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3920RE: [John Muir Trail] Questions on Bear containers

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  • robert shattuck
    Mar 4, 2009
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      I've not read all the other responses, but I think you'll find that strapping your canister ANYWHERE on the outside of your pack is a mistake. Top, bottom, doesn't matter��although I would certainly recommend putting it up top, of that's your one of two choices. Your canister is going to be your heaviest item and it's either going to be (potentially) whacking you in the head all day, or banging into your ass.

      if you're one of those backpackers that always has junk hanging, dangling from his/her pack, like extra pots, cups, canteens, fifty feet of clothes line, then maybe this won't be an issue for you, but . . . they sell those nifty bear can stow bags with straps and all, but those are just a joke. You rarely see anyone hauling a canister on the outside. it's a waste of energy as it flops around, pulling you off balance to a degree.
      Think of your canister as the new guardian of the gate. You know you have to get it into the backpack, so plan accordingly to make room. It might make you see that you are carrying one too many of a certain thing. You might also find that you're pack is too small and this can be costly. Make sure the canister can, Ideally lay on its side, otherwise you end up having to center it and place gear around it, more than if you lay it down.
      I've always had just a GARCIA. I used to carry TWO of them, both in the pack. Now I just use one and keep whatever extra food I have in a bag, that I choose not to hang, but rather to just bury under rocks (and toss all those extra, dangling pots and you carry, on top!) . . . you'll find on the JMT, or it has been my experience, and we've covered this a lot, but the bears are going to get your food, if the come for it. you can spend time hanging it, or you can just bury it, or find a crevice, or . . . but the bear will get it.
      As for the extra food in the bag. obviously you eat that up as soon as possible, or rather you eat the food you like in the canister and change it out with the stuff in the bag. I always find that there's something that I've grown tired of, that I can live without, that I just can't stomach anymore, that if I lost it to a bear, oh well . . . SO don't put the things you really like into the bag.
      Lastly, since you're worried about the size of your canister, THINK about the type of foods you are bringing. I used to eat nothing but TOP RAMEN NOODLES for dinner. two packs a night. But you can't stick a bunch of ramen in a canister. you need flat packaging to get as much in there as possible and it's a good idea to repack all your food. You shouldn't have to have more than a day or two in the bag, once you leave MTR.
      the other bob


      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      From: h_talon@...
      Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 06:50:50 +0000
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Questions on Bear containers

      who uses what? and if I may ask why you made the

      choice to use it.

      also does anyone use a carry bag to strap their

      container on their pack, to save space in the pack.


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