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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: The Bears Are Coming for YOUR Food!

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  • Bill Cathey
    I would prefer to keep some separation between my kitchen area and tent, too. Why encourage a bear to come close to your tent? I would think that the vast
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 30 7:23 PM
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      I would prefer to keep some separation between my kitchen area and tent, too. Why encourage a bear to come close to your tent? I would think that the vast majority of times bears are exploring around campsites, people just sleep through it anyway. Scaring bears away on occasion isn't going to stop them from following their instinct and looking around for an easy source of food. It just scares them away at that particular time. Let the bear canister do its job and let the bear play, as long as it's not near the tent.

      It would be better to get them used to not thinking of tents as places to find food, but that would only work if everyone follows the practice of never storing, preparing, or eating food near their tent.

      bill

      On Jul 30, 2013, at 8:04 PM, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:

       

      On a more serious note, the article states, "Always place bear cans in backcountry campsites within ear-shot or headlamp range and be prepared to scare bears away from camp at night by yelling..."

      I've always put mine far enough away that the bear won't associate the canister with me and my tent, assuming that even if he or she tries to roll it away, it won't roll far. Am I doing it wrong?


      On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
      I saw three bears on my last thru-hike, all a few miles past the Clouds Rest junction. Looks like they're still there!


      Good hiking, Ray

      Ray Rippel
      Author, Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail
    • Marna
      ... I do that, too, AND I have reflective tape on it so I can find it after the bear ditches it. I always try to stow it far from the lake, too. Imagine having
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 30 9:33 PM
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        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've always put mine far enough away that the bear won't associate the
        > canister with me and my tent, assuming that even if he or she tries to roll
        > it away, it won't roll far. Am I doing it wrong?
        >
        I do that, too, AND I have reflective tape on it so I can find it after the bear ditches it. I always try to stow it far from the lake, too. Imagine having to swim out to get your bear canister in the morning. BRRRR!
        Marnie
      • John Ladd
        From the old pre-bearcan days, I d say it is not all that hard to scare off a bear who has not yet gotten a food reward. If the bear did already get a food
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 30 10:18 PM
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          From the old pre-bearcan days, I'd say it is not all that hard to scare off a bear who has not yet gotten a food reward. If the bear did already get a food reward from your stuff, don't bother to try. 

          Back in the old days I found considerable profanity was useful. Of course, the bear didn't understand it but it made my voice more forceful, and that seemed to help.

          But I've had no opportunity to try my bear-shooing skills in recent years other than the occasional bear found on a trail. Never one interested in my bearcan.

          Personally I'm in the middle ground of other posters. I don't put my bearcan the full recommended 100 yards away but I do put it pretty far away (maybe 25 yards, it varies) and put stuff on top of it in hopes I will hear the bear. I usually don't eat meals where I camp so the cooking smells aren't an issue for me. (I usually hike at least 90 minutes after dinner because I love hiking in the fading light.

          There's a good blog on scaring off bears about midway down this links page


          Once you get to the linked blog, scroll down to the Jan 3, 2010

          You can also go directly to a video (mentioned in the blog post) at


          But the commentary that goes with the video on the blog is very good and the video mostly shows how people were too tentative to scare off the bear until the very end

          Extract from  the blog, referencing the video:

          "So, how do you scare a bear away? Yell as loudly as possible at it (we usually say “go away bear!” or “get out of here, bear!”) Obviously, it doesn’t really matter what you say, but if you’re yelling something like that at a bear, you’re more likely to mean it. And this is the trick. You have to mean it! You could make all the noise in the world, but if the bear doesn’t think you mean it, it’ll probably ignore you. You can see an example of yelling without meaning it not working very well in this video."

          The bear biologists encourage you to scare off bears if you know how to do so safely. They want bears to stay people-adverse and if you are sweet to them, they will get more comfortable with people and their gear. Yelling at a bear to scare him away is good for the bear.

          Kim Fishburn originally sent me the blog link. Thanks, Kim

          John Curran Ladd
          1616 Castro Street
          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
          415-648-9279


          On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 5:04 PM, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
           

          On a more serious note, the article states, "Always place bear cans in backcountry campsites within ear-shot or headlamp range and be prepared to scare bears away from camp at night by yelling..."

          I've always put mine far enough away that the bear won't associate the canister with me and my tent, assuming that even if he or she tries to roll it away, it won't roll far. Am I doing it wrong?


          On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
          I saw three bears on my last thru-hike, all a few miles past the Clouds Rest junction. Looks like they're still there!


          Good hiking, Ray

          Ray Rippel
          Author, Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail



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