Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Do animals see bivy bags as burritos?


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Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Do animals see bivy bags as burritos? on 08/03/2008 00:55:01 MDT Print View

Do animals see bivy bags as burritos? You know, with something warm, gooey, and nutricious on the inside?

I'm just wondering if everyone takes wildlife into consideration when deciding whether to tent it or bivy/tarp it. Or whether it really matters.

Where I hike (Japan) there are wild boars and black bears. Recently, the black bears here have been getting bolder (cruising into camps, towns, etc.) for lack of food and Krispy Kreme shops in the wild...

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Do animals see bivy bags as burritos? on 08/03/2008 05:54:55 MDT Print View

"Do animals see bivy bags as burritos? "
I use a tarp sometimes, but not a bivy, just a quilt with synthetic insulation. I guess I'm only a pita pocket.
Seriously though, your view is a valid concern. It's something I've considered several times. Back at home, you're riding high above the others critters in your realm, with your position at the top of the food chain. One of the reasons I enjoy the outdoors is the humble feeling of this viewpoint. Just as with scuba diving, once you get in the water you're no longer on top of the food chain. You'd be surprised at how many people don't ever realize it until someone brings it to their attention. It was one of my favorite ways to screw with the annoying tourists when I lived in Miami. I can take someone from arrogance and overconfidence to horror in less than two seconds.
Personally, I'm comfortable with it as long as reasonable safety measures are taken. I have yet to see a grizzly in this part of the country, and most of the black bears I've seen are more afraid of humans than humans are of them. I adapt to my surroundings and recognize my place on the food chain just as they do. YMMV.

mike walker
(m_walker) - F
you'll be fine on 08/15/2008 22:41:30 MDT Print View

sleep with a big bore handgun you'll be fine, in reality if in lack Bear country one would want to use Bear aware practices and maybe an electrified bear fence. Black Bears do view humans as food. I tent camp in Bear country I have a handgun and spray as well as us best practices.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: you'll be fine on 08/16/2008 07:13:42 MDT Print View

Are you going to share your big bore philosophy in every thread that includes the word "bear" today? I've been sleeping outdoors for almost 30 years. The only time I ever wished I had a brought a handgun was because of a human, not animals. Bears aren't the only animals that can harm you. If you just want an excuse to kill something, plan a hunting trip.

Edited by back2basics on 08/16/2008 07:16:01 MDT.

mike walker
(m_walker) - F
weird on 08/17/2008 00:10:42 MDT Print View

that is really weird, how can you infer I want to kill something? weird I agree w/ your comment about the two legged predators. I will share my big bore philosophy on any thread that discusses personal safety and bears.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Burrito on 09/08/2008 16:18:24 MDT Print View

I seriously doubt most animals have seen a Taco Bell commercial to know what a burrito looks like, let alone tastes. Could be wrong though, they may have gotten a magazine out of a trash can.

derek parsons
(neurotek) - F

Locale: ontario
i hike in black bear central on occassion on 09/09/2008 10:16:26 MDT Print View

and have never had any problems i was not prepared for. marathon, ontario, near pukaskwa national park is consider the black bear capital of north america. yes, once or twice a year some unfortunate sole gets mauled, but given the ratio of attacks, your almost as likely to have tree fall on you.

it's mostly how you react when encountering a black bear that counts. i have bear bells attached to my pack and my dogs to avoid contact, if i do see one i simply back away on a 45 degree angle to give it space and to show i'm not a threat. most times the bear run the opposite direction, sometimes it just looks at me for a sec or two and meanders off, and once i got charged. if one does charge stand your ground, make yourself look big, grunt/growl make noise (unlike with grizzlies where you're better off playing dead if charged). most often a black bear will charge the first time as a test, as was the case with the one that charged me. rouge bears are very rare.

victoria maki
(clt1953) - F

Locale: northern minnesota
re:black bears on 09/09/2008 15:34:26 MDT Print View

i agree with mike about carrying a handgun. my husband and i are headed to the boundary waters up on the gunflint trail on wed. we have encountered black bears before. luckily we have never had to shoot at one. i just feel better knowing it's with us. call me a big baby...P.S. i don't think it makes a heck of a difference if you sleep in a bivy or use a tent. thin material is not going to save you from nice sharp claws and teeth..P.S. you guys really did give me a chuckle with the burrito and pita comments. will be thinking of it tomorrow night in our nice warm tent...

Edited by clt1953 on 09/09/2008 15:43:55 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Do animals see bivy bags as burritos? on 09/09/2008 16:48:21 MDT Print View

For what it's worth, I sleep just fine in the open.
What are the odds, really?

If I happen to be the poor chap that gets eaten this year, well heck, I guess it's my time to go.

While I love owning and shooting guns as much as the next cowboy, large bore weapons just don't make it onto my gear lists.

***Exciting Facts:
A Smith and Wesson 686 (.357 mag, 8 inch barrel), holstered and loaded with 6 rounds = 3 pounds, 9.6 oz.

A Glock 19 (9mm) with a 10 round magazine = 1 pound 12.9 oz.

...so the Smith and Wesson weighs about as much as my pack, quilt, tarp and bivy.
The Glock is heavier than my shelter system and kitchen combined...but it is likely too small a caliber to effectively stop a large, maniacal bear.
So the Smith and Wesson wins...
...although many gun aficionados will argue over the effectiveness of a .357 mag against a large bear, likely favoring a .44 mag...I'm sure someone will then argue that you should carry no less than a .50, or it's all about shot placement, or amount of ammo...(If you think the Chaff here is ridiculous, try a gun forum!!!)
...but I digress.

If I'm going to carry over 3.5 pounds of extra weight...

IT WILL BE BEER and I will be mauled happy.
Cheers.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: Do animals see bivy bags as burritos? on 09/09/2008 17:13:54 MDT Print View

Craig said:

"If I'm going to carry over 3.5 pounds of extra weight...

IT WILL BE BEER and I will be mauled happy.
Cheers."

Yes!

Edited by simplespirit on 09/09/2008 17:14:24 MDT.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Do animals see bivy bags as burritos?" on 09/09/2008 17:21:10 MDT Print View

I once carried 18 beers 10 miles into the yellowstone backcountry. Never once have I carried a gun. But hey carry a 12 gauge for all I care.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Do animals see bivy bags as burritos?" on 09/09/2008 17:58:00 MDT Print View

"I once carried 18 beers 10 miles into the yellowstone backcountry."

Only 18 beers? I hope it wasn't more than an overnighter!

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Re: Re: Do animals see bivy bags as burritos?" on 09/09/2008 18:51:15 MDT Print View

lol it was just an overnighter.