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03-16-09, 06:32 PM
I'll be doing a tour through the southwest with a friend coming up in late April. We will be camping and one thing we were wondering about was whether we would need a bear canister to store our food at night. Would anyone recommend using one or not using one? I'm not very familiar with the area but I've heard there are coyotes. In california the raccoons at some campgrounds have learned how to open even the storage boxes that are provided and so it is recommended that you keep food in a car. Will it be a problem if we don't have something animal proof to store our food in?
thanks for any advice.
03-17-09, 10:12 AM
There are critters, and some percautions are in order. That said, this isn't Yellowstone so no need to go overboard!
You didn't mention the route, but if you're near the Gila Mtns (New Mexico) they have bears and wolves and coyotes along with the other assorted critters. The deserts aren't quite so predatory, just be sure to shake out your shoes every morning to keep the tarantulas and scorpions honest. Don't unpack your sleeping gear before you need to and do hang it immediately, you'd hate to make a home for a snake. Only a fool would reach a hand into a dark crevice where the black widows and rattlesnakes live, and no matter where you go, cooking in the tent is a bad idea. Those smells linger like crazy and you might want to use that tent in yellowstone someday!
I chose the Ursack, a bear-resistant bag, in place of a bear cannister. Hang it wisely and you're probably OK. It's rat-resistant too, so in those desert camps with no trees you can just rockpile it or tie it to a table or something such.
Last summer I rode the GDMBR for two months, and never had a problem. But the people in Pie Town NM are worried that wolves are going to carry off their children, so make up your own mind