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New York Educated Bears?

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New York Educated Bears?

Postby Tim A » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:28 am

Has anyone seen something like this before? For a split second I thought maybe REI's page got hacked, but I think this is real. I'd like to meet and interview this bear, and get his opinions on forest fires, the drought, and global warming.

On a more informative note, I'm planning on some extensive backpacking and camping in CO next summer and know very little about bear statistics in the various ranges. Are there any wilderness areas or 14er trailheads where I won't need to make preparations for anything bigger than a marmot? I've read plenty about Lake Como and I expect to run into bears in the San Juan and Elks, but do I need to take the same precautions in the more popular and crowded Front or Mosquito Ranges (ie, Kite Lake, Stevens Gulch, etc)? I will be camping at alot of 14er trailheads as I'm bringing a TWD vehicle with pretty low clearance.

I'm also curious about anybody's experience with the product listed (Bear Vault) or other anti-bear products designed to keep your stuff safe. I've read that one should securely hang their pack up in a tree if they carried food or suncreen in the pack: is this true? I plan on carrying bear-spray at all times while hiking and climbing: these questions relate more to preventative measures in the overnight in the hopes that I never need to use the spray.

As always, thanks in advance for your collective wisdom! If this has been talked to death before, please link me to the appropriate thread. Forum searches for "bears" turn up lots of hits on peaks and ridges named "bear" with an occasional post thrown in about actual bears, but haven't found a dedicated thread yet.
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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby mountain_man » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:50 am

I would imagine there are bear risks all over the (mountainous) state. It's likely a good idea to take precautions where ever you go. In my beginning years I didn't take such precautions and got away with it. That was in the mosquito range. Now a days I hang everything off the ground due to marmots and anything with a scent (food, sunscreen, toothpaste, etc.) I hang high or put in a vault. Spent almost a week in the Chicago Basin and a night at Lake Como with no problem. I also try to buy scentless things (sunscreen, deodorant...) just to be safer. Not sure if they are scentless to bears, but can't hurt.

That description on REI must be one of the funniest ones on the site.
"To live and not to breathe is to die in tragedy." - Billie Joe Armstrong
"What I know I could put into a pack as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it on one shoulder, important and honorable, but so small! While everything else continues, unexplained, and unexplainable." - Mary Oliver

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby Gene913 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:12 am

The story alluded to in the REI ad is true, however, the Adirondack bear known as Yellow Yellow apparently is no more.
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/533958.html
As for taking bear precautions in Colorado, hanging a bear bag that contains everything with a scent is a time-tested practice in the backcountry everywhere, bringing to mind the old saw, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
"If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, and you say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:21

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby siop » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:22 am

This summer I had a run in with a fairly good sized bear on the popular Ben Tyler trail outside of Bailey. I wouldn't take any chances. I always hang or vault everything.
"because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing the lawn. climb that goddamn mountain" -jack kerouac

"here is your chance to find your own way. go on your own. be adventuresome. don't forever seek the easiest way. go the way you find. don't demand trail signs and sturdy bridges. don't demand we show you the mountains. see them and find them yourself. here's your chance to get lost, fall in the creek, find a beautiful place." -randy morgenson

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby Gene913 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:39 am

TheodenKing1 wrote: I'm curious about anybody's experience with the product listed (Bear Vault) or other anti-bear products designed to keep your stuff safe.


A friend of mine purchased a Bear Vault after a particularly unpleasant experience with a bear two summers ago at Como Lake. The bear pilfered their camp site not just once but twice, and had figured out a way to get their food down from the bear bag that had been strung 20 feet up on a line between two trees. In more than 20 years of backcountry outings, he had never had a bear experience before this one and, of course, has not had one since. Nonetheless, he refuses now to string a bear bag and insists on using his bear vault. He rationalizes it further by claiming that it makes a decent camp stool.

If you plan to overnite in Rocky Mountain National Park, at least in the Boulderfield on the Keyhole route to Longs, the Park Service now requires that you use a bear vault. If you don't own one, all the sporting goods stores in Estes Park have them for rent. And the rangers will remind you of the requirement to use one when you pick up your overnite camping permit.

Personally, I think bear vaults are unnecessary as a general rule. However, in those places where bears are known to be active, it may be a reasonable precaution. My friend will certainly advocate that view. His experience with a bear cost him a pretty decent pack when the bear hauled it off.
"If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, and you say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:21

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby BenfromtheEast » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:03 am

Yes, the ADK has one specific model of bear can that has approval and it's not the BV 500. It's the Garcia one.

I have the BV 500. The see through plastic is nice. It makes a decent camp chair. As far as I know, no bears have ever attempted to get mine open. The locking mechanism is nearly human proof, especially when cold. I rely on a pocket knife or something similar to open it, and I don't engage the locks unless I'm putting it out overnight. But my real complaint is that it's such an awkward shape to carry in a backpack, especially when using a hydration bladder. I carry it in a 65L pack. When I pack it vertically, it can't be centered or there isn't room for the hydration bladder. Packed vertically off to one side of the bladder, it makes balancing the load difficult. Packed horizontally, it cuts useable volume of a hydration bladder roughly in half and its contents can't be accessed without removing the entire can. I've been considering trying to screw the lid on over a couple pieces of webbing and attach it to the outside of my pack.

Of course, plenty of people just hang bear bags.
Last edited by BenfromtheEast on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby atbaritone » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:51 am

I have a BV 500 that I purchased for backpacking the length of the John Muir Trail in the Sierras of California. The second afternoon--we set up camp and left to summit half dome--a bear ripped through camp. All food was in the bear vault. Evidence at the scene showed she had smacked the vault around, carried it a few yards, and plopped it down. She also riffled through my backpack and pulled out my leather glasses case, leaving a few well-placed tooth marks. Of course, this was in Yosemite, so what do you expect?

After well over 100 nights in the Colorado back country I have never seen a bear or bear evidence. I always hung my food, but now I use the bear vault to lay worries to rest. More importantly in Colorado, the little climbing critters can't get to my food, and the ever-growing population of porcupines can't get to my food if I leave it laying out after a wicked hard day summitting Snowmass while snoozing in my tent to the sounds of Mr. Porcupine scratching at the side of my bear vault not two feet from my tent. If that had been an unhung bear sack, he would've pilfered my hard-earned snickers or, worse yet, my jiffy pop popcorn.

In Colorado: bear vault = peace of mind
In California: bear vault = successful trip
In Wyoming and Montana: bear vault = no dead bears, no dead humans...probably
In North Carolina/Virginia: bear vault = no mice in my food
Everywhere: bear vault = a nice place to park my ass
An unsuccessful day climbing is better than a successful day working.--Me.

Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby MonGoose » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:19 am

Although your likelihood of encountering a bear in Colorado is low, it's important to always practice proper bear safety. I have the BV450 and I really like it. Hanging your food in a tree can be very time consuming and a real pain in the butt at times. I find that the convenience of the bear vault makes it well worth the trouble of carrying it. Be sure to stow the bear vault a decent ways away from your tent at night.

I'm also a big fan of bear spray. Although I don't take it with me on the climb, I do keep it around camp and more than anything it gives me peace of mind.

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby Scotzman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:52 pm

Gene913 wrote:The story alluded to in the REI ad is true, however, the Adirondack bear known as Yellow Yellow apparently is no more.
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/533958.html


I've done a lot of hiking in this area and can vouch for yellow yellow's stories being true. While in one part it's sad to hear of her passing, it's best for both campers and bears that such a skilled bandit is no longer passing on knowledge to other bears.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMPSjzKzC-c
Scotzman
Every man dies, not every man really lives.
What we do in life echoes in eternity.

Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby MonGoose » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:54 pm

Scotzman wrote:I've done a lot of hiking in this area and can vouch for yellow yellow's stories being true. While in one part it's sad to hear of her passing, it's best for both campers and bears that such a skilled bandit is no longer passing on knowledge to other bears.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMPSjzKzC-c


Awesome! Once again, a can of bear spray could have easily solved this situation.

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby TCUTED » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:08 pm

I had to comment on this thread and I knew, the second that I saw the title, which bear this thread was referring to. I have personally had two encounters (that I know of) with yellow yellow, and during one encounter, she broke into my friends Bear Vault and ate every last shred of food I had. My friend was quite dismayed when I returned from that trip (hungry I might add) and told him that his bear resistant can was indeed NOT bear resistant. What was even more amazing about this experience was that Yellow Yellow was able to distinguish the Bear Vault from the Garcia can (Someone in our group had brought a Garcia can). And I know this because the two cans were placed right next to each other and the Garcia can had not been moved from its original position. That whole experience gave me a whole new respect for black bear intelligence.

I was personally quiet saddened to hear about Yellow Yellows death, but I am happy to see that her legend still lives on.

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Re: New York Educated Bears?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:09 pm

Black bears are intelligent, cantankerous, and stubborn. God love 'em!

:-D
Last edited by Dancesatmoonrise on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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