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BearVaults

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  • robertdoylecpa
    Being an East Coast hiker, I am not use to a bear vault. We just hang our food between two trees. So I have a Bear Vault. What do I do with it at night? Tie it
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 22, 2014
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      Being an East Coast hiker, I am not use to a bear vault. We just hang our food between two trees. So I have a Bear Vault. What do I do with it at night? Tie it to a tree trunk? Just set it outside? Silly question, but I have never used one...

      I look forward to being a JMT veteran so I can answer these questions next year. Thanks.

    • Ray Rippel
      You just leave it a short distance from your tent, Robert, and make sure all your scented items are inside. You may find this useful:
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 22, 2014
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        You just leave it a short distance from your tent, Robert, and make sure all your scented items are inside. You may find this useful: http://jmtbook.com/grading-my-john-muir-trail-thru-hike-gear-choices-bear-canister/.


      • Barbara Karagosian
        Put it on the ground, about 50-100 feet from your tent, and not near a water source/lake or cliff edge where a bear could knock it over into. Maybe place
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 22, 2014
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          Put it on the ground, about 50-100 feet from your tent, and not near a water source/lake or cliff edge where a bear could knock it over into.  Maybe place rocks or kitchen gear on top, so if a bear messes with it (unlikely) you might hear stuff being knocked around.  I usually nestle mine between some rocks or next to a downed tree.  No need to hang it!


          On Apr 22, 2014, at 7:46 PM, <robertdoylecpa@...> <robertdoylecpa@...> wrote:

           

          Being an East Coast hiker, I am not use to a bear vault. We just hang our food between two trees. So I have a Bear Vault. What do I do with it at night? Tie it to a tree trunk? Just set it outside? Silly question, but I have never used one...

          I look forward to being a JMT veteran so I can answer these questions next year. Thanks.



        • John Ladd
          There were reports last year of a bear rolling one a considerable distance (had not been a problem in prior years). A precaution might be to put some
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 22, 2014
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            There were reports last year of a bear rolling one a considerable distance (had not been a problem in prior years). A precaution might be to put some reflective tape on the can to make it easier to find and, as others have said, don't put it near a considerable dropoff. Lodging it between rocks just allows  a bear to put more pressure on it, s you just want it loose on the ground.

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


            On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 7:46 PM, <robertdoylecpa@...> wrote:
             

            Being an East Coast hiker, I am not use to a bear vault. We just hang our food between two trees. So I have a Bear Vault. What do I do with it at night? Tie it to a tree trunk? Just set it outside? Silly question, but I have never used one...

            I look forward to being a JMT veteran so I can answer these questions next year. Thanks.


          • cehauser1
            Robert: I ll add something to the good advice you ve already received: Last year I read something that said people shouldn t put the bear canister in a stuff
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 22, 2014
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              Robert:

              I'll add something to the good advice you've already received:  Last year I read something that said people shouldn't put the bear canister in a stuff sack or tie a rope to it.  Part of the effectiveness is that the bears can't grab onto the slick sides of canisters, so they can't run off with it in their mouths, as long as they don't have anything to grab/bite onto.

              Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here:  I don't want to promote sloppiness or laziness, but I think the bears have all learned that they cannot access the food inside the canisters, and they have given up on it for the most part.  They have gone back to being wild bears, eating wild foods again.  So all the strict directions about what to do with the canisters... that was all probably VERY important 10-15 years ago, but I think the key is just keeping all the smelly stuff in the canister, and keep the lid locked.

              We are living in a wonderful time in history where Sierra bears don't see humans as a source of food.  We definitely need to do what we can to keep bears wild, but I think things are a bit easier these days with the canisters.  I keep my canister right next to my head, sleeping outside, every night, no problems.

              Have a great trip!

              Chris.

              ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <robertdoylecpa@...> wrote :

              Being an East Coast hiker, I am not use to a bear vault. We just hang our food between two trees. So I have a Bear Vault. What do I do with it at night? Tie it to a tree trunk? Just set it outside? Silly question, but I have never used one...

              I look forward to being a JMT veteran so I can answer these questions next year. Thanks.

            • dj_ayers
              Good posts so far, thought I d add my method. I try to leave my bear can on a relatively flat rock some distance away but still within throwing range. I
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                Good posts so far, thought I'd add my method.  I try to leave my bear can on a relatively flat rock some distance away but still within throwing range.  I place my cook pot on top of the canister (my bear alarm).  I keep a small stash of throwing objects at my sleep mat.  If a bear comes and I am asleep, the bear invariably knocks down the pot which makes noise hitting the rock.  That wakes me and I holler, toss stuff, etc., and scare the bear away.
              • Kim Fishburn
                I always keep my metal cup where I can grab it along with a rock so I can bang they together and make lots of noise. I had to buy a new cup once back in the
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                  I always keep my metal cup where I can grab it along with a rock so I can bang they together and make lots of noise.

                  I had to buy a new cup once back in the days when you could still hang food. I beat the hell out of my cup when a bear wouldn't leave. I heard it climbing the tree at 5am and saw it. I yelled once and it started down. I got my shoes on, grabbed my cup and a rock, and got between the bear and the tree. It wouldn't leave, and kept looking in the tree behind me. It growled once, and took a step to do a bluff charge. I stood my ground, and finally looked in the tree behind me and saw a cub. I backed up about 25 feet and mama came over and got the cub and left. I beat the cup so hard on the small rock I had that I indented the bottom.

                  Kim


                  On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:55 AM, <djayers@...> wrote:
                   

                  Good posts so far, thought I'd add my method.  I try to leave my bear can on a relatively flat rock some distance away but still within throwing range.  I place my cook pot on top of the canister (my bear alarm).  I keep a small stash of throwing objects at my sleep mat.  If a bear comes and I am asleep, the bear invariably knocks down the pot which makes noise hitting the rock.  That wakes me and I holler, toss stuff, etc., and scare the bear away.


                • herbstroh
                  I was in Yosemite Valley last fall during a festival celebrating volunteers. The Park Service had a booth that included their bear trap trailer. I was talking
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                    I was in Yosemite Valley last fall during a festival celebrating volunteers. The Park Service had a booth that included their bear trap trailer. I was talking to the Park Service employee at the booth, and she said they had a female bear 'working' just outside the valley getting in to bear cans. The bear was pushing them off of high places, having learned that if they happen to land on the lid they might break open. She said there was an unconfirmed report that the bear had now taken to throwing the can down on to rocks to break the top. I asked about the future of the bear, but she became noncommittal at that point. One can only hope this bear did not teach her tricks to others...

                    There are many reports of bears taking a passing swipe at sitting cans, presumably looking for loose lids. They are very clever thieves, thus the reason that hanging is no longer effective.

                    Bear cans have dramatically reduced bear incidents in the wilderness. Back in the day, it was not uncommon to meet someone making an unplanned exit due to a bear raid. But we all need to remain vigilent in properly securing food, closing cans, and keeping a clean camp.

                    Herb
                  • Ray Rippel
                    Good day, Herb, I heard the same story (about a bear tossing canisters from high places onto rocks) from a Ranger at Sunrise Camp (I stopped there for a
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                      Good day, Herb,

                      I heard the same story (about a bear tossing canisters from high places onto rocks) from a Ranger at Sunrise Camp (I stopped there for a morning break). Clever ursines, no doubt about it!

                      Good hiking, Ray

                    • eric moss
                      I was wondering about the Bearikade vs the clear canisters. They all seem pretty tough, but is there any data on whether the visibility of contents has any
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                        I was wondering about the Bearikade vs the clear canisters.  They all seem pretty tough, but is there any data on whether the visibility of contents has any effect on how long a bear will continue trying to get in it?  If opaqueness has a positive effect, then maybe it's worth spray-painting the inside of a clear container safety orange.


                        On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                        I heard the same story (about a bear tossing canisters from high places onto rocks) from a Ranger at Sunrise Camp (I stopped there for a morning break). Clever ursines, no doubt about it!

                      • chico_casey2
                        I have a personal anecdote to add for loose lids and lazy bears. Several years ago we were car camped at Tuolumne Meadows, acclimatizing and preparing for a
                        Message 11 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                          I have a personal anecdote to add for loose lids and lazy bears.


                          Several years ago we were car camped at Tuolumne Meadows, acclimatizing and preparing for a week long loop trip.  At that time I had a couple of standard Bearvaults.  These are the kind can be unlocked and then locked  via a small coin, there is a small button to push to pop the lid off. 


                          I had been sorting the food to take on the hike into one bearcan and the second was left empty.  Both bearcans were closed and left standing up together under the picnic table, as the park provided large metal  campsite bearbox was full.  That night the bear came through the campground and made her rounds.  We heard the commotion and didn't pay it any mind.


                          Next morning, sure enough, there was a bearcan knocked away from the picnic table, with slobber and dirt on it.  This was the empty one, and the lid had been opened with no food to be found. The other one had not been touched.  When I checked the other bearcan, I found that I had forgotten to lock it, a simple push on the button and all of the food would have been gone.  Loose lid and lazy bear.


                          Moral is: make sure your bear canister is locked, yeah double check it.  Not all bears will be so lazy.



                          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <hstroh@...> wrote :

                          I was in Yosemite Valley last fall during a festival celebrating volunteers. The Park Service had a booth that included their bear trap trailer. I was talking to the Park Service employee at the booth, and she said they had a female bear 'working' just outside the valley getting in to bear cans. The bear was pushing them off of high places, having learned that if they happen to land on the lid they might break open. She said there was an unconfirmed report that the bear had now taken to throwing the can down on to rocks to break the top. I asked about the future of the bear, but she became noncommittal at that point. One can only hope this bear did not teach her tricks to others...

                          There are many reports of bears taking a passing swipe at sitting cans, presumably looking for loose lids. They are very clever thieves, thus the reason that hanging is no longer effective.

                          Bear cans have dramatically reduced bear incidents in the wilderness. Back in the day, it was not uncommon to meet someone making an unplanned exit due to a bear raid. But we all need to remain vigilent in properly securing food, closing cans, and keeping a clean camp.

                          Herb
                        • debrabrownbear
                          I have reflective tape wrapped around my clear BV500, and duct tape with Don t even think about it, Yogi written across it in marking pen. They re so smart,
                          Message 12 of 16 , Apr 23, 2014
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                            I have reflective tape wrapped around my clear BV500, and duct tape with "Don't even think about it, Yogi" written across it in marking pen. They're so smart, they'll be reading soon. I'm ready! Debra
                          • riosand2
                            A little reminder to secure the lid of your bear vault. According to the story, this black bear pulled a Pooh, got his head stuck in the honey pot and had to
                            Message 13 of 16 , Apr 24, 2014
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                              View image on Twitter

                              A little reminder to secure the lid of your bear vault.  According to the story, this black bear pulled a Pooh, got his head stuck in the honey pot and had to be tranked to cut off it off

                              http://theweek.com/article/index/260417/speedreads-bear-gets-head-stuck-in-jar-walks-down-street-in-canada
                            • Arla Hile
                              I had a friend who left camp to go fishing, when he came back a bear was happily licking his can and he couldn t chase her off. He figured that maybe his
                              Message 14 of 16 , Apr 29, 2014
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                                I had a friend who left camp to go fishing, when he came back a bear was happily licking his can and he couldn't chase her off. He figured that maybe his greasy fingers left a nice smelly treat for her. He had to wait it out and his can was all slobbery, although she didn't get his food. IMO the bear still got a tasty reward, so the moral is keep your can clean from food residue! 

                                Arla
                                On Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:16 AM, "riosand2@..." <riosand2@...> wrote:
                                 
                                View image on Twitter

                                A little reminder to secure the lid of your bear vault.  According to the story, this black bear pulled a Pooh, got his head stuck in the honey pot and had to be tranked to cut off it off

                                http://theweek.com/article/index/260417/speedreads-bear-gets-head-stuck-in-jar-walks-down-street-in-canada


                              • Robert Doyle
                                I just did a short trip in the Smoky Mountains to get some elevation in and I packed my bearVault. Now my question is what about my cook stuff?  My pot,
                                Message 15 of 16 , Apr 29, 2014
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                                  I just did a short trip in the Smoky Mountains to get some elevation in and I packed my bearVault. Now my question is what about my cook stuff?  My pot, coffee cup? Does that all go in the bearVault? That takes ups space...
                                  On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 6:28 PM, Arla Hile <crocov502@...> wrote:
                                   
                                  I had a friend who left camp to go fishing, when he came back a bear was happily licking his can and he couldn't chase her off. He figured that maybe his greasy fingers left a nice smelly treat for her. He had to wait it out and his can was all slobbery, although she didn't get his food. IMO the bear still got a tasty reward, so the moral is keep your can clean from food residue! 

                                  Arla
                                  On Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:16 AM, "riosand2@..." <riosand2@...> wrote:
                                   
                                  View image on Twitter

                                  A little reminder to secure the lid of your bear vault.  According to the story, this black bear pulled a Pooh, got his head stuck in the honey pot and had to be tranked to cut off it off

                                  http://theweek.com/article/index/260417/speedreads-bear-gets-head-stuck-in-jar-walks-down-street-in-canada




                                • John Ladd
                                  ... IMHO, not required to be in the bearcan. I would at least scrape the pot clean when you can t fit it in the bearcan John Curran Ladd 1616 Castro Street San
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Apr 29, 2014
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                                    On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Robert Doyle <robertdoylecpa@...> wrote:
                                    my cook stuff?  My pot, coffee cup?

                                    IMHO, not required to be in the bearcan. I would at least scrape the pot clean when you can't fit it in the bearcan

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