- Hi All,
I don't have much experience with bear canisters and all practices to keep the bears away. Any tips would be appreciated.
Are bear bags good to have? I was thinking of keeping trash in a bear bag.
Does anyone recommend a good environment-friendly soap? I assume that scented soap is a no no.
At night do we need to keep our bear canisters away from our site or up in a tree as well?
Should we bring bear mace spray?
Some friends who did JMT a couple years back never saw any bears. They also carried baking soda for all their cleaning, seems like to much extra weight to me.
- I don't know how high the density of bears is in SNP, but, living in the area myself and having hiked there many times, I was disappointed for several years at not having encountered any there. I finally had my first sighting last year, followed by another one 5 minutes later, then a mother and cub shortly after that. So, I saw 4 bears just in the one hike, all within about 20 minutes. That was really exciting.
Shenandoah National Park, where the black bear density is very high, also permits the use of spray although I cannot imagine why anyone would feel the need to use it. All of the bears that I've seen are more timid than deer. After hiking the JMT without a bear sighting, I had a bear encounter at Shenandoah at few weeks later and another one in April. Both times the bears ran as soon as they detected my presence.