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Bear canisters

Old 03-18-21, 11:33 AM
  #26  
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I generally use just a waterproof drybag hung or cached. Always away from camp. The seal keeps food odours in but it would be easy to chew through. Probably I would do that in a Ursack. Mind you, most of my food stuffs are not smelly like meats or cheeses or stuff like that. Usually dehydrated and pre-packaged in zip locked in bags already.

I am pretty cautious about bear safety scent wise. This extends to deodorant and toothpaste too. Other than the rare rogue, desensitized or surprised mother with cubs, most black bears are wary of man and will stay away - unless their noses say there's food around.

Grizzlies are different. I think of them as grumpy old men "get off my lawn" who also happen to be former heavyweight boxing champs with brass knuckles in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. You aren't going to scare or beat them so the name of the game is avoidance.
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Old 03-18-21, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I generally use just a waterproof drybag hung or cached. Always away from camp. The seal keeps food odours in but it would be easy to chew through. Probably I would do that in a Ursack. Mind you, most of my food stuffs are not smelly like meats or cheeses or stuff like that. Usually dehydrated and pre-packaged in zip locked in bags already.

I am pretty cautious about bear safety scent wise. This extends to deodorant and toothpaste too. Other than the rare rogue, desensitized or surprised mother with cubs, most black bears are wary of man and will stay away - unless their noses say there's food around.

Grizzlies are different. I think of them as grumpy old men "get off my lawn" who also happen to be former heavyweight boxing champs with brass knuckles in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. You aren't going to scare or beat them so the name of the game is avoidance.
Yeah grizzlies are completely different from black bears. A lot of people show up to griz country thinking "oh, i've been with black bears in the midwest, I know bears" - not true!

Also, seconding being hyper aware of smell. I wouldn't even leave a toothbrush, sunscreen, etc in my tent.
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Old 03-18-21, 12:27 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

Grizzlies are different. I think of them as grumpy old men "get off my lawn" who also happen to be former heavyweight boxing champs with brass knuckles in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. You aren't going to scare or beat them so the name of the game is avoidance.
Great description.
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Old 03-18-21, 12:32 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

But, once a bear has your food in its paws, it could be dangerous to try to extract it.
Hold my beer.
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Old 03-18-21, 01:59 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Hold my beer.
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Old 03-18-21, 04:28 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Hold my beer.
You probably meant "hold my bear"
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Old 03-18-21, 07:49 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
You probably meant "hold my bear"
That could be dangerous. I suggest avoidance.

***

Kayak trip in the Apostille Islands on Lake Superior, I was organizing the food in the food locker, saw a black bear and bear cub, slowly grazing in the brush as they approached the campsite, so I put the shackle on the food locker and kept an eye on them. The big one, I assume mama bear got up high and looked like it was sniffing the air, and then they started moving off away from the campsite.

Later that day saw one of the park rangers, I congratulated him for how well they had trained their bears. Described my observations, he asked if the big one had a tag in both ears and I said yes, he said he knew which bear that was.
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Old 03-18-21, 08:38 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
You probably meant "hold my bear"
A couple of years ago. He didn’t even see me until I let out a loud “Yessssss!”


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Old 04-21-21, 09:19 AM
  #34  
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An article in Guardian today about a jogger "facing off" with a black bear. Such articles suggest that people are more and more detached from nature, not the jogger, but the article itself. That such an encounter with a black bear (Ursus Americanus) would rise to the level of a national article is strange. It would be different if was a grizzly (Ursus arctos), then I would be questioning the joggers sanity. Perhaps such articles promote awareness of nature, which is good. Bear/animals need all the help they can get.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-bear-face-off
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Old 04-21-21, 10:48 AM
  #35  
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Don't run into the bear at high speed.
https://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/07/0...er-park-winds/

Years ago I was riding in Waterton and Glacier National Parks, I had a bear bell attached to my top tube, I was thinking it would make noise when I was riding on a quiet highway. Did not work so good, the pavement was so smooth that the bell never made a sound.
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Old 04-21-21, 12:49 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Don't run into the bear at high speed.
https://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/07/0...er-park-winds/

Years ago I was riding in Waterton and Glacier National Parks, I had a bear bell attached to my top tube, I was thinking it would make noise when I was riding on a quiet highway. Did not work so good, the pavement was so smooth that the bell never made a sound.
I've only hiked a bit out west, in grizzly country, but I do recall being nervous when line of sight was really bad (windy trail, high bushes, specifically berry bushes) and making sure my bear bell and whistling or whatever was hopefully avoiding a "surprise moment"

this story you referred to did specifically involve line of sight and especially speed, so that being caught unaware by an incoming (and hitting the bear) mountain bike rider was the "wrong place, wrong time" scenario.
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Old 04-21-21, 01:18 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Don't run into the bear at high speed.
https://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/07/0...er-park-winds/
I remember that incident. My sister-in-law had a motel in West Glacier less than 10 miles from where it happened. I cycled through the area in late August and visited with her. While I hadn't seen the specific "collide at high speed" report, what I found interesting is the victim had a lot of attributes that you would expect to be fairly familiar with bears, e.g.
- worked with either forest service or national park service
- a "local" who grew up in the area

In my own cycling to the area, I took the GDMBR and had my own encounter with a black bear. In my case, I was cycling on a double-track route, rounded a bend and found a black bear already running away from me. I think it started both of us and somehow the bear noticed me before I noticed it.

Prior to that, I had come via Banff and after seeing multiple signs of bears, e.g. "trails closed due to recent bear sightings", I decided to buy some bear spray in BC. So I had bear spray with me in my front handlebar bag, but didn't have bells or something explicitly to make noise.
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Old 04-21-21, 02:54 PM
  #38  
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I grew up in Minnesota, live in Wisconsin, have camped a lot in those two states. I have seen a lot of black bears, some up close. I think the closest was about 20 feet away, that was a small one that ran really fast when he decided to leave our campsite.

But I am happy to look at brown bears only in photos.

I took this photo as I was leaving Waterton Park. I had my camera on maximum zoom and had no desire to get closer. I am not sure the distance, maybe 100 meters away? That camera has a pretty strong zoom.

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Old 04-21-21, 03:01 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
I remember that incident. My sister-in-law had a motel in West Glacier less than 10 miles from where it happened. I cycled through the area in late August and visited with her. While I hadn't seen the specific "collide at high speed" report, what I found interesting is the victim had a lot of attributes that you would expect to be fairly familiar with bears
That area is known for bears. In 2003 I camped just up the road from the intersection of U.S. 2 and Going to the Sun Road prior to a backcountry tour in the park. The back of my site bordered a wooded area. Got out of my tent just before dawn to take a leak. Spooked something that thundered off. Way too heavy to be something like a deer.

Back in ‘99 I was riding in the general area when a local in a pickup truck stopped to ask us if we had bear spray because we were on the “main bear route.”
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Old 04-21-21, 04:02 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I took this photo as I was leaving Waterton Park. I had my camera on maximum zoom and had no desire to get closer. I am not sure the distance, maybe 100 meters away? That camera has a pretty strong zoom.

Same trip but a littler further north on the Cassiar Highway. The bear below was munching on vegetation on side of the road. I passed on the other side of the highway. Prior to that, I went to see if it would flee, but after looking up it mostly went back to munching, so I passed by...
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Old 04-22-21, 04:59 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
An article in Guardian today about a jogger "facing off" with a black bear. Such articles suggest that people are more and more detached from nature, not the jogger, but the article itself. That such an encounter with a black bear (Ursus Americanus) would rise to the level of a national article is strange. It would be different if was a grizzly (Ursus arctos), then I would be questioning the joggers sanity. Perhaps such articles promote awareness of nature, which is good. Bear/animals need all the help they can get.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-bear-face-off
Yeah the fact that that was in a nationally published article is kind of mind boggling. I wouldn't think it would make the local news in some local town there.

I don't ever try to get close, but have been just by the nature of the trip been pretty close to black bears. I am just as happy to have only seen their larger relatives from a distance.
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Old 04-22-21, 06:09 AM
  #42  
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Growing up in Utah in the 60's and Maryland in the 70's I have many run-ins with bears. The encounters were often in Wyoming, Montana and Virginia (Shenandoah) None ever felt threatening, I would always walked away when cubs were present for both grizzlies and black. Amazing how strong and FAST these creatures are.
My most recent close encounter was in Colorado (2019). I was sleeping in a bivy with no tent near Ouray. I woke up smelling bad breath and saw 2 cubs sniffing me!!!! Freaked me out as I knew their mother was nearby. Difficult to get out of the bivy and bag quickly, I stood up in the bivy waving my hands trying to make myself look bigger. They strolled away slowly. Mother did not appear thankfully.
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Old 04-22-21, 07:20 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
Growing up in Utah in the 60's and Maryland in the 70's I have many run-ins with bears. The encounters were often in Wyoming, Montana and Virginia (Shenandoah) None ever felt threatening, I would always walked away when cubs were present for both grizzlies and black. Amazing how strong and FAST these creatures are.
My most recent close encounter was in Colorado (2019). I was sleeping in a bivy with no tent near Ouray. I woke up smelling bad breath and saw 2 cubs sniffing me!!!! Freaked me out as I knew their mother was nearby. Difficult to get out of the bivy and bag quickly, I stood up in the bivy waving my hands trying to make myself look bigger. They strolled away slowly. Mother did not appear thankfully.
I've never had that close of an encounter, but any time there are cubs close by I tend to worry about where mama might be. Otherwise, while I give black bears a wide berth and practice good bear camp practices, I never really worry about them or feel especially threatened by their presence and enjoy seeing them.
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Old 04-28-21, 01:30 AM
  #44  
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I use bear bags I bought from amazon. they are really heavy duty and I wash them after I use them, as I can't find them again. To test these, I added a pack of opened meat outside overnight (have a massive coon that hangs around), it he/she didn't touch it, but tried to make off with my ex-husband's lunch box which was found have way down the driveway before it was given up on. there are other options rather than JUST canisters. just do an internet search.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:09 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by LisaG71 View Post
I use bear bags I bought from amazon. they are really heavy duty and I wash them after I use them, as I can't find them again. To test these, I added a pack of opened meat outside overnight (have a massive coon that hangs around), it he/she didn't touch it, but tried to make off with my ex-husband's lunch box which was found have way down the driveway before it was given up on. there are other options rather than JUST canisters. just do an internet search.
I am curious what kind of bags you are referring to. Are you talking about the Ursack? Or scent proof bags like Opsak? Both together? Or something else that I am not aware of?

By the way, while yes, "there are other options rather than JUST canisters", certified bear canisters are required in some places like some national parks and national forests. In some but not all cases the latest Ursak may meet the requirement. Certification has been a moving target with the certification process with some canisters having certifications pulled for some areas when the bears learned to defeat them.

In most cases for touring you can manage by using provided bear boxes in campgrounds since the places that require canisters when away from bear boxes tend to be national parks which also tend to have bear boxes. As a result I personally have never taken my bear canister on tour. I have taken a bear bag and rig for hanging food on some trips and have used a canister on backpacking trips in places where a canister was required. Some folks like to take a canister because they find it doubles as a seat.
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Old 04-28-21, 08:25 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by LisaG71 View Post
I use bear bags I bought from amazon. they are really heavy duty and I wash them after I use them, as I can't find them again. T....
I am also curious as to what they are. I am assuming you are talking about the Ursack.
https://www.amazon.com/ursack-bear-b...rsack+bear+bag

At one time Ursacks were also sold in white, mine is white and not black, I bought mine at REI.

At that Amazon link, there was a size 2XL. I was unaware of that size, double volume compared to my XL one.
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Old 04-29-21, 06:04 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I am also curious as to what they are. I am assuming you are talking about the Ursack.
https://www.amazon.com/ursack-bear-b...rsack+bear+bag

At one time Ursacks were also sold in white, mine is white and not black, I bought mine at REI.

At that Amazon link, there was a size 2XL. I was unaware of that size, double volume compared to my XL one.
Judging by the exchange on another thread, I think she is probably gone now, so we most likely will never know.

I have been tempted several times over the years to buy an Ursak thinking I'd use it sometimes for backpacking, canoe camping, and maybe even possibly on a tour sometime. I always balked when I priced them and dug into the specs and looked at where they met and didn't meet canister requirements. If they ever got National Park certified across all the parks, I'd probably spring for the 10 liter one.

I could imagine wanting the capacity of the XXL, but only for a canoe trip where I could take both of my canisters and a 10 liter Ursak if I wanted to. On a road tour any of the canisters or Ursaks are bigger than I'd ever need. Maybe on an off road tour I could possibly need to carry more, but probably not. Backpacking I am getting to where I doubt I will ever again want to carry more than the BV450 or the Ursa Major (10 L) will accommodate. I can manage 5 days with either of them with careful packing. Beyond that I'd have to rely on resupply by some means.

At 7.65 oz. for 10+ L of bearproof storage the Ursak Minor does sound tempting though, saving saving over 2 pounds compared to the BV450. When you add 9.2 oz. for a $40 piece of aluminum, it gets a bit less tempting. On the other hand I do have some 0.025" aluminum sitting around so I could probably save that $40. It is from an unknown source. so it isn't as hard as T6, but it isn't real soft either. It would still weigh the 9.2 ounces though.
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Old 04-29-21, 07:17 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Didn't consider canisters back then, thinking that their shape was a significant drawback
That can be a plus if it is sized to your needs. I guess it depends. The shape and size of the BV450 (10L) allows it to fit in my skinny 45L backpack so I am sure it would fit in many (most?) rear panniers. It would be a nice seat, great for doing laundry, and so on. I am not inclined to carry a canister on road tours, but if I were I would not consider that to be a problem for those using a traditional packing style. For bikepacking or other non pannier packing styles that may vary.

OTOH, there have been times when I wished I had an Ursak along, but wouldn't have wanted to carry my canister due to my packing style. For me the point has been moot since where I really needed bear protection there have been bear boxes, where it has been iffy I have hung food or taken other measures, and the rest or the time it wasn't a problem.
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Old 04-29-21, 07:40 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That can be a plus if it is sized to your needs. I guess it depends. The shape and size of the BV450 (10L) allows it to fit in my skinny 45L backpack so I am sure it would fit in many (most?) rear panniers. It would be a nice seat, great for doing laundry, and so on. I am not inclined to carry a canister on road tours, but if I were I would not consider that to be a problem for those using a traditional packing style. For bikepacking or other non pannier packing styles that may vary.

OTOH, there have been times when I wished I had an Ursak along, but wouldn't have wanted to carry my canister due to my packing style. For me the point has been moot since where I really needed bear protection there have been bear boxes, where it has been iffy I have hung food or taken other measures, and the rest or the time it wasn't a problem.
Well, the upside of a canister wasn't big enough to justify the expense since I already have an Ursack. But yes, I appreciate the advantages of a canister. Perhaps in another life
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Old 04-29-21, 08:09 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Judging by the exchange on another thread, I think she is probably gone now, so we most likely will never know.

I have been tempted several times over the years to buy an Ursak thinking I'd use it sometimes for backpacking, canoe camping, and maybe even possibly on a tour sometime....

I could imagine wanting the capacity of the XXL, but only for a canoe trip where I could take both of my canisters and a 10 liter Ursak if I wanted to. ....
My previous posts above, numbers 11 and 19 show my range of experiences for volumes, in the photo in post 19, that was a large drybag built as a backpack, two of us had about 10 days of food, or 20 person days on a canoe trip. Our canoe trips were usually a week and a half. You do not notice the extra weight of the food in a Wenona canoe, thus food weight did not matter much. We made no effort to reduce food weight.

But the photo in number 11 was solo backpacking and I want to limit my food volume and weight much more for obvious reasons, I am carrying it the whole distance on my feet , thus trying to carry less than a week of food.

Both of those categories of trips, I have sometimes not been able to string up a good food rope due to the available trees. Thus the Ursack sounded like a brilliant idea when I saw another backpacker tie it to a tree about chest height. When I saw that, I said to him, is that high enough? He said you just need a good knot and a tree stout enough. At that campsite there was no good place to hang food, so his food was protected and mine was not. And that is why I am the proud new owner of an Ursack.

I have a dry sack that is almost exactly the same dimensions, so I would put the dry bag inside to reduce odor and keep things inside it dry. I do not have a cannister, and I would likely hang the Ursack up high out of reach where it is easy to do so. But since I have never yet had a bear get to my food, I would skip the aluminum sheet.

Thus, I can see the advantages of the larger XXL Ursack, and at that price I would only want one Ursack. Unfortunately I already have the XL, so the XXL would be more cost than I want to pay, as the marginal advantage of a second larger one is not worth it. But if I only owned one and had not yet bought it, I would buy the XXL.

Since I have a lot of experience camping without an Ursack or cannister, I would have no concerns about having a bit of extra food that did not fit in the bear container for the first few days, as then at least most of my food would be protected.

My backpacking was not in places where bear canisters were required, so the Ursack makes more sense to me.
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