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Adk_dib
07-30-2004, 02:04 PM
I will be staying at woodland valley campsite next weekend and have a question. Do you still need a bear bag there, or can you keep your food in your car. My food will be in a cooler, nothing more than sandwiches in sandwich bags. maybe a granola bar, power bar or cookie, all in their wrappers. I have a bear bag and will use it if neccesary.

1ADAM12
07-30-2004, 03:21 PM
I have never been to that part of the Catskills where you are heading but if there are bear around (which it sounds like there might be) it is not a good idea to leave any kind of food in your car. I have heard stories of bears thrashing cars to get at coolers inside.

I know out west bears actually know what a cooler is, like the bear in the Adirindacks know what a hanging food bag is. If it were me I would definately have a bear bag with me :)

woodstrider
07-30-2004, 03:25 PM
are not the least bit shy about separating you from your food. My first trip to the Catskills we did the loop over Slide from Woodland Valley and at one of the campsites (I think it was #7-only kidding:D ) a bear charged out of the dark and snatched a food bag from off a picnic table. Even the homes there have seen bear break-ins

Definitely protect your food. Yeah-I agree-DON'T LEAVE FOOD IN YOUR TENT OR CAR

But, on the other hand- I have camped 1/2 a mile away from the Trailhead in Woodland Valley without any problems-
:( ;)

Warren
08-01-2004, 11:13 AM
I would check with the Ranger there on the preferred protocol.

I would guess it would be similar to what I was told in an NJ park: Leave no food out, put it in your car and keep it out of site.

I've never heard of bear-car troubles in the Catskills, I've always assumed they haven't learned to associate cars with successful "foraging".

funkyfreddy
08-01-2004, 02:55 PM
I've never had any problems leaving food in my car in Woodland Valley or anywhere else in the area. i know there are a lot of bears in that part of the Catskills but I've never heard of Catskills bears breaking into cars to get food. As a matter of fact I think the ranger told us at Woodland Valley to lock all food in the car when we left the campground for the day.

snowshoe
08-01-2004, 07:01 PM
You can either leave your food in the car or if you have no car the Care takers have a bear box by there cabin that they let the public use. They dont want bear bags hanging thats why the have the box. Your food is safe in the car. That is usually the best place when in bear country.

Halite
08-02-2004, 07:55 AM
Catskill bears have not yet learned to open cars the way bears out west have. So food in the car is safe. Make sure to keep all windows closed tight.

My experience at Woodland Valley is that the rangers take bear safety seriously, giving instructions when you check in and monitoring campers food storage. North/South Lake, on the other hand, had very lax bear policy when I was there. When we pulled into a site there last fall, the people across the way from us were running from their site from a mother bear and two cubs stealing their cooler. The rangers, who had given no bear instructions when we checked in, did not seem surprised or inclined to action when we reported this incident.

You're probably more likely to see a bear, a potentially aggressive one, at a campsite than off backpacking in the Catskills. So due caution is important.

Tuco
08-02-2004, 08:01 AM
All I would need is for my family to read this thread and my labor day trip would be over in a second :D

imarchant
08-03-2004, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Halite
Catskill bears have not yet learned to open cars the way bears out west have. So food in the car is safe. Make sure to keep all windows closed tight.

My experience at Woodland Valley is that the rangers take bear safety seriously, giving instructions when you check in and monitoring campers food storage. North/South Lake, on the other hand, had very lax bear policy when I was there.............

You're probably more likely to see a bear, a potentially aggressive one, at a campsite than off backpacking in the Catskills. So due caution is important.

At both Woodland Valley and North/South Lakes I have been given instructions about bears at check-in. There are also warning signs attached to the picinic tables. This has been my experience for at least the past two years. DEC recommends locking food in your cars.

1ADAM12
08-03-2004, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by Halite
Catskill bears have not yet learned to open cars the way bears out west have. So food in the car is safe. Make sure to keep all windows closed tight.

My experience at Woodland Valley is that the rangers take bear safety seriously, giving instructions when you check in and monitoring campers food storage. North/South Lake, on the other hand, had very lax bear policy when I was there. When we pulled into a site there last fall, the people across the way from us were running from their site from a mother bear and two cubs stealing their cooler. The rangers, who had given no bear instructions when we checked in, did not seem surprised or inclined to action when we reported this incident.

You're probably more likely to see a bear, a potentially aggressive one, at a campsite than off backpacking in the Catskills. So due caution is important.

Thats great that the bear have not yet associated cars and food. I wonder how long it will take for the "smart" black bear to figure this out :D

Halite
08-03-2004, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by imarchant


At both Woodland Valley and North/South Lakes I have been given instructions about bears at check-in. There are also warning signs attached to the picinic tables. This has been my experience for at least the past two years. DEC recommends locking food in your cars.

My experience at North/South Lakes was just one visit. So I'm not suggesting that anyone jump to conclusions based on my post. Glad to hear another experience was quite different.

By the way, the bears that stole food from the campsite across from us came back to steal more food from the same campers a little while later. At that point I suggested they get the rest of their food into their car. To which they responded, "We can't, we locked our keys in the car." Maybe 1Adam12's "smart" bear could've helped them out.

jbreen
08-04-2004, 08:53 PM
I'd agree that the bear instructions are spotty. In May, I had to sign a bear warnings document stating I understood the rules. In June -- no document. That was also when I saw the largest bear I've ever seen about 50 yards outside the campground.
Tuco: my wife and kids consider this the highlight of the week.

As for food: in the car, windows up; I've never had an issue in my 20 years in the Catskills, but have seen others. Keep the campsight clean; don't burn food to dispose of it. Lock all garbage in the car too.

Good luck

woodstrider
08-05-2004, 03:25 PM
and much good luck!:D

With all this good advise about leaving food and garbage in vechicles it won't be long before the bears smarten up and start opening your cars up like a hungry thru-hiker with a can opener and a can of tuna.:D

Halite
08-05-2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by woodstrider
and much good luck!:D

With all this good advise about leaving food and garbage in vechicles it won't be long before the bears smarten up and start opening your cars up like a hungry thru-hiker with a can opener and a can of tuna.:D

You're basing this statement on what evidence or analysis? I haven't heard of it as an issue in the Catskills yet. If people leave food in their cars with the windows open, I can see where a bear would be highly tempted by the smell to pop a window. Has anyone heard of a bear even leaving claw marks on a fully closed car with food inside parked at a trailhead or campsite in the Catskills?

Warren
08-05-2004, 04:07 PM
I'm not sure what woodstrider is basing it on but there is a bit of history of Grizzly's out west opening cars up for food, certainly a differing situation than that in the NE.

I was warned at by a Ranger to hide coolers in a car at Wayawanawan-whatever park in NJ. I don't know if this was due to problems with bears and cars, to prevent scratches on the cars or if it was based on experiences from Nat. Parks or just to keep them away from the cars and therefore campsites. I'm sure snowshoe knows more about the reasoning behind the hide your cooler in the car.

As far as woodland valley goes, there is a bear box as snowshoe mentioned but I'd imagine that most car campers will be packing a lot of food (and drink), in that case car it. Hanging is certainly less secure than a bear box or a car.