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  1. #1
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    Default Bears in PA at this time (mid oct)

    Doing Swatara to Duncannon (SusQue River)....what's the bear activity like? I've never dealt with this....and bear canisters are expensive and bulky. SHould I hang our bags and be done with it? Got dry sacks for the food, but I'm still paranoid from what I read. Something I did NOT account for. What should I do? dry bag it, put it in another bag, and hang that with a bit of rope? Take 50 ft? 100ft? Cook 200ft from the tent?

    AAAA!

  2. #2

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    I think there's a thread that would answer your question on this subject. It's the thread called-Bear Canisters VS Bags

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riff42 View Post
    I'm still paranoid from what I read.
    Just what is it you are paranoid of? Read where?
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    Just what is it you are paranoid of? Read where?
    da intertubes. All over them!

    I'll search for the other thread and see what's up

  5. #5
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    wear a clown suit and watch out for sows with cubs

  6. #6
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    You ain't likely to see any bears.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riff42 View Post
    da intertubes. All over them!
    Is this some kind of Halloween joke?

  8. #8

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    I've done Pa. in sections for the past three years and have not seen a bear. I've been hiking with other hikers and they stay in the shelter with the food hanging from the mouse baffles and I hammock outside (with the exception of the picture at left).
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelb View Post
    Is this some kind of Halloween joke?
    No this isn't a bloody joke. I read about hiking, and I see tons of things about bears, and all the fun things you have to do to avoid them eating you and your food. That is why I came here; for a real persons view on the actual trails I am hiking on, not just random bits about hunters and hikers from Lord knows where.

    I'm just glad some people like tdoczi are actually helping with info on what to do.


  10. #10
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    I wouldn't worry so much about seeing bears on the AT in PA because I've never seen one or heard of any hanging around shelters, etc. On my dayhikes I always stop and read the journals at the shelters and there's no mention of bears according to the entries. I live very close to the trail and the only bear I've ever seen was in my own back yard
    Happy Lifetime Sectioner!

  11. #11
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    I just finished hiking the NJ AT and to my disappointment didn't see one bear. I heard one, but didn't see one. If your staying at the shelters, your biggest issue is going to be the mice. New Jersey has just as big a bear problem as PA, with all the free food that can be found in trash bins the bears are moving to burbs and out of the woods.
    A.T. Section Hikes
    NJ: Oct. 7 - 13, 2012 - Completed
    CT: Apr. 28 - May 1, 2013 - Completed
    NY: Fall 2013 - roughly 14 mile left to go


    My Current Base Pack Weight

  12. #12
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    I haven't hiked the Swatara/Duncannon in sometime. But in my area of NEPA, not only do we need to bring in our bird feeders nightly, but on our daily hikes, (4-8 miles), we are finding fresh bear scat daily, (because I don't see them doesn't mean they're ....). I just read somewhere that they are consuming 20,000 calories daily this time of year in prep. I try to be careful about campsite choice & hang my bag at least 10 ft. off the ground, between two trees, 6 ft. from the trunks, I try not to use a branch if I can help it. If for no other reason, it keeps the racoons, skunks, porcupines from scratching my tent & mice from eating holes in it, I sleep better. An oz. of prevention..........

  13. #13
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    Same here, I have been hiking in PA/NJ for a while and have unfortunately, never seen a bear. I'm only interested in seeing one in day light though lol.

    I don't take TOO many precautions, I still cook at my tent site but I always double bag all my food (including my cookset) and hang it in a tree atleast a 200ft or so from my tent. My rule of thumb I try to follow is, 20ft high and 5ft out.
    Smile, Smile, Smile.... Mile after Mile

  14. #14
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    I have seen bears in the PA mountains at Christmas with several inches of snow on the ground. I was surprised because I thought they would all be hibernated by then. Bear season in PA is the 3 days before Thanksgiving, so they are still active.

  15. #15
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    Yes, there are bears and mice can be a big problem as well. No, you don't need a canister. I grew up in PA and have never heard of anyone loosing the food bag to a bear, not that it means anything. Back then, even New Jersey din't have many bears but man has that changed.

    Many here on WB would tell you to sleep with your food bag and you'll be fine. They're probably correct. I personally hang my food most nights but that's my business. Check out this link on how to hang your food: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...technique.html

    Use a stuff sack to hold your food. Carry 50 feet of light paracord. For me, I have all my food in small plastic bags so I don't care if it rains on the stuff sack, but if you care, use a stuff sack that allows you to attach a carabiner to the botton, thereby keeping rain from getting into the bag.

    I don't hang my cook stove or utensils...bear isn't going to eat them and I doubt he'd carry my cookpot very far before losing interest, and I've not had them bothered. Besides, I figure that's like my early warning sign that a bear is in camp...I figure I'll hear him knockin my pot around!!

    I always try to hang my food far enough away that I won't be able to hear when the bear gets my food bag. That way I don't spend all night trying to decifer the night noises thinking its a bear getting my food. If I know I can't hear him, I sleep better. If he gets it...he gets it and I'll know soon enough in the morning.

    Sleeping away from a shelter is probably the best defense against mice and bears. For me, that means a half mile or more. Seems more folks have troubles around the springs and shelter areas and those areas are usually not the place I want to camp anyway. If I have my druthers, I like to load up some water and move down the trail aways.

  16. #16
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    Yes bears are present and especially active in early fall on that stretch, however they are actively hunted and not "federalized" like Shenandoah/Yosemite. I personally do carry a canister, good for a seat and I hate fumbling with ropes. YMMV, HYOH.

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