Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » No camping on AT near neels gap/blood mt due to bears


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Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - M

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
No camping on AT near neels gap/blood mt due to bears on 06/03/2010 06:27:41 MDT Print View

Day hiking is still allowed, but the U.S. Forest Service late last month banned camping along and within a quarter-mile of the popular trail between Forest Service Road 41 at Jarrard Gap and Ga. 129 at Neels Gap.

Camping is also being prohibited within a quarter-mile of the Blood Mountain and Woods Hole shelters in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

The ban is in effect through June 21, according to the Forest Service.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: No camping on AT near neels gap/blood mt due to bears on 06/03/2010 07:06:15 MDT Print View

This seems to be a real problem area as they have closed areas around Neels Gap the past few years because of bear activity.

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Ridiculous on 06/03/2010 08:14:14 MDT Print View

This really angers me. It's one of my favorite weekend getaway spots. People's ignorance is the cause of bear problem. I don't even know if you can really call it a bear problem. They are small black bears who run away with little effort on my part. I run into them all the time.

Stop feeding the !$%@#%$^ !$%!@$#% bears!!!! !E%!#$%!#$%!#$% <-- My angry voice.

Rant complete. Carry on.

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - M

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
last month blood mountain on 06/03/2010 10:13:55 MDT Print View

my friend said he was on blood a month ago and rangers were camping out to access the bear situation. they said that a black bear came into the blood shelter and someone shot it with a 22 and it ran. makes me upset also.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Re: No camping on AT near neels gap/blood mt due to bears on 06/03/2010 11:29:58 MDT Print View

u think we can't get ur snaks, but we can. we just move on down trail. u r funny. we just try play nice so u keep coming back.

PS: Bear spray iz like ur pepper. It makes us sneeze, but tastes good.

Cordially,
Bear #248

Patricia Combee
(Trailfrog) - F

Locale: Northeast/Southeast your call
RE: No camping at blood mtn on AT on 06/03/2010 17:58:12 MDT Print View

Amazing what a difference 4 years makes. I was the lone camper at the campsite in late April '06. Saw no bears, did have mouse problem. Beautiful, star lit night. I did make the effort to really hang my food bag high, really high. Used a nice big oak tree. Was a quiet and uneventful night, except for the mouse. If everyone made the effort to prevent bears from getting their food, everyone would be happier, especially the bear. I have seen some pretty sloppy hikers heck even small amounts of dropped food will attract a bear if it is hungry and in the neighborhood. Folks need to treat the black bear with the same respect as the griz; it would save a bear's life and maybe a human life too.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Blood Mtn Bear on 06/11/2010 09:06:28 MDT Print View

I was at Mountain Crossings in April. This is the Outfitters store on the AT just past this area. I ran into more than one thru hiker who had just lost his food to this bear. I do not have the details of how they hung their food..wish I did. I met most of them just as they were coming down from Blood Mtn the morning after their bear experience. A couple of them were still upset and a bit scared and it was not the time to ask. It sounded like the bear had a big night.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Blood Mtn Bear - Bear bagging on the AT on 06/11/2010 09:49:47 MDT Print View

I saw this on the AT Nov of last year.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
No camping on AT near neels gap/blood mt due to bears on 06/11/2010 10:10:49 MDT Print View

That is so clever it could work.

The bear thinks, "Nobody could be that stupid. It must be a trap."

And walks on.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Blood Mtn Bear - Bear bagging on the AT on 06/11/2010 10:28:20 MDT Print View

Cordura pinatas!

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
can a bear walk across a branch? on 06/11/2010 11:39:56 MDT Print View

One thing that's always bothered me about bear bagging was why the bear couldn't climb the tree and walk across the branch to the bag and either just reach it or jump on it?

Does this require a very clever bear?

Or is this why one should hang the bag a little way down from the branch?

Or is this why one should choose a pretty weak branch?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: can a bear walk across a branch? on 06/11/2010 12:11:07 MDT Print View

There is an art to bear-bagging.

First of all, you want a high branch. The food bags end up more than halfway down from the branch, so that still needs to be high enough that an upright bear can't reach them. For a rough estimate, assume that the upright bear can reach as high as an upright human reaching up.

The branch has to be substantial so that it will support the weight of the food bags plus the weight of a half-grown bear. Heavy adult bears can't climb much, but cubs and subadults climb well. The branch needs to taper out to where the rope is over it. That discourages the bear from walking out far enough on the branch to get the food. If the branch hangs down slightly, that is a plus. The branch has to be live wood for strength.

Some bears have been known to climb the trunk well above the branch, and then to jump out to try to score the food bags. That is what we call "kamikaze bears," and that is why some bears limp around the parks. If the bear successfully executes this move, the food hits the ground first, followed by the branch, followed by the bear. If you are camped right there, you have half of a chance to grab up the food bag and leave the bear out.

After the food is properly hung, I generally put up decoys to confuse the bear. These consist of empty paper bags tied with bright white cord, and they are tied about five feet off the ground. Noisemakers can be tied around the tree trunk. These consist of your cook pots and spoons, or anything that will clang together.

I led several group trips per summer in Yosemite, and this was back in the day before bear canisters were required. We always did the double rope technique, and never once did any bear score any of our group food. On one particular rainy night, our camp was the first one that the bears attacked, but they failed. The bears worked their way around the lake and hit all of the other campsites and scored food at each one. In the morning, we were the only ones with food, so we ended up sharing some of our food with the rest of the backpackers from around the lake.

--B.G.--

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: can a bear walk across a branch? on 06/11/2010 12:56:08 MDT Print View

The general rule I have always used is at least 8' from the ground, at least 4' away from the trunk of the tree, and at least 4' below the limb you are hanging from.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
bears are surprisingly agile on 06/11/2010 12:56:44 MDT Print View

In SEKI at a base camp we had our trash only hanging about 18' up on a branch about 3" or so in diameter. A 200lb ish bear was up on the branch, trying to get the trash bag, and lept from there over my head, hitting the ground running. This took exactly .85 seconds.

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - M

Locale: No Cal
Let the Bear stories Continue ! on 06/11/2010 15:43:28 MDT Print View

The " yosemite bears" have been known to train their cubs .. Send them out on the skinny branch . to retreive / cut the line . and then, enjoy what you've packed up for them ..