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bodiak
2006-10-16, 22:41
Whose using bear cannisters these days? In the Adirondacks High Peak region, it's now mandatory....I bought one and use it for most trips. Never mind the bears, it's nice to be able to walk away from camp without a hanging, and not worry about mice and chipmunks snacking on my gorp. Makes a nice stool as well

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 00:02
I haven't used one. HOI had one he used on our hike together in the Slickrock wilderness. Looked nice to have a portable table and stool.

bird dog
2006-10-17, 00:12
I own a "URSACK" bear bag, but "hung it up" for a lighter silnylon chow bag that I hang at my camp site. Ive saved alot of weight with the switch and have not experienced any trip ending catastrophies. BD

Skidsteer
2006-10-17, 00:13
HOI seems to hate going to ground in any form or fashion. :biggrin:

He had it with him on Springer recently, too. Good times. Wish you could've been there Sarge.

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 00:43
Me too. It is getting closer to getting home ever day though.

deadeye
2006-10-17, 09:52
I have both sizes of Bear Vault, and usually just use them for re-supply caches on long hikes. I've left stashes in the woods for up to three weeks, and never even had the area disturbed. They have some great advantages, food stays dry and whole (no powdered Pop-tarts!), and it does make for a dry place to sit. As the food gets consumed, the space is available for the stove, and other kitchen gear. I prefer the Bear Vault over others since they're clear, and a bit lighter. When I do carry one (mostly in the Adirondacks, but more often each year), I look at it as the weight equivalent of one day's food - doesn't seem so heavy that way.

JPW
2006-10-17, 13:13
I use the Ursack. Its lighter than the bear can that Bear Can used on the AT this year.

Take-a-knee
2006-10-17, 21:59
I thought about an Ursack, if you don't go above timberline why is it necessary? If you hang the food properly the bear can't get to it. The cache thing is another issue, those bear vaults look like a good thing for that. A Gamma Seal lid on a 5 gal bucket would work as well, this is too heavy for backpacking but it is a cheap alternative for dry storage. I think those lids are about 8-10 $ each. The "five gallon" bucket varies in capacity between 3 and 7 gallons according to height. As long as the bucket has the same diameter the Gamma Lid will work. I think the 3 gal would hold a weeks food for two hikers. I know some sort of "bear-proof" container is mandated in certain areas, I don't know of any in the south. Smokies maybe?

dropkick
2006-10-18, 01:05
My main thing with a bear bag is that I hang it a good distance from camp so the bears hopefully won't come visit me in camp. (I've actually had this happen two times - years ago - on one visit I lost a metal cooler, from a distance I watched him tear it apart).

With vaults it seems like the everyone is keeping them in camp. To me this sounds like the vaults are making it safer for the food and less so for the people.
The bears are following their noses, they aren't going to look into a camp and say "Well, they got a vault I might as well not even try".

Heck, depending on the area, I sometimes even cook away from camp, and I do put all my bear attractants into my bear bag (deoderant, toothpaste, cooking utinsels, food, alcohol, etc.)

Take-a-knee
2006-10-18, 16:20
Dropkick, you are a smart man, The SOG and LRRP recon types in Vietnam would never eat in their campsite (RON-rest over nite). Cliff Jacobsen has been canoeing the Northwoods for decades and he says keep the food away from camp in a scent-proof container and you eliminate conflict with bears.

SGT Rock
2006-10-18, 16:59
I like the concept. I often try to eat a couple of miles before making camp.

Hog On Ice
2006-10-18, 20:17
For me it is a luxury but I _really_ like having something to sit on when in camp and its great not to have to worry about the minibears too.

dropkick
2006-10-19, 01:31
For me it is a luxury but I _really_ like having something to sit on when in camp and its great not to have to worry about the minibears too.
Those little "minibears" -if they are the same ones I'm thinking of -raccoons- can be a serious pain in the neck.
Have had them open coolers, steal a string of fish, and I'm pretty sure that it was one of them that came by my tent at night and stole one of my boots. (What else would have?)

Turk
2006-10-19, 08:46
I'm pretty sure that it was one of them that came by my tent at night and stole one of my boots. (What else would have?)


Very low budget thru-hikers :biggrin:

deadeye
2006-10-19, 10:29
With vaults it seems like the everyone is keeping them in camp. To me this sounds like the vaults are making it safer for the food and less so for the people.
Heck, depending on the area, I sometimes even cook away from camp, and I do put all my bear attractants into my bear bag (deoderant, toothpaste, cooking utinsels, food, alcohol, etc.)

Folks that keep their bear cans in camp didn't read the directions! Once I'm done sitting on it, the can goes at least a few hundred yards away. I jam it into a crevice, or some other place where, should a critter discover it, it won't be able to roll it so far away that I can't find it. Cooking away from camp is a good idea in bear country regardless of how you stash your food overnight.

dropkick
2006-10-20, 01:39
I'm pretty sure that it was one of them that came by my tent at night and stole one of my boots. (What else would have?)
Very low budget thru-hikers :biggrin:


Thanks for the heads up Turk. First one legged hiker I see I'm going to punch right in the nose.

bird dog
2006-10-23, 09:10
DK and Turk, I think I saw that guy once! BD