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Why we use bearcans

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  • John Ladd
    This is -- with apologies to those who have read it before -- a slightly revised reposting (from 2011). But we have new members and I think it s worthwhile
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 8, 2013
      This is -- with apologies to those who have read it before -- a slightly revised reposting (from 2011). But we have new members and I think it's worthwhile reminding people why we carry bearcans. While a few people do ignore bearcan regulations without losing their food, here's why the requirements aren't just mindless over-regulation.

      The reason you may not yourself have seen bothersome backcountry bears (even if you have spent lots of recent time in Yosemite or SEKI) is because of the bearcan.  When we didn't have bearcans, bears were a problem.  It's probably true that 5% of the people can hike without bearcans and personally have no big problem. But that's only because the 95% of folks who DO carry them will mean that (1) fewer bears will become food-accustomed and (2) the bears who do become food accustomed will head for the Valley or other dayuse and carcamper areas.  My viewpoint is that people who don't carry bearcans (or other legal and properly-executed food protection) are just free riders off the efforts of those who do.

      Over the 4 years 1976-79 there were an average annual 260 reported hiker injuries or property (gear) damage caused by bears in the Yosemite backcountryAuthors estimate that only 8-10% of incidents were reported, which would suggest that there used to be over 2,600 such backcountry "incidents" per year. (More serious incidents, however, were more likely to be reported.)

      http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin/tpl/Downloads/URSUS/Vol_5/Keay___van_Waggendonk_Vol_5.pdf

      An interesting sidelight of this study is that better bear protections in the Valley (which preceded improvements in backcountry practices) tended to move the incidents from the Valley to the backcountry.  After this report, better backcountry practices moved the vast majority of the incidents back to the Valley.

      The bear population has not gone down, but the incidents have gone way down.

      http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/population.html

      California black bear population growing last 25 years 

      Inline image 1

      Nor, I suspect, has the backcountry use (people) gone down.  (I don't have a statistic to back it up, but it's certainly my impression that there are more of us out there now, especially on the JMT.)

      Despite this increase in the number of bears and the number of people, there were 19 backcountry bear incidents in 2010 (through Nov 6). Definition of "incidents" seems unchanged from the earlier study.

      Note: This figure came from the November 2010 version of the following page, which showed zero backcountry incidents so far that year. Unfortunately, The Internet Archive doesn't have a copy of the page so you'll have to trust my record of it.


      The Archive does however, have copies from other recent years.

      In 2009, there were 28 (through October)


      In 2011, there were 10 incidents (through September)


      In 2012, there were 26 incidents (through October)


      I don't 100% trust the statistics on only 10-28 backcountry Yosemite bear incidents per year in 2009-12.  People are presumably more reluctant now to admit backcountry incidents (at least minor ones) for fear of getting cited for improper food storage.  But the 1970's study concluded that there was already a lot of non-reporting.  A drop from 260 reports per year to 10-28 reports, despite more people and more bears, can't (IMHO) be explained by reporting trends alone.  It's a pretty dramatic change - roughly a 90% drop in reported incidents.

      You may have a false impression that there aren't many bears out there because you haven't seen bearsign.  Lots of people look for obvious, large scat in the middle of the trail, but bear scat is somewhat variable and not the only sign.  Bearscratching on trees is fairly common up there, as are big logs and rocks that have been pulled back to expose the insects and grubs underneath.  Good article on bearsign here:

      http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/mammals/bearsign.html

      Nice pic of bear-scratched tree below.  Bears sometimes like to scratch high to show other bears how big they are, but they scratch low also

      sue_with_bear_tree_sw.jpg

      Rock as a bear sign

      sign_of_bear.JPG

      Scat pictures here:

      http://www.google.com/images?q=black+bear+scat

      Note how variable it is.

      I don't think you need to be scared about bears on the JMT.  But it's the bearcan that explains why you don't. You benefit from the fact that I -- and most other hikers -- carry the damn bearcan.

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279
    • Lauren Egert
      Thank you all for your thoughts and advice! It makes me feel much better to have a sounding board for these questions that pop into my head while I m packing.
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 8, 2013

        Thank you all for your thoughts and advice! It makes me feel much better to have a sounding board for these questions that pop into my head while I'm packing.

        lauren
      • Byron Nevins
        Nice write-up, John. It s exactly analogous to vaccines. The anti-vaccine nuttiness says something like this: I didn t vaccinate my kids against
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
          Nice write-up, John.

          It's exactly analogous to vaccines.  The anti-vaccine nuttiness says something like this:

          I didn't vaccinate my kids against mumps/hepatitis/whatever because of some idiotic reason like: vaccines cause autism.

          "My kids did not get mumps/hepatitis/whatever.  Therefore I'm a great parent!"

          -- The only reason this "works" is because of herd immunity.  Those bugs need to have a certain density of uncured humans to survive.  Since everyone else is vaccinating their kids, the disease causing organisms can't get a foothold.  The anti-vaccine nuts are freeloading on the rest of the herd.  Just like the non bearcan carrying folks are doing.

          "I didn't bring a bear can.  The bears did not come into my camp.  Therefore I'm a great backpacker!"

          I backpacked before bearcans were invented.  I was pretty much "visited" by bears every night.  Every backcountry campsite.  The bears simply patrolled the trail late at night!  And they were good.  Very good.  At getting your food.



        • Henry Egghart
          Sorry, but I just don t worry about a part-empty bear can.  I might put a stove or gas canister (not white gas) in it, otherwise--it part of backpacking to
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
            Sorry, but I just don't worry about a part-empty bear can.  I might put a stove or gas canister (not white gas) in it, otherwise--it part of backpacking to carry less at the end of the hike.

            Henry
          • gracec816
            Out of curiosity, what did happen before bear canisters were required? Did people have constant problems with their food being eaten mid-trip or have young
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
              Out of curiosity, what did happen before bear canisters were required? Did people have constant problems with their food being eaten mid-trip or have young people like myself just been programmed to believe that was the case? John's statistics would seem to suggest the former, but somehow I doubt people would have gone backpacking knowing that there was a good chance that they could lose all their food three days from the trailhead!

              For what it's worth, I love my bear can. Yes, it's heavy and makes packing a pain, but it's become a security blanket of sorts. When I go to areas that don't require a canister, I find myself constantly worrying about my food at night, even if there are unquestionably no bears in the area. Plus, it makes a darn good seat at night when you get to camp :)

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Byron Nevins <byron.nevins@...> wrote:
              >
              > Nice write-up, John.
              >
              > It's exactly analogous to vaccines. The anti-vaccine nuttiness says
              > something like this:
              >
              > I didn't vaccinate my kids against mumps/hepatitis/whatever because of some
              > idiotic reason like: vaccines cause autism.
              >
              > "My kids did not get mumps/hepatitis/whatever. Therefore I'm a great
              > parent!"
              >
              > -- The only reason this "works" is because of herd immunity. Those bugs
              > need to have a certain density of uncured humans to survive. Since
              > everyone else is vaccinating their kids, the disease causing organisms
              > can't get a foothold. The anti-vaccine nuts are freeloading on the rest of
              > the herd. Just like the non bearcan carrying folks are doing.
              >
              > "I didn't bring a bear can. The bears did not come into my camp.
              > Therefore I'm a great backpacker!"
              >
              > I backpacked before bearcans were invented. I was pretty much "visited" by
              > bears every night. Every backcountry campsite. The bears simply patrolled
              > the trail late at night! And they were good. Very good. At getting your
              > food.
              >
            • Joe MacLeish
              Grace: I am a bbc (before bear can) guy. Yes we/I lost our food. I lost my food in the first day or last of the trips (one day from the road) in Yosemite
              Message 6 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013

                Grace:

                I am a bbc (before bear can) guy.  Yes we/I lost our food.  I lost my food in the first day or last of the trips (one day from the road) in Yosemite twice (Upper Lyell Canyon and Sunrise Camp).  I was as good as they get at hanging food but the bears were just smarter at getting it.  I've been using bear cans since Garcia invented them and now Bearicades.  I haven't had a bear experience since bear cans.  In the bbc days I felt pretty safe if I could get through the 1 day out feeding grounds.  Sort of like "Seal Island" near South Africa. 

                Joe

                 

                From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of gracec816
                Sent: Sunday, June 09, 2013 5:08 PM
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Why we use bearcans

                 

                 

                Out of curiosity, what did happen before bear canisters were required? Did people have constant problems with their food being eaten mid-trip or have young people like myself just been programmed to believe that was the case? John's statistics would seem to suggest the former, but somehow I doubt people would have gone backpacking knowing that there was a good chance that they could lose all their food three days from the trailhead!

                For what it's worth, I love my bear can. Yes, it's heavy and makes packing a pain, but it's become a security blanket of sorts. When I go to areas that don't require a canister, I find myself constantly worrying about my food at night, even if there are unquestionably no bears in the area. Plus, it makes a darn good seat at night when you get to camp :)

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Byron Nevins <byron.nevins@...> wrote:
                >
                > Nice write-up, John.
                >
                > It's exactly analogous to vaccines. The anti-vaccine nuttiness says
                > something like this:
                >
                > I didn't vaccinate my kids against mumps/hepatitis/whatever because of some
                > idiotic reason like: vaccines cause autism.
                >
                > "My kids did not get mumps/hepatitis/whatever. Therefore I'm a great
                > parent!"
                >
                > -- The only reason this "works" is because of herd immunity. Those bugs
                > need to have a certain density of uncured humans to survive. Since
                > everyone else is vaccinating their kids, the disease causing organisms
                > can't get a foothold. The anti-vaccine nuts are freeloading on the rest of
                > the herd. Just like the non bearcan carrying folks are doing.
                >
                > "I didn't bring a bear can. The bears did not come into my camp.
                > Therefore I'm a great backpacker!"
                >
                > I backpacked before bearcans were invented. I was pretty much "visited" by
                > bears every night. Every backcountry campsite. The bears simply patrolled
                > the trail late at night! And they were good. Very good. At getting your
                > food.
                >

              • John Ladd
                ... You d hang the food and leave your cooing pot and a spoon next to your head. When the bears approached, you d usually hear them. You d bang on the pot and
                Message 7 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
                  On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM, gracec816 <mizcottonball@...> wrote:
                  Out of curiosity, what did happen before bear canisters were required?

                  You'd hang the food and leave your cooing pot and a spoon next to your head. When the bears approached, you'd usually hear them. You'd bang on the pot and yell at the bear. If she hadn't already got to the food, sh'e usually retreat. But you'd stay half-awake and repeat at intervals. Sometimes you woke up with the bear sniffing at your head. I used to put my kids in a tend and sleep in the open, rain permitting, so the bear would sniff at me first. Wasn't pleasant. Usually you could protect the food. The cubs were kind of cute.

                  I like today a lot more. The bears very rarely (if ever ) attacked people or tents. They just went after the food. Some people kept food in the tent on that theory. I never had the nerve

                  John Curran Ladd
                  1616 Castro Street
                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                  415-648-9279
                • Dale Stuart
                  I have not had to chase bears off but... I came across the HST before starting the JMT last year. (2012)  My first night was at Bearpaw meadows in Sequoia
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
                    I have not had to chase bears off but...
                    I came across the HST before starting the JMT last year. (2012)  My first night was at Bearpaw meadows in Sequoia Nat'l park.  After setting up my tent, I was preparing my dinner and to my surprise there was a bear peaking over a downed log watching me.  He was waiting for his moment to sneak off with something.  All I could see was from the tip of his nose up to the ears as he peaked at me.  It was funny to see the rejection in his eyes as he turned away because he heard the rattle of the bear box chains when I locked my food away.  (I did have a bearcan but due to the length of my starting TH, I had 4 days outside my canister.  I planned my first 4 nights to coincide with camps with bear boxes)  
                     
                    -Dale 

                     


                  • Jim Ringland
                    Another dinosaur reporting in. I just reviewed my backpacking experience from the 1980 s. I took 29 trips into the Sierras in that decade, mostly solo but
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013

                      Another dinosaur reporting in.  I just reviewed my backpacking experience from the 1980's.  I took 29 trips into the Sierras in that decade, mostly solo but some with a few companions and some with larger groups too.  I think I saw bears in camp only two or three times.  I tended to avoid the most active bear areas.  No nights in Little Yosemite Valley or the Cathedral Range, for example.  I lost food once, on the 14th trip.  It was at a place then considered a bear hot spot: Laurel Lake in Yosemite.  I didn't consider one loss out of 14 trips (or one out of 29, depending on you count), with the loss at a place where I knew I was pushing my luck, to be all that bad. 

                       

                      Before that loss, I had great faith in counterbalance bear bagging and a little too much pride in my abilities to execute it well.   After seeing a bear patiently dig through a 5-1/2" diameter Ponderosa pine branch with her paws to bring everything down, I definitely lost some faith.  (And it was a her.  There was a cub.)  But I kept going out.

                       

                      Bear canisters can be great tables too.

                       

                      Jim Ringland

                       

                      From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of gracec816
                      Sent: Sunday, June 09, 2013 5:08 PM
                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Why we use bearcans

                      Out of curiosity, what did happen before bear canisters were required? Did people have constant problems with their food being eaten mid-trip or have young people like myself just been programmed to believe that was the case? John's statistics would seem to suggest the former, but somehow I doubt people would have gone backpacking knowing that there was a good chance that they could lose all their food three days from the trailhead!

                      For what it's worth, I love my bear can. Yes, it's heavy and makes packing a pain, but it's become a security blanket of sorts. When I go to areas that don't require a canister, I find myself constantly worrying about my food at night, even if there are unquestionably no bears in the area. Plus, it makes a darn good seat at night when you get to camp :)

                       

                      <snip>

                    • Roleigh Martin
                      Byron, I m responding to your analogy over at the JohnMuirTrail_Sidebar group -- see footer to join if you haven t. ... Visit my Google Profile (lots of very
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
                        Byron, I'm responding to your analogy over at the JohnMuirTrail_Sidebar group -- see footer to join if you haven't.
                        -------------------------------------------------
                        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                        _



                        On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Byron Nevins <byron.nevins@...> wrote:
                         

                        Nice write-up, John.

                        It's exactly analogous to vaccines.  The anti-vaccine nuttiness says something like this:

                        I didn't vaccinate my kids against mumps/hepatitis/whatever because of some idiotic reason like: vaccines cause autism.

                        "My kids did not get mumps/hepatitis/whatever.  Therefore I'm a great parent!"

                        -- The only reason this "works" is because of herd immunity.  Those bugs need to have a certain density of uncured humans to survive.  Since everyone else is vaccinating their kids, the disease causing organisms can't get a foothold.  The anti-vaccine nuts are freeloading on the rest of the herd.  Just like the non bearcan carrying folks are doing.

                        "I didn't bring a bear can.  The bears did not come into my camp.  Therefore I'm a great backpacker!"

                        I backpacked before bearcans were invented.  I was pretty much "visited" by bears every night.  Every backcountry campsite.  The bears simply patrolled the trail late at night!  And they were good.  Very good.  At getting your food.




                      • Erica
                        I, personally, am a huge fan of the bear canister - seems like MUCH less of a hassle than hanging (get to camp after dark, leave early...don t have to hunt
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jun 9, 2013
                          I, personally, am a huge fan of the bear canister - seems like MUCH less of a hassle than hanging (get to camp after dark, leave early...don't have to hunt around for a tree, or stress during the night...and, hey!, you have a table or stool!)

                          Curious if anyone in this group still hangs in the areas which it is legal to do so vs. carrying a canister (...or where illegal to do so, if you feel like admitting to it) and has had any experiences with bears? Seems to me that the smart bears can't only be confined to the current bear canister required areas....
                        • casey
                          Traveled for years before there was such a thing as canisters. In all my years of packing the only thing I ve ever lost was a package of crackers to a
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jun 10, 2013
                            Traveled for years before there was such a thing as canisters. In all my years of packing the only thing I've ever lost was a package of crackers to a raccoon. He came up behind the log and stole them while I was eating them with my dinner. Watched the same raccoonteam up with another to clean out two packs that were hanging in an adjoining camp. One raccoon went up the tree, down the rope on top of the packs, then proceeded to unzip all the compartments and help himself, dropping the goodies to his partner below. Who carried off the goodies into the woods and immediately returned for more. Never had much faith in hanging my food after that.

                            Always went with the simple technique of defending my food, using my backpack and food bag as my pillow. Never had a problem. Remember one night years ago near Glen Aulin with a really persistent bear. I just made my bed up on top of the two ice chests and two food boxes.(was working as a commercial packer) He gave up, went away, and I had a good nights sleep. When I travel today with a canister I still sleep with it within arms' reach.




                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "gracec816" <mizcottonball@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Out of curiosity, what did happen before bear canisters were required? Did people have constant problems with their food being eaten mid-trip or have young people like myself just been programmed to believe that was the case? John's statistics would seem to suggest the former, but somehow I doubt people would have gone backpacking knowing that there was a good chance that they could lose all their food three days from the trailhead!
                            >
                            > For what it's worth, I love my bear can. Yes, it's heavy and makes packing a pain, but it's become a security blanket of sorts. When I go to areas that don't require a canister, I find myself constantly worrying about my food at night, even if there are unquestionably no bears in the area. Plus, it makes a darn good seat at night when you get to camp :)
                            >
                            > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Byron Nevins <byron.nevins@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Nice write-up, John.
                            > >
                            > > It's exactly analogous to vaccines. The anti-vaccine nuttiness says
                            > > something like this:
                            > >
                            > > I didn't vaccinate my kids against mumps/hepatitis/whatever because of some
                            > > idiotic reason like: vaccines cause autism.
                            > >
                            > > "My kids did not get mumps/hepatitis/whatever. Therefore I'm a great
                            > > parent!"
                            > >
                            > > -- The only reason this "works" is because of herd immunity. Those bugs
                            > > need to have a certain density of uncured humans to survive. Since
                            > > everyone else is vaccinating their kids, the disease causing organisms
                            > > can't get a foothold. The anti-vaccine nuts are freeloading on the rest of
                            > > the herd. Just like the non bearcan carrying folks are doing.
                            > >
                            > > "I didn't bring a bear can. The bears did not come into my camp.
                            > > Therefore I'm a great backpacker!"
                            > >
                            > > I backpacked before bearcans were invented. I was pretty much "visited" by
                            > > bears every night. Every backcountry campsite. The bears simply patrolled
                            > > the trail late at night! And they were good. Very good. At getting your
                            > > food.
                            > >
                            >
                          • Herb
                            I do occasionally hang in areas that do not require a bear can. However, if it is popular area with known bear activity--i.e., anywhere along the JMT--I would
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jun 10, 2013
                              I do occasionally hang in areas that do not require a bear can. However, if it is popular area with known bear activity--i.e., anywhere along the JMT--I would rely exclusively on the can whether legally required to do so or not.

                              The primary issue, I think, is the extent of human-bear contact. If it is high, the bears have become less afraid of people and more resourceful. An experienced bear not afraid of people will eventually be able to get the most expertly hung food. Conversely, in areas where bears are still fearful of people and not accustomed to thieving backpacker food, a good hang is still an effective means of protection.

                              In the old pre-bear can days when we always hung food I never had a loss. However, I attribute that less to good hanging technique then to site selection. Rangers were constantly updating hikers on where bears were intensely active. Back then, the long talk you get now about proper waste disposal was instead on where the bears were stealing food and how to hang. My buddy and I planned our days to avoid the hot spots. This often required getting a very early start and pounding a hard first day, since the highest activity was often close to the trail head. We also dry camped in an effort to avoid high-use areas.

                              While I hate carrying the can there is no question it works and is the right policy choice. Presumably new materials and expanded use of cans will bring down the weight and cost. My only regret is that we can no longer exchange our customary end-of-the-day joke. After successfully counter-balancing the food, one of us would turn to the other and say--"now THAT is what you call well hung!"

                              Herb


                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I, personally, am a huge fan of the bear canister - seems like MUCH less of a hassle than hanging (get to camp after dark, leave early...don't have to hunt around for a tree, or stress during the night...and, hey!, you have a table or stool!)
                              >
                              > Curious if anyone in this group still hangs in the areas which it is legal to do so vs. carrying a canister (...or where illegal to do so, if you feel like admitting to it) and has had any experiences with bears? Seems to me that the smart bears can't only be confined to the current bear canister required areas....
                              >
                            • sanfran_rwood
                              Back in the seventies I was with a big group o scouts up around Lassen, and at the time the technique was triple bagging -- food was inside three layers of
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jun 10, 2013
                                Back in the seventies I was with a big group o' scouts up around Lassen, and at the time the technique was "triple bagging" -- food was inside three layers of plastic bags. I guess the idea was to attenuate the smell enough to reduce the range at which a bear would notice it.

                                Didn't work that one time, though. Probably because feeding a dozen or more teenage boys and their leaders generated enough interesting scents that a bear came by that night and definitely found the packs with triple-bagged food in them. Shredded three packs that night without anyone hearing a noise; we just found the remains of the packs the next morning hundreds of feet away.

                                For the rest of the trip we went all paramilitary and posted sentries all night long. The bear was persistent, returning each night only to retreat from a fusillade of thrown rocks.

                                Eventually a ranger wandered by and we told him the story. He decided to spend the night with us, camping solo a few yards outside our security perimeter (can't say I blame him...)

                                That night when the bear came back, rocks were thrown again. Yelling was a bit louder in an attempt to wake the ranger, and the bear apparently freaked a bit and skedaddled up a nearby tree. It just happened to be the one the ranger was sleeping beneath. Once we woke him, he refused to believe there was a bear in the tree above him -- wouldn't a teenage prank be much more likely?

                                But eventually we coaxed him out from under the tree and he could see the bear twenty feet up in the branches. The ranger moved his gear and went back to sleep. I suspect some of us were quietly hoping he'd pull out a rifle or something -- I remember being astonished to discover my father (one of the leaders) was packing his handgun.

                                I remember losing at least one other bag o' food to a bear before adopting the hanging strategy. We created a niche between some big rocks then piled several hundred pounds more rocks on top, only to find them scattered far and wide the next morning, and no sign of the food bag.

                                So many places in the California mountains have horrible trees for hanging bags I'm quite happy now with my Bearikade. I remember wandering the forest for half an hour or more somewhere -- Granite Chief Wilderness Area, I think -- looking for a sufficiently horizontal branch that at the right height and distance to hang that darn bag.

                                Yeah, it's an extra pound plus, but everything else has gotten so much lighter since those old days that I don't begrudge the weight.
                                --
                                Richard
                              • Chris
                                Hi Erica: Two years ago I did a 3-day/2-night hike on the PCT through Desolation Wilderness (west side of Lake Tahoe). Both nights my food was hung,
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jun 10, 2013
                                  Hi Erica:

                                  Two years ago I did a 3-day/2-night hike on the PCT through Desolation Wilderness (west side of Lake Tahoe). Both nights my food was hung, old-school counter-balance method, with no problems.

                                  Also, after leaving MTR this summer with 8 days of food to fit into a BearVault 450 Solo, I might need to hang food through Evolution Valley, where it is legal, for one or two nights, until everything will fit into my bear canister.

                                  However, yes, I agree, the extra weight of a bear canister is well worth the convenience of not having to go through the effort of hanging food. So much simpler and stress-free. If I were to do that Desolation Wilderness trip again, I would use a bear can this time around.

                                  Chris.

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I, personally, am a huge fan of the bear canister - seems like MUCH less of a hassle than hanging (get to camp after dark, leave early...don't have to hunt around for a tree, or stress during the night...and, hey!, you have a table or stool!)
                                  >
                                  > Curious if anyone in this group still hangs in the areas which it is legal to do so vs. carrying a canister (...or where illegal to do so, if you feel like admitting to it) and has had any experiences with bears? Seems to me that the smart bears can't only be confined to the current bear canister required areas....
                                  >
                                • sanfran_rwood
                                  A ranger once told me that the reason bear canisters aren t required in Desolation Wilderness is that the bears just don t spend much time there -- not enough
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jun 10, 2013
                                    A ranger once told me that the reason bear canisters aren't required in Desolation Wilderness is that the bears just don't spend much time there -- not enough food on all that exposed granite.

                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <cehauser1@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Two years ago I did a 3-day/2-night hike on the PCT through Desolation Wilderness (west side of Lake Tahoe). Both nights my food was hung, old-school counter-balance method, with no problems.
                                  • cjoslyn99
                                    That and raccoons etc. I m a fan of just using it since I don t need to be ultralight. ... less of a hassle than hanging (get to camp after dark, leave
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jun 11, 2013
                                      That and raccoons etc. I'm a fan of just using it since I don't need to
                                      be ultralight.

                                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" xericamunsonx@ wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > I, personally, am a huge fan of the bear canister - seems like MUCH
                                      less of a hassle than hanging (get to camp after dark, leave
                                      early...don't have to hunt around for a tree, or stress during the
                                      night...and, hey!, you have a table or stool!)
                                      > >
                                      > > Curious if anyone in this group still hangs in the areas which it is
                                      legal to do so vs. carrying a canister (...or where illegal to do so, if
                                      you feel like admitting to it) and has had any experiences with bears?
                                      Seems to me that the smart bears can't only be confined to the current
                                      bear canister required areas....
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • juliebinion@sbcglobal.net
                                      This is definitely not an apples to apples analogy of using bear canisters responsibly vs. vaccinations. Unless you have experienced the devastating, life
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jun 11, 2013
                                        This is definitely not an apples to apples analogy of using bear canisters responsibly vs. vaccinations. Unless you have experienced the devastating, life changing adverse effects of vaccinations on a loved one, you certainly wouldn't have a clue as to the stand against such practice. Be thankful.

                                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Byron Nevins <byron.nevins@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Nice write-up, John.
                                        >
                                        > It's exactly analogous to vaccines. The anti-vaccine nuttiness says
                                        > something like this:
                                        >
                                      • Roleigh Martin
                                        Julie, there is a long thread on this over at sidebar. I encourge you to follow and post over there. Sidebar was created to enable tangents to JMT hiking to
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jun 11, 2013
                                          Julie, there is a long thread on this over at sidebar.  I encourge you to follow and post over there.  Sidebar was created to enable tangents to JMT hiking to have a place to be appreciated.  See message footer on how to join.

                                          -------------------------------------------------
                                          Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                                          _



                                          On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 9:00 PM, juliebinion@... <juliebinion@...> wrote:
                                           

                                          This is definitely not an apples to apples analogy of using bear canisters responsibly vs. vaccinations. Unless you have experienced the devastating, life changing adverse effects of vaccinations on a loved one, you certainly wouldn't have a clue as to the stand against such practice. Be thankful.


                                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Byron Nevins <byron.nevins@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Nice write-up, John.
                                          >
                                          > It's exactly analogous to vaccines. The anti-vaccine nuttiness says
                                          > something like this:
                                          >


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