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Fishman53
member (27)member
 
07/30/2021 04:10PM  
As a new and recent visitor of BWCA, I am confused with the Food Storage Order issued today. How does the order differ from what folks should be doing anyway? I didn’t see anything new or am I missing something? Does this order permit stronger enforcement/harsher penalties for non-compliance?

Food Storage Order
 
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moosedoggie
distinguished member (173)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2021 04:24PM  
What was a recommendation (albeit a good one) has become a regulation subject to enforcement action.
jdoutdoors
distinguished member (224)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2021 04:28PM  
Here is the actual order: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd935981.pdf

“Other Attractant” means an odoriferous item capable of attracting bears and other wildlife (e.g. toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, fishing bait, insect repellent, perfumes, and cooking spray)

Though I don't disagree with the definition, I find it a bit much to ask let alone expect people to hang their deodorant, toothpaste, bug repellent, and scented fishing lures in their food bag or in a separate bag. It's not _that_ hard to do, but I would be surprised if many people obey it.
07/30/2021 04:44PM  
I just read the order twice, and unless I am missing something this could be huge.

Last year there was an order very similar to this, but it was only for a couple lakes around Alpine. The SNF clarified in that order they did NOT consider blue barrels to be acceptable due to failures in that special testing machine they use. There are a LOT of people and outfitters using blue barrels, and there have been a LOT of arguments on this forum about just how bear resistant they are (or are not). Last year's order also excluded the use of Ursacks because bears might puncture or crush some items inside (like a tube of syrup or something).

This order looks the same to me as last years, but it does not limit these more strict rules to any part of the BWCA - in fact is says throughout the Superior National Forest. And the rule is in effect today, so it could be that anyone using an Ursack or blue barrel could be in a bind.

Did I miss something??

Edit: Here is last year's order - the wording is very similar, but note they changed the requirements for hanging a bag!

Full disclosure: I use a blue barrel and an Ursack for my dog food.
cmanimal
senior member (54)senior membersenior member
 
07/30/2021 04:44PM  
You'll see in other threads on the topic of storage and hanging food a lot of different preferences and methods, based on their experience, including ones that rely on stashing their smellables (food and other attractants) in the woods.

Some only focus on the food and not the other items that may/will attract visitors depending on the environmental conditions.

I have used resistant containers, hanging in odor proof bags and stashing based on the trip and time of year. Generally I stash in the end of Oct, Jan and Feb, as the critter threat is low. The rest of the year I prefer to hang as I find bear container to be a pain.

Given how dry its been I'm surprised it took this long for the order to be issued. I was expecting it in May.
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
07/30/2021 04:44PM  
I was unaware that the food storage options (absent an Order) were simply recommendations. Tks.
andym
distinguished member(5125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2021 05:20PM  
I guess for Ursacks it is either hang them or get the company to lobby the FS. The guy who developed them definitely would do that but I don't know if the BW is a big enough market to get the new owners to work on this issue. It makes no sense to have them approved for grizzly bears via the IGBC and not for brown bears in the BWCA.

It will be interesting to see what they decide about blue barrels. That would change things for even more people.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2021 06:33PM  
Hopefully this encourages a company to produce a product that is larger than and/or more affordable than an $80 11 liter canister. Or maybe this will encourage the USFS to stop being so sloppy about communicating the exact science used to determine their restrictions and to specifically list acceptable containers instead of leaving it up to visitors to guess if the container they have would pass a test on a machine they've probably never seen or even heard of before. I got into it with the USFS last year to be more scientifically clear with citations to describe and support the rationale of their order, and they succeeded in frustrating me until I gave-up. A government organization like the USFS should be ready and eager to share lots of clear science when asked to justify their policies, but they couldn't or wouldn't direct me to a single piece of science used.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2021 06:50PM  
andym: "I guess for Ursacks it is either hang them or get the company to lobby the FS. The guy who developed them definitely would do that but I don't know if the BW is a big enough market to get the new owners to work on this issue. It makes no sense to have them approved for grizzly bears via the IGBC and not for brown bears in the BWCA.


It will be interesting to see what they decide about blue barrels. That would change things for even more people."


While I wrestled with their reluctance to explain anything last year, eventually they did say that Ursacks are rejected because food can be punctured and leak, providing a reward to the bear despite them never breaching the bag fully. I asked them to provide ethological science to support their claim that leaking food residue is rewarding enough to bears despite the effort and the lack of any true return of a meal. They did not provide any behavioral studies or any other supporting evidence. The Ursack policy is based on assumptions, not science. One of my specialties is animal behavior. Yes, food can leak from an Ursack, but without any proof from science, it cannot be assumed that a bear would consider the effort to be worthwhile enough to be encouraged by it. Maybe, maybe not--need to actually do the science to know. I doubt they'll change. I've learned to always be ready for disappointment when it comes to the USFS--not always their fault, but whether it is their fault or not, I find myself facepalming far too often.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/30/2021 07:11PM  
Instead of saying you ‘should’ now it says you ‘shall’. It puts teeth into their previous recommendations on how to store food. It simply gives rangers the power to issue citations.

It’s long overdue since many campers lose their food to bears then complain about it when their pack is simply dragged off. And then the USFS has to kill the bear so that humans can continue to enjoy their recreational activities.

I doubt it will change things too much in the short-term.
Tom
andym
distinguished member(5125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/30/2021 10:21PM  
I’m fine with orders to store food well. But I agree that it would be nice for the FS to follow established guidelines from other wilderness areas rather than inventing their own rules.

I doubt that Ursacks provide bears with a higher likelihood of a good reward than packs hung in trees. I know hanging can be done well but that is not always accomplished.

Finally, I doubt changes in the SNF will drive changes in what is available because I doubt that this is a substantial fraction of the US camping market. So unless a niche, local company takes this on to meet BW rules, I don’t see changes. Maybe someone could sell blue barrels that have been tested.

And as a government scientist, I also agree with being transparent with the public.
Shepaddles
 
07/31/2021 07:37AM  
Agreed. Ursacks seem to increasingly be seen as unacceptable (e.g. in the Sierras in California) but I haven't seen any evidence that they don't work which is frustrating.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
07/31/2021 08:33AM  
If enforced this will be a game changer. From my observations the vast majority of people are not in compliance with these regulations and I am confident that most are unwilling or incapable of doing so.

I feel that resistant canisters are the most effective portable option available. I also think that the hanging option may be included because the Forest Service is aware that without larger more suitable size resistant containers available many visitors would
be unwilling to comply.

Information about the pros and cons of hanging, hiding, ursacks, resistant canisters, and other methods of protecting items is available with a simple search. A critical thinking person should be able to figure out whether or not he or she is able or willing to comply.
It may be expensive, inconvenient, or unpopular but when there is a will there is often a way.

Fishman53
member (27)member
 
07/31/2021 09:31AM  
Would more public knowledge about the reported bear encounters help? If the public is aware that bears on x lake had taken packs hung in trees, then future campers would know not to hang, but use an alternative storage method. Granted requires camper compliance, but would think most want to avoid such encounters.
07/31/2021 10:00AM  
Although I doubt that it will make a difference, I wrote (email) to the FS about this order. I asked them to ...
1. Harmonize the text on their web page that announces the order (the web page states that food packs have to be hung 12 feet above the ground whereas the order specifies 10 feet).
2. Provide a list of bear resistant canisters that have passed their 200 ft-lb impact test.
3. Explain why the IGBC-approved Ursacks are good enough for protecting food against Grizzly bears but not against Black bears.

Because the FS previously did not provide satisfactory answers to mschi772, I am not expecting great answers, but I figure more people pressing the FS for reasons might move them at some point to provide better information regarding approved canisters and/or include Ursacks as approved storage devices.
07/31/2021 10:19AM  
There is a disconnect between the reportage on the order and links to other information vs. the actual requirement of the order. Refer to the actual order itself.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13970)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/31/2021 11:01AM  
I just don’t see people following this order unless there is much more enforcement.
907Tundra
member (11)member
 
07/31/2021 12:38PM  
I think you’re on the right track Tumblehome. Perhaps this is more of warning directed at the egregious offenders, letting them know they can now expect fines for being irresponsible and not showing any signs of caution with storing food etc. I agree with those of you who have been good actors and are left with questions about meeting the highest standards.
One thing that is clear is that the BWCA does have plenty of problem bears created entirely by problem people (the slobs). It’s a shame that when people have suggested relatively idiot proof options like dedicated steel poles with cables on pulleys or steel lock boxes etc at campsites the biggest complaints are that people will just leave trash in the boxes or that they are too expensive to install. The common theme here is that a relatively small number of people are creating onerous and expensive problems for the rest of us and especially for the bears.
If all this merely results in rangers issuing fines to slobs then I say great.
07/31/2021 02:19PM  
The vast majority of hanging food packs I see are bear piñata’s and do not comply with FS standards for height and how far they are away from a tree. Is the FS really going to ticket them? Are they even going to check?

Is it a rule if no one enforces it?

A similar rule was in effect for my area last year…not a single campsite I passed was in compliance, most had their food hung.

T
campnfish
distinguished member (300)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 02:51PM  
"Using a bear canister or bear-resistant container and placing it 50 feet away from your tent on the ground (preferred method) or; "

I'm assuming a bear canister is something like a Garcia or BV, but what is a bear-resistant container, is that a blue barrel, the resistance maybe meaning to mask the smell somewhat?

Should this read, bear resistant canister, the "or" is confusing me.

WWCD

07/31/2021 03:14PM  
campnfish: ""Using a bear canister or bear-resistant container and placing it 50 feet away from your tent on the ground (preferred method) or; "


I'm assuming a bear canister is something like a Garcia or BV, but what is a bear-resistant container, is that a blue barrel, the resistance maybe meaning to mask the smell somewhat?


Should this read, bear resistant canister, the "or" is confusing me.


WWCD


"
It is defined in the actual order if you read that. I would say it means bear resistant canisters. I would guess it eliminates blue barrels and Ursacks as bear resistant containers. They could of course be hung according to the requirements.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 06:51PM  
Blue barrels are meant for human convenience.
To a bear its it's just a giant cookie jar.

Tom
billconner
distinguished member(8015)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/31/2021 07:23PM  
What about all the coolers that IGBC lists?
07/31/2021 07:40PM  
You already have a Fire Grate, Vault toilet, why not add a metal food box chained to a tree while you're at it.
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1123)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 08:13PM  
So why is this new food storage order NOT referenced on recreation.gov BWCA notifications section or anywhere on my permit details? How is the average person supposed to find out about this?
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 08:44PM  
timatkn: "The vast majority of hanging food packs I see are bear piñata’s and do not comply with FS standards for height and how far they are away from a tree. Is the FS really going to ticket them? Are they even going to check?


Is it a rule if no one enforces it?


A similar rule was in effect for my area last year…not a single campsite I passed was in compliance, most had their food hung.

I agree that hanging food is executed incorrectly by most camps I see. The bag is a much better option that is easy to execute correctly.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 09:38PM  
straighthairedcurly: "So why is this new food storage order NOT referenced on recreation.gov BWCA notifications section or anywhere on my permit details? How is the average person supposed to find out about this? "

Because it’s the gubment. Left hand and right hand don’t know each other. Sort of pathetic if you ask me.
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1654)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 09:44PM  
""
"

Part of the problem is that many people may not receive this info. As busy as the outfitters are, if you pick up your permit there and you are a repeat customer they may assume that you know the new rule. If the USFS posts a notice at each EP, what happens if you show up at your EP and don't have the proper gear to abide by the new rules? Do you hope you don't get caught or do you turn back and go get more rope? I hope the outfitters have ample stock of bear-proof barrels to rent and sell. What about entry points like Lizz/Swamp where you don't enter the BWCA until you are on your second lake in? They could post a sign where you can get a day permit but at the point you have already paddled across Poplar and are halfway across your first portage. There are many places to launch on Poplar so it's very possible to miss a posting. You have to consider that many people with bear proof barrels may just leave them in a pack that the bears can drag off. Even if they don't get a reward, they will still keep trying. I personally like to see the USFS making people more responsible.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/01/2021 01:31AM  
Bear resistant canisters can be difficult to use. It is unlikely that many could at the last moment find out about the requirements and efficiently use them. Packing, transporting, and proper use of canisters takes forethought and understanding. When I switched from bags to canisters I found it necessary to change the type and packaging of the food I take. I also had to figure out how to efficiently transport them. This is why I feel that most will choose to hang their food pack and some will lobby for use of bear resistant bags. Both of of which in my opinion are less effective for securing items.
Wharfrat63
distinguished member (111)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2021 09:56AM  
Shepaddles: "Agreed. Ursacks seem to increasingly be seen as unacceptable (e.g. in the Sierras in California) but I haven't seen any evidence that they don't work which is frustrating. "

I was in the ursack camp...Until... Agnes bear breached two of them. Shredded one and got at 100% of the food. Just holes in the second. Problem is they are bear resistant and not bear proof. The idea is to keep the bear from getting the food until you can scare it away. I would say our bear worked on that bag for hours and we did not hear it. As a matter of fact we were up for an hour, before we went to get the bags. Didn't hear a thing. Stumbled upon the bear when we got about 4 feet from the ripped open ursack which was still tied to the tree. Probably a two or three year-old. Took off as soon as it saw us.

I have subscribed to the Cliff Jacobson method for years, but any breakdown in protocol (in any method, really) throws all your hard work out the door. Here is what I mean:

1. On Agnes, the site was wide open. There was really no place to hide the bags, so went about 100 yards out of camp and hung the bags. I was lazy.
I should have gone as far back until I found brush and under growth all around. That said if they find it and it is far away from camp, you won't hear them and they will eventually get them open if they are hungry. This leads me to my second point.

2, I had messy campers with me. They doubted my incessant naggings on keeping a clean camp. For example, I found food not buried after they did dishes; food wrappers around their tent; and after the bear incident when packing up camp, I find two boxes of raisins mixed in the cook kit bag! No one took responsibility! Normalcy bias strikes again. I cannot tell you how many times, I heard " I have been camping and hiking all my life, never worried about food, and never had a bear". That is great, but we just killed a bear. Fed bear is a dead bear.

I believe that even though we had all food sealed and bagged in odor proof bags, there were smells on those bags, due to my camp mates not taking "don't touch the food bags after touching food rule. Guess I was bringing them down, until the whole group had to cut their vacation early.

At the outfitter, one trip mate said to me: " I thought you were a little over the top with the food, but now I see why"! Doah!

The good thing about this incident, is that the food was away from campers and therefore protected my campmates from a surprise visit to their tent!

I will have to rethink all of this for the next trip. Maybe canisters, but that drastically changes the menu or the amount of packs if my menu stays the same.

Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for those that read it. Please take note, don't be a messy camper in the BWCA or anywhere. And just in case, move that food way out of camp!





mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2021 09:57AM  
Ultimately this is just one more rule that USFS doesn't have even close the resources or the resolve to enforce appropriately to be added to the pile of other rules they can't enforce. All they've done is make it so that improper food storage *can* be another thing they can punish people for when they do happen to come across violators. They're also, of course, hoping that this change will encourage people to be more responsible, but they know they don't have the teeth to actually follow-through in making sure everyone obeys or even knows about the new rule. I hate this limp, bureaucratic nonsense of making rules in the hopes that they automatically enforce themselves somehow without any idea of how to actually enforce them.

I'm not saying I'm against the rule by the way. I'm all for it. I'm saying that I wish we'd all stop pretending like anything significant can be achieved without actually investing in the USFS so that they can have the resources to actually affect change instead of putting on this sad "Great and Powerful Oz" routine and hoping no one notices that they're just some wimp behind a curtain that can't do anything.
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/01/2021 11:06AM  
In preparing for our first trip to BWCA this summer, we used this site along with other resources to educate ourselves. I recall one video by Kevin Callan in which he and Cliff Jacobson were debating bears and hanging food. Jacobson viewed the food hanging recommendation/regulation as simply a way for the government to cover their ass in the event of a human - bear interaction.

Video
tumblehome
distinguished member(2167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2021 01:28PM  
Fishman53: "and Cliff Jacobson were debating bears and hanging food. Jacobson viewed the food hanging recommendation/regulation as simply a way for the government to cover their ass in the event of a human - bear interaction.


Video "

And Cliff is drunk, visibly drunk, again. I never understood why people listen to him.

08/01/2021 01:57PM  
mschi772: "Ultimately this is just one more rule that USFS doesn't have even close the resources or the resolve to enforce appropriately to be added to the pile of other rules they can't enforce. All they've done is make it so that improper food storage *can* be another thing they can punish people for when they do happen to come across violators. They're also, of course, hoping that this change will encourage people to be more responsible, but they know they don't have the teeth to actually follow-through in making sure everyone obeys or even knows about the new rule. I hate this limp, bureaucratic nonsense of making rules in the hopes that they automatically enforce themselves somehow without any idea of how to actually enforce them.


I'm not saying I'm against the rule by the way. I'm all for it. I'm saying that I wish we'd all stop pretending like anything significant can be achieved without actually investing in the USFS so that they can have the resources to actually affect change instead of putting on this sad "Great and Powerful Oz" routine and hoping no one notices that they're just some wimp behind a curtain that can't do anything."


+1
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2021 06:00PM  
Last year the outfitter said Blue Barrels were approved. I called the Forest Service and they said no. They told me it was Bearvaults or hang the pack from the tree. It sound like this year it is an order for the entire BWCA area.
08/01/2021 06:29PM  
This is really an unenforceable rule and I don’t think it will make a lick of difference. Sorry to be so cynical ??.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/01/2021 06:54PM  
egknuti: "This is really an unenforceable rule and I don’t think it will make a lick of difference. Sorry to be so cynical ??."

I disagree, I believe that it is enforceable. However, I feel the hanging option severely weakens the intent and will make issuing citations more difficult. An approved bear resistant canister only mandate would be easier to enforce and would better accomplish the intent of preventing bears from accessing food.

This is a touchy issue and a game changer for many. Whether or not it is enforced the food protection issue is mandated and people will choose to be in compliance or not.
andym
distinguished member(5125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/01/2021 08:25PM  
I agree that a mandate for only approved canisters would be easier to enforce and would be very effective. The problem in the BW is that there is a tradition of eating better than straight backpackers. For many of us, our food takes up more space than it does for the average camper. It is one of the joys of canoe camping. So, I wonder if that is why hanging is still an option.

If a BV500 holds a weeks worth of food for a person then my wife and I need 3 for a 10 day trip. Better food, taking up more space could mean we need a 4th. That means 7.7 to 10.25 lbs of canisters. Dropping a few lbs by using the largest bearikades would be quite expensive.

The other option for us is hanging our existing Ursacks. But I’m not sure that makes our food more secure than it was tied to a tree. And I hate hanging and can’t claim I’m that good at it. It’s been 20 years since I did it.

Combining the urge for good food and worries about garbage being left in metal bins at campsites, I’m starting to favor metal poles to hang food.
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/02/2021 10:41AM  
Back to an earlier point, would more public information from USFS about the reported bear encounters help avoid future interaction? At least the public would be aware of where/when/how the encounter occurred. Perhaps that info is available and I am just unaware, but all I have seen is a listing of lakes with bear activity. Would more info about the encounter(s) be a bad thing? USFS encourages the public/outfitters to report such interactions - what would be wrong with making those reports available to the public? Want to see the reports on x lake before your trip - here is what has been reported. You could then adjust, if necessary, your behavior in attempts to avoid any encounter.
northerntrader
 
08/02/2021 11:19AM  
I haven't seen any comments about storing "refuse" on this thread. I can accept having to carry a Bearvault for my food, but now I need to toss my garbage in the vault with my food too? Or carry a separate vault for my potato peels and coffee grounds and foil or plastic containers for freeze dried food? Forget single portaging!
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 11:41AM  
Its not a problem if you start with the Bearvaults. We take 18 guys up each September, in 3 groups. typically 5-6 bearvaults per camp, one per day. We cook really good breakfasts and dinners. Waste goes back in the vault it came out of. In the case of potato skins or coffee grounds, they would go back in the zip lock bags and then into the bear vault. Bearvaults elimnate the need for trash bags. What comes out, goes back in.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/02/2021 11:55AM  
northerntrader: "I haven't seen any comments about storing "refuse" on this thread. I can accept having to carry a Bearvault for my food, but now I need to toss my garbage in the vault with my food too? Or carry a separate vault for my potato peels and coffee grounds and foil or plastic containers for freeze dried food? Forget single portaging!"

I just finished a 7 day BWCA trip with a friend. We both transported all our food, scented items, and trash in approved bear resistant canisters and single portaged.



08/02/2021 12:28PM  
northerntrader: "I haven't seen any comments about storing "refuse" on this thread. I can accept having to carry a Bearvault for my food, but now I need to toss my garbage in the vault with my food too? Or carry a separate vault for my potato peels and coffee grounds and foil or plastic containers for freeze dried food? Forget single portaging!"

Pack it in, pack it out. No problem. The garbage takes up less space than the food it replaces. I plan not to have much and about a week's worth fits in a 1-quart Ziploc.
andym
distinguished member(5125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/02/2021 12:44PM  
We have always stored our garbage in our Ursacks. By partway through a trip, one of the Ursacks gets dedicated to that task with the garbage in ziplocks inside the Opsak because it seals in odor much better.

Wet garbage is a pain. I suggest drying it in a pan over the fire to get rid of the moisture. I feel fortunate that we don't drink coffee and so don't have wet grounds to deal with.
08/02/2021 02:49PM  
If there is going to be any consistent compliance they are going to need to spell out clearly what containers are in compliance and what is not. We are also going to need more options than what is currently on the market. I have yet to see a 30L bear resistant container. Even 2 15L containers that fit in a 30L barrel bag would work.

I just don't see this order doing any good. The people following the rules already aren't the problem. The ones that aren't are going to to think that certain rule are too restrictive and be even more unlikely to follow them. I see it even in my own family where they think "we don't need to do that" or "that's ridiculous, they don't actually expect people to get the food pack 12 feet high". There aren't enough options for bear resistant containers on the market so people are going to take shortcuts and hang more often, likely not high enough or far enough from the tree.

BTW: I still say blue barrels are better than hanging bear piñatas. At least it's sealed.
John Mooe
Guest Paddler
 
08/02/2021 03:49PM  
Regulating behavior works. Speeding citations reduce speeding. I googled "feeding bear citations" and the first one that came up was a women that received a $6,000.00 citation for not properly protecting her garbage in Grand Tetons National Park. Bet she doesn't do that again!!!

I am concerned about food protection and it's impact. I choose to be proactive. I researched and now use approved bear resistant containers. I can't help but feel that the majority of people, including members on this site are more concerned with their personal convenience than with resolving the food protection issue. Instead of discussing how to comply with the mandate or suggest positive remedies I see mostly complaining and some members stating that they intend not to comply but continue as they please.

John
jillpine
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 03:55PM  
Blatz: "You already have a Fire Grate, Vault toilet, why not add a metal food box chained to a tree while you're at it. "

+1
guessing cost?

Where is it stated that Ursacks generate a violation in the Superior Natl Forest?
I'm not challenging that; I'm just trying to find the verbiage. What I'd really like is simply a list of approved products so I can be in compliance.

The order states the requirement of a "bear-resistant container" or hang the food.

GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 04:08PM  
I own two bear vaults and a Ursack. I am headed back up this weekend. Guaranteed if our food does not fit in the two BVs the rest of it will be in the Ursack.
I don't mind the idea of mandating bear proof containers but to institute a major change overnight is certainly not the best way to go about it.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 04:12PM  
One more thought: There is no way metal bear proof boxes should be installed at every campsite. Too expensive. Too ugly. They would stink to high Heaven. And there is no way to keep them empty absent hiring a small army of trash collectors. Simpy not necessary IMHO.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/02/2021 04:35PM  
jillpine: "Blatz: "You already have a Fire Grate, Vault toilet, why not add a metal food box chained to a tree while you're at it. "


+1
guessing cost?


Where is it stated that Ursacks generate a violation in the Superior Natl Forest?
I'm not challenging that; I'm just trying to find the verbiage. What I'd really like is simply a list of approved products so I can be in compliance.

The order states the requirement of a "bear-resistant container" or hang the food.


"


The order clearly states "solid non-pliable".
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 04:36PM  
"I am concerned about food protection and it's impact. I choose to be proactive. I researched and now use approved bear resistant containers. I can't help but feel that the majority of people, including members on this site are more concerned with their personal convenience than with resolving the food protection issue. Instead of discussing how to comply with the mandate or suggest positive remedies I see mostly complaining and some members stating that they intend not to comply but continue as they please."

Agreed. Bearvaults are approved containers. The reason some don't want to use them is they are more money then a cheap blue barrel, and not as easy to single portage as a Ursack. Putting aside the fine issue (although that is a big issue), why risk a bear ruining your trip by hauling off a food pack, ripping open a blue barrel or hauling off a Ursack?
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 04:39PM  
John Moore: "jillpine: "Blatz: "You already have a Fire Grate, Vault toilet, why not add a metal food box chained to a tree while you're at it. "



+1
guessing cost?



Where is it stated that Ursacks generate a violation in the Superior Natl Forest?
I'm not challenging that; I'm just trying to find the verbiage. What I'd really like is simply a list of approved products so I can be in compliance.

The order states the requirement of a "bear-resistant container" or hang the food.



"




The order clearly states "solid non-pliable"."


That would seem to clearly state that Ursacks and blue barrels are out.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 04:52PM  
I disagree about most folks posting here not agreeing to follow the new regulation. What I think is flawed is how the FS executed this. Immediate implementation is clearly not how this should have been done. It is an issue but not does rise to a 911 call.
If you want compliance you warn people far in advance when the change will be made. Most everyone will agree that this change can be implemented successfully over time.
I also think the idea of allowing hanging food but not Ursacks is flawed. We all know the bears can reach many of the hanging packs.. And they do. I can not tell you how many packs I have seen hanging when I paddle past campsites that are in no way shape or form going to deter a bear. I just don't see that changing.
I believe the most effective way to do this is to say, starting next year, you have to use a BV or other similar approved container or a Ursack and get rid of hanging altogether. I know many on here hang correctly but by allowing it you are just inviting the problems that exist today to contine.
jillpine
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 05:16PM  
Where is it written "non-pliable"? Can you post a link? I have an upcoming trip, and members of the group are wanting the information.

I would like to just hand them a list, as they are asking things I can't answer. When I called the Ranger Station, she told me, "there is no list of approved products. Buy something labeled "bear proof". She specifically said "bear proof", and the group member is losing sleep because everything is labelled bear-resistant. One of the group members bought a Grubcan instead of a Bear Vault. And they're losing sleep about that detail. I have a couple of long portages planned, so hopefully that will help restore everyone's sleep. :)

I have found the USFS order for Superior Natl Forest

And the link about bear resistant food canister

You know, we're just going to do our best - dehydrated food in a set of bear resistant canisters, leaving blue barrels, Ursacks, and gamma seals at home.
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/02/2021 05:35PM  
GraniteCliffs: "I disagree about most folks posting here not agreeing to follow the new regulation. What I think is flawed is how the FS executed this. Immediate implementation is clearly not how this should have been done. It is an issue but not does rise to a 911 call.
If you want compliance you warn people far in advance when the change will be made. Most everyone will agree that this change can be implemented successfully over time."


Agreed and well said!
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/02/2021 05:45PM  
jillpine, as a guest I am not allowed to to post links or photos but there is a link posted of the actual order in the third post from the top of this thread.
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1123)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 05:54PM  
jillpine: "Where is it written "non-pliable"? Can you post a link? I have an upcoming trip, and members of the group are wanting the information.


I have found the USFS order for Superior Natl Forest


And the link about bear resistant food canister


You know, we're just going to do our best - dehydrated food in a set of bear resistant canisters, leaving blue barrels, Ursacks, and gamma seals at home.
"


Here is the more complete order: Storage definitions
jillpine
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 06:11PM  
Thank you - that’s headed straight to the group. Appreciate it!
You know, those solo trips over the past three years have kind of grown on me. ;)
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/02/2021 06:54PM  
GraniteCliffs: “If you want compliance you warn people far in advance when the change will be made."

Prior to even a warning how about sharing info on the reported bear encounters. I for one would like to know if we are dealing with a bunch of yardbirds who leave food and garbage about the camp, do not hang packs, etc… and caused the encounter or are we at a point that bears are entering camps that are properly maintained? Would have little sympathy for those yardbirds, but if others who are doing things correctly have bear interaction then additional protective measures are necessary. But without this information we are left to piece together the story that led to this immediate order.
billconner
distinguished member(8015)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/02/2021 06:59PM  
No good solution. Installed anything, boxes or poles, at 2200+ sites won't ever fly. I share Ursak doubts. Enough hangings would be inadequate to perpetuate the problem. And canisters, the bear vault style, or coolers IGBC approved, really do change the character of canoe trips for many of us.

Are Quetico or any of the Canadian parks changing their regulations?

I don't think the order will do much other than result in a few less cordial conversations between campers and rangers, who I feel bad for having to enforce the order.
08/02/2021 09:32PM  
billconner: "Are Quetico or any of the Canadian parks changing their regulations?."

I have not noticed any changes and doubt they will make any. Their bears will also be hungry due to drought, but a major contributor to the BWCA bear-human problem is the high concentration of humans in some places, namely larger lakes with lots of campsites fairly close together and fairly close to entries.. We always hear of trouble bears on Agnes and Ensign and Alpine, but rarely on Cap or Fat or Muskeg. With Quetico having something like 1/10th the visitors in the same space, and WCPP and Wabakimi having less than 1%, there is far less opportunity for the same problem.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 07:51AM  
billconner: "Are Quetico or any of the Canadian parks changing their regulations?"

Algonquin Park is the only park that is really comparable to the visitation of the BWCAW, and it is no stranger to bear problems.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 07:54AM  
For those of you who are curious about what little info was gleaned from me banging my head into the incompetence wall of the USFS last year, if you skim through the thread linked below for my posts, I posted updates during my direct communications with the USFS-SNF.

LINK

Quoted below are all of my relevant posts from that thread.

mschi772: "I emailed the USFS specifically about Ursacks as that was a common question I was hearing. Pictured here is their reply.






I have sent a follow-up as well that reads:
"Thank-you for the quick response. Since you offered, I would like a more detailed explanation of what methods and evidence-based rationale the USFS uses to evaluate containers in order to qualify or disqualify them as bear-resistant and what data the USFS uses to evaluate the efficacy of its testing/qualification methods."

I have not received another response yet.

As far as I've been able to find, the USFS uses a simple device designed by Missoula Technical Development Center (MTDC) back in 1989 to test the penetrability of hard containers pictured here. This is quite the narrow-minded approach that the USFS sounds like it has stuck with for 30 years while the IGBC has continued to expand and refine its approach. Not only does this method ignore numerous physical and ethological ("ethological" is not a typo) questions, but it is utterly incapable of any meaningful evaluation of a container that is not rigid.
"


mschi772: "I have finally received a response, and it still isn't super clear or helpful:

"As maybe you’re aware, as you referenced them in your initial email, the US Forest Service (on the national level) works closely with IGBC to determine bear safe practices and products. This is primarily developed for Grizzlies in/near Montana, but often these metrics and parameters are implemented by land management agencies (including the US Forest Service and National Park Service) across the country. This is a long way of saying that parameters were used from past collaborations between the IGBC and the Forest Service out of Montana."

My reply follows:

"Confusion remains, and that is why I have contacted you. Ursacks are quite popular, but the vague wording of the USFS order implies that containers must be rigid and pass a penetration test. Regarding the matter of this test, I assume that it is in regards to a test/device devised in 1989 by the Missoula Technical Development Center, but you are now implying that you are more reliant on IGBC testing practices. Ursacks are not rigid and don't meet the parameters describes in the order, but they are tested and approved by the IGBC. This is confusing. Would they or would they not be considered an acceptable container under the current order?

Many BWCA visitors are Ursack users, and they are also concerned that the area defined by the current order is impractical for traditional hangs as the forest is still recovering from the Cavity Lake Fire of 2006. There are a lot of questions about whether or not Ursack users will have to invest in some other container in order to be considered compliant with the current order.""


mschi772: "And the response I received today. We've come full circle. Sigh.

"Regardless of brand, certifications, or origins, the container would need to meet the specs listed below to comply on Alpine Lake/Jasper Lake/Sea Gull Lake/Red Rock Lake/Rog Lake.

§ A securable container

§ Of solid non-pliable material

§ Capable of withstanding 200 foot-pounds of energy

§ When secured and under stress, the container will not have cracks, openings, or hinges that would allow for a bear to gain entry.

Please let me know what within these four specs is offering confusion so I can clarify for your awareness."

Unsurprisingly, my patience for bureaucracy is thin to begin with. My final attempt to actually learn something useful from them follows:

"What I am seeking to learn is how the USFS has chosen those specific requirements? Specifically, please. What are the evidence-based origins and the scientific rationale of those four bullet points? It isn't entirely IGBC because they certainly don't require a container to be made of solid, non-pliable material, and they do allow for small openings as containers like the UHMWPE fabric Ursack can have weave separations of up to 1/4" in diameter and still be considered effectively bear-resistant by the IGBC. I'm a scientist. I would like someone to provide technical answers worthy of a scientist. I have already figured that anyone using an Ursack will not be considered compliant, but I am now seeking a deeper understanding of how my USFS arrives at the decisions it does. Feel free to put me into contact with someone with a better understanding of the science and engineering that informs USFS policies such as this one.

If you are going to insist with your repetition of bullet points without any explanation for what methods and evidence-based rationale the USFS uses to evaluate containers in order to qualify or disqualify them as bear-resistant and what data the USFS uses to evaluate the efficacy of its testing/qualification methods or how someone can, on their own, reliably determine if a container meets those requirements, then please just provide a list of approved containers that the public can look to so that people don't have to ask each other a bunch of speculative questions in a panic. The average person has no way of reliably determining if a container can "withstand 200 ft-lb of energy." I've seen numerous people thinking that this means that if a 200 lb man can sit on the container and not crack it, they're compliant with the order, and I doubt that is at all what the USFS has in mind since that isn't what 200 ft-lb is. There is also no proper definition of what "secured and under stress" means. I would personally prefer specific, scientific, technical information and definitions, but I think the better way to go would be to simply list what containers are compliant for visitors to reference since many people are not scientists nor engineers, and they just want to know if what they have will get them fined or not.

I've already told everyone who has asked that Ursacks are not acceptable despite the IGBC approval and their approval in many national parks since the USFS has chosen to require "solid, non-pliable" material for some reason (one of many things I seek to understand with the technical explanations I'm now seeking)."

Honestly, based on these four bullet points alone, I think a simple blue barrel WOULD meet these requirements. 200 ft-lb (not to be confused with lb-ft) would be about the energy that a 200 lb human has falling from about 1 ft. If you're a little lighter than 200 lb, like 160 lb, add about 3 in to your fall distance. I think a blue barrel can take that since the USFS doesn't define how small of an area that energy should be applied to. Naturally, they should define this to be a small enough area to represent a barrel being slammed into a pointy rock, but they don't. Am I telling people to take blue barrels into the area under this order? Absolutely not. They are not satisfactorily bear-resistant by any decent definition. I'm just illustrating how flawed the USFS bullet points are."


mschi772: "I was away for a week in the BWCA, but I did get another response from someone new. It is a lot of words and zero science. I'm done. It is clear that the USFS is completely uninterested in providing any actual evidence/science that they use. They likely don't actually have any as this last reply makes it painfully obvious that these restrictions are written without any clear idea of enforcement in mind. They refuse to name products because they don't want to endorse anything or miss anything, so that says to me that evaluation of any given food container ends-up having to happen case-by-case in the field, and I highly doubt that the personnel in the field have any more specific specs or tools to use to evaluate a container.

"We do not want bears to rip it apart." As we all know, this does not happen with Ursacks, yet Ann/USFS is implying that it does. Despite acknowledging their existence, they still talk about Ursacks in the same way that they talk about an ol' fabric food pack.

"...can leak food from the container if punctured...the reward makes them work harder" Citation needed, Ann/USFS. Especially since scientific citation is *specifically* what I've been requesting ever since my 2nd email. It is a solid hypothesis that food leaks through Ursack fabric may encourage a bear, but how do you know there is any significant encouragement especially since "bears already know there’s food in there." If there is science to support this hypothesis, that's *exactly* the kind of thing that I've been asking for the USFS to share with me. Even if they do receive encouragement from receiving a taste, we know they won't be defeating the Ursack and receiving an actual meal, so does any amount of encouragement even matter if all of the bears' efforts are ultimately futile? Citation. Needed.

Why did I press this issue so hard and for so long? Because our USFS should not be such a stranger to science. Also because I utterly loathe the creation of rules without any plan for enforcement; rules/laws are worthless if they can't be realistically, consistently, and fairly enforced. I am disappointed to see such a lack of science and fact/evidence-based support for USFS decisions. The way this order and these emails have been worded, I would wager that a blue barrel would qualify, and that is super disappointing since we all know that they are not at all bear-proof far more likely to yield a meal reward to a bear than an Ursack ever will be.

"Bear-proof." I can't believe Ann even suggested that "bear-proof" is a thing by insinuating that Ursacks are merely bear-resistant while others are bear-proof. Nothing is bear-proof (at least nothing that backpackers/canoers carry), and it insults my intelligence that we have USFS personnel who are foolish enough to believe that.

The Order on the Superior National Forest webpage is a Forest Order put in place after bears have received food rewards from visitors at an alarming rate this summer. The bears are conditioned, or learning to be conditioned, that food comes from humans and their food packs. They have become aggressive and are now chasing people off of the campsite or into the water. The District wilderness staff, wildlife biologist, District Ranger, headquarters staff, law enforcement for the Northwest zone, and the Forest Supervisor have decided on this tactic.



Yes, soft packs are listed on the IGBC website as bear resistant containers. IGBC admits in their description that these items are resistant, not bear proof. Soft packs, the brand you mention, are resistant and can leak food from the container if punctured. What we are asking on these 5 lakes that have food conditioned bears, is that you use a container that is made from “solid, non-pliable material”. We do not want bears to mouth a soft pack and rip it apart, which has happened to a variety of soft packs. Obviously bears already know there’s food in there, and the reward makes them work harder. You can also suspend your soft pack as an alternative to a pack made from “solid, non-pliable material”, as described in the Order. This is a method we have suggested since the 1970s.



Regarding our specific regulation, the IGBC says this on their website “Regardless of your public land location or destination, we recommend contacting local land management offices for more details on the use of electric fences or other products and methods that may be used to comply with applicable food storage regulations because requirements may vary by location.” Now you know the variation at our location.



We are asking you for an extra measure of security at 5 lakes because: we have had aggressive bears due to improperly stored food at these locations and we or the State must now kill these bears; we also want to prevent habituating more bears to the ease of procuring human food in these locations; we want to prevent killing more habituated bears; and we obviously want to prevent a bear from mauling a visitor.



You are welcome to:

· Find a site with trees to hang your food in your soft pack (yes, we aware that we have sites with unsuitable trees or no trees) OR

· Get a container made with “solid, non-pliable material” in the case of unsuitable or no trees, choosing from those listed on the IGBC list OR

· There are 1,075 lakes in the BWCAW. Consider camping at one of the other 1,070 lakes in the BWCAW OR

· Consider camping at one of the hundreds outside of the Wilderness OR

· Consider camping at another recreation location that has food lockers



IGBC lists containers of “solid, non-pliable material” - http://igbconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/200610_Certified_Products_List.pdf

We do not simply list specific containers because we cannot endorse a specific company. Even if we did, we might miss a particular company and that too would be problematic. As with any other piece of gear, we are leaving it up to the visitor to choose the container of their liking made of a “solid, non-pliable material”.





Ann Schwaller

Superior National Forest

Forest Program Manager for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Duluth, MN

ann.schwaller@usda.gov

218-626-4325


I am not so naive to actually be surprised at the unwillingness of a government agency to cooperate with a citizen's request for information. I'm not so naive as to be surprised by the scientific illiteracy of it either. I just don't back down into complacent realism without some resistance. The USFS should be better than this. We should be better than this. Science and reason aren't difficult, and rules shouldn't just be shotgunned reactively out of committees with no consideration for enforcement....but I guess these days science and reason are considered enemies of the state (which has literally discouraged agencies from using words like "evidence-based" and "science-based" among others; My own citation where this claim of mine is explained pretty well. ) that the USFS serves, so I guess they don't have any other choice right now. "


Just reading back through all of that gets me all sorts of mad again.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/03/2021 09:44AM  
mschi772 did you read Wharfrat63 post in this thread? Reported 2 ursacks breached by bear on Agnus.
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 09:47AM  
Compliance does not seem that hard. If you don't want to hang food containers, you use a Bearvault. Otherwise use whatever you want and hang it.

We have had blue barrels, Ursacks, food packs, coolers, and Bearvaults. The only thing that kept out bears, mice, squirrels, and chipmunks every time was the bearvaults. I am not sure what the resistance is to them.
freeandcold
 
08/03/2021 10:47AM  
ockycamper: "Compliance does not seem that hard. If you don't want to hang food containers, you use a Bearvault. Otherwise use whatever you want and hang it.


We have had blue barrels, Ursacks, food packs, coolers, and Bearvaults. The only thing that kept out bears, mice, squirrels, and chipmunks every time was the bearvaults. I am not sure what the resistance is to them."


I think the resistance to BV’s is $420 for the volume of one 60l barrel. But, that would allow for organization…. Personally, I’m disappointed because I spent a couple of hundred dollars to switch to a system that “did” not require hanging… I’ve hung for over 40 years and have never had a problem with any critters. I finally decided to switch due to the many near misses and a couple of injuries from hanging… thought it was time to try something new… I chose my new gear poorly. But, I know how to hang, and will not have a problem doing it again…
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 11:36AM  
You are correct in that is takes 5 BV 500's to equal the 60 litre blue barrel. At a cost of $69 per BV500 you have $345 in bearvaults. However, we spread the bearvaults out among the canoes in each camp. 6 guys, 3 canoes, two bear vaults each for the week. I can tell you they would much rather carry one bearvault through the portage each, then be the guy that has to heft a fully loaded 60 litre blue barrel. . . .even with the back pack straps.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 11:37AM  
John Moore: "mschi772 did you read Wharfrat63 post in this thread? Reported 2 ursacks breached by bear on Agnus."

Nothing is bear-proof, especially if a bear is allowed to go ham on it uncontested. BV500s have also been breached, not only by the now cliche example of Yellow-yellow, but by other bears who have learned that they can be shattered open with the assistance of jagged rocks and gravity. Even when I stash, it isn't enough to stash correctly. I always rig something out to act as an alarm so that we can be notified to respond and drive a bear away.
08/03/2021 12:34PM  
freeandcold: "I think the resistance to BV’s is $420 for the volume of one 60l barrel. But, that would allow for organization…. Personally, I’m disappointed because I spent a couple of hundred dollars to switch to a system that “did” not require hanging… "

Yep. This pretty much describes me right now. Between this and Covid, I apparently only get to use my blue barrel and CCS pack once. So I should go and spend hundreds on BearVaults and possibly a pack for them now?

Hanging doesn't work. It is too unreliable and prone to being too low and too close to the tree. Injuries are a real risk too. BV's are expensive and not big enough, they might be perfect for some people, but not for my situation. Who knows if they might even change their mind in the future and say even those aren't good enough. This order simply doesn't leave us with many good options.

I just hate how cost is looking to be more and more of a barrier. Or maybe that is part of the goal here with so many "tourists" flocking to the BWCA during Covid.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
08/03/2021 12:47PM  
John Moore: "jillpine, as a guest I am not allowed to to post links or photos but there is a link posted of the actual order in the third post from the top of this thread."
Hi John... Welcome to BWCA.com. As a new poster here, you've already added a lot to this discussion. I would encourage you to become a registered member here. Lots of good discussions with good people.
08/03/2021 01:30PM  
Ausable: "Although I doubt that it will make a difference, I wrote (email) to the FS about this order. I asked them to ...
1. Harmonize the text on their web page that announces the order (the web page states that food packs have to be hung 12 feet above the ground whereas the order specifies 10 feet).
2. Provide a list of bear resistant canisters that have passed their 200 ft-lb impact test.
3. Explain why the IGBC-approved Ursacks are good enough for protecting food against Grizzly bears but not against Black bears.."


I received a reply from Luke Laaveg who is with the visitor services and information group in the Superior National Forest Supervisor's Office.

Regarding #2 above, he replied, "The ‘solid, non-pliable’ products listed within the IGBC’s certified bear-resistant products list would be your best resource."

Regarding #3, his reply was basically the same as that given previously to mschi772.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/03/2021 01:58PM  
In my research of portable lightweight bear canisters I found none certified as "bear proof". Bear resistant was the highest certification and of those I was able to find information, photos, and videos of bears breaching them. I own 3 approved canister, udap no-fed-bear, bearvault 500, and counter assault bear keg. Although not bear proof I am convinced they are my best options at this time. I believe that the size of approved canisters is the biggest obstacle to their acceptance in the BWCA.

I was a hanger and found useful information on his site about hanging technique and creative rigging to aid in the process.

Whether you choose hanging or canisters you should consider protecting your food as well as possible. I package and handle food, trash, and scented with care to reduce the scent. I am also careful while transporting or storing my canister. I do not leave my canister in my pack or with a carrying harness attached unattended for a bear to walk off with. I have seen unattended food packs on portages. I single portage but if I wanted to leave my canister unattended I would remove it from my pack or remove the carry harness.

Food for thought.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 02:20PM  
Ausable: "Ausable: "Although I doubt that it will make a difference, I wrote (email) to the FS about this order. I asked them to ...
1. Harmonize the text on their web page that announces the order (the web page states that food packs have to be hung 12 feet above the ground whereas the order specifies 10 feet).
2. Provide a list of bear resistant canisters that have passed their 200 ft-lb impact test.
3. Explain why the IGBC-approved Ursacks are good enough for protecting food against Grizzly bears but not against Black bears.."



I received a reply from Luke Laaveg who is with the visitor services and information group in the Superior National Forest Supervisor's Office.


Regarding #2 above, he replied, "The ‘solid, non-pliable’ products listed within the IGBC’s certified bear-resistant products list would be your best resource."


Regarding #3, his reply was basically the same as that given previously to mschi772."


Luke Laaveg was the same person I dealt with last year at first until I pushed beyond him and ultimately ended-up getting useless responses directly from Ann Schwaller, herself.
billconner
distinguished member(8015)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/03/2021 06:20PM  
I'm surprised no mention of the electric fence option. A 9 pound example One of you that seem to be good buddies with Luke might ask. And what do I know, maybe these only work for polar bears.

Eve.n less cost and weight, and a 45' x 45' area. Party in you tent!
Another example
08/03/2021 07:04PM  
John Moore: " I have seen unattended food packs on portages. I single portage but if I wanted to leave my canister unattended I would remove it from my pack or remove the carry harness.


Food for thought."


Wow, good advise, and never gave this much thought.
"I feel stupid now" I carry a BV 450 or 500, I solo on sholder seasons more, double portage and leave my BV in my pack at the bottom because it fits better there. I will refigure my packing in the future so I can take it out of my pack when I'm at the other end.
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2485)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 08:17PM  
Your a little hard on government employees..
.
If you started asking me heated questions about what kind of science was used to determine results, I'd have hung up on your azz.
jillpine
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 08:26PM  
LindenTree: "John Moore: " I have seen unattended food packs on portages. I single portage but if I wanted to leave my canister unattended I would remove it from my pack or remove the carry harness.



Food for thought."



Wow, good advise, and never gave this much thought.
"I feel stupid now" I carry a BV 450 or 500, I solo on sholder seasons more, double portage and leave my BV in my pack at the bottom because it fits better there. I will refigure my packing in the future so I can take it out of my pack when I'm at the other end."


Was thinking same. Thanks again - received a lot of help from this thread. Appreciate it.
mschi772
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/03/2021 10:41PM  
yogi59weedr: "Your a little hard on government employees..
.
If you started asking me heated questions about what kind of science was used to determine results, I'd have hung up on your azz.
"


It was all via email which you can read for yourself, and as a citizen that pays their salary, I think I'm entitled to know how my government agency is reaching its decisions, especially, but not limited to, decisions regarding rules that apply directly to me. There was nothing unreasonable about my requests. An agency that manages forests should not be a stranger to science and should be perfectly capable of communicating on that level.
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2485)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 12:43AM  
Good luck in your endeavors.
I myself, I'm going to concentrate on things that don't cause me stress. Ya seem to be wound up tight on this.
billconner
distinguished member(8015)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/04/2021 07:37AM  
If I missed this I apologize but if you have an approved container, say a BV500, do you just leave it on the ground in camp? No lashing to a tree, hanging, or stashing away from site? Same if using an IGBC listed cooler?
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/04/2021 08:28AM  
billconner: "If I missed this I apologize but if you have an approved container, say a BV500, do you just leave it on the ground in camp? No lashing to a tree, hanging, or stashing away from site? Same if using an IGBC listed cooler?"

Yes, you just leave it on the ground 50 ft away from an occupied area. It is important that the canister is not in a pack or has anything attached to it that an animal can use to carry it off with. Also best to place it in an area in which it is not easily knocked into the water or off a cliff. Bears will spend time batting canisters around until they loose interest. I have seen videos of bears forcing the canisters against large rocks in an effort to break them open so take that into consideration. It is also recommended that some canisters be place with the opening facing down because the openings on some will allow rain to get inside. Bright colors and reflective tape aid in locating the canister, especially if it has been batted around by and animal.

Canisters have limitations but I know how difficult it is to protect food by hanging. Hanging is the first chore and is required before other camp chores, after meals, while fishing, swimming, and anytime the food, trash, or scented items are left unattended. Better have a good easy to use hanging system because to use effectively your food may be up and down several times a day.
08/04/2021 08:33AM  
Bill, in the actual order it doesn't specify. In one of the other links, leaving on the ground 50 feet out of camp is mentioned, no need to secure to tree. I would take it farther and not on a trail. For what it is worth, neither Ursacks nor the "blue plastic barrels" are considered "bear resistant containers" under the Order. They would have to be hung the 10' and 4' if used. And even fragrance free sunscreens, etc. are considered "odiferous substances" under "Other Attractants".
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 09:26AM  
In my camp we attach a movement sensor to the bearvaults when not using them. If a bear moves it, the sensor alerts us and we can deal with the bear. The sensors are supposed to be bear deterrents as well. Haven't had opportunity to see if that works yet.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/04/2021 09:56AM  
ockycamper: "In my camp we attach a movement sensor to the bearvaults when not using them. If a bear moves it, the sensor alerts us and we can deal with the bear. The sensors are supposed to be bear deterrents as well. Haven't had opportunity to see if that works yet."

I have attached movement alarms to my food bag when I hanged. There are people on this site that frown on the use. I personally would rather hear momentary noise from someone protecting their food than having their trip and possibly others ruined by a habituated bear.

It is not possible to please everyone. Some don't mind flags displayed at campsites while others consider them visual noise. Doesn't matter what the issue there will be controversy.
08/04/2021 09:58AM  
Blatz: "You already have a Fire Grate, Vault toilet, why not add a metal food box chained to a tree while you're at it. "

I'd personally prefer wires and pulleys, but I am in agreement with you. At least do a pilot program with say ~25 set ups and put them at Agnes and other known bear hang-outs?
08/04/2021 10:12AM  
I have not noticed any changes and doubt they will make any. Their bears will also be hungry due to drought, but a major contributor to the BWCA bear-human problem is the high concentration of humans in some places, namely larger lakes with lots of campsites fairly close together and fairly close to entries.. We always hear of trouble bears on Agnes and Ensign and Alpine, but rarely on Cap or Fat or Muskeg. With Quetico having something like 1/10th the visitors in the same space, and WCPP and Wabakimi having less than 1%, there is far less opportunity for the same problem. "

Given the above I think the real answer is to reduce the number of permits.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/04/2021 10:21AM  
RRHD: "Blatz: "You already have a Fire Grate, Vault toilet, why not add a metal food box chained to a tree while you're at it. "


I'd personally prefer wires and pulleys, but I am in agreement with you. At least do a pilot program with say ~25 set ups and put them at Agnes and other known bear hang-outs? "


I apologize for my excessive number of posts but this is a hot topic for me. I try to stay away from this site but find myself drawn back to it because of the enjoyable trips I have made to the BWCA.

It is refreshing to see positive suggestions. This mandate will effect a lot of people who have learned to enjoy the BWCA and I feel it is worth investing time and energy in finding solutions so that those who want to may continue to visit.

I would be in favor of a pilot program with regards to this. I don't see it completely replacing knowledge and skill training in food protection but it my allow base campers and less skilled people to gain access in specified areas. It may also provide alternatives in areas that do not have adequate resources for the more skilled visitors.


ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 10:34AM  
We have yet to have one go off. We attach them to the Bearvaults with duct tape. If I was in a camp site near where a motion alarm went off, I would much rather be alerted to the presence of a nearby bear, then mind a short alarm.

In this whole conversation, I think it ironic the number of people that get upset over motion alarms, flags, etc (which are allowed), and state on a forum that they will not comply with a regulation because it is inconvenient.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/04/2021 10:53AM  
ockycamper, I considered attaching a sound grenade to my canister but feel confident that the canister is far more secure than hanging. Also don't have the will to come up with a suitable way to attach it that would reasonably guarantee that the canister would not be carried off. I considered tape but even a small amount left attached to the canister may allow for a carry hold. I decided I prefer the odds that if well placed the canister will do it's job.

John
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/04/2021 12:34PM  
As a first time visitor to BWCA this year, I thought I had done a good job educating myself on camping in bear country given that previous outings in my state are bear-free. We rented a 60L barrel and packed way too much food - rookie mistake, but we also included in the barrel all kitchen supplies, bug spray, sunscreen, etc… anything that had an odor. First afternoon we find an available site and camp is up and running by 2:00pm. We did not cook any food - probably should have, but way too excited to get on water and fish. We had stashed our barrel amongst some trees out the back of our camp. It was not on a trail and while I didn’t have a tape measure, am confident it was more than 50’ from camp. Further there was no food outside this barrel. We proceed to fish for an hour or so and return to find our barrel laying on its side in front of the stand of trees. The barrel was intact, but the backpack harness was torn and had 4-5 distinct claws marks from a bear. The remaining camp, tent and hammock, was intact. Fortunately we were able to use the harness for the remainder of our trip. Thereafter we stashed the barrel way, way out of camp. Bear spray went from riding on the side of our packs to the belt. Never saw a bear or had any other encounters the rest of our trip.

Given our encounter, we shared that with others we saw on portages, paddling, etc…. It was during these exchanges we learn that others had encountered bear activity on the same lake. After listening to their stories, I kept thinking, boy I wish I had known this, but understand the difficulties of reporting “real time” information. My mistake (not to be repeated), but I did not ask our outfitter about any bear activity in our area prior to departure. Nor did we receive any information about bear activity. The bear activity on this site was in other areas. While it was a pain in the rear to stash our barrel far from camp, your damn right we did so to avoid additional encounters. After cooking our ribeye steaks that evening we had convinced ourselves that we had rung the dinner bell for a return visit, but care was taken on cleanup and we didn’t hear a thing that night.

The point is that we will do what is necessary to avoid any bear encounter for a host of reasons, the primary one being self preservation on the off chance we get the crazy eyed bear visit. My hope is that in the future there is more communication from USFS through some mechanism regarding “bear reports” from individuals and outfitters. Had we known of bear activity on this lake we could have chosen a different option for storage, started with the long distance stash, chosen a different lake, etc…. Can’t help but think that if such info is made available and folks act in a manner to avoid such encounters USFS might be able to avoid such orders as was implemented last week.
RatherbeDuffing
member (33)member
 
08/04/2021 01:08PM  
ockycamper: "We have yet to have one go off. We attach them to the Bearvaults with duct tape. If I was in a camp site near where a motion alarm went off, I would much rather be alerted to the presence of a nearby bear, then mind a short alarm.


In this whole conversation, I think it ironic the number of people that get upset over motion alarms, flags, etc (which are allowed), and state on a forum that they will not comply with a regulation because it is inconvenient."


Define "a short alarm". If you are out on the day trip, does the alarm cease after a period of time? I imagine the sound is quite loud.
Ockycamprr
Guest Paddler
 
08/04/2021 02:04PM  
Stays on only for a few seconds
thistlekicker
distinguished member (444)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 02:44PM  
I've said it before...segregate the BWCA Wilderness into "frontcountry" and "backcountry" zones and manage the two zones differently in terms of permit numbers and types, ranger patrols, campsite infrastructure, even portage maintenance.

In terms of this specific issue, you could require more secure food storage in frontcountry zones and/or install bear poles at certain campsites.

It would take some time, effort, and expense on the part of the managing authority but could make a world of difference in terms of maintaining the resource we all love and enjoy, while not requiring wholesale changes in trip character for those of us who gravitate towards the backcountry and already abide by Leave No Trace principles (including "Respect wildlife").
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 03:07PM  
We use "pull apart" alarms. One end tied to the tree, the other taped to the Bearvault. We don't tie them to the bearvault as we don't want anything a bear can get hold of to haul one off. If the bear tries to roll it, the pieces pull apart the the alarm sounds. We only arm the bearvaults at night when we are in camp. We don't arm them if we are away.
08/04/2021 05:22PM  
ockycamper: "We use "pull apart" alarms. One end tied to the tree, the other taped to the Bearvault. We don't tie them to the bearvault as we don't want anything a bear can get hold of to haul one off. If the bear tries to roll it, the pieces pull apart the the alarm sounds. We only arm the bearvaults at night when we are in camp. We don't arm them if we are away."

Interesting, do you have a link?
THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (335)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 05:52PM  
I think there are also movement audible alarms in the cycling industry
goblu79
member (17)member
 
08/04/2021 07:09PM  
I'm gonna put my bearvault inside my Ursack...that should be safe enough :)
Lightfoot
distinguished member (479)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 08:47PM  
thistlekicker: "I've said it before...segregate the BWCA Wilderness into "frontcountry" and "backcountry" zones and manage the two zones differently in terms of permit numbers and types, ranger patrols, campsite infrastructure, even portage maintenance.


"


They already do this to some extent with the PMAs.
Jasonf
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
08/04/2021 09:26PM  
"


Given the above I think the real answer is to reduce the number of permits. "

This is the easy answer that no one the make money off this industry want to here. Permits per entry could be halved and those with a single per day could go to every other day. Two summers with most entries booked solid will lead to the issues seen this year.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 09:43PM  
yogi59weedr: "Your a little hard on government employees..
.
If you started asking me heated questions about what kind of science was used to determine results, I'd have hung up on your azz.
"


+1

You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.
Tom
TechnoScout
distinguished member (398)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 08:00AM  
andym: "

If a BV500 holds a weeks worth of food for a person then my wife and I need 3 for a 10 day trip. Better food, taking up more space could mean we need a 4th. That means 7.7 to 10.25 lbs of canisters. Dropping a few lbs by using the largest bearikades would be quite expensive.
"


A few years ago my son and I did a five day four night backpacking in the rockies. We used the BV500 for our food...it all fit. We ate MH meals and pilot crackers.
Wharfrat63
distinguished member (111)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 09:38AM  
mschi772: "John Moore: "mschi772 did you read Wharfrat63 post in this thread? Reported 2 ursacks breached by bear on Agnus."


Nothing is bear-proof, especially if a bear is allowed to go ham on it uncontested. BV500s have also been breached, not only by the now cliche example of Yellow-yellow, but by other bears who have learned that they can be shattered open with the assistance of jagged rocks and gravity. Even when I stash, it isn't enough to stash correctly. I always rig something out to act as an alarm so that we can be notified to respond and drive a bear away."


I think this post sums it up. All are Bear resistant. Some are better than others, but none of the current solutions are bear proof.

Hmmmmmm....I remember a guide, from my teenage years, that would put the food packs under the canoes and pots and pans on the canoe as a warning...Makes me think if I had a cow bell on the ursasks we may have heard that bugger. Although we had a big wind storm that night. Either way, it is a problem that is not easily solved. Just remember the priorities: Keep Campers safe first, Bear second.
martian
distinguished member (131)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 09:59AM  
I may just take the second mortgage route and buy a Bearikade Blazer. Buy it once and forget about it. No breaches in 23 years. For longer trips we'll employ hanging or additional vaults. I can pass it on to my kids when I'm done. Just a thought.
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 10:09AM  
I don't get it. The BV500 bearvault is 700 cubic inches and can be bought for $69. The similar size Blazer is $333.

Buy the Bearvault and pay two teenagers to carry them through for you. . .and still have money to eat at Trail Center Lodge.
martian
distinguished member (131)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 10:20AM  
Bearvaults don't work in the Adirondacks for one. I have family out east. There are loads of pictures of chewed through bearvaults if look you will find them.
My bad- That was 2009, those bear are long dead by now. Hopefully they didnt train any younger bears. They were ripping the lids off I believe. So no additional mortgage maybe.
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 10:30AM  
In reading the comments from DEC in Adirondacks, it is mainly one bear that breached the bearvault. I can't find any data on any others. Further, no bear that I can see has breached a bearvault in the BWCA or Yellowstone.

By contrast, several Ursacks have been breached in BWCA.

We have been bringing bearvaults to BWCA for years. We have also taken them to the Adirondacks on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail at the recommendation of the forest service and outfitters there.



John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/05/2021 11:30AM  
Failure and success assessments have been documented and are available for most of the topics discussed here. A little research with an open mind towards finding a practical solution may avoid heated discussions. I have research and made risk assessments regarding spare paddles, life jackets, seat belts, and bear canisters. In 65 years to my knowledge I have never needed a spare paddle, life jacket, seat belt, or bear canister but feel that I understand the risk and value of each well enough to make an educated decision. Some behaviors are mandated and some are not. I believe in the rule of law. It has value to me and I "try" to comply. There is letter of law and spirit or intent of law. Few laws are perfect and apart from God no person is perfect.

Back to practical solutions. I believe that blue barrels placed on the ground has become the most commonly used food protection method. Visitors could conveniently rent or purchase them, carry harnesses and packs are available, and visitors felt that they provided adequate protection. People learned how to use blue barrels and were comfortable and confident in using them. I believe that a bear resistant canister the size of the blue barrels that have been commonly used is the most logical and practical solution for the BWCA. I also feel that the number of people that would accept and use them would justify the cost to develop and produce.

I am skeptical with terms describing absolutes, always, never, bear proof. However, I believe that a properly constructed steel vault could be constructed theoretically bear proof. I am not endorsing the construction or use but if placed at campsites near EP and included as approved on the mandate base campers and less adventurous visitors could travel within these areas. My concern with this is that unattended food would not be protected while traveling and the potential of improper use or abuse of the vaults.
Wispaddler
member (8)member
 
08/05/2021 02:15PM  
So…I found that one bbarrel would work for 2 campers for a week, will I now need on BV500 per person? Sigh. Also, I wonder if this is a busy year/bad drought rule or is this likely to be permanent. I am guessing the latter.
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 02:27PM  
I can only tell you that one BV500 carries supplies for 12 lunches and dinners for us. (6 men, 2 meals, one day).

If you were needing 7 days, 2 meals per day, 2 men that would be 28 meals. I think you could get by with two BV 500 containers if you packed carefully.
08/05/2021 02:56PM  
Fishman53: " The barrel was intact, but the backpack harness was torn and had 4-5 distinct claws marks from a bear. .
"


Did you take any pictures of the pack/harness?

Did the outfitter charge you for the damage?

This reminds me of a video/story I read awhile ago on this forum. The bear seems to have learned to look for food in the pack but not in the barrel.

I am glad you were able to complete your trip.
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/05/2021 04:11PM  
The attached pic shows some of the damage.

I don’t think I was charged, but good question - need to review bill. Obviously had to tell them what occurred and passed along encounters told to us by others. Outfitter said the bears he saw in that area were very skinny. Not unexpected given weather conditions.

EddyTurn
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 05:27PM  
ockycamper: "I can only tell you that one BV500 carries supplies for 12 lunches and dinners for us. (6 men, 2 meals, one day).


If you were needing 7 days, 2 meals per day, 2 men that would be 28 meals. I think you could get by with two BV 500 containers if you packed carefully."

I'd be very careful with this kind of math as it's highly subjective. I know that I'll need two Ursacks filled to capacity (approximately the size of 2 BV500) to pack for 12 days. And I'm sure some people will need at least three for the same number of days. Camping is an occupation where following statistics of averages and probabilities is extremely dangerous, meaning everyone has to make an individual (preferably, educated) estimate of her/his own habits and risks. I used my life jacket only once on a flatwater trip. Statistically it's under 1/300 or 400 probability, but I might not be aware of this math if I didn't wear the PFD on that day.
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/05/2021 05:51PM  
Simply sharing what our experience was. I don't see the "danger" in that. It comes from 20 years of tripping, 15 of them with Bearvaults, and all of them with hungry men.
08/05/2021 10:17PM  
Fishman53: "The attached pic shows some of the damage.


"


Wow. It is cool that the pack survived and you could still carry an overloaded food barrel with it.

I also over packed a 60L food barrel on my first trip. Getting the amount of food correct is an ongoing problem for me.

What date did you enter?

That pack retails for $181. I would think you would have noticed the bill unless they charge based on a depreciated value.
EddyTurn
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2021 08:54AM  
ockycamper: "Simply sharing what our experience was. I don't see the "danger" in that. It comes from 20 years of tripping, 15 of them with Bearvaults, and all of them with hungry men."
I didn't mean to condemn sharing in any way, sorry if it sounded as if I did. I kinda concern that people looking for advice sometimes tend to over-rely on opinion of more experienced trippers. Or anecdotal evidence. Or statistics. Often enough I find opinions of highly respected by me members of these forums to be totally irrelevant for me personally for no other reason but differences in experience and style.

And I might be reluctant sometimes to share some of my knowledge, however humble it is, especially when my technique is not in the mainstream. As for food storage capacity, it's obviously totally safe to share opinions. But on the matter of safety of different ways to store food in the woods, I'd say that proper technique is much more important than bomb-proofing the containers. As I understand it, if a bear found your food - may be the food is not lost, but the game is :).
Fishman53
member (27)member
 
08/06/2021 09:28AM  
Agreed - would have noticed that charge. We were there July 11-16.

In our case it was bulky and excessive food items which made the “do not bring next time” list. We liked using MSR stowaway pots as they function as cook pot and bowl (with handle), easy clean up, but again are bulky to store. Yes you can put items within them, but they are space eaters. While our stove fit inside, fuel canister would not - with lid in place. Another rookie mistake was purchasing 2 pots of the same size - in our case 750mL. I think 2 of different sizes would be somewhat stackable without lid. We entered under fire ban so additional canisters also made the trip. All was stored in barrel.

We be getting some bearvaults this winter with or without continuation of Order. From this thread and others it seems they not only provide the best to date protection, but would also force me to give more serious thought and prep for meals - which is not a bad thing!
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2021 10:03AM  
We have had far more moose come into our camps then bear. One year, we were all in hammocks. In the night a moose came into camp and pushed his nose against my son-in-laws hammock, rocking it. My son in law, still asleep slammed his elbow into what he thought was messing with him. . . only to find it slam into the head of a moose. I don't know who was more suprised. But the moose left

When the moose come in, we just get way out of the way until they are gone.
ockycamper
distinguished member(668)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/06/2021 10:07AM  
if you are a prepper, they also work great to store foods in to keep away from mice, etc.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/06/2021 10:20AM  
EddyTurn: "
I didn't mean to condemn sharing in any way, sorry if it sounded as if I did. I kinda concern that people looking for advice sometimes tend to over-rely on opinion of more experienced trippers. Or anecdotal evidence. Or statistics. Often enough I find opinions of highly respected by me members of these forums to be totally irrelevant for me personally for no other reason but differences in experience and style.


And I might be reluctant sometimes to share some of my knowledge, however humble it is, especially when my technique is not in the mainstream. As for food storage capacity, it's obviously totally safe to share opinions. But on the matter of safety of different ways to store food in the woods, I'd say that proper technique is much more important than bomb-proofing the containers. As I understand it, if a bear found your food - may be the food is not lost, but the game is :)."

EddyTurn, I am also reluctant to share my none mainstream techniques and feel that people rely on the opinion of others without first understanding how the equipment or technique applies to their tripping style. What works well for one person may not for another. I prefer to research and understand how equipment functions to determine if it will work for my application. Where I find the most value in the opinions of others is in the application or technique applied in using the equipment. I see excellent equipment used improperly or inefficiently receive bad revues. I also see equipment that has worked well for many that is useless for my application.

Examples:

Gravity water filters have been given poor reviews for slow flow rates while the the people reviewing may not understand or apply efficient technique in their use. Obtaining cleanest water available, saturating the filter element to eliminate vapor lock, using a long leader hose with the filter located at the correct end to increase water pressure, and back flushing the filter properly are important factors often overlooked.

Equipment water protection using plastic trash bag pack liners work for many but is useless in my application . With little cost or effort I am able to keep my critical equipment dry in harsh wet conditions that would be unlikely or impossible using plastic trash bags.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
08/09/2021 11:50AM  
Jackfish: "John Moore: "jillpine, as a guest I am not allowed to to post links or photos but there is a link posted of the actual order in the third post from the top of this thread."
Hi John... Welcome to BWCA.com. As a new poster here, you've already added a lot to this discussion. I would encourage you to become a registered member here. Lots of good discussions with good people."


jackfish, I read your post the day you made it and was not clear on how or whether to respond. Thank you for the encouragement but having spent time reading and responding on several threads I feel that there is little audience here. I am genuinely enthused about many of the topics however I don't feel the same enthusiasm from others. It appears that many of the most outspoken members do little or no research prior to posting. Often the questions posted have been answered several times earlier in the thread but the individual is not interested enough or too lazy to read the previous comments. I am better suited as a troll.

John
 
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