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17

Bears don’t really hibernate, although they lower their activity during winter. Here’s one sample study of Black Bear winter behaviour in Sierra Nevada, California: Thirty-nine (62 %) bears were winter-dormant for at least 2 weeks; the remaining 24 (38 %) remained active all winter. Here in Czech Republic we don’t have many bears, most of them cross ...


14

"Better" might be the wrong question. Here are few alternatives: "Safer" - Canister, hands down. Depending on where you are, bears have been known to study brilliant bear hangs, find the critical tie point 3 trees over, and with a casual flick of a claw, order takeout. On the other hand, I have seen bear canisters take a tumble off a several hundred foot ...


11

Bears tend to jump and swipe to get your bear bag. You want above the reach of the tallest bear in the area, I'd recommend 8-10 feet at a minimum. You also want the bag at least a bear leg's length from the trunk of a tree, probably 4-6 feet at a minimum (if possible). Some bears will also kamikaze from the bear cables. I know of some folks who swear ...


11

Bear canister rules are often relaxed in the winter. However, this will depend on where you are camping. On the east coast, in the Adirondacks, the rule is: NYSDEC Regulation Requires The Use of Bear Resistant Canisters by Overnight Users in The Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Between April 1 And November 30. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear ...


9

Traditionally a bear bag was simply something to hold your food out of reach of bears. This usually meant finding a way to suspend it from a high branch, and in this instance it's usually sufficient for the bag to be waterproof. (With this in mind, some people like to hang the bags "upside down" to prevent rain getting in through the top. Be sure to tie ...


8

Some reasons for leeway: Regulations allow for it. Each park and wilderness area have their own rules and regulations. Some may allow for relaxed practices during known hibernation periods of their local bear population, though some may not. This is simply something that will require personal research into the area in question. Inclement weather The ...


8

It depends on the area. Some places (Yosemite, Glacier Bay) there are pretty much no safe bear bags and you need a bear-proof container. The bear bag should be high enough that a bear can't reach it from the ground, and far enough from the tree trunk that it cannot reach it from the trunk of the tree. A couple of things that are as important as the number ...


7

In most places without extremely human habituated bears, a simple hang with the line tossed over a sturdy, isolated branch and tied off to an adjacent tree trunk is suitable. The bag should end up being roughly 12 feet above the ground, 5 feet away from the trunk and 5 feet below the branch. The PCT hang is a clever variation of this which eliminates the ...


7

At least 60m away, and 5m high. I doubt that there is such a thing a bag that bears absolutely can't smell through. Bears and other animals with rhinariums (wet nose) not only smell better than humans, they smell in a different way, they can literally taste odours. A bears sense of smell is roughly 2100 times more sensitive than a humans. Even if you got a ...


5

Better is often relative. I would not like having to carry a bear canister around as it is extra weight and bulk. However there are likely places where you will not have a tree suitable for hanging a bear bag, and the canister is the only way to go. It really depends on where you are going to be hiking.


5

I don't think there are any standards, but I would shoot for at least 10 feet high, and at least 4 feet away from the trunk of a tree. Make sure the bag is suspended on a branch too small to support the weight of a bear. It should also be hanging down from the branch by around a foot to prevent other smaller animals from having direct access to the bag.


5

There are two types of bear bags. The first is similar to a bear canister but made out of strong cloth (often kevlar) and wire mesh with a metal insert to prevent crushing. The brand I am most familiar with is URSack, although there are probably others of equal quality. These bear bags are slightly lighter than bear canisters (and easier to pack), and pass ...


3

A bear bag is a bag (in my case a stuff sack) that is "bear proof" (aka the bear can't get to it). On the AT you will only run into black bears, and they are little tree climbers. Technically speaking this should be 10 ft off the ground and 4 ft from the trunk of a tree. I've definitely gotten lazy and not followed these directions - but thats the ...


2

Like already mentioned in other replies, it depends were you are and the weather changes. I'm working on a bear project in the Canadian Rockies and we know the bears can be active until January. They should be in there den until April, but there are exceptions. We always take bear spray with us during winter fieldwork.


2

I would suggest following the bear rules year round. In the Canadian Rockies, we still have areas closed due to bear activity in the middle of January. Plus ravens will make short work of anything left accessible, not to mention worrying about attracting cougars and wolves. Here's a couple links outlining safety for camping in the backcountry, and in case ...


1

For something like this I typically wrap the cordage around my forearm from the notch between my thumb and forefinger around my elbow. I then take the excess cord at the end and wrap around the bundle 10+ times and secure the end of the line through.


1

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that in some places (especially in California - for example Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks) there are permanent bear boxes at popular overnight locations. It's entirely possible to do many interesting treks and rely entirely on these bear boxes. I've done this successfully in Sequoia and Kings Canyon.



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