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bear bags
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Dennis Park
(dpark) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
bear bags on 02/09/2009 20:23:29 MST Print View

what do you guys/girls use for bear bags?

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"bear bags" on 02/09/2009 20:25:41 MST Print View

I always keep my food with me in my tarp. I have spent many a night in bear country and never had an issue. Ali

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"bear bags" on 02/09/2009 20:46:42 MST Print View

I currently use a Sea to Summit Ultra-Silâ„¢ Dry Sack - 2 L with 35ft. of paracord, but I plan to switch to 35ft. of Z-Packs Spectra Cord(.24oz) and that would weigh only 1.04oz. for the entire system!

Try to keep your bear bagging stuff below 3 ounces.


Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
And you with no health insurance on 02/09/2009 20:46:54 MST Print View

aren't you the risk-friendly one? I hope you have some mace in there with you at least.

Btw, love the sailboat project. What a dream. Best of luck.

John Sixbey
(Wolfeye) - F
my current setup on 02/09/2009 20:48:53 MST Print View

I've done most of my hiking around SE Alaska. I'm either above the treeline or around swampy muskeg scrub, which is usually too low to hang by, so I use a Bearikade whenever I'm up there. There's usually so much bear sign that it seems like a good idea, anyway.

My canister feels like overkill where I live in WA, though, so I plan on picking up an Ursack.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
bear bags on 02/09/2009 20:51:44 MST Print View

That was a good one. :)
I don't use mace because Lizzie would use it on me to get to the last of my cheesy poofs. I forgot to mention I always have my dogs with me and there's nothing better for treeing a bear in your camp than two dogs. If a treed bear in your camp is what you want. My biggest fear in the backcountry is giant biting ants. They go for my jugular more often than my food. Thanks for the compliments on the website. If we tried to insure ourselves and our boat we could never afford to make the trip so we are using self insurance which is our knowledge, skill, and a little bit of luck. Ali

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
bear bags... on 02/10/2009 00:05:38 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/27/2015 14:54:20 MDT.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"bear bags" on 02/10/2009 14:20:45 MST Print View

I didn't say I eat in camp. I said I keep my food with me. Ive spent enough time in bear country with my food next to me to know they wont come near it or me and my dog. In 25 years I have had issues with bears 2 times and neither one of them had to do with food. Did you ever consider that your bear bag wafting through the wind called the bear in? Maybe you cooked dinner in camp and that called him in. Bears are carnivorous and maybe he was more interested in eating the inhabitants in the tent than their cheesy poofs. Anyways you see where this is going there is no way to know why the bear did what it did but it doesn't sound like it ate the cheesy poofs or the people so there must have been some other reason. Anyways just my way of keeping my food safe. Ali

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
"With Your Dogs" on 02/10/2009 16:04:20 MST Print View

That is the key phrase here. Without your dogs, bears (or other critters) would eat your food. They would chew a hole through the tent/bivy (if a small animal) or tear a big hole (if a bear). In Washington State, I think the risk of a small animal chewing your stuff is much higher (I've had this happen with tents and packs when I've had crumbs in each). In California, the risk of bear encounters are much greater (the bears down there will tear open a soft top car).

Saying you've been fine with eating food in your tent is like saying you don't lock your door at home (both are fine as long as you have a big dog).

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"bear bags" not doggie bags on 02/10/2009 16:09:37 MST Print View

Ross, I never said I eat food im my tent and guess what, I havnt used a house key in over 20 years. I spent many years living in the Sierra's and while a bear will rip into an empty car it wont go near it if you are there to protect it. Bears are like dogs a good swat on the nose and they will back down. I'm talking blackies here. :) Ali

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "bear bags" not doggie bags on 02/10/2009 16:24:00 MST Print View

"Bears are like dogs a good swat on the nose and they will back down. I'm talking blackies here. :) Ali"

Hey Ali,
Ever try swatting a "blackie" on the snout?
Sort of reminds me of that joke about a snowboarder's last words: "Duuude, watch this...". ;)

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "bear bags" on 02/10/2009 16:43:53 MST Print View

For the original poster:
I use Bear Vaults most often because I live and hike in bear country (and not just "blackies.")
I have used a bearikade and a garcia before but Bear Vault is my preference.
I've used ursacks but didn't like the squished contents after the bear's work trying to open it.

For Ali: "Bears are like dogs a good swat on the nose and they will back down. I'm talking blackies here. :) Ali"

Are you crazy or kidding or just a troll?

Edited by toesnorth on 02/10/2009 16:45:28 MST.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: "bear bags" not doggie bags on 02/10/2009 23:45:54 MST Print View

I'm with Ali. I use a canister when I must (or should), ie. Yosemite, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, Lost Coast, etc. Other than that I've always slept with my food. Knock on wood. While backpacking I've only had bears in camp once since 1967. That time, in 1991, the Forest Service had built a road into a roadless area I'd been in before. The car campers drew the bears in with their (the car campers, not the bears) sloppy habits.

In '91 the "slap" was with rocks, accurately pitched. The bears (2) went off to visit the car campers.

Edited by redleader on 02/10/2009 23:48:56 MST.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Bears and Dogs on 02/11/2009 10:17:26 MST Print View

Ali: I never said you ate in your tent, either. My point is, unless you have big dogs (or some other type of protection) then critters will eat the food in your tent or your pack (if the pack is outside the tent). I guess it is possible that the Aloksak bags could hide the smell well enough to protect your food. It is also possible that you could get lucky. But based on my experience, you don't have to leave food on the ground too often for animals to find a way to get it (and like I said, they will chew a hole in a nice pack to find two crumbs left from a granola bar). Again, in the areas where I hike most, the biggest risk is from rodents, not bears, but I still lift the food bags high. I'm posting in case some inexperienced hiker thinks "no bears around here, I'll just stash my food in my tent" or worse "bears won't mess with my food in the tent, not with my bad-ass sleeping here". That second statement is true for your bad-ass dogs, but not your bad-ass self.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: "bear bags" not doggie bags on 02/11/2009 16:40:43 MST Print View

"In '91 the "slap" was with rocks, accurately pitched. The bears (2) went off to visit the car campers."

A Cautionary Tale:

Several years ago, I can't remember the year anymore, a friend of a friend tried that up in Mitre Basin, Sequoia NP. The 2 bears involved were not amused and proceeded to work him over pretty good. He ended up in the hospital with a separated sternum and various other assorted bumps and bruises. I guess there weren't any car campers in the area to fall back on. My point is that you are really rolling the dice when you start messing with critters that are bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, and HUNGRIER. Especially in areas where bears are not hunted and used to ripping hikers off.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
Bear slapping 101 on 02/11/2009 18:47:56 MST Print View

That does sound like a tale, a friend of a friend???
I cant beleave that this huge site and all of us long distance hikers cant furnish one eyewitness account of the big bad boogie man bear. Its because 99.9% of bears are good harmless creatures. The .001% of bad ones will get you regardless of what you do. If you live in America you have a better chance of being killed by a family member than you do a bear. More people are killed every year by mosqitos and bee's than bears. Please stop with the Boogie Man stories. Ali Now these are some scary lloking I mean sniffing bears

scary bare

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
bears? we've seen 'em on 02/11/2009 18:52:20 MST Print View


Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
bear slapping 101 on 02/11/2009 18:54:02 MST Print View

I find it hard to image how you lived through that. Ali

Edited by barefootnavigator on 02/11/2009 18:54:47 MST.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
they were very busy eating salmon on 02/11/2009 18:58:08 MST Print View

we were kept busy catching salmon, which i think interfered with our fear

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
bear bags on 02/11/2009 18:58:09 MST Print View

Sounds like some have not yet had their "bear experience." I had many until I learned to bag the food separately so that no odors transfer to the pack. Even though the food was in a secured cabin several hundred feet away, two grizzlies visited me not far from Lake Louise just to rummage through my pack while the other played a game of casting rod with my dome tent poles. A most happy moment while I was tiptoeing backwards was when they went toward the pack and tent, not toward me. Retreating to the cabin, a hiker from Scandinavia and I watched them from a distance, and the hiker said, "Oh, you have had the bear experience." All the hikers stayed packed in the cabin that night, afraid to go out the door which was being heavily scratched from the outside. Finally, someone could not hold it any longer, and it turned out it was wolverines, not gizzlies doing the scratching.
Also had a visit with the food hung and bagged in Maine in 1996, because was dumb enough to keep some blueberry flavored Kool-Aid in a bottle by the tent. Not much sleep that night. Noticed that the company stopped selling that flavor. It was good though.
Since 1999, have hiked mostly throughout Colorado with shelties, and have not seen any bears, even though I still hang up a cut down Ursack. Don't know if the shelties or Colorado are responsible.
Once you have had a good frightful bear experience, you won't be trifling with the bears no more.