Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » More areas requiring a bear canister in North America?


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HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 09/26/2011 10:08:33 MDT Print View

In light of the recent increased # of bear-human altercations in North America, has anyone heard of any new areas (wilderness or parks) requiring use of a bear canister in the near future (looking into 2012)?

Note that while there may be a number of reasons for more bear-human problems, I'd like the thread to focus on whether there will be an increased need for a pack that can handle a hard-sided bear canister in one's gear closet.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 09/28/2011 23:30:55 MDT Print View

It is probably going to become more common place, not necessarily due to this year's incidents.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 09/29/2011 00:13:26 MDT Print View

Are you referring to black bears or grizzly bears?

No, I don't see any increased need for a backpack that can handle a bear canister. Even my smallest 7.5-oz backpack can accommodate my largest bear canister.

--B.G.--

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
More areas requiring a bear canister in Rockies specifically.. on 09/29/2011 14:00:14 MDT Print View

@ Nick: Think you are right - just looking for areas with new regs so I can plan any purchases

@ Bob: Black actually as Mr. Griz is very far north of me and doesn't look like the population is expanding anyways.

My actual concern is Colorado as there's been some altercations between black bear and man over the past few years.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 09/29/2011 16:56:46 MDT Print View

Grand Teton National Park started requiring bear canisters this year. Rocky Mountain NP also recently started requiring them. North Cascades NP will require bear canisters starting next year.

Olympic NP is gradually removing their bear wires and says they plan to require canisters everywhere in the future. They have been saying this for several years. For now, their canister requirement is for above timberline and on the coast.

AFAIK, no National Forests in the Pacific NW or the Rockies require canisters at this time. In the Wind Rivers (Bridger-Teton and Shoshone NF), they do require either canisters or hanging, because of the increasing grizzly population. I don't know if grizzly numbers are increasing, but their range certainly is! Earlier this year there was a confirmed grizzly sighting in the southern Wind Rivers above Lander.

In many cases the increased canister requirement is to prevent bear habituation before it starts rather than to ward off already habituated bears.

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/29/2011 17:01:02 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 09/29/2011 17:04:23 MDT Print View

Sequoia National Park does not require bear canisters. I was just there a few days ago. There were quite a number of steel bear lockers scattered out along the trail where I went.

Incidentally, as I was driving into the park very early on Sunday morning, an injured black bear was limping across the road. I slowed down even more to look, and the poor creature was carrying its left hind paw two or three inches above the ground. Once it got to the shoulder of the road and my car was there, it looked at me so woefully like it really deserved a food handout. Well, of course, I was not going to feed it anything, and I did not want to get it habituated to human food. However, if ever an animal deserved a little help, that would have been the one. It may have been injured jumping off someplace where it wasn't supposed to be.

I must have a warm spot in my heart for bears.

--B.G.--

Sabine Funk
(SabineFunk) - F
Re: More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 10/01/2011 10:23:13 MDT Print View

"Sequoia National Park does not require bear canisters. I was just there a few days ago. There were quite a number of steel bear lockers scattered out along the trail where I went."

In that case I would definitely camp around a bear locker - there are lots of bears in Sequoia NP and I'm pretty sure they are as smart as the ones up in Yosemite and found out how to snap the lines of hanging food. First of all those around busy areas like the JMT.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? 2011-2012 on 10/02/2011 19:53:52 MDT Print View

Grand Teton National Park started ..... Rocky Mountain NP also recently started requiring them. North Cascades NP will require bear canisters starting next year. Olympic NP ... says they plan to require canisters everywhere in the future....
AFAIK, no National Forests in the Pacific NW or the Rockies require canisters at this time. In the Wind Rivers (Bridger-Teton and Shoshone NF), they do require either canisters or hanging, because of the increasing grizzly population...

In many cases the increased canister requirement is to prevent bear habituation before it starts rather than to ward off already habituated bears.

@Mary et al. Thanks for the updates. For 2011 - 2012, it seems the NPs are the first to go with canisters then, though a little prevention is worth the weight penalty, IMO

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: More areas requiring a bear canister in North America? on 10/02/2011 20:18:55 MDT Print View

One of the ranger districts in the White Mountain National Forest in NH, is conducting a pilot program that makes bear canisters available for loan to backpackers.