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  1. #1
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Default Bears (or at least one) Can Open Bear Cans

    With the ATC recommendation of bear cans for everyone on the trail, one wonders if they are really bear foolproof. The answer is in the linked article below.

    Bear Cans & Bears
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  2. #2

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    Some bears in Yosemite have learned to roll them off cliffs, where they break on rocks from the fall.

  3. #3
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    Important to place bear cans in a place where they can't be easily rolled off somewhere far away. Like between some downed trees, rocks, etc. Bear cans are supposed to be left some distance from camp, but I usually place it where I can see it from my tent, and I put something on top of it that would make noise, like my stove, if it falls off. That way I'd know if something was messing with the bear can. But in all the years I've used a bear can, mostly in the high Sierra, I don't think the canister has been moved even an inch. The bears out there know there's no point. Now, AT bears who have rarely seen a canister might be attracted to them by smell and try their luck. But they too will eventually learn that there is no point in trying.

  4. #4
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    I didn't read the article yet. However, there was a bear in NY's Adirondacks that opened canisters. The name was Yellow Yellow. I think it was holding classes and that was one of the students.

  5. #5
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    Now i read it and I was right!

  6. #6
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    Some bears in Yosemite have learned to roll them off cliffs, where they break on rocks from the fall.
    Reminds me of the PBS Nature documentary where eagles learned to pickup turtles and fly above a set of rocks and drop them on the rocks to break open there shell

  7. #7
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I've had the same results as Coffee - my bear cans have never been moved by bears or humans. I use them when hiking, or more often for caching resupplies. Same for my Ursacks. So far, I've had no difficulty finding places to stash either - I leave them quite far from the campsite, figuring the further from camp they are, the less likely to be found. Nothing is foolproof, but bears are like burglars - they'll go for the easy stuff first, so I'm just trying to make it harder to get to my food.

    I have seen some ridgetop campsites on the AT where a canister just wouldn't work - they'd roll far down the mountainside!

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    After reading the article and details, I don't think Yellow Yellow would have been able to get into a Bearikade...
    NoDoz
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  9. #9
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    I spent a nice night at broken fiddle in Damascus last fall, they have a bear fault chewed open by a determined bear. Also in gsmnp some of them will roll them downhill, so I had to hoist my can upon the wires every night. I doubt the bears can open a bearikade, though.

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    Bears aren’t real. Neither are birds.

  11. #11
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    What tore up a food bag at one of the shelters in the Shenandoah's? Big foot????

  12. #12
    Registered User hikermiker's Avatar
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    Yellow Yellow died some time ago. She apparently taught a son how to open the canister. She did it by compressing the side and then ripping the top off. That will not work with the kind that requires a coin to turn a lock.

  13. #13
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Bears aren’t real. Neither are birds.
    Well they taste pretty good for not being real .

  14. #14
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Well they taste pretty good for not being real .
    Or maybe "they" just "made" them to taste good?

  15. #15

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    Over the years, BearVault has had to redesign their lids and locking system more than once. If I hear about a bear figuring out how to open a bear can, that is the brand I assume is the culprit. Their lids are the more convenient and easier for humans to open (compared to many of the others), so it shouldn't be surprising that it would also be easier for an animal that can be taught to ride a bicycle (i.e. circus bears) could figure it out. This doesn't mean their cans are garbage as it usually is just a handful of bears that figure it out in a isolated location so your food is safe everywhere else.

    The can that most people hate (due to weight and how hard they are to open) is the oldest bear can design, the Garcia backpacker cache, but there is a reason why those are the ones most rented out by agencies in the Sierra Nevada since they are less likely to be compromised. I've owned one since '97, but I'd rather carry a carbon fiber Bearikade (lightweight, but very expensive) or the small Bearboxer (which will fit in many UL packs).

    Actually, I'd rather not carry one at all, but if required you do what you have to do. I've been fortunate to never lose my food to bears, even in Yosemite before bear cans were required, so I do believe that people can lessen their chances of having problems such as campsite choice away from problematic areas and cooking somewhere where you aren't camping. But regulations are setup for the lowest common denominator. So if you don't want more regulations, people need to make better choices. Hopefully, people and bears don't cause the NPS and NFS to start requiring them in more places along the AT corridor in the future.
    Last edited by Miner; 07-24-2022 at 15:14.

  16. #16

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    Or friendly snakes.
    Last edited by Night Train; 07-25-2022 at 16:40. Reason: wrong thread
    "What brings no benefit to the hive brings no benefit to the bee" Marcus Aurelius

  17. #17

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    I shied away from the bear vault for this reason. I don't trust the lid. I also carry the bareboxer, or mini-Garcia as I call it, because of its recessed lid and three slit locks (these aren't coin locks they require a knife or other stout, slim object to open).

  18. #18
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    To me, a bear can in the woods is like a good lock and lights at home - it makes the other guy's stuff easier to get than your stuff.

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