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  1. #21
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    Why would they require everyone to carry a bear canister prior to trying to solve the problem with bear boxes?



    that's easy to answer----money........

    cost money to build the boxes, cost money to have them installed......

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Most people camp near a shelter. And bear issues are almost exclusively at shelters.
    I and many other hikers avoid shelters unless it is mandated that we camp there. It was not my experience that bear issues are almost exclusively at shelters. If reports of bears' amazing sense of smell are true, then our food becomes the bait no matter where it is.

    As pointed out, money is likely the main issue regarding the lack of bear boxes. Also, I encountered some pretty nasty bear boxes. How do you keep some hikers from using them as garbage cans?

    -Slumgum

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slumgum View Post
    If reports of bears' amazing sense of smell are true, then our food becomes the bait no matter where it is.



    -Slumgum
    then why is it nobody gets attacked while walkin' with a pack full of food?

  4. #24
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    What I have seen in the Adirondacks High Peaks, which requires a bear canister is that it's been a mess. Bears have figured out how to get into some of them, which then disqualifies that type, further some of them I have seen have broken mechanisms, but people still use them, hikers either have to buy new ones, or sneek the old ones. I have seen paint cans used as well. The bear hanging issue has also been a mess there, actually a bigger mess, so the canisters are a improvement. However the Adirondacks is designated what is called 'forever wild' by the NY state constitution and any installed structures including food storage structures is hard to accomplish.

    What I saw on the AT, boxes, cables, poles really makes the most sense to me as the authorities can insure proper bear proof storage is available, and they can make sure it is up to date and working properly.

    Also I have to wonder if the manufactures of the bear storage canisters have anything to do with trying to push this into law.

  5. #25
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    Default Bear Canisters to be Required on Parts of the AT

    I have had mice get into steel bear boxes and chew into my food bag. For the life of me, I don't see how they squeeze in.

    I do carry a BV-500 most of the time now and appreciate the convenience. I don't miss the time and hassle of trying to do a decent bear hang each night at all.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mockernut View Post
    I have had mice get into steel bear boxes and chew into my food bag. For the life of me, I don't see how they squeeze in.

    I do carry a BV-500 most of the time now and appreciate the convenience. I don't miss the time and hassle of trying to do a decent bear hang each night at all.
    FWIW I try to stay on a low carb diet while hiking and I have never had this problem. Perhaps I am just lucky but have been in situations that my bag was the only one without a hole in it. I have also done some experiments with mice in my vacation house. They will selective feed on seeds over crunchy cat food kibble, picking out the seeds, but they will go for the cat food kibble a few days later.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    What I have seen in the Adirondacks High Peaks, which requires a bear canister is that it's been a mess. Bears have figured out how to get into some of them, which then disqualifies that type
    I thought it was one specific type of canister that had been broken into once or twice, and in each instance they had traced it to the same bear?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    that's easy to answer----money........
    cost money to build the boxes, cost money to have them installed......
    It's a LOT cheaper than for everyone to buy a bear canister. The right leadership can most certainly get this done. If they need someone in GA to hike out with components for assembling the box just let me know. You can find other volunteers for this as well. It would be a shame to hit the easy button and mandate something as opposed to getting it done the right way.

    Regarding trash, I used a number of bear boxes between SNP and BSP. They had all been kept quite clean. You do sometimes see things left in high use areas, but the AT is amazingly clean in general.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    It's a LOT cheaper than for everyone to buy a bear canister. The right leadership can most certainly get this done. If they need someone in GA to hike out with components for assembling the box just let me know. You can find other volunteers for this as well. It would be a shame to hit the easy button and mandate something as opposed to getting it done the right way.
    Bear boxes are a good idea in high traffic locations, but they don't make sense -at all- as a direct substitution for a bear canister requirement. The two should go hand in hand. It's not about hitting 'the easy button', it's about solving the complete problem.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    You do sometimes see things left in high use areas, but the AT is amazingly clean in general.
    It's easy to read past this point, but this is the crux of the problem, IMO. You only need a small percentage of users who are too lazy to haul out a couple of ounces of food scraps, or are too stupid to dig a proper cat hole, or who think getting a few extra miles on a given day entitles them to settle for a poor hang (or none at all) to screw things up for the rest of us, and leave land managers with ever-diminishing options.

    I also wonder if many of us tend to take HYOH too far and look the other way instead of calling people out when we see this stuff. I'm seeing lots of discussion here about what "they" should do, but "they" didn't cause the problem.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    I thought it was one specific type of canister that had been broken into once or twice, and in each instance they had traced it to the same bear?
    IIRC there were several disqualified, including some suggested modifications to make some of those ones legal again.

    The 'one bear' you speak of was named 'Yellow Yellow' due to her 2 yellow ear tags. She was used to test the canisters by DEC, and it was noted that she taught her cubs her techniques. If she got in then that canister style was no longer fit for being used. She was legally shot during hunting season a few years back. But she was not the only bear to figure out hot to defeat them just the one used as the test.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleolith54 View Post
    It's easy to read past this point, but this is the crux of the problem, IMO. You only need a small percentage of users who are too lazy to haul out a couple of ounces of food scraps, or are too stupid to dig a proper cat hole, or who think getting a few extra miles on a given day entitles them to settle for a poor hang (or none at all) to screw things up for the rest of us, and leave land managers with ever-diminishing options.
    Where are you seeing bear boxes full of trash?? I hiked the entire trail, used many bear boxes, and never found this. I suppose it “could” be a problem, but the reality is that it is not.

  13. #33
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    I don't think a canister is going to solve the issue (if it's really that big of an issue). Until people can finally figure our how to not be slobs leaving food, wrappers, clothing, etc. in fire pits, in and under shelters, and along the trail, bears do what bears do best... find food.
    - Trail name: Thumper

  14. #34

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    I carried one going from shelter to shelter in New Jersey and every shelter has a huge bear box. The only place in New York i saw that had one is Wildcat. In one spot in Harriman, I had to stealth camp and was glad for the cannister

  15. #35
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    It's a LOT cheaper than for everyone to buy a bear canister.


    why should the ATC or some other organization have to dole out funds for bear boxes?

    what about personal responsibility?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    why should the ATC or some other organization have to dole out funds for bear boxes?

    what about personal responsibility?
    Because a bear box is a permanent installation, not something that is individually carried by the responsible hiker?


    and to be effective, all need to be able to use it, and must use it, not just those who voluntarily chip in for its cost.

  17. #37
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    I personally like my bear canisters. Using one for the Pinhoti in a couple of weeks and will be using it on the AT next year. Once people quit bandwagoning on the weight/bulk issue and actually try one, I think some minds will be changed. It definitely changed mine.
    For the small volume pack crowd, I used a BV500 strapped to the top of my Exos 38 last year. Granted the frame helped keep if from swaying , I could have packed it inside but found it carried better horizontal.
    We had multiple nights were people were wishing they had a canister when there were no good places to hang or they realized they needed something from their hang.
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Where are you seeing bear boxes full of trash?? I hiked the entire trail, used many bear boxes, and never found this. I suppose it “could” be a problem, but the reality is that it is not.
    I’m astounded at how many people reply to posts that they obviously haven’t read.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    then why is it nobody gets attacked while walkin' with a pack full of food?
    Generally speaking, bears are attracted to food, but avoid people.
    The problem is when people with food use the same spot over and over, and either leave food unattended or leave food scraps behind. Eventually the bears find this food, and eventually learn to associate packs with food or people with food. They then become problem bears when they then start to loose their fear of humans as they attempt to access this new found source of food.

    Bears are a problem at shelters because they've learned people sleep there WITH FOOD every night. When you have more dispersed camping where the same spot isn't used night after night, then it takes longer for the bear to ever associate that spot with food. Otherwise, a commonly used camping spot is just as much a problem as a shelter.

    This is one of the issues with camping in GSMNP. EVERYONE has to camp in the same limited number of camp spots, and the bears know where those spots are. So if the camper's don't properly protect their food and utilize the bear cables, bears quickly learn to associate food with people and become problem bears shutting down camp sites until the bear is retrained to not expect to find food at the campsite.

  20. #40
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    When you have more dispersed camping where the same spot isn't used night after night


    and dispersed camping will not work for GSMNP.....

    too many novices and one night stand backpackers and there would be people camping at the top of waterfalls and other places where they need not be....

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