Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-03-2004
    Location
    Fruitland Park, Florida
    Posts
    25

    Default Bear Canister or Bag?

    In sections that require a bear canisters, can you use one of those impenetrable bear bags instead?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,029
    Images
    3

    Default

    a bear bag is not a canister...............so no..........


    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5351875.pdf

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-03-2004
    Location
    Fruitland Park, Florida
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Better question is why do I never see a bear canister in thru hikers videos of what's in my bag? There's the small section just south of Blood Mountain in Georgia that requires it.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,029
    Images
    3

    Default

    because most people just blow right through that section without camping......

  5. #5

    Default

    The Green Mountain National Forest now requires a canister or a hang that is very hard to achieve. See ATC's update page:http://appalachiantrail.org/home/exp.../trail-updates

    Hard to blow through Vermont!

  6. #6
    Wanna-be hiker trash
    Join Date
    03-05-2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Age
    38
    Posts
    6,851
    Images
    78

    Default

    On the A.T., no. I don’t have the original file handy, but the seasonal canister order around blood mountain specifically requires a hard sided canister.

    For other areas it would be necessary to read the actual requirements, some places do allow ursaks in place of canisters, but most don’t.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,029
    Images
    3

    Default

    On the A.T., no. I don’t have the original file handy, but the seasonal canister order around blood mountain specifically requires a hard sided canister.


    i posted the link to that earlier in the thread...

    i did not know about the green mountain area having that requirement....

  8. #8
    Wanna-be hiker trash
    Join Date
    03-05-2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Age
    38
    Posts
    6,851
    Images
    78

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i posted the link to that earlier in the thread...

    i did not know about the green mountain area having that requirement....
    The Green Mountain order is recent and does not require a canister, it just requires “proper” food storage and correctly hung bear bags are acceptable. The link to that order is below.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...eprd638433.pdf
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  9. #9
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,222
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    There's the small section just south of Blood Mountain in Georgia that requires it.
    Places that require a bear canister only require them while your food is unattended (i.e. you're asleep) or out of reach.

    So like TNhiker points out, most people simply don't spend the night is a short section like Blood Mountain that requires canisters.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-10-2019
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Age
    28
    Posts
    32
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    a bear bag is not a canister...............so no..........


    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5351875.pdf
    Some of the items on the approved list of bear canisters sound like they are actually bags like the loctote flack sack.

    http://http://igbconline.org/certified-products-list/

  11. #11

    Default

    The vermont rules seem reasonable.
    Hang appropriately or use a bear box or canister.

    Bear boxes are currently installed at:
    • Seth Warner Shelter
    • Goddard Shelter
    • Kid Gore Shelter
    • Story Spring Shelter
    • Stratton Pond Shelter
    • Stony Brook Shelter (AT)
    • Montclair Glen Lodge
    • Hump Brook Tenting Area
    • Bamforth Ridge Shelter

  12. #12

    Default

    IMO bear boxes should be standard as part of a shelter in any well trafficked area, and many areas are moving toward that

  13. #13
    Wanna-be hiker trash
    Join Date
    03-05-2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Age
    38
    Posts
    6,851
    Images
    78

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    a bear bag is not a canister...............so no..........


    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5351875.pdf
    Quote Originally Posted by Nanashi View Post
    Some of the items on the approved list of bear canisters sound like they are actually bags like the loctote flack sack.

    http://http://igbconline.org/certified-products-list/
    The canister requirement order in that 5 mile section of Georgia specifically requires the food storage container to be made of “solid non-pliable material” which rules out ursaks and other bags. Unfortunately there is no universal standard for food storage rules, so each land manager has to use their own discretion when implementing requirements.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  14. #14
    Wanna-be hiker trash
    Join Date
    03-05-2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Age
    38
    Posts
    6,851
    Images
    78

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    IMO bear boxes should be standard as part of a shelter in any well trafficked area, and many areas are moving toward that
    That makes far too much sense, and would be far too simple and effective to be implemented without a fight.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  15. #15
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-12-2002
    Location
    Marlboro, MA
    Posts
    6,867
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    The Green Mountain order is recent and does not require a canister, it just requires “proper” food storage and correctly hung bear bags are acceptable. The link to that order is below.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...eprd638433.pdf
    Though not well known and widely ignored, a similar regulation has been in place in the Whites for over 10 years:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5275812.pdf



    Edit: The link you posted does not look to be for VT

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    That makes far too much sense, and would be far too simple and effective to be implemented without a fight.
    I understand the sarcasm in this, but the issue is frustrating as it's an issue of ignorance and negligence. To me, the fight is with people who don't fully grasp the "Food Draws Animals" issue as they carelessly treat their food and toss food remains around them into the forest claiming piously "it's good for the wildlife". Surrendering to this level of ignorance and negligence may sound easy but there are some hurdles that have to be cleared requiring a considerable effort. At the 10,000 foot view, there are three issues I see as friction points:

    The need to raise many tens of thousands of dollars over many years to obtain the boxes will be necessary, requiring solicitation avenues to be set up and sorting out funding sources and financial accounting for each donation. Typical bear boxes and delivery to various places for installation runs about $1,200.00. With over 250 shelter sites (camping sites without structures may increase this number), presuming 25% of them have bear boxes currently, there are probably about 188 or so boxes needed, translating to a cool $225,000.00 or so just to get boxes ready to place. That would likely trigger an annual ATC or Chapter funding need to replace boxes as they age, are vandalized, or rendered inoperative by bears. However to the simplicity issue, this is likely the easiest part of the process.

    The next step, getting the boxes installed properly, will probably prove less simple. These boxes weigh around 300 to 400 pounds each. The back breaking work to get these boxes to shelters often requires the use of powered wheeled vehicles (ATVs) and human-powered wheeled equipment (hand trucks or carriers) that can require trail modifications to use and a significant number of volunteers over many years. Since motorized vehicles are not allowed on the AT, special permitting and route planning will be needed for many boxes to be located without non-repairable damage to the trail itself. In Wilderness Areas neither powered or human-powered wheeled equipment are allowed, increasing the task difficulty for those shelters. Though these issues can probably be solved, it won't be easy and there will be sections of trail where bear boxes will have to be carried off the ground like a litter. That is work few people can readily perform, unlike cutting brush and other trail maintenance tasks.

    Then there is maintenance. People are careless with food and drinks and will spill stuff without cleaning it up, never mind the occasional upending of boxes by bruins that create a soupy, stinky, bacterial haven mess in the bottom of the box. While I am positive everyone on WhiteBoard takes the time to clean these boxes out when they are near one, others are not as fastidious. This creates the appearance of a significant health hazard to ALL boxes, which essentially thwarts the program as people will avoid them as "dirty" without even looking at them and continue merrily on being careless with food practices, pontificating to others why tossing scraps of food into the forest near the camping area is beneficial to local fauna. Can't fix stupid, nor can laziness be altered, so the bear box issue again pivots on hiker culture.

    Though after many years of work, items one and two will probably be seen in hindsight as simple. We are still left with the third issue, human ignorance and behavior modification. Basically, there is enough evidence in human behavior to suggest if we go through this effort, without any enforcement provisions, we will likely end up pretty much where we are now with people being careless with food, some having a few less dollars, and a few backs ruined along the way.

    That said, there are many instances of individuals who have done amazing things when presented challenges like this. Sometimes all it takes is the one right person to get into the vanguard position and attract people and support and solve these issues. I wonder, who out there wants to be challenged and engage this simple task?
    Last edited by Traveler; 08-26-2019 at 08:29.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-04-2011
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Age
    52
    Posts
    524

    Default

    Bear boxes, too many times, means "trash can" for those too lazy to pack trash, broken stuff, wet clothes, etc., etc. I'm not maintaining a section of trail now, but ask those who do.

  18. #18

    Default

    I thought the same thing, until I read Traveler's post. He shared some perspective I had not considered. I suspect within 10 years or less, bear cannisters will be required on most trails where bears live. When the requirement is broad and permanent, then people will purchase the cannisters and use them. Until then, expecting total compliance with cannisters or proper hangs in selected sections will not happen. How successful are the bear poles that are installed at some sites in SNP? Are they easier to install and maintain than the boxes?

    I am an advocate for doing what we need to do in order to keep the bears on their natural diet, I am just wary that if you don't make it easy for backpackers, there will be a very small number who will not comply. When bear cannisters are broadly required and get added to the "big four", then we will move beyond the "whack a mole" situation we have at many shelters on the AT.

  19. #19

    Default

    I'm coming into long distance hiking with a fresh perspective. Until I decided 2020 was going to finally be my year to through hike the AT I didn't even know there was such a thing as a bear canister. After a lot of reading and watching a lot of You Tubers through hiking I decided to carry a canister. I know a lot of people say it's not necessary on the AT and I believe that's true. I just don't want the headaches of dealing with hangs and I think rodents are a bigger potential health hazard than bears. So I opted for the canister....problem solved. I've been doing my weekly PT hikes with my full kit, which includes a BV500 with five days of food. That puts my total load out at 35 lbs with two liters of water. I wont be carrying five days of food on most sections of the AT and I may make some equipment changes to try to cut my total weight down to 30 lbs. What we carry is a game of compromises. It's easiest to hike with no load at all, but not very practical. It would be more comfortable in camp with chairs, a bigger tent, extra shoes, a more comprehensive kitchen, etc. Also not very practical once the weight passes a certain point, which is different for everybody. I cut some corners on other things I considered carrying to accommodate the weight of the canister and I'm happy with the trade off. I'll let you know if I'm still happy with my choices once I get on the AT
    "I love the unimproved works of God" Horace Kephart 1862-1931

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •