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Topic: Sanitizing a car parked at bear country trailhead, empty cooler in trunk?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 11:59 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think most of us are well acquainted with the idea of leaving a clean car parked at a trailhead in bear country, ie. removing all smellables, trash, vacuuming before leaving home, etc. Not leaving a cooler or something potentially mistaken as a cooler visible. However, would you consider leaving a well cleaned cooking pot and an empty, cleaned cooler in the trunk of your car out of site? Normally I am scrupulously paranoid about attracting bears, but I kind of need to do this (empty, clean cooler and pot) for an upcoming trip. Actually, I tend to be paranoid to an extreme in most matters, so maybe my question will seem silly to some. The area I am concerned with in the Eastern Sierra is rumored to have occasional bear activity but nothing heavy and persistent as far as I know (Sabrina Basin parking area near South Lake and Bishop.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 12:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd follow their suggestions as they are the locals.
"Storing Food at Trailheads
Plan ahead so that you do not need to store food in your car. Bring only what you will need during your trip to the wilderness. At some trailheads, storing food in your car is prohibited, but food storage lockers are provided for your convenience. However, space is very limited. Leave bulky items, such as coolers, at home. Items that bears associate with food include plastic bottles, water bottles, coffee mugs, empty cans, trash, wrappers, cosmetics, grocery bags, boxes, and ice chests. Do not leave these items in your car or tent. Bears will break into your car or tent to obtain them. "

If it's a small enough cooler maybe call the forest service and check if there are steel lockers at the trailhead.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps....reation
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 2:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HSF, thanks, but I wasn't discussing leaving food in my car, wouldn't ever consider it, just leaving an empty cooler (no ice, no anything) and a recently used but clean cooking pot. My recollection of Sabrina trailhead parking is that there are no bear boxes and I would be very reluctant to leave my nice pot and medium sized cooler in one anyway.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 10:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was thinking they were including empties in their warning. I'd seen you wanted to know about empty ones.

If it were I I'd probably lean towards a nicely diirted trash bag tied shut with my name on it. Stuck in the nearest locker. The general Inyo site mentions they're st a lot of locations so it might be worth the call.

If the cooler has just had ice and beverages in or on it I guess it would be okay, a pot that's been used would be more of a gamble. Bears can detect unopened cans in a trunk from all accounts after all. Who know about cleaning, remember soap itself is a smellable attractant.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 10:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My overall take is that area has nothing near the problems like The Portal, or the Valley.  I have seen food and coolers in the parking lot at the Portal, and warnings on the windshields, but few tickets for visible stuff.  I would think something in the trunk, clean but likely to have some residual smell, would be OK.  Call the ranger station in Bishop and ask.  Might also ask them if they would hold it for you.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 12:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah not as much as some areas but my eyebrows raised a bit at how much more they're pushing canisters than they used to. Which I'm taking as a signal the bears are getting to be more of a problem (?)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 4:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In Yosemite where the parking area bears are worse than ever, they recommend covering empty ice chests so they are out of sight. I'd also guess they mean chests that have never had a food or liquid spill in them, only ice.  But since bears are ever variable in their sensibilities and smarts (some get Bear Vaults open but 99.9999% don't) I'd follow the recommendations of the locality that you're going to park in....

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 21 2013, 10:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd bet there are 2 dozen cars at Sabrina Basin and yours will be the only one 'sanitized'.
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