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World's dumbest bear canister question...

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World's dumbest bear canister question...

Postby maddie77777 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:53 pm

If I buy a bear canister, do I just keep it in my tent with me? Or do I then put it in my pack and hang it from a tree as well?

Do they prevent scents from getting out, or are they just made to keep the bears from getting in and ever realizing any food rewards?
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Postby tigerlilly » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:00 pm

I read this too quickly and thought it said "Beer Canister"

I was picturing a 6 pack hangin in a tree........

:D
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Postby Sarah Simon » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:05 pm

I suggest placing the sealed can at least 200 yards downwind of and away from your tent. In griz country, especially, you should also cook downwind of your tent and not sleep in your cooking clothes. Enjoy!
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Postby Moni » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:07 pm

There will be food smells on the outside of the canister - I would still hang it properly along with anything else with food smells on it. If nothing nearby to hang, then stash it well away from the tent.
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Re: World's dumbest bear canister question...

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:07 pm

maddie77777 wrote:If I buy a bear canister, do I just keep it in my tent with me? Or do I then put it in my pack and hang it from a tree as well?


Neither. Most canisters have instructions to place the canister on the ground quite a distance from you or your critical gear. Sometimes the bears play soccer with the canisters and you may have to look a while to retrieve the cache; I'm painted the top of my bearvault orange (never had a bear encounter, though).

Do they prevent scents from getting out, or are they just made to keep the bears from getting in and ever realizing any food rewards?


The latter.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:09 pm

Tips from Yosemite national park -

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanisters.htm

Black bears such as we have in CA possess an incredible sense of smell -- they've been known to rip the doors off cars to get at candy bar wrappers left under the seat :shock: So a canister isn't generally going to keep a bear from smelling your food. Bear canisters just prevent them from actually eating your food. Sorry bear, you are just going to have to be content with berries :)
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Postby maddie77777 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:09 pm

Thanks, Sarah. I'll be purchasing one in the next week or two in anticipation of a trip to the Adirondacks, and the last thing in the world I want is to die in the night while clutching a bear canister that should have been hung up in the first place.
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Postby MoapaPk » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:14 pm

maddie77777 wrote:Thanks, Sarah. I'll be purchasing one in the next week or two in anticipation of a trip to the Adirondacks, and the last thing in the world I want is to die in the night while clutching a bear canister that should have been hung up in the first place.


A few years ago, a few bears in the Adirondacks -- around Marcy Dam, I believe -- had learned how to defeat the Bear Vault lock. Supposedly, the company redesigned the lock just because of these incidents.

The bear vault has protuberances that allow you to strap it to a fixed object -- like a tree-- but in general the canisters are pretty slick, by intention.
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Postby TimmyC » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:35 pm

rhyang wrote:Tips from Yosemite national park -

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanisters.htm

Black bears such as we have in CA possess an incredible sense of smell -- they've been known to rip the doors off cars to get at candy bar wrappers left under the seat :shock: So a canister isn't generally going to keep a bear from smelling your food. Bear canisters just prevent them from actually eating your food. Sorry bear, you are just going to have to be content with berries :)


Yeah, a couple of the companies that manufacture these joke in their ads about how the bear can't open the canister without a coin or a screwdriver, and all I can think of is the bears in Yosemite that have been known to climb thirty feet up a 5.8, stemming between the rock and a tree to reach a bear bag or canister. Or the Camp 4 mama bear that only breaks into one particular model of car, allegedly because they're easier to get into. Coin or screwdriver? They'll figure it out.

Yosemite bears are environmentally stimulated toward cognition because the rewards are so great. I mean seriously, where else have you heard of a "nuisance" bear that never attacked anyone, but was deemed a nuisance because she'd sit patiently at the edge of a campsite and wait politely for the campers to leave before she began her ransack?

I used to think bear canisters were unnecessary -- then I met some bears. I mean, I love bears and all, but, to me, little else is as truly frightening in the backcountry as is a cranky and motivated 400lb autodidact with claws.
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Postby hoser23 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:47 pm

Consider placing the container on the ground in an area where it won't roll downhill and into
a stream or over a drop-off if a bear knocks it around. They will knock it around.

Dave
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Postby Alpinist » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:51 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
maddie77777 wrote:Thanks, Sarah. I'll be purchasing one in the next week or two in anticipation of a trip to the Adirondacks, and the last thing in the world I want is to die in the night while clutching a bear canister that should have been hung up in the first place.


A few years ago, a few bears in the Adirondacks -- around Marcy Dam, I believe -- had learned how to defeat the Bear Vault lock. Supposedly, the company redesigned the lock just because of these incidents.

The bear vault has protuberances that allow you to strap it to a fixed object -- like a tree-- but in general the canisters are pretty slick, by intention.

It appears that the new design didn't help. And you thought the Yosemite bears were smart?

http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_productnotices.php

Image
Last edited by Alpinist on Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:04 pm

TimmyC wrote:Yeah, a couple of the companies that manufacture these joke in their ads about how the bear can't open the canister without a coin or a screwdriver, and all I can think of is the bears in Yosemite that have been known to climb thirty feet up a 5.8, stemming between the rock and a tree to reach a bear bag or canister. Or the Camp 4 mama bear that only breaks into one particular model of car, allegedly because they're easier to get into. Coin or screwdriver? They'll figure it out.


Just wait until they evolve opposable thumbs.
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Postby maddie77777 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:06 pm

LOL, great. Ok, so I guess bear canisters are out for my trip. Thanks for that, though. I was just looking at them at REI getting ready to drop the $80. Would it be too redundant to buy a bear canister and still hang it b/w 2 trees? I don't think so...
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Postby Alpinist » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:08 pm

If you are camping below tree line and know how to properly hang a bear bag, then a cannister isn't needed.
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Postby Autoxfil » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:14 pm

Moni wrote:There will be food smells on the outside of the canister - I would still hang it properly along with anything else with food smells on it. If nothing nearby to hang, then stash it well away from the tent.


maddie77777 wrote:LOL, great. Ok, so I guess bear canisters are out for my trip. Thanks for that, though. I was just looking at them at REI getting ready to drop the $80. Would it be too redundant to buy a bear canister and still hang it b/w 2 trees? I don't think so...



Do NOT hang a bear canister.

The theory of operation is that they are too big and slippery for a bear to get it in their mouth or paw. So, they bat it around for a while and then give up.

If you hang it, you must be tying or taping something to it - when you do that, the bear will just drag it away by the string. They hopefully won't get into it and die from eating your food, but you'll be outta food and outta luck.
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