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Backpacking in Bear Country - What precautions do you take?

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Backpacking in Bear Country - What precautions do you take?

Postby sandersans » Fri May 08, 2009 7:06 pm

Hi All,

Just curious what precautions you all take backpacking in Yosemite. Obviously a bear canister is required but do you ever go so far as to bring a separate pair of clothes to sleep in or cook in? Do you hang your dishes? What about your pack?

I have typically followed the standard practice of cooking downwind from your sleep area and storing your bear canister away from both your sleeping area and cook area (the bermuda triangle).

I am especially curious about separate clothes for sleeping practice since I will be backpacking the first week in June up on the rim and it will likely be cold. I can't see myself cooking in my warm jacket and then hanging that jacket out on a tree limb for the night. Note: I am only planning on cooking ramen, nothing fancy with heavy smells.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.

Cheers
Jason
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Re: Backpacking in Bear Country - What precautions do you ta

Postby dan » Fri May 08, 2009 10:39 pm

The separate cooking clothes stuff is not usually done for black bears--just grizzly/brown bears (which are extinct in California). The same is true with camping once for cooking and moving a few miles for sleeping. That said, I would avoid canned fish (salmon, tuna) and jerkey, which seem to attract bears (although they like almost all foods except coffee).

Here's some official Sierra Nevada-specific information on bears:
http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/
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Postby sandersans » Fri May 08, 2009 11:47 pm

Thanks for the reply and info Dan. I had never done the clothes thing before myself but as I was researching about Yosemite I read several bear related articles on the web discussing the use of separate clothes for cooking/sleeping. That got me thinking...maybe I was putting myself in jeopardy all these years. :-) I figured it must be b/c the articles were related to bears in general and not specifically to black bears but thought I would ask those with experience specific to Yosemite. Well hopefully this post will help others out new to Yosemite.
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Postby bill-e-g » Sun May 10, 2009 7:41 pm

Use a Bearcan. Store it a bit away from you. That's it.
They are not going to bother you.
(two of my main staples are Tuna and beef jerkey)

Biggest worry you have is mice chewing on your socks or shoe strings.
Or a Marmot making off with your spoon (I bring 2 now!).

You can hang your pack with all the zippers open if you like.
I lay my pack at my feet and sleep with feet on it...
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