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Bear Bag (or something) for Glacier

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Bear Bag (or something) for Glacier

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Old 06-16-09, 05:27 PM
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kmcmoobud
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Bear Bag (or something) for Glacier

Hi--

We are heading to Glaicer NP in August. When camping in the Smokies, I use a bear canister to hang food for the night, but don't want to carry something like that on a cycling tour. Do any of you have a light-weight suggestion/recommendation as to what we should use when camping for the night?

Thanks.
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Old 06-16-09, 05:37 PM
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Put all your food in one pannier and hang it in an inaccessible place?
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Old 06-16-09, 05:50 PM
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The campsites for bicycles have bear proof lockers for your stuff inside of Glacier NP. At least at all the places I stayed at last summer. If you can't find them.... bring cord so you can hang it high like mentioned above.
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Old 06-16-09, 08:57 PM
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Glacier is Grizzly bear country and they have the run of the park. Use good sense when cooking do not leave anything edible within their reach. They can defeat any cooler built. The rangers used to do a walk through of the campgrounds and if they saw something that was too bear friendly they would let you know about it. You should be fine in the major campgrounds but I would never backpack there. Oh yeah and change your clothes before you go to bed cause if you cooked and the scent got on you it could be your last meal. There are or at least before all the cutbacks in the Park service plenty of warning signs and daily updates of bear activity. Don't mean to sound alarmist but people have been killed or at least injured by being ignorant of bear behavior. If you get a chance though take the hike to the Granite Park chalet at the top of the Going to the sun road and at Many Glacier area the hike to Iceberg lake is great just strap on some bear bells unless you are with a noisy group. You will be more likely to see bears on the east side of the park but they are everywhere. I'venever seen a grizzly on the west side but have seen plenty on the east. The Grinnell Glacier hike is a probable place to see bears or at least one may see you. There used to be lots of ranger led hikes in the park and they are a lot of fun if you like corny jokes. Its a beautiful place to explore just use good sense and you will be fine. Take lots of pictures and post them when you get back.
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Old 06-17-09, 09:25 AM
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I have used sleeping bad stuff sacks in the past.
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Old 06-17-09, 10:03 AM
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I stayed at Apgar campground last summer and there was a bear box in the hiker/biker campsite I was in (and there were three hiker/biker sites!) I'm guessing all the campgrounds have similar setups. On any trip heading into bear country I'd refrain from eating in my tent the whole way - don't want any lingering smells.

I was heading west to east, but stopping at Glacier. If I was continuing, Apgar wouldn't be the best campground. I'd recommend staying at Avalanche the night before riding the Going-To-The-Sun Road. They want bicyclists off the road by 11:00 a.m. Avalanche is the closest campground to the uphill section. Starting there would give you a big headstart compared to staying at Apgar.
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Old 06-17-09, 10:40 AM
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The backwood site I hiked to at Glacier had its own canister you could raise into a tree.
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Old 06-17-09, 04:06 PM
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Lifting two panniers filled with food and cooking gear by pulling a thin cord over a branch or man-made structure can be very challenging. I take two cords along, one with a small pulley at one end. Throw that pulley over the branch or bar and lower the pulley to the ground, holding on to the other end. Place the second cord through the pulley and raise the pulley to the top, taking the second cord with it. You now have a pulley at the top and are now able to much more easily raise your heavy load.
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Old 06-17-09, 09:47 PM
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I am an avid backpacker and a GOOD lightweight solution is using a dry bag for kayaking/rafting for your food. This needs to be hung in a tree 10' high and four feet from the closest branch. Dry bags, when sealed properly keep scents in and bears out. Happy biking!
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Old 06-17-09, 10:02 PM
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Thanks toolboy, that's a good idea.

Originally Posted by toolboy View Post
Lifting two panniers filled with food and cooking gear by pulling a thin cord over a branch or man-made structure can be very challenging. I take two cords along, one with a small pulley at one end. Throw that pulley over the branch or bar and lower the pulley to the ground, holding on to the other end. Place the second cord through the pulley and raise the pulley to the top, taking the second cord with it. You now have a pulley at the top and are now able to much more easily raise your heavy load.
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Old 06-17-09, 11:08 PM
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sounds like the park proper is well equipped with bear boxes.

the best way to hang bags in backcountry sites is to be prepared to use the two cord method.

IF trees are big and you can find a good branch, one long cord to go high in a tree. Or, if branch cover is too tight and , shortish or scrubby, the two cord method with the long cord between two trees then a second, shorter cord to go over the first one in the middle.

I like that pulley idea but have never needed them. might give one a try next ride out.

Dry bags are great for cooking clothes storage as well, and practice safe campsite tactics using the triangle of cooking/storage/campsite at least 200 feet away from each other for backcountry camping in grizzly country.

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Old 06-18-09, 03:47 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I can't wait for my trip...and now I can look forward to coming back home without losing a limb to a hungry grizzly.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by outdrjunkie View Post
...hung in a tree 10' high and four feet from the closest branch. Dry bags, when sealed properly keep scents in and bears out. Happy biking!
Good advice on the dry bag. It's what I've used. Put everything food related in it. Include stove, cookware, clean-up stuff, toothpaste/brushes and any thing that came into contact with food. Don't forget the pepper spray. People mistakenly bring that into their tents for a perceived sense of security. It smells good to bears.
10' is too low of a hanging height if you're talking about grizzlies. It would deter some of the rodents, though. "Who crapped in your corn flakes this morning?" is funnier when used metaphorically.
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Old 06-19-09, 05:08 AM
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I'm used to Yosemite bears, who have long since discovered how to take down bear bags, so in my mind, the only good option is the heavy bear canister. Maybe I would hang my smellables, but I wouldn't trust it to defend my food.
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Old 06-19-09, 06:47 AM
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Old 06-19-09, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
Glacier is Grizzly bear country and they have the run of the park. ... Its a beautiful place to explore just use good sense and you will be fine. Take lots of pictures and post them when you get back.
I spent many summers in Waterton National Park, which is the Canadian portion of the Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park. It's an amazing place. I've lost track of the number of bears I've met. I've never had a problem, or carried bear spray (though I'd consider it if I was on my own).

Bekologist's backcountry 200ft rule makes a ton of sense, and toolboy's pulley system also seems real valuble. What sort of pulley do you use? Where did you get it?
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Old 06-20-09, 07:57 PM
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http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://images.mec.ca/media/Images/Products/Climbin

Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
What sort of pulley do you use? Where did you get it?


I got mine at a climbing supply store.
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