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Food Storage in National Parks

Old 01-09-04, 09:53 AM
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Food Storage in National Parks

When touring through NP's like Yellowstone what do you do to critterproof your food? Peace Joel
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Old 01-09-04, 11:41 AM
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I don't know about Yellowstone, but in northern Ontario, the standard method is to put all food in one pack (pannier?) and hang it from a tree branch using a rope so it is more than about 5ft from tree and branch and more than about 10ft from the ground. This is to avoid problems with black bears, deer, racoons, etc.
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Old 01-09-04, 12:00 PM
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In Yellowstone if you stay at any of the campgrounds, there are bear boxes where you MUST put anything that has an odor (chapstick, lotion, food, probably even old stinky cycle shorts). They are very serious about this too and will confiscate anything that you leave out unattended.
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Old 01-09-04, 12:31 PM
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The "hiker-biker" campsites in Glacier National Park have metal bear boxes for food storage. Also, I stayed in a state campground in Wyoming that had them as well. One of maintenance folks working there said the state was working to equip all their campgrounds in "bear country" with the boxes.
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Old 01-09-04, 01:46 PM
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in banff, we put our food in plastic buckets w\ handles and lids-
ran a wire between 2 trees about 15 feet in air.
Sqirrels did some tightrope attempts, but it was bears we were storing this way for.

I forgot to mention the lids- you would end up w\ a bucket of squirrels

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Old 01-09-04, 10:07 PM
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In some of the national parks out west (perhaps including Yellowstone) hikers are required to have approved bear proof storage containers. I presume this would apply to bikers as well. The bears in some regions have become quite skilled at getting at food. Not having a proper container can result in a stiff fine.

Check the website for the park you plan to visit. You can often rent a container instead of buying.
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Old 01-10-04, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff williams
in banff, we put our food in plastic buckets w\ handles and lids-
ran a wire between 2 trees about 15 feet in air.
Sqirrels did some tightrope attempts, but it was bears we were storing this way for.

I forgot to mention the lids- you would end up w\ a bucket of squirrels
Tyeing rope between two trees and then suspending your food between these two ropes is the best way to keep animals out of your food if you are back-country camping.

Bears are troublesome, but squirrels, racoons, and skunks are more of a real problem. If you suspend your rope from a tree branch, the tiny critters will walk out on the limb, and then scoot down the rope to your food pack. It is interesting to watch if you have time.
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Old 01-10-04, 09:54 AM
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Thanks for the response, I,ve hung my food canoeing for many years. seems like a lot of extra gear for a bike tour in the rockies. Glad to hear about the Bear boxs. I Think I'll buy one of those bear canisters for this trip, (Moab too Jasper). any other sugestions? Thanks, Peace Joel
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Old 01-12-04, 10:28 AM
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In Denali Nat Park, to get a backcountry pass, you are required to get a Bear Box (free with BC pass) and use it, which is a black cyclindrical shaped plastic container with flat screws to open and close it (using a coin or screwdriver). However, there are traditional metal bear boxes at the Eielson Visitor's Center on the Park road that you can stash food in.

If you were to buy your own, you could get something like an URSACK which is a flexible bear deterent that is a bit more packable than the cyclindrical kind like the ones in use in Denali.

https://www.ursack.com/

Counterbalancing and the hanging of odorous items in the tree is the standard method for when you do not have bear resistent holders..

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Old 01-12-04, 05:40 PM
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If you were to buy your own, you could get something like an URSACK which is a flexible bear deterent that is a bit more packable than the cyclindrical kind like the ones in use in Denali.
Be careful. Unfortunately, the last I checked, the URSACK is not approved for use in many western parks. It's a shame since it is surely lighter and certainly easier to store than the approved bear resistant containers.
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Old 01-12-04, 05:46 PM
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https://www.ursack.com/faq.htm

Good point supcom, the best thing to do is contact the park(s) you plan on going to find out what is approved for backcountry use. Like mentioned here already, many parks require you use either a certain type of bear canister and some parks will even provide one so your best bet is to contact the park in mind and ask.

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