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Bears in Oregon
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Packman Pete
(packmanpete) - MLife

Locale: Rainy Portland
Bears in Oregon on 04/14/2013 22:50:14 MDT Print View

I know black bears live in Oregon, but should I be concerned? I'm planning a hike along the PCT in August, and am a little spooked at the idea. Should I bear bag, or are the bears even an issue? Any first hand knowledge would be greatly appreciated!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Bears in Oregon on 04/14/2013 22:59:48 MDT Print View

I've done many nights around Three Sisters, Mt Jefferson, Mt Hood, Columbia Gorge.

I see bears occasionally, but they run away when they see humans. I think they're quite common but us humans don't see them very often.

I hang food from tree about half the time when possible, but a Sierra bear would make quick work of it

Other half of the time I hang it enough to keep rodents out of it, but within easy reach of bear.

Never had a bear get into my food. A few times a rodent has had a nice snack when I've been careless.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/14/2013 23:18:11 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:41:13 MDT.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Also very intrested in this on 04/14/2013 23:41:44 MDT Print View

Daniel, I would think that your theory would hold up closer to popular trails and campsites where bears have an easier time finding unprotected human food. The further out you get from the campsites, the less your food odors would blend in with and be masked by other hikers and their food. A truly wild bear might not consider a solitary human to be much of a threat.... Of course, most hikers aren't dealing with truly wild bears.

Either way, they are fascinating creatures. Their sense of smell is amazing, and their ingenuity astounding.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/15/2013 00:12:07 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:40:37 MDT.

Dirk R
(Dirk)
Statistical chances on 04/15/2013 00:57:00 MDT Print View

Statistically speaking, the chances of being attacked by a bear are incredibly low - you are far more likely to be hit by lightning in the U.S. than attacked by a bear. That said, clearly hanging bear bags is better than sleeping with their food, which many thru hikers end up doing. Of the hundreds that pass through Oregon every year, I would venture far fewer than 1 in 5 hang their bags on a daily basis.

Clearly, this isn't considered best practices. And it does speak to the kind of foods thru-hikers pack - often its instant potatoes or pasta - stuff that does not have a huge scent factor unlike the better and richer foods favored by many weekend backpackers.

I think in Oregon, bears would be a greater nuisance in many of the established campgrounds rather than on the trail. The PCT does get a fair amount of traffic in Oregon with its proximity to civilization - between horses and people. I would not worry as much I would in other parts of the trail.

Have a great hike!

Dirk

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/15/2013 08:58:57 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:37:35 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Bear Canisters in the Sierras on 04/15/2013 09:16:05 MDT Print View

I've had my food next to me in a bag, but then rodents got in. At least they just spoiled a bit of food so it made no difference to trip.

If your Opsak results in no rodent damage, then that's a good system. When I hang my food, I usually do it right next to me so maybe I'de wake up and scare away any creature trying to get in.

If my lax food storage resulted in a bear getting in and then becoming accustomed to human food and had to be killed I would feel very bad.

Packman Pete
(packmanpete) - MLife

Locale: Rainy Portland
Here's what I use for food storage on 04/15/2013 09:19:43 MDT Print View

I read all the comments-thanks guys!

The last reply mentioned he uses something for food storage, but didn't say what it was. Maybe it is a link my iphone doesn't see? Could you please reiterate it for me?

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/15/2013 09:51:32 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:36:54 MDT.

Packman Pete
(packmanpete) - MLife

Locale: Rainy Portland
Re: Oops... missed the link on 04/15/2013 10:25:41 MDT Print View

I've been to OMC several times. I like Next Adventure too-but thanks for the info. I just don't want to worry about bears. Or rodents. Leave my food alone!!

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/15/2013 10:26:20 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:34:44 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/15/2013 15:53:36 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:35:30 MDT.