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Thread: Bear Canisters

  1. #1
    Registered User starbright's Avatar
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    Default Bear Canisters

    I am planning to be NOBO starting in mid to late March. Do I need a bear canister and where do I look for one cheap if so. please help

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    Ickybod jburgasser's Avatar
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    Google GATC and you will find the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club website. You can go to their contact info to get an email address and ask them that question. I believe that Georgia is the only state you need bear canisters in, and that is only if you are spending the night around Blood Mountain. I think the 5 miles south of the summit to 2 miles north (at Neels Gap) is the boundry you need canisters for. So you can skip the canister by hiking through that portion. Last time I checked (2 and 3 years ago), every shelter in Georgia has bear cables. But for that 7 mile area around Blood Mountain you are required to keep your food in a bear canister at night. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Good luck, Ickybod
    I gotta get my head out of the clouds, but that is where my heart is.

  3. #3
    Registered User starbright's Avatar
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    Thank you I will contact them to see thanks.

  4. #4
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    You don't need one, but you may choose, as I do, to use one. If you do, don't go for cheap! You can get a Garcia or BearVault at most outdoor gear stores in person or online at. I often do my online shopping at www.backcountrygear.com

  5. #5

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    The no camping unless ya got a bear cannister is the 5 mile portion between Jarrad and Neels Gaps. So don't bring a bear cannister and don't camp in that 5 mile section. There is a great camping area a couple miles S of Jarrad on a creek or if 7 miles is too far (this is an easy section) then fill up your water containers and just camp closer to Jarrad.

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    Registered User starbright's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information. I contacted GATA but they havent gotten back to me yet thank alot.

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    Registered User Slow n' Steady's Avatar
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    I used a Ursack in Virginia and never saw a bear. It gave me comfort to know my food was safe, but I think I will not carry a bear sack for my thru-hike. The Ursack weighs nearly 8 ounces. I bought some Loksacks to store my food, and they are supposed to lock out odors. However, they are not impervious to critters or bear claws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starbright View Post
    Thank you for the information. I contacted GATA but they havent gotten back to me yet thank alot.
    I just called the the forest service a few days ago. Bear canisters are required around Blood Mtn in the spring. As someone said, this is a 5 mile section. See: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/trail-updates . If I were thru-hiking, I would just not camp in this section. No reason to spend $60 and add 2+ pounds to your pack (along with all the bulk) just to allow you to sleep in this one section. The restriction runs from March 1st to June 1st.

  9. #9

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    It is my current understanding that bear cans are required in one or two spots along the entire AT! Hardly worth the investment and cumbersome weight. I would plan to avoid over-nights in those required areas and avoid the extra cost and having to carry an extra 2 lbs!
    mike-2013 candidate

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    The regulation for last year was no camping between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap without a bear canister between March1 and June1. Decisions for this next year are being discussed. I expect it will be the same, but the distance may be extended due to bears north of Neel Gap. The area at Lance Creek where most folks stopped last year is still in "reforestation". That limits where you can pitch your tent. Camp somewhere between Woody Gap and Lance Creek, then walk to Neel Gap. If you can't afford to stay there, then walk on at least to Hogpen Gap before you camp for the night. That's a long walk, but the only way you are out of bear problems.

  11. #11
    Registered User starbright's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice

  12. #12
    Registered User fishing's Avatar
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    In better news I wouldn't wish my worst enemy a night in Blood Mountain Shelter.
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

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