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peakbagger
08-21-2018, 07:17 PM
https://www.wmur.com/article/campers-hikers-warned-to-keep-food-safe-from-bears/22793260

Looks like a descendant of the Desolation/Thoreau Falls/Franconia Falls bears is back to old tricks.

WMNF does have free bear cans on loan.

TDawg
08-21-2018, 07:41 PM
With all the clueless noobs trying their hand at hiking and backpacking these days, the pickin’s must be easy for Yogi. Some people’s attempts at a legit bear bag hang that I’ve seen have been downright laughable.

DayTrip
08-22-2018, 09:01 AM
With all the clueless noobs trying their hand at hiking and backpacking these days, the pickin’s must be easy for Yogi. Some people’s attempts at a legit bear bag hang that I’ve seen have been downright laughable.

Funny you mention that. I've noticed quite a few bear bag hangs in the woods this year (and don't recall seeing any previously). I have never hung a bag myself and I'm sure there is probably more to it than it seems but some of the "configurations" of bags I've seen did not appear very bear proof. I don't know what the odds are of a bear attempting to get in a bag are versus all bags in a given weekend. I suppose a lot of people think they did it right because their stuff was there in the morning but as the bear activity increases that might change.

dug
08-22-2018, 09:47 AM
The reward of suffering is experience.

TDawg
08-22-2018, 11:06 AM
Let’s just say as a good first rule of thumb...

If you need to duck when walking under your bear hang, or if you CAN’T walk directly under it. It’s not hung high enough! Lol

Raven
08-22-2018, 11:49 AM
Letís just say as a good first rule of thumb...

If you need to duck when walking under your bear hang, or if you CANíT walk directly under it. Itís not hung high enough! Lol

...and the ones 12' up resting against the tree trunk. Watch out for falling bears in the morning when it's time to get the oatmeal down.

Tom Rankin
08-22-2018, 11:52 AM
Given some of the videos I've seen of agile bears, I doubt any hang is a good hang.

That's exactly why the canisters should be used.

TCD
08-22-2018, 12:27 PM
A good hang used to work in many areas. But years of inadequate bear bag hangs have trained the bears to look in the trees for food, so now, at least in busy areas, you are right. (I too have entered camping areas and had to duck under someone's "bear bag" that was 5' off the ground.

I understand the purpose of the awkward shape of the canister (so it's hard for the bear to get a good jaw grip). But the awkward shape also makes them a pain to pack. If you are not near popular areas, I think you might still get away with a good bear bag hang.

JoshandBaron
08-22-2018, 01:04 PM
An Ursack and a dog works for me. I feel like the FS would be better off offering up Ursacks than cans if they were serious about people actually using them.

DayTrip
08-22-2018, 01:42 PM
An Ursack and a dog works for me. I feel like the FS would be better off offering up Ursacks than cans if they were serious about people actually using them.

I'm glad you brought up Ursack. Are they worth the money? I tend to camp in spots high up where adequately sized trees for hanging a bag are not exactly plentiful (I like to stay as close to treeline and/or the summit as I possibly can). I have a Bear Vault which makes everything super easy but it is so heavy and bulky I'd like to go in another direction. Do you still hang your Ursack like a normal bear bag or do you just tie it to something like in their videos? The only thing I don't like is that leaving it tied might prevent a bear from tearing it open and taking food but it won't keep it from crushing everything in the bag and making it useless. (Doritos dust anyone?). Curious how you are using it.

JoshandBaron
08-22-2018, 02:00 PM
I'm glad you brought up Ursack. Are they worth the money? I tend to camp in spots high up where adequately sized trees for hanging a bag are not exactly plentiful (I like to stay as close to treeline and/or the summit as I possibly can). I have a Bear Vault which makes everything super easy but it is so heavy and bulky I'd like to go in another direction. Do you still hang your Ursack like a normal bear bag or do you just tie it to something like in their videos? The only thing I don't like is that leaving it tied might prevent a bear from tearing it open and taking food but it won't keep it from crushing everything in the bag and making it useless. (Doritos dust anyone?). Curious how you are using it.

I just tie it to something, usually up a tree a bit so a bear has a tougher time getting leverage on it. Using it in conjunction with an OPsak liner should keep a bear from bothering with it at all. You can also buy an aluminum liner to help keep it from getting crushed.

Peaks
08-26-2018, 03:59 PM
As I understand it, Ursacks are not approved for use in several high incident areas, including the High Peaks of the Adirondacks and High Sierras (Yosemite area).

DayTrip
08-26-2018, 06:56 PM
As I understand it, Ursacks are not approved for use in several high incident areas, including the High Peaks of the Adirondacks and High Sierras (Yosemite area).

That is correct, which is why I originally got a Bear Vault. As far as I know they are allowed in NH.

JoshandBaron
08-27-2018, 09:47 AM
As I understand it, Ursacks are not approved for use in several high incident areas, including the High Peaks of the Adirondacks and High Sierras (Yosemite area).

While that's true about some NPs and the Adirondaks, it has the same IGBAF certifications cans do. It's passed all the same tests required of any can that is approved for use in those areas.

peakbagger
08-27-2018, 11:23 AM
The FS is currently just making recommendations at this point for the WMNF. At some point they may make it mandatory and then they typically use the IGBAF testing to draw the line. I expect mandatory canister use in the highly populated whites would be management hassle with the skeleton back country staffing in place. Back when the family of bears were a major nuisance in the Pemi there was a lot of speculation that the Bear issue was overhyped by the FS as way of reducing backcountry use.

There currently are mandatory bear canister requirements on the AT in Georgia for a short section of trail. There is a significant bear issue that has arose on Mt Rogers in VA currently where the ATC doesn't recommend anyone camp in three shelters due to bear issues. There is currently a recommendation to blue blaze around this section. SMNP routinely closes shelters due to significant bear activity

Note that tying the canister to a tree or fixed object can defeat its design It is supposed to be just left unfixed. I ran into an acquaintance at one point early on after canisters became mandatory out west, they had the canister at a campsite on a "bench" above a ravine. A brown bear played with the canister for a few hours and then booted it over the lip of the ravine. They eventually recovered it but had to down climb to where it landed.