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Bear canister for Wind River?
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Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Bear canister for Wind River? on 07/23/2011 16:53:18 MDT Print View


We're doing the High Line Trail, north to south. My two partners are using bear canisters. I'm debating on whether or not to use one as well. I usually just hang my food but since a large portion of this route is above the timberline, I'm wondering if that's feasible or not.
Thought? Personal experiences?


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Bear canister for Wind River? on 07/23/2011 17:42:41 MDT Print View

Food storage rules for the Bridger-Teton NF are here:!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwh wtDDw9_AI8zPyhQoY6BdkOyoCAGixyPg!/? ss=110403&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=fsbdev3_063588&navid=110000000000000&pnavid= null&position=Not%20Yet%20Determined.Html&ttype=detail&pname=Bridger- Teton%20National%20Forest-%20Recreation

When you copy this, delete the spaces, which I inserted to keep the url from messing up the format on the page. The horrendously long url courtesy of whoever programmed the new USFS websites....

After a lot of searching a couple of months ago, I found that the same food storage order applies to the Shoshone NF on the east side of the Winds.

Areas with bear problems (black bear) include Big Sandy Lake area, Cirque of the Towers, Golden Lakes. (Per the Earthwalk Press maps and Nancy Pallister's "Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains.") Unfortunately, some people still think you don't have to protect food from bears in the Winds. Last year a grizzly wandered into the campground at Green River Lakes and helped itself to the contents of a cooler left on a picnic table. The area was closed to camping within a 5 mile radius for several weeks, but fortunately the grizzly never returned.

A month ago a grizzly was photographed by a trail camera along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie, not far above Lander (verified by Wyoming Fish and Game Dept.). That makes the map with the food storage order very out-of-date. We probably should assume that grizz are now in the entire range instead of just the northern end.

Above timberline you can hang off big boulders (lots of those around!) or off cliffs. Your problem is likely to be that your friends, with their canisters, will want to camp where such "amenities" aren't handy. Whether the convenience of not having to find a place to hang is worth the extra 2 1/2 lbs. for the canister is your decision.

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/23/2011 17:45:57 MDT.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Bear Food on 07/23/2011 21:13:27 MDT Print View

Last year I brought an Ursack and my friend brought a bearvault. I always hung my food off of cliffs or big rocks. There should not be much problem finding a place to do that. My friend had an easier time just tossing his cannister under a tree. But, I thnk I would still bring the ursack again and save 2 pounds if I had to do it again. I don't think the Ursack was nessesary though, I could have just as easily used a run of the mill stuffsack for hanging.


Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Food storage WRR on 07/24/2011 08:43:02 MDT Print View

Since you are going north to south you may be able to put your food in with theirs by the time you get to the southern area where they have most of the problems. Ultralight tip try to forget that yours is in with theirs so they carry it for you :) If you dont have trees to hang from you always have rock. I bring more line than most (100') sometimes I can hang mt food over a ledge and leave a lot of rope dangeling then go down below and pull it away from the rock wall. Also its easy to hang between two rock formations like suspending between two trees but with only 50' of rope things get a lot trickier. Most people will tell you you dont need to do anything with your food out there some say to sleep with it. But this mindset is the beginning of trouble. I bet at one time, a long time ago they didnt worry about food storage at places like yosemite either. I applaud you for your consern. This area is pretty safe when it comes to bears and it would be nice to see the few problems they have go away not get worse

Mike Gerty
(michael.gerty) - F
Wind River maps on 07/24/2011 09:21:39 MDT Print View

Has anyone used the Beartooth Publishing Wind Rivers North and Wind Rivers South (1:50,000 scale) maps? []

Are 1:50,000 scale maps sufficient for off trail navigation in the Winds?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Re: Wind River maps on 07/24/2011 10:58:40 MDT Print View

I'm sure they are better than Earthwalk Press maps (anything is better than the Earthwalk Press maps, IMHO), but for off-trail work I'd want the 7.5-minute USGS maps. The more detail, the better!

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Winds maps on 07/24/2011 13:02:43 MDT Print View

I have never used anything more than the Earthwalk Press 1:48,000 scale maps for travel throughout the Winds. I would estimate that I have more off trail miles than on and they have been fine. Obviously everyone's comfort level is different, but I have only had to turn back a couple of times because I felt that the route was impassible.

The great thing about the the topography in the Winds is that it makes for very easy route navigation. I realize that my opinion is based on some 35+ years in that terrain and as a result I am very comfortable with it.

Some people feel comfortable in large cities and panic in the woods. I feel comfortable in the woods and tend to panic more in large cities. I spent the first 25 years of my life in the San Fransisco Bay Area, a short couple of years in Houston, and 4 more in Seattle so I am not "just off the farm."

With the internet forums and Google earth, you should be able to fill in an gaps that your maps don't provide the detail for. Coming down from Green Lakes to Big Sandy on the Highline/Fremont is pretty straight forward and as long as you are moving south you will get there.