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Thread: Preparing for Bear country

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by northernoutpost
    Quote Originally Posted by stefan
    Quote Originally Posted by northernoutpost
    Another thing to keep in mind is that response to a bear encounter will vary according to species and behavior. "Making yourself big and assertive" is good for black bears, but grizzlies (
    that's interesting in 3 parks i have been to in alaska [including denali, which requires extensive information for backcountry], i don't remember their making such a distinction. they recommended using the same approach in both cases, if i remember correctly.

    could you explain more clearly (besides eye contact) the difference?
    Maybe I should clarify the statement a bit better. It is always best to simply remove oneself from the situation by doing just that, but the essential logic here is that the grizzly is better able to enforce its dominance. Black bears will tend to be a little more conservative as to what they will charge, and in a situation where confronted by the bear, it is best to stack the odds in your favour. I wouldn't advocate charging through the bear as an effective tactic,
    agreed. i guess i should have clarified in my first post that "charging through" was definitely not recommended. i didn't realize this is what you meant in your statement. thanks. for clarifying. i know you weren't necessarily referring to my post, but yes i'd always avocate backing away and not progressing until it's clear. i intended to imply this, but didn't quite.

    it's a very good point and worthwhile distinction.

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  3. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech
    There will be plenty of that around the campsite. Question is, is it a repellant, or attractant?
    The "extra baggage" could be an attractant. They may look for the biggest piece of meat on the plate.

  4. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by accadacca
    They may look for the biggest piece of meat on the plate.
    LeRoy's still got me beat there. But we could really use Don up there, to create a distraction during mating season. Too bad there isn't a helicopter service though.

  5. #24
    not only food storage but consumption can help minimize unwanted encounters (bear or otherwise). eat down wind from camp a good ways. i try to be at least 100 yards away. don't cook in camp, cook where you will eat (down wind 100 yards +). if i dirty a pot i will clean it by gettign some stream bottom gravel (the littel bits) in it to us as a scourer and let the stream disperse the particles down and away from camp. again clean where you cook and eat , or down stream a ways. dehydrated is the only way i have gone for extended backpacks the last 2-3 years. light and easy clean up, just double ziplock the package when done and dispose when back in society. & i never sleep in the clothes i eat in, tucking them in with everything else to hang - aka, everything. all that gets left out is boots and and water. ursa makes a kevlarish sack i think that is pretty bear proof/resistant. there is always the hard plastic containers, these suck, big and bulky and heavy, but i carried one for 7 days thru the olympics and felt it was worth it. saw at least one bear every day. i should have hung as trees were bountiful. above treeline or where trees are short and inadequate, hanging off a cliff sounds like a good option, if a little nerve wracking. burying at the bottom of a cairn erected over the pack is a good option as well. you could at least hear the animal trying to get at it and have time to scare it off before your goodies got hijacked. i also hang or bury away from camp, upwind from where i cooked and ate, but away from camp a ways - not upwind from camp though. if you google the subject in different ways you will find some good advice i bet.

  6. #25
    Last time we were up in the Winds we found black bear scat. I'm not too scared of black bears. Grizzlies, that's another story. Grizzlies are probably pretty scarce in the area we're going to, and I'm guessing they don't share their territory, so seeing a blackie means no grizzlies. Plus, I know I'm not the slowest.
    I wish my lawn was EMO so it would cut itself.

  7. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by KillEmAll
    Plus, I know I'm not the slowest.

  8. #27
    This has been interesting reading.

    Shan, I'm like you. I am a big sissy in bear country - hasnt kept me out of it but I always feel stressed when I'm there (kinda kills the "lets go backpacking to relax" ideal, doesnt it?), and I dont sleep much either. My sister, whom I have always packed with, wears earplugs so she cant hear anything, but I like to hear so I know what to expect. Problem with that is, you think every sound is a bear!

    OK, so we're headed into bear country at the end of the month for 5 nights. We're debating on the bear canister thing... there was one at REI that has grooves in it so you can hang it as well. They just seem so SMALL.

    Has anyone used these? and how much stuff could you fit in one? Would we need two for 5 days/night worth of food, plus toiletries?

    Do you hang your packs as well as your food?

    What about clothes? I dont want my food smelling clothes I cooked and ate in anywhere near me when I'm in the tent - but I know they wont fit in a bear canister?

    Ahhhhh!! so much to think about!!
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~ Frost

  9. #28

    Bear Safety

    Most of the time I spend backpacking is in bear country. I've seen bears a couple times and they've either run away or have noted our presence with toleration.

    To hang our food we just take our sleeping bag stuff sacks and put all oderiferous items in there (taking care to not get any stinky stuff on the stuff sack for obvious reasons). Taking a separate food dity bag would be advisable. More than one rope is needed for larger groups.

    The logic on surviving a hostile bear encounter changes periodicaly, so read up from time to time. The latest school of thought basically says if you are confronted by a bear in the daytime they're startled and defending their territory. Talk softly, avoiding eye contact. Take a wide detour around the bear.

    If the bear makes physical contact, keep your pack on and drop to the ground. The pack will protect your body and the bear may bite/swat your pack instead of your butt (a favorite target). Lie flat on your stomach with your hands behind your neck. Be still and quiet while waiting for the attack to end (may require a great deal of restraint). Leave the area when you feel it is safe to do so.

    If you're attacked at night, you're probably on the menu. Fight hard and with anything you can get your hands on. The same applies to daylight attacks if you feel you're being hunted rather than defended against.

    Here are links to Glacier, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone's documents on bears. Sorry, but you'll hafta scroll to get the bear info. Grand Teton has the better food hanging guidelines, and Glacier has the better bear encounter info IMHO.
    Remember kids, don't try this at home. Try it at someone else's home.

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