Bear bags/vaults

Zaphod

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#1
So, I'm planning a trip this spring and it'll be my first time heading out to the west coast. I know bears are more of a problem there than they are in the places I've spent time in so basically I'm trying to figure out how to deal with storing my food and other bear-attracting items.

How necessary is it that I obtain a bear canister? Are there circumstances where hanging a bag will be sufficient? Do I have other options?

I've never really had to worry about bears before so I'm totally clueless (other than shit we talked about back in boy scouts)
 
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#2
About around 200 feet from my camp sites, I hanged my food up over a branch of a tree and eat that far from my main camp site and burned anything that was food related. A couple years ago in Backpacker magazine, there was a study that possible bears may not be color blind. Hikers and campers who had colored tents and colorful clothes it appears according to study bears were attracted to colors. But hikers and campers that wore green or woodland camouflage didn't encounter bears. I never encounter bears in all my hiking and camping because I wore green or camouflage and wondering if that study was true?
 
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#3
::hungry::
About around 200 feet from my camp sites, I hanged my food up over a branch of a tree and eat that far from my main camp site and burned anything that was food related. A couple years ago in Backpacker magazine, there was a study that possible bears may not be color blind. Hikers and campers who had colored tents and colorful clothes it appears according to study bears were attracted to colors. But hikers and campers that wore green or woodland camouflage didn't encounter bears. I never encounter bears in all my hiking and camping because I wore green or camouflage and wondering if that study was true?
with how incredible they are at hunting and foraging food it wouldnt suprise me if they werent colour blind. Color might be a good indicator of something tasty espically with bears that have been around humans.
 
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#4
honestly chipmunks are reason enough to have a bear canister/bear hang. The wee bastards have chewed through food bags and once even my camelback hose just to be spiteful im pretty sure.
but yeah, Hobo Johnny has it right, any time youre in bear country you wanna be cautious. Working in backcountry crews we would have to sleep in rotations in the "kitchen" (really just a big canvas tent for food storage) i didnt get to finish my season but the inyo crew would send me letters about chasing off bears in the middle of the night cause we couldnt really do much of anything with the coolers packed with foods. Just do your research and youll be fine, theyre pretty damn skiddish and as long as your not acting a fool you really shouldnt have any problems.
 

iamwhatiam

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#5
If you plan to spend a lot of time in smaller towns out in the boonies or spend a lot of time hiking/camping in forest it's a good idea to know bear safety. Some parts of national parks require you to have approved bear canisters but most places you'll be okay just hanging your food properly from a tree away from camp. That includes any smelly items like deoderant, toothpaste, soap.

I know some places have a problem with critters like raccoons/mice getting into your food. I think parts of the PCT are bad for mice. I've heard the Ursack bags are good to keep them out. Worth it to spend the $$ on them IMO if you plan to do lots of backcountry camping
 

Mrcharwe

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#6
I mostly camp in the desert so rodents are more of an issue than bears. Since I am mainly concerned about mice, I pack my food in an old protein container to keep the mice out. It's cheap, and you get calories with the package. Similar containers can probably be found in a dumpster pretty easy. 1 pound container holds 1-2 days worth of food depending on what you eat. 5 lb container holds 4+ days, but is tough to pack.

If you plan on camping in some of the national parks in California they have mandatory bear bag/canister rules, so you will end up having to acquire one.
 

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