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Topic: question about BEARS!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 2:45 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So my wife and I are driving up through the eastern sierras and yosemite, the lost coast, mendocino, crater lake, etc. We are planning on keeping extra supplies in the car while we go out on day hikes, and in some locations we will probably backpack out for 3-4 days before heading back. I was wondering what the best way to keep food / supplies in the car would be to avoid any kind of bear interaction. I've heard about smell proof bags but also read that they are not as effective as they should be.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 3:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The best way is...Don't keep food in your car.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 4:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You follow food storage rules provided in each wilderness area. In Yosemite that will mean keeping a clean car and storing all items with a smell in the lockers provided. Don't bother with "odor proof" bags. They aren't.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 4:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Jun. 12 2014, 3:15 pm)
QUOTE
The best way is...Don't keep food in your car.

Hi...


                                         Yes, you got that right...!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Definitely nothing "smellable" in the vehicle overnight in bear country.

Beyond that they know what to look for so an empty cooler in view will invite a break-in.

http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bears.htm

Look for trailhead parking area steel storage lockers to secure the items. Often the various land management agencies will have lists of where lockers are located.

BTW: Eastern Sierra? GREAT choice! Also for the Lost Coast absolutely consider heading out to Cape Mendocino via Mattole Rd.

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http://www.californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin....ar=2005
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 5:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Those bears have learned that there is food in cars so they go looking and smelling for it. Don't store any food what so ever in your car. In fact make sure you don't have any thing you don't know is in there, just in case. For example old fried under the seats, Gum, etc.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 7:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Black bears apparently have one of the strongest (if not the strongest) sense of smell in the animal world. Seven times stronger than a bloodhound's. I've seen an airport custom's labrador sniff out contraband in a well sealed parcel and a bloodhound's sense of smell is about five times stronger than a labrador. So I don't think I'd be leaving any food in the car. (or tent!)

.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 8:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While I've not spent a lot of time in the area, I've been there a few times and I'll say that you had better follow the instructions from the rangers to the letter.  No shortcuts.  I've seen car windows ripped down and back seats destroyed by a bear who smelled a braided hot peppers in the rear window.  I don't know if he liked them or got a serious case of the runs, but the car - probably a rental - was a wreck.

If they say to use bear proof canisters - do it.  As HSF noted there are bear-proof lockers available in high traffic areas like Yosemite Valley.

As Tigger, AT, and others mentioned - clean our your car completely.  Not even a scrap of a chewing gum wrapper.  And yeah, odor-proof bags seem to be largely a myth.  Check with the rangers for more accurate info.

If camping in the backcountry put the bear proof canister downwind - I think the recommendation is 100 yards, but I'm not sure.

The rangers will tell you what to do.  Just make sure you do it if you don't want to lose your food and/or get a citation.

It's beautiful, but there are some well-justified rules you should follow.  Check the appropriate websites, ask questions if you're unsure of anything, but definitely follow the rules.  The rangers are your friends.  Seriously.  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 8:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of Mrs. big_load's college buddies had his car door opened in Yosemite without benefit of key or latch.  It was an expensive lesson.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 9:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Black bears apparently have one of the strongest (if not the strongest) sense of smell in the animal world. Seven times stronger than a bloodhound's.


Grizzlies have blacks beat by a significant margin. Some researchers suspect they can smell food inside a factory sealed can, although some say that's just remnants of processing on the outside.
However, a few studies were done where the cans were thoroughly cleaned but the bears still found the cans. The alternative to the food inside the can could be the scent of the can itself which some bears have learned usually  contain food.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2014, 11:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 12 2014, 4:32 pm)
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Beyond that they know what to look for so an empty cooler in view will invite a break-in.
In fact, they have learned what a cooler covered with a blanket looks like and will peel a car open if they see one.


(Montanalonewolf @ Jun. 12 2014, 9:43 pm)
QUOTE
a few studies were done where the cans were thoroughly cleaned but the bears still found the cans. The alternative to the food inside the can could be the scent of the can itself which some bears have learned usually  contain food.
I once read of an incident (don't know if it's true) about a cabin that was broken into and a bear (don't know which kind) had ransacked the food storage, opening all the cans of food except for the saurkraut. The speculation was that the bear could smell which food was inside each can from residue on the label from the factory processing.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2014, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Put a swatch of cloth with gun oil on it on the dash...























Sorry, could not resist.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2014, 8:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That only works with bears who read internet forums....

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2014, 9:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

here's a good example:
[touron alert]



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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2014, 11:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Jun. 13 2014, 9:54 am)
QUOTE
here's a good example:
[touron alert]


I've seen people feeding bears in that parking lot.   :angry:
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2014, 12:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Be aware that not all trailheads in the Eastern Sierra have bear boxes and sometimes those that are available can get pretty well stuffed. The appropriate ranger station can tell you which trailheads have the boxes. If you are staying in a developed campground and dayhiking, you could of course leave your food and smellables in the campsite bear box but if you are backpacking overnight or multiple nights, one option (albeit fairly costly) might be to rent the developed campsite for the duration of the backpack trip and leave the smellables there in the bear box.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2014, 8:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Jun. 13 2014, 9:54 am)
QUOTE
here's a good example:
[touron alert]

Lesson: If a bear is breaking into your car, the crowd standing around will make no attempt to get rid of him. This should be on "What Would You Do?" with John Quinones. Proves the sociology studies done in the 1970s about failure to intervene. Really disturbing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2014, 9:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ Jun. 14 2014, 6:47 pm)
QUOTE

(ashepabst @ Jun. 13 2014, 9:54 am)
QUOTE
here's a good example:
[touron alert]

Lesson: If a bear is breaking into your car, the crowd standing around will make no attempt to get rid of him. This should be on "What Would You Do?" with John Quinones. Proves the sociology studies done in the 1970s about failure to intervene. Really disturbing.

Not really because I doubt any of the bystanders/tourons in that video had bear spray or any idea of what to do with ANY bear, much less a habituated one. All they (probably) knew was it a bear and were thinking of all the horrible mauling stories they'd heard.

Now one of us with some bear experience and a can of bear spray would have been over there hosing the guy down....


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2014, 10:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Jun. 14 2014, 9:01 pm)
QUOTE

(TrailTramper @ Jun. 14 2014, 6:47 pm)
QUOTE

(ashepabst @ Jun. 13 2014, 9:54 am)
QUOTE
here's a good example:
[touron alert]

Lesson: If a bear is breaking into your car, the crowd standing around will make no attempt to get rid of him. This should be on "What Would You Do?" with John Quinones. Proves the sociology studies done in the 1970s about failure to intervene. Really disturbing.

Not really because I doubt any of the bystanders/tourons in that video had bear spray or any idea of what to do with ANY bear, much less a habituated one. All they (probably) knew was it a bear and were thinking of all the horrible mauling stories they'd heard.

Now one of us with some bear experience and a can of bear spray would have been over there hosing the guy down....

either way, the appropriate or even logical response is not to stand around giggling like a bunch of fools. the problem is they don't fear the bear.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2014, 11:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Fear"?
Why should they? They're not cans of tuna or ham sandwiches after all. Let alone Mountainhouse Turkey Tetrazzini.,,
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(Montanalonewolf @ Jun. 14 2014, 9:01 pm)
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Not really because I doubt any of the bystanders/tourons in that video had bear spray or any idea of what to do with ANY bear, much less a habituated one. All they (probably) knew was it a bear and were thinking of all the horrible mauling stories they'd heard.

Now one of us with some bear experience and a can of bear spray would have been over there hosing the guy down....

Oh come on now, they could have at least yelled at the bear and banged pots at him, since they felt comfortable getting within about six feet of him. Or blown their horns. Their fear of the bear was NOT a factor in this incident. This was purely about their entertainment. Very typical human behavior.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2014, 10:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

maybe respect's a better word.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2014, 1:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Jun. 15 2014, 7:25 am)
QUOTE
maybe respect's a better word.

I'd agree with that. Such a powerful wild animal is absolutely due respect. Respect to give it space  and respect to follow the rules so the agency doesn't have to kill them. On my iPad I can't see the video: but if that break-in is at Great Smoky Mountain National Park it's a death sentence. Their policy is to make sure that behavior never gets established in the park, learning a lesson from places like Yosemite, so a bear breaks into a car gets zero tolerance.

A death sentence the bear didn't deserve.

ETA: Which, quite frankly, would make me rather ambivalent about interrupting the damage to the vehicle. Somehow a NPS citation and fine just doesn't seem enough in balance with the dead bear.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2014, 9:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Jun. 14 2014, 9:01 pm)
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Not really because I doubt any of the bystanders/tourons in that video had bear spray or any idea of what to do with ANY bear, much less a habituated one. All they (probably) knew was it a bear and were thinking of all the horrible mauling stories they'd heard.

Now one of us with some bear experience and a can of bear spray would have been over there hosing the guy down....

I don't use bear spray - it's actually illegal in Yosemite. You're supposed to yell, throw things in the vicinity (not at) the bear and drive it away. Which works here.

We really have no excuse here - yet people do the same thing, just let bears have stuff.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2014, 11:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As I've mentioned before one of my quiet amusements is being in the wilderness office line when the ranger comes out and gives her aversive reinforcement talk and I get glimpses of the shocked: "Be MEAN to BooBoo and Yogi?" looks that flash on some of the waiting visitor's faces.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2014, 2:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Keep your car clean like everyone else has said.  If a bear does take an interest in your car hopefully it is as well mannered as this one.

Bear opens car


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(Lancewalker89 @ Jun. 12 2014, 2:45 pm)
QUOTE
So my wife and I are driving up through the eastern sierras and yosemite, the lost coast, mendocino, crater lake, etc. We are planning on keeping extra supplies in the car while we go out on day hikes, and in some locations we will probably backpack out for 3-4 days before heading back. I was wondering what the best way to keep food / supplies in the car would be to avoid any kind of bear interaction. I've heard about smell proof bags but also read that they are not as effective as they should be.

Well, to offer some balance....


I've been backpacking all over the Rockies, Cascades & Sierras for over 20 years. I can't remember every trailhead, but I bet there was food in my car every time. Many times I drove a rag-top Suzuki. Not once did I deliberately remove all food & smellables from my car, and not once was I bothered by either wildlife or vandals.


The list of places where bears have decided they need to break into cars is very short. So far we have Yosemite Valley & Clingman's Dome.

So Yosemite Valley - maybe you clean out the car and put everything in bear boxes. If there are bear boxes at the trailhead, it may be a sign that there has been trouble in the past, but bears opening up cars is a very rare occurrance. Almost everywhere else in the Sierra, Lost Coast, Mendocino, & Crater Lake I wouldn't worry about it.


This thread is not helpful. You guys are freaking out and I bet not one of you ever had your cars bothered by bears. It would be an unreasonable waste of time and energy to stress out about bear break-ins most places.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 17 2014, 9:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're wrong - Yosemite is not the only place bears break into cars in the Sierra.

There are lockers in parking lots in SEKI and more popping up in national forests all the time. A friend had his truck broken into in a lot in Jennie Wilderness where the rangers told him they had "no problem" - the food wrappers were all over the parking lot. Just because there was no crowd of morons to film it does not mean it didn't happen.

I have no issues because I KEEP A CLEAN CAR.

I said to follow instructions in the jurisdiction you are in - I would bet Lost Coast will start having issues since they also require bear canisters in the northern portion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 17 2014, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For the Eastern Sierra: Inyo National Forest covers much of that:
"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. "

Link

As to: "So Yosemite Valley - maybe you clean out the car and put everything in bear boxes. "

MAYBE?

That's irresponsible and potentially very expensive. Remember once the bear is finished wrecking the car the National Park Service writes a big whopping fine for violating federal law. And since they're responsible for killing the bears, which they totally hate doing, they have zero sympathy for the car owner and their repair bills.

Better to keep this record going:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearfacts.htm
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 17 2014, 12:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Jun. 12 2014, 1:01 pm)
QUOTE
You follow food storage rules provided in each wilderness area. In Yosemite that will mean keeping a clean car and storing all items with a smell in the lockers provided. Don't bother with "odor proof" bags. They aren't.

I agree with this.  I don't find it practical on a long road trip not to have some food that is not going on the backpack (might be  for car camping, the next backpack etc.).

My experience is the Sierra's is the exception. They do have storage lockers.  ANd you can use the ones at the permit place instead of the trail head etc.  The Canadian Rockies have pretty strict rules as well, but no method for dealing with parking at remote trails heads, and I guess they don't have problems.  One story about Yosemite was a bear that found food in one car, and so ripped opened the doors of every car of the same make , food or not!  

Hiding food and minimizing smell might not be fool proof, it can't hurt.  It has been awhile since I found it but some federal agencies recommend sealing food in zip locks which aren't odor proof like those other bags.  I don't know about the myth part, I haven't used those bags, but one problem is you can get food on the outside of those bags . . .Of course if you have an extra bear canister and not that much food, maybe put your food in that , and outside your car, say hidden from people under a tree.
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