break into any car they want to, even though they have the dexterity and strength to do so).
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 01-07-2019 at 22:02.

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    I've seen on youtube and read about times such as finding an item on the trail and being faced with the decision....
    should I pick it up and take it to the next shelter and hope that the owner is there?...
    or did they go the other way?.....
    or was this thing abandoned?....
    or was this stuff left trailside on purpose and the owner will be back for it?....
    or is this a cache for a specific person or is it trail magic left for anyone?

    I've got a feeling that some of these potentials...such as a pack left trailside while the owner heads into the woods to do their business.... can be totally misread by weekenders or folks not tuned into the whole idea....instead thinking that somebody abandoned this nice stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
    I've seen on youtube and read about times such as finding an item on the trail and being faced with the decision....
    should I pick it up and take it to the next shelter and hope that the owner is there?...
    or did they go the other way?.....
    or was this thing abandoned?....
    or was this stuff left trailside on purpose and the owner will be back for it?....
    or is this a cache for a specific person or is it trail magic left for anyone?

    I've got a feeling that some of these potentials...such as a pack left trailside while the owner heads into the woods to do their business.... can be totally misread by weekenders or folks not tuned into the whole idea....instead thinking that somebody abandoned this nice stuff!
    There was a target shopping bag full of mountain house meals, cliff bars, and energy chews all organized into 1 gallon ziplocks hanging in a shelter in the 100 mile wilderness.

    Trail magic? ... there wasnt a note or anything. No note made it seem weird.

    It looked like someones resupply. But it also looked like trail magic. Did someone leave it behind by accident? Keep it mind this was at a random shelter kind of out there in the 100 mile. None of us knew how accessible it was for a day hiker. Who knows? Noone touched it.

    How hard is to leave a note?

    My friend left her pack to go check out a vista. A bear tried to walk off with it. Ripped the brain on her osprey and tore her foam pad up.

    Another reason to pack light. You dont mind carrying a pack everywhere. Unless someone is going to baby sit the packs.. its bad ju ju to leave them unattended. Some would say its irresponsible.

    If a bear comes and eats your pack because you left it at the bottom of the trail. Im gonna laugh at you rather than feel bad. Its funny and you had it coming. If someone steals your stuff. Id feel bad, but you had it coming.

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  13. #33

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    It's rare, but the trail is such a mix of haves (often millionaires) and have nots (opportunists), that you can't take any chances.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Not only foolish, but also illegal (at least in National Parks such as GSMNP). When ever food is not being transported, prepared, or consumed, Nation Park Service rules requires food to be properly stored (which generally means either hung 10' off the ground and 4' from things like tree trunks, or by what ever local rules stipulate, such as bear canisters for places like Yosemite NP).
    Which is why when I've left my pack there I took out all the smellables and food and took them with me in a stuff sack and hung my pack about 8'-10' high. That's a good pt HKDK. I've seen at least one bear in the area which I strongly suspect has snatched a pack by teh way it was behaving, conditioned to unattended packs at the junction.

  15. #35
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    If you really don't want stuff stolen, you may want to try a Pacsafe Security Web, that is if you don't mind carrying the extra weight. Just put a TSA Lock on it so the Feds can go through your pack without cutting things up. They come in small, medium and Large.
    Blackheart

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    For the cases where one finds stuff that could be anything between abandoned, thrashed or lost, we have the habit that the finder hangs it on a tree or shrub at a spot where it's clearly visible for everybody, especially the possible owner.

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    Back in 2017, left my sitting pad on the bench outside the ATC in Harpers Ferry...realized it a couple of hours later and went back. It was gone...I also checked inside to see if someone had brought in there...NADA...

  18. #38
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    I left my stuff sack containing my toiletries sitting on a picnic table at a hostel in TN. I was taking a relaxing lazy nearo and was in the process of moving my re-packing process from the front of the building to the back to make space on the front porch, which took a few armloads because everything was spread out drying in the sun. So I didn't notice at first that someone had taken the bag, dumped out all the contents into the hiker box, and stolen the stuff sack. My hairbrush, toothpaste, and toothbrush case were also gone before I realized what had happened, but I don't know if the thief took those too or if people understandably picked them out of the hiker box in the 10-20 minutes before I noticed. All my toiletries, including my glasses, two months' worth of contact lenses, prescription medication, and more had been unceremoniously abandoned for other hikers, all because some weirdo wanted my Walmart-brand stuff sack.

    Once I had fished all my stuff out of the hiker box, I told the hostel staff what had happened and they were extremely nice about it, giving me a new stuff sack for free. They believed they knew who had done it-- there were a couple guys there who were obviously not thru-hiking (jeans, non-hiking footware, etc) and were strung out on something and being erratic and belligerent -- but I said I had no interest in confronting them about like $8 worth of stolen gear. So the staff just kept a close eye on them the rest of the time they were there.

    I never had any other issues, and that instance was just weird, not costly. I was more disturbed by the thief's willingness to dump my obviously essential belongings than by the missing items. I think the guy was just tripping, because if the action had actually been motivated by greed or financial need, he would have taken the valuable contents (glasses, contacts, meds), but instead he seemed to just want the cheap red stuff sack on a drunken whim. I'd always been careful with my valuables (wallet, phone, etc) but I was definitely more careful with all my belongings after that, but the bigger reminder was to avoid people who were abusing alcohol and drugs, for the safety of both my property and my person.
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  19. #39

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    When I dump my 90 lb pack on the ground and do something else like a water run---no one is crazy enough to try and pick it up and run away.

    Trip 194 (67)-XL.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    When I dump my 90 lb pack on the ground and do something else like a water run---no one is crazy enough to try and pick it up and run away.

    Trip 194 (67)-XL.jpg
    The old "fat people are harder to kidnap" theory.

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