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[Yosemite]

bear safety

Discussion about Yosemite black bears, protecting food, automobiles from bears, and preserving and managing Yosemite bears.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

bear safety

Postby bwg999 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:06 am

I understand hiking in groups or using a bear bell on the backpack are good ways to avoid a bear encounter. Is it typical to take bear spray in Yosemite? I understand it is recommended in Alaska, I am not sure about Yosemite. Looking for guidance or other suggestions. Thanks.
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Re: bear safety

Postby dan » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:45 pm

bwg999 wrote:I understand hiking in groups or using a bear bell on the backpack are good ways to avoid a bear encounter. Is it typical to take bear spray in Yosemite? I understand it is recommended in Alaska, I am not sure about Yosemite. Looking for guidance or other suggestions. Thanks.


No bear bells, no pepper spray for Yosemite. For Alaska, Canada, Glacier, they have Grizzly or Brown bears. In Yosemite they have the relatively tamer black bears (which come in all colors, by the way). Black bears are after your food, but not you (unlike Grizzlies).

Also, for bells, they have very limited range--they can only be heard tens of feet away. It's much better to make noise or have a conversation than depend on bells.

The way to avoid bear encounters on Yosemite backpacks is to use a bear canister for your food, and to store all your food and garbage in it at night (as required by law).
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Re: bear safety

Postby DB1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:58 pm

Just to be clear, not only is bear spray not needed as Dan said, but possession of it is prohibited in Yosemite.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weapons.htm
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Re: bear safety

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:39 am

If a bear is approaching you in Yosemite, stand together if you are with a group, wave your arms, yell, throw rocks at the ground in front of the bear if it ignores the yelling.

You are supposed to keep all food and trash either stashed in the bear locker or put trash in the bear proof trash bins. Treat the bear lockers like a fridge - don't leave them sitting open at all with stuff inside, keep 'em closed.

Take the warning to clean out your vehicle very seriously - the bears do break into cars, causing lots of damage and if the rangers show up you get a fine in addition to the damage. Follow all posted rules and you'll be fine.
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Re: bear safety

Postby Greener » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:53 am

Bear spray sounds dangerous but as far as I understood it should be a better defense than a gun. Luckily the memory of Treadwell is well respected here.
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Re: bear safety

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:29 am

bear spray is illegal in Yosemite . And you don't need it anyway . The bears won't hurt you they want your food.
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Re: bear safety

Postby TrayS » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:19 pm

I will say that when I was backpacking in Yosemite and a juvenile bear kept coming by, our backcountry neighbor shooed him away with the bell. The little guy was bold, but he didn't like the sound. So it seems to me the bear bell does have its use, just doesn't do much good hanging from your pack on the trail.
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