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tumblehome
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05/19/2024 07:27AM  
The BWCA was ‘created’ in 1964. And until recently, annual visitor numbers had been dropping. Prior to this year, there has essentially never been a food storage order in the BWCA.
And this is not ‘out west’ where similar orders have been in place for some time.

Many seasoned campers have historically hung their pack, as we were taught from our youth. And many more seasoned campers do not hang their pack and have not had problems. The new generation of campers berates the older campers as being ignorant, arrogant disrespectful to norms and so on.

The truth is that historically, bear food issues have been extremely rare in the BWCA. There have been isolated incidences of bear activity over the years and they have been well publicized. The particular incidents are usually a single human habituated bear. Not a gang of bears stalking all campers in the BWCA.

The food storage order is brought on by a new generation of ignorant campers and youthful new USFS employees that are equally ignorant to the long history of bear activities in the the BWCA as a whole. I am not speaking to all youth campers and employees. But there is a percentage that I am referring too. Perhaps I can refer to them as Covid campers and Covid era employees.

The problem is people, not bears. Or at the very least, the problem is bear, not bear(s).

There was a time when camping in the BWCA was a learned experience taught to us b people that had gone before us. I myself was taught camping skills by a public school district in the twin cities. Two summers spent in summer school and going to the BWCA with a chaperone at the age of 11 and 12. And there are still groups teaching the youth (many camps, Boy Scouts etc. ) I am grateful for them. And if you are reading this, you are appreciated by me.

It seems that for many, not all youth, that has gone by the wayside.

I am one of the older campers that does see the absurdity of the bear storage order. I really have been on countless trips without a bear problem. Mostly from the learned skills I have acquired. 90% of the BWCA does not have a bear problem nor do 90% of the campers out there have a food storage problem. It’s the 10% that is making this a mess for the rest.

I just needed to say this.

Tom the meanie.

 
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05/19/2024 07:51AM  
+1
 
05/19/2024 07:53AM  
So your main premise is to stereotype and blame the ignorant youth for this order, while providing zero supporting evidence? That’s the most used take in the Old Person book. Try again.

I generally don’t agree with the order, I also use a BV so it’s really a moot point to me, but you’re just yelling at the clouds here.
 
MidwestFirecraft
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05/19/2024 08:23AM  
tumblehome:There was a time when camping in the BWCA was a learned experience taught to us b people that had gone before us. I myself was taught camping skills by a public school district in the twin cities. Two summers spent in summer school and going to the BWCA with a chaperone at the age of 11 and 12. And there are still groups teaching the youth (many camps, Boy Scouts etc. ) I am grateful for them. And if you are reading this, you are appreciated by me.

It seems that for many, not all youth, that has gone by the wayside. "


I'm 47 and stated canoe tripping in the BWCA when I was 38. I went with a group of 3 other 30's something friends. While we did not break any rules outside of burning some of our paper waste products, we certainly did not know what we were doing. Having introduced 3 families and other men to canoe camping it is readily apparent to me how quickly good or bad habits are established. I believe having a "guide" to establish those habits is incredibly important. Even well meaning campers with experience out West thought nothing of bathing with biodegradable soap, or doing laundry right in the lake.

I have canoe camped with veteran campers who cared nothing for the rules as well, so it is certainly not an age thing. Family values and character have also greatly shifted over the decades. To sum it up I believe it is best to have a camp or experienced person teach you the ropes if at all possible.
 
tumblehome
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05/19/2024 08:24AM  
YaMarVa: "but you’re just yelling at the clouds here. "


Yes exactly.
Tom
 
05/19/2024 08:27AM  
tumblehome: "
YaMarVa: "but you’re just yelling at the clouds here. "



Yes exactly.
Tom"


I do it myself sometimes too.
 
05/19/2024 09:12AM  
tumblehome:
"The truth is that historically, bear food issues have been extremely rare in the BWCA. There have been isolated incidences of bear activity over the years and they have been well publicized. The particular incidents are usually a single human habituated bear. Not a gang of bears stalking all campers in the BWCA."

Why do we have to wait until there is a major issue with bear-human interactions to act? Why not take preventative measures to ensure the safety of bear and humans?

tumblehome:
"The food storage order is brought on by a new generation of ignorant campers and youthful new USFS employees that are equally ignorant to the long history of bear activities in the the BWCA as a whole. I am not speaking to all youth campers and employees. But there is a percentage that I am referring too. Perhaps I can refer to them as Covid campers and Covid era employees."

I agree with you that the issue is largely due to ignorant campers or other who don't have respect for the BWCA. But the rest of this statement is not based in reality, as YaMarVa said.

tumblehome:
"There was a time when camping in the BWCA was a learned experience taught to us b people that had gone before us. I myself was taught camping skills by a public school district in the twin cities. Two summers spent in summer school and going to the BWCA with a chaperone at the age of 11 and 12. And there are still groups teaching the youth (many camps, Boy Scouts etc. ) I am grateful for them. And if you are reading this, you are appreciated by me.

It seems that for many, not all youth, that has gone by the wayside. ."

So you are saying that for today's youth (including myself as a millennial), the issue is that we were never taught how to camp. I don't see how that is our fault. Seems to me that it is the failure of the generations that raised us but never shared their experience. Our public schools don't teach camping skills anymore. Instead they are underfunded, understaffed, and teach to a test.

In my opinion, the issue is not us "youths", it is the generations that raised us and systems we were raised in. It is the long-term failure of the people that raised us to pass on the knowledge and privileges they enjoyed.

If you want to make change, why not share your knowledge with those who have less experience instead of ranting in an online echo chamber?

I just needed to say this.

Geotramper the sensitive millennial
 
05/19/2024 09:34AM  
One factor may be the growth of the bear population. I know Wisconsin's bear population has exploded and moved much further south than a few decades ago. There are plenty of responsible younger people who also cherish the wonderful wilderness. The average BWCA user is mid 50's or so. I've tripped with many under 30 kids who wanted to learn how to canoe camp correctly. I have lots of faith in the next generation. Hanging a pack seems like the smart thing to do - but how and where you hang is most important. The new order won't affect me at all, but I hope the small percentage of habituated bears learn. A few pops of bear spray would help as well. I've had over 40 trips - and never had a bear steal my food pack (knock on wood). The few bear encounters I've experienced have all been dealt with quickly and loudly - so one must pay attention. We'll be tripping in a high bear activity area from the Covid years - so, we'll be up for the challenge. Last year, it seems, was a better year with regards to trash and tree cutting. Hope that trend continues......
 
05/19/2024 10:09AM  
I'm seventy years of age, so I think that qualifies me as a "seasoned camper". My thoughts are that all of us are part of a group that loves the BWCA. I understand that the recent food storage order is well intended and really is not a great inconvenience. There are many important issues that could be debated but this is not one of them. Perhaps we should all agree to disagree about this food storage order since I believe we all just want the best for all who enjoy this very special place.
 
05/19/2024 10:17AM  
I don’t see the bear population that much different… it fluctuates…
I saw as many bear incidents back in the 70’s as now. To me it’s a combination of things… back in the day we had better hanging trees. Limbs everywhere calling out… use me! Now you need to be a little more creative. I’ll hang some… like my ursacks… don’t need those walking off. But I think the driving force behind the “new” order is personal. You get new blood in charge and you’ll have changes. And you know how we like changes!!! Geo makes a great point… it’s NOT the younger folks fault. We can preach it til your makeup falls off!!! I know preaching didn’t do much for me… now teaching is the key…
When we get on our high horse and preach younger ears have an on off switch that also has an auto off! And we all had one!!!
 
05/19/2024 10:18AM  
I know, I’ve already probably made too many comments on this but hey why stop now :)…

Another aspect is what is this order based on??? There used to be a time where decisions were made after we had hard evidence to dictate a change was needed. That evidence was presented, we would be told a decision would be made, then a decision was announced.

The order and FS leadership as well as supporters on this website have just made vague statements “we all know there are more problems with bears.” “Campers are worse now” “Stashing food is causing issues” “blue barrels are causing issues” “Hanging seems like a better idea” and the statements go on. The issue is these are just words and opinions. They are absolutely meaningless and are ONLY opinions. I guarantee people comment on the above “it’s common sense”…but once again their comments are worthless and arbitrary opinion. With nothing to back it up.

I can say, “Hanging is the worst method to defeat a bear getting food”… my opinion is just as valid as the statements above. Because the FS has not presented any evidence on any of these subjects. You cannot prove or disprove any of the above statements. They (FS) collect data and reports. None of this is available to the public anymore. At least my statement is related to previous FS reported evidence and 36 years of seeing mostly bear Piñata’s…but I only made my statement to be facetious to make a point.

I could understand the order better if they simply just said, “only IGBC containers can be used” I still wouldn’t like it but at least it would follow some of the previous evidence (research on the IGBC products and Hx of the public hanging improperly, recent BWCAW fires making hanging not usable in a lot of areas)

This new order doesn’t affect me. I already have BV500’s, I have 2 2xl Ursacks. I am fine. What bothers me is the arbitrary comments by the FS on why the order is needed. It’s a precedent I don’t like. I find it scary how many posters think “It’s a good and needed” just because of confirmation bias and not questioning the reasoning at all.


T



 
straighthairedcurly
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05/19/2024 10:45AM  
I am 59 and the food storage order doesn't frustrate me at all. I am fully in support. I haven't weighed in much except to help people understand best practices with bear containers, but frankly, I'm sick of the whining. I have been traveling in the BWCA since I was 13 and while I have only had 3 bear encounters in a campsite, everyone of them was avoidable by having better food storage habits.

One in 1977 stole our pack from the campsite. It wasn't hung because it wasn't believed to be necessary back then by the the organization I was a camper with. Since then I have hung or used bear proof containers.

One walked into a campsite in the middle of Canadian wilderness due to some previously messy campers that were there before us. It couldn't get our food since it was properly stored, but took a group effort to get it to leave. We then thoroughly cleaned the site.

And lastly at Rose Lake in 2022. Bruno the problem bear managed to find a tiny empty cheese wrapper I had forgotten in my PFD pocket, but it never bothered my Ursack with "odor proof" bags. I felt terrible that he even found that empty cheese wrapper due to my negligence.

Even one bear finding food is one too many and we need to stop thinking of ourselves and the inconvenience it might cause us. Wilderness travel is not about convenience, it is about our responsibility to do our best (no one is perfect) and to follow best practices.

Are problem bears common? No. Are they more common near entry points than interior lakes? Yes. Does that mean we shouldn't be working as hard as possible to prevent more problem bears everywhere...I sure hope not.

The Forest Service tried just educating campers about proper food storage, but it wasn't good enough. They needed stronger measures to get people's attention. Personally, I'm amazed they waited this long. Stop blaming the FS. If you have already been properly storing your food, what's the big deal? If you haven't and a bear hasn't found it, count yourself lucky.

 
05/19/2024 11:17AM  
straighthairedcurly: "I am 59 and the food storage order doesn't frustrate me at all. I am fully in support. I haven't weighed in much except to help people understand best practices with bear containers, but frankly, I'm sick of the whining. I have been traveling in the BWCA since I was 13 and while I have only had 3 bear encounters in a campsite, everyone of them was avoidable by having better food storage habits.


One in 1977 stole our pack from the campsite. It wasn't hung because it wasn't believed to be necessary back then by the the organization I was a camper with. Since then I have hung or used bear proof containers.


One walked into a campsite in the middle of Canadian wilderness due to some previously messy campers that were there before us. It couldn't get our food since it was properly stored, but took a group effort to get it to leave. We then thoroughly cleaned the site.


And lastly at Rose Lake in 2022. Bruno the problem bear managed to find a tiny empty cheese wrapper I had forgotten in my PFD pocket, but it never bothered my Ursack with "odor proof" bags. I felt terrible that he even found that empty cheese wrapper due to my negligence.


Even one bear finding food is one too many and we need to stop thinking of ourselves and the inconvenience it might cause us. Wilderness travel is not about convenience, it is about our responsibility to do our best (no one is perfect) and to follow best practices.


Are problem bears common? No. Are they more common near entry points than interior lakes? Yes. Does that mean we shouldn't be working as hard as possible to prevent more problem bears everywhere...I sure hope not.


The Forest Service tried just educating campers about proper food storage, but it wasn't good enough. They needed stronger measures to get people's attention. Personally, I'm amazed they waited this long. Stop blaming the FS. If you have already been properly storing your food, what's the big deal? If you haven't and a bear hasn't found it, count yourself lucky.


"

Very well written, measures put in place now are because of past and reckless practices. Yes, time to move on. Yes, in two years maybe it will be tweaked a little.

Great write.
 
pswith5
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05/19/2024 11:51AM  
An additional thought; I also wonder how much more of a "bear problem" we actually have? With the addition of social media, whether it be FB or even bwca.com, it's like standing on a mountain top and shouting "HEY, I SAW A BEAR!" Where as 40 years ago you walked out to the fence and told your neighbor "hey I saw a bear" the "problem" is so much more magnified. I gotta believe the people making this decision are hearing the shouting.
 
05/19/2024 12:38PM  
timatkn:"Another aspect is what is this order based on??? There used to be a time where decisions were made after we had hard evidence to dictate a change was needed. That evidence was presented, we would be told a decision would be made, then a decision was announced.


The order and FS leadership as well as supporters on this website have just made vague statements “we all know there are more problems with bears.” “Campers are worse now” “Stashing food is causing issues” “blue barrels are causing issues” “Hanging seems like a better idea” and the statements go on. The issue is these are just words and opinions. They are absolutely meaningless and are ONLY opinions. I guarantee people comment on the above “it’s common sense”…but once again their comments are worthless and arbitrary opinion. With nothing to back it up. "


Yes, this is my issue as well. As has been discussed in the main thread, if there is any data that supports this rule, the Forest Service isn't providing it. The hanging option in particular is contrary to what many experts have been recommending for decades.

Proving the need AND effectiveness should be a requirement for any government mandate. I really don't think that is too much to ask.
 
05/19/2024 01:16PM  
Pinetree: "
straighthairedcurly: "I am 59 and the food storage order doesn't frustrate me at all. I am fully in support. I haven't weighed in much except to help people understand best practices with bear containers, but frankly, I'm sick of the whining. I have been traveling in the BWCA since I was 13 and while I have only had 3 bear encounters in a campsite, everyone of them was avoidable by having better food storage habits.



One in 1977 stole our pack from the campsite. It wasn't hung because it wasn't believed to be necessary back then by the the organization I was a camper with. Since then I have hung or used bear proof containers.



One walked into a campsite in the middle of Canadian wilderness due to some previously messy campers that were there before us. It couldn't get our food since it was properly stored, but took a group effort to get it to leave. We then thoroughly cleaned the site.



And lastly at Rose Lake in 2022. Bruno the problem bear managed to find a tiny empty cheese wrapper I had forgotten in my PFD pocket, but it never bothered my Ursack with "odor proof" bags. I felt terrible that he even found that empty cheese wrapper due to my negligence.



Even one bear finding food is one too many and we need to stop thinking of ourselves and the inconvenience it might cause us. Wilderness travel is not about convenience, it is about our responsibility to do our best (no one is perfect) and to follow best practices.



Are problem bears common? No. Are they more common near entry points than interior lakes? Yes. Does that mean we shouldn't be working as hard as possible to prevent more problem bears everywhere...I sure hope not.



The Forest Service tried just educating campers about proper food storage, but it wasn't good enough. They needed stronger measures to get people's attention. Personally, I'm amazed they waited this long. Stop blaming the FS. If you have already been properly storing your food, what's the big deal? If you haven't and a bear hasn't found it, count yourself lucky.



"

Very well written, measures put in place now are because of past and reckless practices. Yes, time to move on. Yes, in two years maybe it will be tweaked a little.


Great write."


These are two posts are perfect examples of confirmation bias. No evidence, just opinion.

“ measures put in place now are because of past and reckless practices.”

What evidence do you have of this statement? What are the bear encounters now compared to the historical figures? What evidence do you have that bears got food due to reckless practice? What is a the definition of reckless practice? No definitions, no statistics, no real trends…If it’s such a slam dunk and such a great rule why can’t you prove it? It should be easy to find data…

All of this is fine for internet banter, but for making rules and regulations it’s unacceptable. I personally want evidence, I want statistics. I don’t blindly follow other peoples opinions.

I’ve followed this for a long time and as I stated earlier I could maybe understand the order if they banned hanging too. It has a Hx of being poorly executed by the majority, it’s unattainable in about a 1/4 to 1/3 of the BWCAW due to recent fires, and black bears can still get the best hung food packs. Plenty of video evidence to show that. So now the FS will force many people into hanging (because it is the cheapest to convert over) and you assume the bears will be better off??? Based off of what? It’s not based off previous expereince of how poorly most people hang, it’s not based off the previous FS stats (hanging was the most often breached method), it’s not based off previous video evidence of bears getting hung food packs. So far the evidence (and we don’t have much evidence—-not sure why the FS doesn’t share) would point to MORE bears being negatively affected by this order. I could certainly be wrong, but that could have been cleared up easily and it wasn’t…

It’s not whining it’s accountability of those in charge.

T




 
Minnesotian
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05/19/2024 02:00PM  

Yet again I will post this quote:

"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” George Orwell
 
05/19/2024 02:21PM  
As a 76 yo whose first trip to the BWCA was in 1973, I would have to say I largely agree with Tumblehome. When I read the new food storage regs it just confirmed that I will not likely be traveling there again. In all the years and trips I have been on there I have never experienced any bear problems. Since 2007 I have mostly tripped in Canada and for the few tripping years I have left will continue to go north.
 
ockycamper
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05/19/2024 02:21PM  
I am 68. I know older outdoorsmen don't like to change. That said. . .

I don't lose any sleep at all over these types of issues. The solutions are simple: Hang, or use a bearvault/Ursack/or bear resisten certified cooler/container.

The argument that "I never had a problem doing it my way" is like "I never wear a seat belt and never had a problem".

bottom line. . . there are rules in place. As older outdoorsmen we either set an example of obeying the rules of the outdoors. . . .or we set the alternate example that we are going to pick and choose what rules we will and won't comply with.

Its about time us older guys start asking what we are teaching our grandkids
 
05/19/2024 02:28PM  
Just a thought. As an alternative solution to the food storage-bear problem, why not require campers to carry bear spray or a firearm instead?

Tom
 
05/19/2024 03:21PM  
ockycamper: "I am 68. I know older outdoorsmen don't like to change. That said. . .


I don't lose any sleep at all over these types of issues. The solutions are simple: Hang, or use a bearvault/Ursack/or bear resisten certified cooler/container.


The argument that "I never had a problem doing it my way" is like "I never wear a seat belt and never had a problem".


bottom line. . . there are rules in place. As older outdoorsmen we either set an example of obeying the rules of the outdoors. . . .or we set the alternate example that we are going to pick and choose what rules we will and won't comply with.


Its about time us older guys start asking what we are teaching our grandkids"


I teach my kids to hold rule makers accountable instead of just blindly accepting mandates. That doesn't mean I disregard them, but I will sure as heck question them. That is our right as citizens.

Do you not see the irony in dismissing the anecdotal claims of others while accepting the unsupported claims of the Forest Service?
 
05/19/2024 04:15PM  
tumblehome: "...............

..........

..........

and on and on...

Tom the meanie.
"


Quit being a meanie and plan a Q trip?
 
05/19/2024 04:23PM  
quark2222: "Just a thought. As an alternative solution to the food storage-bear problem, why not require campers to carry bear spray or a firearm instead?


Tom"


While I know this comment could spiral and shut this thread down....I do wonder if that problem BEAR who has been a MAJOR problem near the Border Route Trail (Near Rose/Daniels/Clearwater) for the past two years would finally learn a lesson if he was shot in the face with a bunch of bear spray?

We didn't encounter the bruin while I hiked in mid-October 2022, but we were extremely cautious, even during lunch stops we kept our food bags in our packs. It was overkill caution, but we never saw the bear. (We did see it's footprints though!!!)

I haven't read one story of people who have encountered this bear use anything but clapping, banging on canoe gunnels, etc to deter the bear, and the bear is NOT deterred. I haven't read one instance where bear spray was deployed. I could be wrong though. Just seems like a good idea.

Bear spray is actually "overkill" for black bears, so it should do the trick.. ?
 
tumblehome
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05/19/2024 05:01PM  
I appreciate the civil conversation. It's what I was hoping for and very good opinions were given both ways. So thank you for that.

Part of the reason I put some of the blame on younger campers is based on what I witness and see. YouTube videos were a major contributor to my opinion. And the change in lifestyle habits of younger generations shifting from real world experiences to virtual experiences. The internet has done many great things for humanity and has also hastened our critical thinking skills.

Tom
 
nooneuno
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05/19/2024 05:06PM  
quark2222: "Just a thought. As an alternative solution to the food storage-bear problem, why not require campers to carry bear spray or a firearm instead?


Tom"


The food storage order is not to stop current problem bears, once a bear is habitualized to human food it's most likely only going to be stopped by killing it, the order is made to prevent future problems from developing in the first place. I will be 60 this year and have been around long enough to realize there are self entitled idiots from every generation and those that use the excuse that its never happened to me before so why should I change are the problem....
 
RodPortage
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05/19/2024 06:03PM  
plmn:

I teach my kids to hold rule makers accountable instead of just blindly accepting mandates. That doesn't mean I disregard them, but I will sure as heck question them. That is our right as citizens.

Do you not see the irony in dismissing the anecdotal claims of others while accepting the unsupported claims of the Forest Service?"


I strongly support that sentiment, but I also believe that one must be judicious about when you deploy it. In this case, we've got a lot of people really upset by a small additional inconvenience being added to our collective hobby of intentionally inconvenient camping. We're carrying heavy things over land between lakes and wading through muck and bugs to get away from all our conveniences ... in a sense they're doing us a favor by making it slightly harder! Compared to questioning why you'll get clubbed or rubber bulleted for protesting life or death issues, I'm a little skeptical that this is where I need to interrogate my received mandates!

More seriously though, it sucks running anything, and particularly trying to manage the behavior of the least attentive of the 150,000 people who visit the wilderness each year. They have implemented smaller orders and had ongoing problems, and any problems take years to clear once created (unless they find and kill the relevant bears). Maybe they just need to create enough of a spectacle to get the attention of even the most oblivious or untrained visitors, many of whom are probably the ones who really create the problems. Even if I disagree with the way they've balanced the burden here, it's clearly a judgement call, and they are the poorly paid people who had to make it and will have to listen to us complain about it.

As I've planned for this summer, I realize that for me the effort of complying with the requirement will be the most useful aspect of it. I go with my teenage child and my much younger siblings, and they will see and learn from how our trip changes. Our individual effort is probably not going to do anything to affect the bears -- we avoid crowded lakes like the plague. But they need to buy into following the rules of this paradise in order to keep it functioning, and also to the general idea that making a small common sacrifice to achieve a larger goal is sometimes the only way we can achieve something important. So we'll all follow a new rule and learn some new knots and some new techniques and they will hopefully propagate respect for this place to anyone they travel with when I'm gone.
 
Deeznuts
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05/19/2024 08:08PM  
Think it's funny this point is brought up considering a majority of the rule breakers I see commenting are of the mindset "I've been doing it this way for years", indicating they are of the older generation. I find that the younger generation is more willing to participate in these new orders because we have observed the ramifications of ignoring warnings from scientists and biologists and it will be our "younger" generations that deal with the consequences if things aren't taken seriously now.
 
05/19/2024 10:13PM  
I found this quote from Aristotle…
“ 4th Century B.C.E.

“[Young people] are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances.… They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”

-Aristotle

The older generation has been calling the younger generation lazy and dumb and the younger generations have been blaming the older ones for all their perceived problems since the beginning of time…

The cycle will never end…there is a tiny thread of truth for both but most of it is just personal bias to make us personally feel better.

T
 
05/19/2024 10:19PM  
Deeznuts: "Think it's funny this point is brought up considering a majority of the rule breakers I see commenting are of the mindset "I've been doing it this way for years", indicating they are of the older generation. I find that the younger generation is more willing to participate in these new orders because we have observed the ramifications of ignoring warnings from scientists and biologists and it will be our "younger" generations that deal with the consequences if things aren't taken seriously now. "


I don’t think your statement is fair. On this thread that you are specifically replying to…yes people have questioned the new order…but no, I haven’t seen anyone say they would break the rules. On the contrary many have gone out of their way to say they would follow the rules despite their questions. Calling them “Rule Breakers” is unfair and inaccurate.

T
 
Deeznuts
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05/20/2024 04:30AM  
It wasn't this thread in particular that I saw people saying they wouldn't cooperate, but if you look at a culmination of the threads regarding the same topic, there are several that have commented that they won't follow the regulation because "I won't ever see a ranger at my camp anyway" or they've never had a problem so they're not changing.
I'm only defending our "younger generation" as we were a target in the main post. As said previously, we understand that ignoring regulations has a negative impact on the environment and I think we are more willing to follow the new regulations. Not saying yall aren't, I just know that typically it is the older generations that face the most struggle with changes and from the negative posts I have seen a large majority of them are of the older generation.
 
Sparkeh
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05/20/2024 06:22AM  
I agree but in general the rules and laws in this country are becoming overbearing.
 
Selfsuffi
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05/20/2024 06:27AM  
Well said! Thank you for making the point that hard data should be driving change.
 
billconner
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05/20/2024 06:40AM  
If you think you'll ever go to Adirondacks, beware the BV series are not acceptable. The ones with the yellow top flush with top are.



 
05/20/2024 07:16AM  
geotramper: "
Geotramper the sensitive millennial
"


I'm a millenial too. I could not disagree more with your post.
 
05/20/2024 07:19AM  
Deeznuts: "
As said previously, we understand that ignoring regulations has a negative impact on the environment and I think we are more willing to follow the new regulations. "


I don’t think you actually fully understand what you are saying and that’s why people sometimes look down on younger generations.

When I was growing up: Turkeys and wolves were basically extinct in MN, It was rare to see a Canadian goose, a loon, or a bald Eagle, you couldn’t even think about taking a swim in the Mississippi or a turd might float by your head, garbage was everywhere, there was no BWCAW—it was completely motorized…I am just naming a small sample size so you get the point… the generations you are lumping together as ignoring regulations on the environment fixed or improved all of the issues above during their time. No…they aren’t perfect…but to see young people enjoying the fruits of their labor while spouting off older people don’t care about the environment comes off as entitled and ignorant. Have some understanding of history…

Everyone can do better for sure…not denying that…each generation tries to improve upon the last and that’s good.


My main argument on this new Order is it actually may things worse for bears. That’s based on the numbers we were provided in the past that’s where the science leads… (granted we have little data—which is disturbing too) I am always going to speak out when I see a decision not based on science/numbers. I think the FS made the decision out of the right reasons, but was poorly thought out. I think that is what is setting people off the most.

T
 
05/20/2024 08:13AM  
Would be interesting to know, if the origin or driver behind the rule is the desire to protect the people or protect the bears.

My guess is it's to protect the bears from having to be put down by those in charge. Rarely does it reach that point, but it has.

To jump into the foray - i'll share my thoughts as well. I've been on countless trips over the last 25 years and have never had a bear in camp (one maybe - that we chased away in the middle of the night). We almost always hung our food. I moved to ursacks because they were available and easier. This order is likely just keeping up with current technology. As far as I know, the ease of availability for bear proof containers has never been higher and was almost non-existant 30 years ago. Why not have the campers use them?
 
05/20/2024 08:56AM  
Speckled: "Would be interesting to know, if the origin or driver behind the rule is the desire to protect the people or protect the bears.


My guess is it's to protect the bears from having to be put down by those in charge. Rarely does it reach that point, but it has.


To jump into the foray - i'll share my thoughts as well. I've been on countless trips over the last 25 years and have never had a bear in camp (one maybe - that we chased away in the middle of the night). We almost always hung our food. I moved to ursacks because they were available and easier. This order is likely just keeping up with current technology. As far as I know, the ease of availability for bear proof containers has never been higher and was almost non-existant 30 years ago. Why not have the campers use them?"


I think your point is valid, but the order doesn't specify using IGBC products only. It allows hanging as an option. There is considerable cost to use IGBC products, most novices aren't going to invest in that. Most people that previously didn't use IGBC products probably aren't going to invest in that since hanging it a much cheaper option. The issue I have is up to a 1/3 of the BWCA doesn't have viable hanging options due to the recent large fires. Most people, especially newbies don't have the skills to hang properly, previous FS reports showed that hanging was more oftenly breached than other methods. So intentionally or unintentionally the FS is forcing people into a method that hasn't been proven as effective (albeit often user error) in the BWCAW. Is that really better for bears and people?

Maybe I am wrong, maybe everyone will invest in IGBC products? Maybe this will be a failure and hanging will be outlawed next (that's where I think this is headed).

But the biggest failure is where is the info? You are forcing people to abandon methods that were praised by experts for years with no data to support the change--people are always going to question that and they should.

T
 
05/20/2024 09:12AM  
billconner: "If you think you'll ever go to Adirondacks, beware the BV series are not acceptable. The ones with the yellow top flush with top are.



"


Yellow Top?
 
MidwestMan
distinguished member (262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 09:16AM  
This post should have been titled "Youth Suck".
 
05/20/2024 10:20AM  

+1 to the original post.
 
05/20/2024 10:51AM  
MidwestMan: "This post should have been titled "Youth Suck". "


I'll nominate the original post and this entire thread for Worst of the Year.
 
05/20/2024 11:13AM  
I see a lot of people using the term "inconvenience" as if that's the reason why others disagree with the order. It's a dismissive argument that shows that you aren't looking past the surface level. It makes me think the person saying it isn't listening to anyone else other than those reinforcing their own opinion. For me it is cost and effectiveness.

I already went out and bought a blue barrel and a CCS pack to haul it. Only used it twice so far. So I'm frustrated that they would change the rules so soon after I invested about $300 in my current setup. To swap over to a BV or two is also going to incur a significant expense.

I'm doubly frustrated when I look at the reason I need to scrap my current setup. The FS knows about the issues with hanging and how many people do a decent job of it. Why don't they share their data of bears in camp? Maybe put out a survey to figure out what people are doing to keep their food safe. Then we could compare how often a bear defeats a food storage method to how many people are using that storage method. If we had that data, I would expect the percentage of hangs defeated to be higher than blue barrels broken into. But none of this has been collected or publicly shared.
 
RatherbeDuffing
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
05/20/2024 12:05PM  
tumblehome: "I appreciate the civil conversation. It's what I was hoping for and very good opinions were given both ways. So thank you for that.


Part of the reason I put some of the blame on younger campers is based on what I witness and see. YouTube videos were a major contributor to my opinion. And the change in lifestyle habits of younger generations shifting from real world experiences to virtual experiences. The internet has done many great things for humanity and has also hastened our critical thinking skills.


Tom"


I bet there are just as many shitty "old timers" that just don't know how to post their poor camping habits on youtube.
 
JohnGalt
distinguished member (422)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 12:39PM  
Technically, I’m a millennial though I’m more of an ‘old soul’. I generally agree with OP’s thought process & do not blindly follow simply because the source has a title, appeals to authority, or threatens my person/property. Philosophically, I prescribe more, e.g., to the mindset put forth in Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience. As a former business consultant & student of engineering, I’m data driven, keeping in mind the adage ‘lies, damned lies, & statistics’. Where is the data? Why is it no longer available? It’s like 2020 is playing on repeat this year…
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 12:41PM  
what's youtube?
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1030)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 01:06PM  
tumblehome: "The BWCA was ‘created’ in 1964. And until recently, annual visitor numbers had been dropping. Prior to this year, there has essentially never been a food storage order in the BWCA."


Wrong. There was an order for five lakes at the end of the Gunflint Trail in 2020. That was followed the next summer by an order that applied FOREST-WIDE. Both were eventually withdrawn a couple of years ago.
 
exemplaria
member (16)member
  
05/20/2024 01:37PM  
I'm curious as to what those complaining about the this order did with their food previously? I've always done a bear hang (although admittedly mine probably wouldn't stop a determined bear) because that's what I learned 20 years ago from people who learned from camping with their parents 20 years before that. I *mostly* do it to keep small critters away from the food. Are you just letting it sit in a Duluth pack away from the site?

I do think the BWCA Falcon Guide for Canoe Camping suggests stashing it ~200 ft away from your camp is OK, but the author freely admits this is just based on his (extensive) experience and nothing more.

I haven't bothered investing in a bear barrel (frankly I like the challenge of the hang a bit) but maybe sooner rather than later I will.
 
05/20/2024 01:50PM  
MidwestMan: "This post should have been titled "Youth Suck". "


I had to go back and check your profile to see if I was understanding your comment on this correctly (I wasn't, and am glad I checked). The thread certainly does come off that way. Age could have been entirely left out of the conversation. Bad stewards are part of every age group, always have been, always will be.
 
Z4K
distinguished member (429)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 04:05PM  
I am one of the younger crowd at 37 years of age. I have spent my entire life listening to old timers complain about the rules that came down from Congress in the 60s and 70s. It doesn't bother me,nor does this thread. The fact of the matter is the population of the USA is still increasing and our landmass has stayed the same.

I don't blame this on the young guys, the old guys, the guys still cranky about losing their motor rights or the uneducated Covid crowd. This falls squarely on the shoulders of an organization that is apparently giving up on destroying bears. Blame it on the younger employees of the USFS, not on the youth in general.

I plan on doing my part. Unfortunately, bear lottery applications were due May 3rd, so I'm shooting for a 2025 hunt. There are very few problem bears, relatively, and they should be incredibly easy to harvest.
 
05/20/2024 04:13PM  
naturboy12: "
MidwestMan: "This post should have been titled "Youth Suck". "


I had to go back and check your profile to see if I was understanding your comment on this correctly (I wasn't, and am glad I checked). The thread certainly does come off that way. Age could have been entirely left out of the conversation. Bad stewards are part of every age group, always have been, always will be. "


Agreed. It's kind of funny though how I am starting to find myself at the age where I'm offended by both sides of the conversation.

I find that respect for the rules doesn't depend on age all that much. When your young you don't know any better or just get carried away. When your old, you
think you know better than or are too set in your ways to change.
 
Deeznuts
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 04:47PM  
timatkn: "
Deeznuts: "
As said previously, we understand that ignoring regulations has a negative impact on the environment and I think we are more willing to follow the new regulations. "



I don’t think you actually fully understand what you are saying and that’s why people sometimes look down on younger generations.


When I was growing up: Turkeys and wolves were basically extinct in MN, It was rare to see a Canadian goose, a loon, or a bald Eagle, you couldn’t even think about taking a swim in the Mississippi or a turd might float by your head, garbage was everywhere, there was no BWCAW—it was completely motorized…I am just naming a small sample size so you get the point… the generations you are lumping together as ignoring regulations on the environment fixed or improved all of the issues above during their time. No…they aren’t perfect…but to see young people enjoying the fruits of their labor while spouting off older people don’t care about the environment comes off as entitled and ignorant. Have some understanding of history…


Everyone can do better for sure…not denying that…each generation tries to improve upon the last and that’s good.



My main argument on this new Order is it actually may things worse for bears. That’s based on the numbers we were provided in the past that’s where the science leads… (granted we have little data—which is disturbing too) I am always going to speak out when I see a decision not based on science/numbers. I think the FS made the decision out of the right reasons, but was poorly thought out. I think that is what is setting people off the most.


T"



I was speaking more generally with the older generations primarily being the ones that are climate change deniers and didnt heed the warnings that scientist gave us THIRTY years ago. Most millenials were infants at that point. And now we are seconds from midnight.... that is what I meant when I referenced that the younger generation understands what ignoring regulations means for future generations. The "fruits of your labor" that we are enjoying are hotter weather, attempts with legislation to start mining in the BWCA, and a generation that when faced with change, snubs their nose because it has no long term effect on their lives. I'm not saying yall didn't make major conservation efforts. But the proof is in the pudding. The earth is getting hotter, species are STILL going extinct, and millennials are going to have to deal with the ramifications.
The usfs has told people to use bear barrels and hang for years. This is NOT new. I remember watching my first video a decade ago and the recommended method was to hang your pack or have a bear safe container, and never leave your food pack unattended. At least now the people that are legitimate problems (as I'm sure that is not you or me) can face legal consequences.
 
nooneuno
distinguished member(638)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 05:43PM  
Deeznuts: "
timatkn: "
Deeznuts: "
As said previously, we understand that ignoring regulations has a negative impact on the environment and I think we are more willing to follow the new regulations. "




I don’t think you actually fully understand what you are saying and that’s why people sometimes look down on younger generations.



When I was growing up: Turkeys and wolves were basically extinct in MN, It was rare to see a Canadian goose, a loon, or a bald Eagle, you couldn’t even think about taking a swim in the Mississippi or a turd might float by your head, garbage was everywhere, there was no BWCAW—it was completely motorized…I am just naming a small sample size so you get the point… the generations you are lumping together as ignoring regulations on the environment fixed or improved all of the issues above during their time. No…they aren’t perfect…but to see young people enjoying the fruits of their labor while spouting off older people don’t care about the environment comes off as entitled and ignorant. Have some understanding of history…



Everyone can do better for sure…not denying that…each generation tries to improve upon the last and that’s good.



My main argument on this new Order is it actually may things worse for bears. That’s based on the numbers we were provided in the past that’s where the science leads… (granted we have little data—which is disturbing too) I am always going to speak out when I see a decision not based on science/numbers. I think the FS made the decision out of the right reasons, but was poorly thought out. I think that is what is setting people off the most.



T"




I was speaking more generally with the older generations primarily being the ones that are climate change deniers and didnt heed the warnings that scientist gave us THIRTY years ago. Most millenials were infants at that point. And now we are seconds from midnight.... that is what I meant when I referenced that the younger generation understands what ignoring regulations means for future generations. The "fruits of your labor" that we are enjoying are hotter weather, attempts with legislation to start mining in the BWCA, and a generation that when faced with change, snubs their nose because it has no long term effect on their lives. I'm not saying yall didn't make major conservation efforts. But the proof is in the pudding. The earth is getting hotter, species are STILL going extinct, and millennials are going to have to deal with the ramifications.
The usfs has told people to use bear barrels and hang for years. This is NOT new. I remember watching my first video a decade ago and the recommended method was to hang your pack or have a bear safe container, and never leave your food pack unattended. At least now the people that are legitimate problems (as I'm sure that is not you or me) can face legal consequences. "


30 years ago we were not aware of global warming as the scientists and media at the time were telling us daily of the threat posed by global cooling and the coming of the new ice age.......
 
Deeznuts
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 05:55PM  
nooneuno: "


30 years ago we were not aware of global warming as the scientists and media at the time were telling us daily of the threat posed by global cooling and the coming of the new ice age......."


Not true at all. Look up the Kyoto protocol. First introduced in 1992
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 06:02PM  
"I was speaking more generally with the older generations primarily being the ones that are climate change deniers and didnt heed the warnings that scientist gave us THIRTY years ago. Most millenials were infants at that point. And now we are seconds from midnight.... that is what I meant when I referenced that the younger generation understands what ignoring regulations means for future generations. "

You seem to be calling everyone that does not hold your view on climate change as uniformed or denying science. The group I bring up to BWCA of 20 men each fall is primarily made up of men with advanced degrees, and most in various fields of engineering. We also have a biological engineers and doctors. All are old guys, all understand facts and none of them would hold your view as stated above.

That said, us old guys think this whole thread is silly. We just bought BV500's or coolers and moved on.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
05/20/2024 06:17PM  
Pinetree: "
billconner: "If you think you'll ever go to Adirondacks, beware the BV series are not acceptable. The ones with the yellow top flush with top are.




"



Yellow Top? "


Sorry, red maybe. Others like them. Adirondacks doesn't accept the bear vaults. Somewhere there's a video of a bear opening a BV.
 
Someday
member (44)member
  
05/20/2024 06:58PM  
Deeznuts: "
timatkn: "
Deeznuts: "
As said previously, we understand that ignoring regulations has a negative impact on the environment and I think we are more willing to follow the new regulations. "




I don’t think you actually fully understand what you are saying and that’s why people sometimes look down on younger generations.



When I was growing up: Turkeys and wolves were basically extinct in MN, It was rare to see a Canadian goose, a loon, or a bald Eagle, you couldn’t even think about taking a swim in the Mississippi or a turd might float by your head, garbage was everywhere, there was no BWCAW—it was completely motorized…I am just naming a small sample size so you get the point… the generations you are lumping together as ignoring regulations on the environment fixed or improved all of the issues above during their time. No…they aren’t perfect…but to see young people enjoying the fruits of their labor while spouting off older people don’t care about the environment comes off as entitled and ignorant. Have some understanding of history…



Everyone can do better for sure…not denying that…each generation tries to improve upon the last and that’s good.



My main argument on this new Order is it actually may things worse for bears. That’s based on the numbers we were provided in the past that’s where the science leads… (granted we have little data—which is disturbing too) I am always going to speak out when I see a decision not based on science/numbers. I think the FS made the decision out of the right reasons, but was poorly thought out. I think that is what is setting people off the most.



T"




I was speaking more generally with the older generations primarily being the ones that are climate change deniers and didnt heed the warnings that scientist gave us THIRTY years ago. Most millenials were infants at that point. And now we are seconds from midnight.... that is what I meant when I referenced that the younger generation understands what ignoring regulations means for future generations. The "fruits of your labor" that we are enjoying are hotter weather, attempts with legislation to start mining in the BWCA, and a generation that when faced with change, snubs their nose because it has no long term effect on their lives. I'm not saying yall didn't make major conservation efforts. But the proof is in the pudding. The earth is getting hotter, species are STILL going extinct, and millennials are going to have to deal with the ramifications.
The usfs has told people to use bear barrels and hang for years. This is NOT new. I remember watching my first video a decade ago and the recommended method was to hang your pack or have a bear safe container, and never leave your food pack unattended. At least now the people that are legitimate problems (as I'm sure that is not you or me) can face legal consequences. "


+1
 
05/20/2024 09:24PM  
How can one correlate a thread about storing food safely from Bears with climate change…WTF?

T
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 10:57PM  
junk...
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 10:57PM  
Deeznuts: "
nooneuno: "



30 years ago we were not aware of global warming as the scientists and media at the time were telling us daily of the threat posed by global cooling and the coming of the new ice age......."



Not true at all. Look up the Kyoto protocol. First introduced in 1992"


Sure it is. Just that he's about 20 years off. So give him a little slack. It was in the mid 70s during the first "oil crises". The time when they set they highway speed limits to 55. (Sorry to veer a bit OT.)
 
Deeznuts
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 04:40AM  
timatkn: "How can one correlate a thread about storing food safely from Bears with climate change…WTF?

T"


You said that my point wasn't clear and "that's why people look down on younger generations". May have been a bit off topic but I clarified for you
 
05/21/2024 07:28AM  
It didn’t help…
 
TechnoScout
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 07:40AM  
tumblehome: "
...But there is a percentage that I am referring too. Perhaps I can refer to them as Covid campers and Covid era employees.

"


Yup!
 
TechnoScout
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 07:48AM  
timatkn: "How can one correlate a thread about storing food safely from Bears with climate change…WTF?

T"


Truly

BTW, there have been five ice ages with associated warming periods. We are coming out of the last ice age. Climate changes, with or without you. The "climate change" industry is a colossal grift.

Back to food storage:
I have had one incident with a "camp" bear. I can only hypothesize that the bear was trained by former campers. So, it is important to manage food storage properly. However, the 12/6/4 rule will not work at every established campsite based on my experience. I always do the best I can, but in only a few cases was I able to meet this rule. I use a pulley system with hundreds of feet of Amsteel blue, so I have the equipment to make it work...but not always the trees.
 
05/21/2024 08:18AM  
timatkn: "How can one correlate a thread about storing food safely from Bears with climate change…WTF?

T"


Yeah, when red herrings like climate change or personal insults like "worst post of the year" are all people have left, productive discussion is over. It's really quite sad how it is so difficult to have honest conversations these days.

 
SOVOS
distinguished member (124)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 09:48AM  
Why doesnt anyone care about the harm hanging a food pack does to the trees? And what about ateas where there are no trees? Should those campsites be closed? Ugh.
 
JohnGalt
distinguished member (422)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 10:30AM  
SOVOS: "Why doesnt anyone care about the harm hanging a food pack does to the trees? And what about ateas where there are no trees? Should those campsites be closed? Ugh."


This is (one of) my biggest gripes with this order & hanging in general. It takes decades for a tree to mature to the state where it can withstand the weight of a food pack & all it takes one careless camper with a rope to destroy it. Quality arborist rope which causes less damage to trees is not cheap (e.g. amsteel) & I’d guess most campers going the hanging route aren’t shelling out the big bucks for proper cordage. There is a reason campsites are devoid of solid branches at a certain height & that many trees are ‘topped’. Sad.
 
exemplaria
member (16)member
  
05/21/2024 11:11AM  
JohnGalt: "
SOVOS: "Why doesnt anyone care about the harm hanging a food pack does to the trees? And what about ateas where there are no trees? Should those campsites be closed? Ugh."



This is (one of) my biggest gripes with this order & hanging in general. It takes decades for a tree to mature to the state where it can withstand the weight of a food pack & all it takes one careless camper with a rope to destroy it. Quality arborist rope which causes less damage to trees is not cheap (e.g. amsteel) & I’d guess most campers going the hanging route aren’t shelling out the big bucks for proper cordage. There is a reason campsites are devoid of solid branches at a certain height & that many trees are ‘topped’. Sad."


OK but I reiterate - what is your current food storage protocol in the BWCA? Genuinely curious what others do here?
 
JohnGalt
distinguished member (422)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 11:15AM  
exemplaria: "OK but I reiterate - what is your current food storage protocol in the BWCA? Genuinely curious what others do here? "


2022 One pack hung (with amsteel) & one pack strapped to a tree near my tent. Some sites (e.g. burn areas) weren’t feasible for hanging so both strapped to a tree.

2023 Both packs strapped to a tree near my tent.

I’m a light sleeper, if anything disturbs my AO, I wake up to it. Didn’t have any issues. I pack my food very air-tight so as to limit scent (dehydrated & vacuum packed food within packs lined with multiple layers of trash bags/dry bags). Also, if I left my site, my food packs were in the canoe with me. Pre-2022, I traveled with four+ person groups & we hung the food pack (I was less experienced then & used the cordage my father had used).

This year, I got 3x XXL Ursacks. Just packed them up with food last night…wasn’t too thrilled with them compared to packing my Frost River Kitchen Pack & an army duffle to the gills, though it was the only real option for a solo traveler not single-portaging because hanging the food packs at every portage would be ludicrous.
 
05/21/2024 11:19AM  
I am 49 years old, so I am not young but also not an old timer...

I generally enjoy Tumblehome's comments and perspectives in his posts, but in this case I totally disagree with the old versus young component. I similarly started going into the backcountry around the age of 11 or 12 (thanks to Boy Scouts in my case). I have continued to go into the backcountry as often as my life will allow ever since. There have ALWAYS been folks that disrespect our wilderness areas and there ALWAYS will be. Age is not a factor.

The frequently repeated notion that "I've never had a bear problem, what I do works, so there shouldn't be a rule" is ridiculous.

I have no idea what evidence and rationale the Forest Service used in crafting this rule and I don't care. It's far better to have this rule in place BEFORE there is a problem to PREVENT habituated bears. Thus avoiding some of the significant issues that have arisen in other wilderness area.

If you're an ethical camper now, this rule is not onerous or problematic. A couple Ursacks in your blue barrel or food pack... you're in compliance.

If you hate bureaucracy and being told what to do; great, stay out of federally managed wilderness lands. The rest of us won't miss you.
 
05/21/2024 11:58AM  
exemplaria: "
JohnGalt: "
SOVOS: "Why doesnt anyone care about the harm hanging a food pack does to the trees? And what about ateas where there are no trees? Should those campsites be closed? Ugh."




This is (one of) my biggest gripes with this order & hanging in general. It takes decades for a tree to mature to the state where it can withstand the weight of a food pack & all it takes one careless camper with a rope to destroy it. Quality arborist rope which causes less damage to trees is not cheap (e.g. amsteel) & I’d guess most campers going the hanging route aren’t shelling out the big bucks for proper cordage. There is a reason campsites are devoid of solid branches at a certain height & that many trees are ‘topped’. Sad."



OK but I reiterate - what is your current food storage protocol in the BWCA? Genuinely curious what others do here? "


I used to hang, but I travel daily and I didn't enjoy it. So then did the blue barrel thing. 2 30 L barrels stash them in separate areas to hedge bets. All food vacuum sealed, Barrels were air tight. Had bears walk right by them at portages and never knew there was food there. Pretty effective.

Because I go to different areas. I converted over to the BV500 and Ursacks a few years ago for backpacking and thus BWCAW trips. So the order doesn't affect me. I may, as some one else pointed out use the 30L barrels with the Ursacks. Best of both worlds. When I use the BV500 or Ursack even vacuum sealing I can still smell food carrying them. I call them bear magnets. The stronger and more concentrated the smell is the more attractive it is to a bear. THus the more likley you are to have an encounter. But the good thing is a bear is unlikely to get your food wiht the Ursack or BV. I really like keeping the smells down. When my 13 year old is carrying an Ursack or BV500 I'm not worried about the bear getting food, I just don't want them attracted to his pack (and thus him) at all. I actually was thinking of converting back to the blue barrels for my BWCAW trips before the order. But I like the Ursack/barrel option best at this point.

That's really my beef with the order...many inexperienced people use the blue barrels. Hanging is tough for many people...Hanging was already the most often breached food method...and now many new people will be forced to hang...they aren't going to convert to expensive BV500 or Ursacks. Much of the BWCAW you actually can't hang due to previous fires. How is this more effective? How does the order make sense? No one has answered that question. It's just a lot of "get over it" "what's the big deal" repeat nonsense talk with no common sense or critical thinking. I certainly could be wrong...but it just feels like a poorly thought out, rushed decision.

I am over it...I already converted but I actually care about bears, I care about the BWCAW.

Making the order for IGBC products only would of made more sense. Hanging should be outlawed too.

T
 
05/21/2024 11:59AM  
tumblehome: "90% of the BWCA does not have a bear problem nor do 90% of the campers out there have a food storage problem. It’s the 10% that is making this a mess for the rest.
"


But I totally agree with Tom's last statement! This is so true and can be applied to so many aspects of life...
 
05/21/2024 12:32PM  
timatkn: "Much of the BWCAW you actually can't hang due to previous fires. How is this more effective? How does the order make sense? No one has answered that question. It's just a lot of "get over it" "what's the big deal" repeat nonsense talk with no common sense or critical thinking. I certainly could be wrong...but it just feels like a poorly thought out, rushed decision.
T"


Unfortunately "use common sense" is tough to adjudicate, so we're stuck with rules and laws that cover the most broad range of contingencies as best they can.
 
soundguy0918
distinguished member (142)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 01:00PM  
Sunburn: "If you hate bureaucracy and being told what to do; great, stay out of federally managed wilderness lands. The rest of us won't miss you.
"


+1 to this. The "wild" in "wilderness" is not there to protect your right to pack your food however you feel like it. It's to protect those who are permanent residents of the wilderness.
 
05/21/2024 01:12PM  
timatkn: "I certainly could be wrong...but it just feels like a poorly thought out, rushed decision.
T"


The USFS has been requiring bear proof containers or hanging throughout many popular wilderness areas for decades. This is definitely not new, rushed, or uncharted territory for the forest service. This type of rule is more "normal" than "abnormal" for a popular wilderness area in bear country.

As someone that backpacked for decades, I was actually very surprised that there were not hanging/bear vault regulations when researching the BWCA before my first trip (which ended up being a trip to Quetico).
 
05/21/2024 01:25PM  
Sunburn: "
timatkn: "I certainly could be wrong...but it just feels like a poorly thought out, rushed decision.
T"



The USFS has been requiring bear proof containers or hanging throughout many popular wilderness areas for decades. This is definitely not new, rushed, or uncharted territory for the forest service. This type of rule is more "normal" than "abnormal" for a popular wilderness area in bear country.


As someone that backpacked for decades, I was actually very surprised that there were not hanging/bear vault regulations when researching the BWCA before my first trip (which ended up being a trip to Quetico)."


The FS is also banning hanging in more areas (and this practice will continue to expand--that's where the BWCAW might be headed) because it is often done poorly and can be ineffective. If you are going to quote me, quote the whole dang thing and don't mispresent what I said originally.

I stand by that this order was rushed (they made it as the BWCAW started--it could of been done last fall) and poorly thought out and i explained that in my whole post...

If they are really concerned about bears they should ban hanging. That's what the previous evidence they shared with the public shows they should do. Just do all IGBC products.

T

 
05/21/2024 01:39PM  
Sunburn: "
timatkn: "I certainly could be wrong...but it just feels like a poorly thought out, rushed decision.
T"



The USFS has been requiring bear proof containers or hanging throughout many popular wilderness areas for decades. This is definitely not new, rushed, or uncharted territory for the forest service. This type of rule is more "normal" than "abnormal" for a popular wilderness area in bear country.


As someone that backpacked for decades, I was actually very surprised that there were not hanging/bear vault regulations when researching the BWCA before my first trip (which ended up being a trip to Quetico)."


If it's not new, rushed, or uncharted territory, that means evidence of need and effectiveness should be easy to provide, right?

Tim brings up a good point that has been discussed before. Is a smelly bear vault, relatively easily breached Ursack, or poorly hung pack really more effective than a sealed blue barrel? Where is the data on any of this? The previous data seemed to show that hanging was the most breached storage method.

I just find it hard to understand why so many people are not only willing to agree to whatever the Forest Service says, but on top of that, admonish anybody who dares question what appears to be rather arbitrary rules that will add quite a bit of expense for many people, will likely lead to tree damage, and which come with very harsh punishments including jail time for disobedience. That is not how free democracies typically operate.

All we are asking for is to see the data. It is not a big ask. At least, it shouldn't be. Many of us were already following the mandate but still think this was an overreach. If anybody can prove this mandate was considered and enacted in a logical and methodical manner I will admit it and drop the subject. But so far after many weeks and hundreds of posts nobody has.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2980)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 01:43PM  
I didn't intend to go after an entire age group. Maybe I should have reconsidered how I wrote some of my original post. But I'll let it be. Since I wrote it and I can't apologize for that unlike puff daddy or whatever his name is.

Covid really did a number on the BWCA and everyone of us on the forum that was on it during Covid remembers the complete mess that occurred. Slashing trees, no campsite availability. Non permitted groups. All of that. There were plenty of YouTube videos that went along with the mayhem. Okay I will not single out an age group. There were duds of all age groups I'm told. And yes I guess the old geezers don't how to put up a youtube video of them cutting down balsams in camp so the evidence of their misgivings might not be documented. All I saw was 20 somethings being proud of their poor wilderness ethics.

In my OP I blamed young and new USFS personal for making the storage order. I will stand by that. The bwca has been around for 80 years and not until this year did this mandate come to be. The old bald and saggy USFS workers of the past are retired and the new generation of worker is here. It's just how it is.
Someone on here once wrote that all the new laws of the land are part of the wussification of America. And there is a lot of that going on everywhere, not just on wilderness regulations.
I love everyone and never singled out a particular person. You young folks on here are the only hope we have to protect what little wild places we have left. So be vocal, be involved.

Not sorry for my post. Sorry I made a few guys mad. But hard conversations can do that. I'm most thankful the moderators didn't take a torch to the thread.

Tom
 
05/21/2024 01:56PM  
timatkn: "That is not how free democracies typically operate.
"


Government agencies headed by politically appointed Cabinet Secretaries and run by career employees (aka bureaucrats) making rules and regulations within that agency's area of authority granted by previous legislation or the Constitution is EXACTLY how our democracy had functioned since it's inception.
 
05/21/2024 02:04PM  
Sunburn: "
plmn: "
Sunburn: "
timatkn: "That is not how free democracies typically operate.
"


Government agencies headed by politically appointed Cabinet Secretaries and run by career employees (aka bureaucrats) making rules and regulations within that agency's area of authority granted by previous legislation or the Constitution is EXACTLY how our democracy had functioned since it's inception.
"


Not without oversight, transparency, and accountability.
 
05/21/2024 02:06PM  
tumblehome: "I didn't intend to go after an entire age group. Maybe I should have reconsidered how I wrote some of my original post. But I'll let it be. Since I wrote it and I can't apologize for that unlike puff daddy or whatever his name is.


Covid really did a number on the BWCA and everyone of us on the forum that was on it during Covid remembers the complete mess that occurred. Slashing trees, no campsite availability. Non permitted groups. All of that. There were plenty of YouTube videos that went along with the mayhem. Okay I will not single out an age group. There were duds of all age groups I'm told. And yes I guess the old geezers don't how to put up a youtube video of them cutting down balsams in camp so the evidence of their misgivings might not be documented. All I saw was 20 somethings being proud of their poor wilderness ethics.


In my OP I blamed young and new USFS personal for making the storage order. I will stand by that. The bwca has been around for 80 years and not until this year did this mandate come to be. The old bald and saggy USFS workers of the past are retired and the new generation of worker is here. It's just how it is.
Someone on here once wrote that all the new laws of the land are part of the wussification of America. And there is a lot of that going on everywhere, not just on wilderness regulations.
I love everyone and never singled out a particular person. You young folks on here are the only hope we have to protect what little wild places we have left. So be vocal, be involved.

Not sorry for my post. Sorry I made a few guys mad. But hard conversations can do that. I'm most thankful the moderators didn't take a torch to the thread.

Tom"


I, for one, am definitely not mad about anything you wrote. I just disagree with certain points and have a different view point or perspective. I also partially agree with certain points.

In the end, I feel safe in saying that we both agree that wilderness should be respected and folks camping in wilderness areas should do so in a responsible and ethical manner. That's 80% of it right there. This rule (dumb or inevitable, depending on your perspective) is such a smaller thing.
 
05/21/2024 02:28PM  
Sunburn: "In the end, I feel safe in saying that we both agree that wilderness should be respected and folks camping in wilderness areas should do so in a responsible and ethical manner. That's 80% of it right there. This rule (dumb or inevitable, depending on your perspective) is such a smaller thing."


I think everybody can agree on that. None of us want bears getting our food. I don't think anybody here has been irresponsible. Even those that stashed (like I used to) were simply following what some experts have recommended for decades.
 
05/21/2024 02:41PM  
plmn: "
Sunburn: "In the end, I feel safe in saying that we both agree that wilderness should be respected and folks camping in wilderness areas should do so in a responsible and ethical manner. That's 80% of it right there. This rule (dumb or inevitable, depending on your perspective) is such a smaller thing."



I think everybody can agree on that. None of us want bears getting our food. I don't think anybody here has been irresponsible. Even those that stashed (like I used to) were simply following what some experts have recommended for decades. "


Absolutely! While the points of disagreement may generate more words, let's not lose sight of what we can all agree on.
 
05/21/2024 03:02PM  
plmn: "
Sunburn: "
plmn: "
Sunburn: "
timatkn: "That is not how free democracies typically operate.
"



Government agencies headed by politically appointed Cabinet Secretaries and run by career employees (aka bureaucrats) making rules and regulations within that agency's area of authority granted by previous legislation or the Constitution is EXACTLY how our democracy had functioned since it's inception.
"



Not without oversight, transparency, and accountability. "


Requirements for regulatory transparency and "public notification" or a "comment period" are spelled out specifically for all regulatory agencies on both the federal and state level. The rule making process for state and federal agencies are developed based off those requirements.

I am not saying it's a perfect system (sometimes it works, sometimes not so much), but it is the system that we have. I am pretty certain there is not an evil genius rubbing his or her hands together at the USFS saying "I'm gonna get those little canoeist in the Boundary Waters today!"
 
Z4K
distinguished member (429)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 05:35PM  
Sunburn: "I'm gonna get those little canoeist in the Boundary Waters today!""


But they sure did! They made bwca.com feel like reddit over the education phase of the temporary rollout of a years-old regulation.
 
05/21/2024 06:29PM  
I'm 73 and it doesn't frustrate me at all.
 
chessie
distinguished member (372)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 06:32PM  
I'm probably now in the "old" category. I don't much like rules, but I am not frustrated with the policy. I switched to bear vaults because I didn't like the damage ropes do to trees (though I have a good pully system that minimizes that).
Lessons from time spent out west: (1) "A fed bear is a dead bear." (2) Bears habituate very quickly to food. Ask Hollywood, they are not hard to train. I've never found 'we've always done it this way' or 'I've never had a problem with ___' to be a good argument. I've never swamped fully loaded, but I still wear a life jacket. I never had a bear in camp, until we did. Twice. Our camp is super tidy. We don't cook stinky stuff. Everything gets stored in the bear bag at night, right down to the ChapStick and toothpaste. The bear was already habituated to that site. Of interest, I recall dropping ONE shelled sunflower seed in the stern of the boat before we stopped paddling for the day. Our canoe was overturned along the trail leading down to our campsite, along the Horse Portage. That bear stopped and sniffed the stern of the canoe thoroughly. I thought we were headed for shredded Kevlar. The bear scored on nothing from us. None-the-less, it returned in the morning, and I have a photo of it under the tree from which I'd hung the bear bag (was still using the rope method back then). The bear got a bit snippy, and we shagged it away (again), skipped breakfast, and broke camp. I'll add this: there is something to mentoring. My Dad told me, prior to my first BW trip, about friends he camped with up there, who'd left a little box of raisins in their tent. A bear came into camp, broke into that tent, and nabbed those raisins!
 
05/21/2024 07:25PM  
I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker.
 
05/21/2024 09:59PM  
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."


They do the same thing in most of the SNF/VNP campsites…That would be great in the BWCAW, but the FS service just doesn’t have the manpower or budget to do that. They can barely put a few people out to enforce the rules.

I think if they got creative they could get people to volunteer. Many scout troops look for service projects to do while in the BWCAW. I know we contacted the FS and never received a response. It’s a goal in my retirement to take this on and give back, but that’s 10-12 years away before I tackle that :)

T
 
billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
05/22/2024 05:50AM  
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."


Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost.
 
05/22/2024 06:26AM  
billconner: "
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."



Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost."


I've never used one, but I've heard people complain about how disgusting they can get.

And yeah, that's a big expense for something that they have been unable to show is a big problem.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2980)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/22/2024 07:18AM  
timatkn: "
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."


…That would be great in the BWCAW,


T"


Maybe picnic tables after that.

Let’s get back to how rare bear events are. The USFS has created a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Misinformation and disinformation goes a long ways to convince people of something that is almost made up. Statistically, bear events are way down on a list of human safety issues in the BWCA.

We could do much better with USFS first-aid kits at every campsite than a bear vault. Those would be something people actually need. And yes I’m being facetious.

 
05/22/2024 07:56AM  
billconner: "
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."



Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost."


Well some good points…you guys already talked me out of it…didn’t last long :)

T
 
05/22/2024 08:07AM  
billconner: "Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost."


There was no debris or trash left in the lockers... very clean. Better user base??

plmn: "... that's a big expense for something that they have been unable to show is a big problem. "


Someone thinks there IS a big problem. Problem solving takes time and money. The current solution of hanging food packs and barrels shoves the cost off to the camping public.
 
05/22/2024 09:05AM  
bobbernumber3: "
billconner: "Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost."



There was no debris or trash left in the lockers... very clean. Better user base??


plmn: "... that's a big expense for something that they have been unable to show is a big problem. "



Someone thinks there IS a big problem. Problem solving takes time and money. The current solution of hanging food packs and barrels shoves the cost off to the camping public."


Right. "Thinks" and "Has Demonstrated" are two different things. Usually the latter is required before spending money on the problem or mandating that citizens do.

And we have to be real. Very few people are going to be willing to hang packs on portages and there are many areas where it simply isn't possible. So in practice, containers are pretty much going to be required.
 
05/22/2024 11:21AM  
When I started going to the BWCA every site had a bear pole that you hung your food from. Then the FS took them all down. I'm guessing that was around 1980 .. ish.
 
05/22/2024 11:48AM  
I didn't have time to read all of this, but I would assume the reason is because change is tough for some folks especially old farts and people don't like being told what to do or how to do it.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1030)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/22/2024 01:01PM  
tumblehome: "The bwca has been around for 80 years and not until this year did this mandate come to be."


It was pointed out earlier in this thread that you misstated the facts on this. There was an order for five BWCA lakes in 2020 and a forest-wide order in 2021.
 
05/22/2024 03:00PM  
boonie: "I'm 73 and it doesn't frustrate me at all. "


I have always loved your attitude, boonie. Still do. :-)

We are 78 (for a couple more months.) We purchased bear vaults for our penultimate canoe trip, which was in 2012. That would mean we were in our late 60's. Didn't find it frustrating at all, and even though there was a learning curve in using them, we did OK. Our 2013 trip didn't work out very well, so they got very limited use.

Frustrated?
I am frustrated that we no longer have the mobility to do a canoe trip, and that I just made arrangements to sell our bear vaults. Enjoy the paddle!

And just to get picky, 1964 was not 80 years ago!
 
05/22/2024 03:03PM  
gravelroad: "
tumblehome: "The bwca has been around for 80 years and not until this year did this mandate come to be."



It was pointed out earlier in this thread that you misstated the facts on this. There was an order for five BWCA lakes in 2020 and a forest-wide order in 2021."


That's a little ticky tacky...come one. It was in effect on just a few lakes for part of the season and then again for a part of the 2021 vs. the entire rest of the BWCAW creation and pre BWCAW. But since ya decided to bring it up, If anything sort of proves his point, during that sample size of the orders in 2021 and 2020 nothing changed as far as bear encounters. So the order must be ineffective :)...you brought it up LOL

T
 
billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
05/22/2024 06:31PM  
Equipping 2000 sites with a bear vault does seem daunting. And another 2000 for both ends of most of 1200 portages. Very big project. $500 per box x 4000 = $2,000,000! Then a squad to maintain.

I'd go for the bear bag hangars like at Philmont. At least no place to leave junk.

I keep wondering if this isn't a USFS plan decrease usage. I know I'm much more likely to go elsewhere rather than invest more gear.
 
05/22/2024 06:46PM  
Spartan2: "
boonie: "I'm 73 and it doesn't frustrate me at all. "



I have always loved your attitude, boonie. Still do. :-)


We are 78 (for a couple more months.) We purchased bear vaults for our penultimate canoe trip, which was in 2012. That would mean we were in our late 60's. Didn't find it frustrating at all, and even though there was a learning curve in using them, we did OK. Our 2013 trip didn't work out very well, so they got very limited use.


Frustrated?
I am frustrated that we no longer have the mobility to do a canoe trip, and that I just made arrangements to sell our bear vaults. Enjoy the paddle!

And just to get picky, 1964 was not 80 years ago! "


Thanks, and likewise, Spartan2. I'm beginning to experience those old age frustrations. I always found hanging a food pack to be frustrating! Then I had rented a canister in the ADK's in 2002 or 2003, and found it so less frustrating I immediately bought one and never looked back. They were required in plenty of places I might go and could be used anywhere. I kind of figured it would eventually be required other places and probably the BW.

I assume you're doing your usual cabin trip . . . ? Enjoy it or whatever else you do.
 
05/22/2024 07:36PM  
billconner: "Equipping 2000 sites with a bear vault does seem daunting. And another 2000 for both ends of most of 1200 portages. Very big project. $500 per box x 4000 = $2,000,000! Then a squad to maintain.


I'd go for the bear bag hangars like at Philmont. At least no place to leave junk.


I keep wondering if this isn't a USFS plan decrease usage. I know I'm much more likely to go elsewhere rather than invest more gear."


I’ve heard that theory from others, not sure I believe it…yet…

I don’t really know if I personally would like that plan or not…mixed feelings.

T
 
05/22/2024 07:40PM  
Soledad: "I didn't have time to read all of this, but I would assume the reason is because change is tough for some folks especially old farts and people don't like being told what to do or how to do it."


Or maybe we think for ourselves and look at the numbers and question the effectiveness and possible harm it could do to bears based on previous FS numbers…maybe that? Or yea…maybe just grumpy even though most of us on here complaining have already switched to IGBC items and it doesn’t affect us…maybe we just care enough to speak up?

If ya would’ve read a few posts in a non biased way you would know that.

The good thing is we all have a passion and care what happens to the BWCAW. We might disagree on what’s best…but we all do care about it!

T
 
05/23/2024 07:23AM  
Bannock: "When I started going to the BWCA every site had a bear pole that you hung your food from. Then the FS took them all down. I'm guessing that was around 1980 .. ish."


I think bear poles and frankly portage markers should come back. Fake portages cause a lot of erosion in addition to frustration. I’m absolutely willing to volunteer on crews to install them, and I’m retired so I have the time!

I’m glad I procrastinated on getting a blue barrel and pack. Though I have a clever bear hang system I suck at the original rock over the branch throw. If buying a total new food pack what do people think is the best current setup?
 
05/23/2024 08:11AM  
RRHD, I am by no means an expert, I only went away from the blue barrels in 2019…If you aren’t going to hang, what system is best depends on your trip type.

Fast and light—more dry food…Ursacks would be my suggestion.

Base camper, less than 2 portages, heavier foods, fresh, I’d do a IGBC cooler.

Want something sturdier protect food more, I’d do the Bear Vault or other type of barrrel.

I don’t know if there is a system or particular pack I would suggest to buy? Your current packs would probably work. The IGBC barrels are heavier and the weight is concentrated. Early in a trip they can be heavy. You want to distribute them on top of the packs as a group is my suggestion. One pack with 4 barrels is going to be uncomfortable to carry IMHO.

I do a combination of Ursacks and BV500 for big groups and just the BV500 for a smaller group. I’ve done the cooler and BV500 on base camp trips. I may pull my blue barrels out of retirement and use the Ursacks to line them. Then I can use my old barrel pack, more crush protection for food and reduce smells further as well. But if you are buying from scratch that’s expensive. I’ve accumulated my gear over 30 years.

Others may have some better suggestions too.

T
 
05/23/2024 09:22AM  
boonie: "
Spartan2: "
boonie: "I'm 73 and it doesn't frustrate me at all. "




I have always loved your attitude, boonie. Still do. :-)



We are 78 (for a couple more months.) We purchased bear vaults for our penultimate canoe trip, which was in 2012. That would mean we were in our late 60's. Didn't find it frustrating at all, and even though there was a learning curve in using them, we did OK. Our 2013 trip didn't work out very well, so they got very limited use.



Frustrated?
I am frustrated that we no longer have the mobility to do a canoe trip, and that I just made arrangements to sell our bear vaults. Enjoy the paddle!


And just to get picky, 1964 was not 80 years ago! "



Thanks, and likewise, Spartan2. I'm beginning to experience those old age frustrations. I always found hanging a food pack to be frustrating! Then I had rented a canister in the ADK's in 2002 or 2003, and found it so less frustrating I immediately bought one and never looked back. They were required in plenty of places I might go and could be used anywhere. I kind of figured it would eventually be required other places and probably the BW.


I assume you're doing your usual cabin trip . . . ? Enjoy it or whatever else you do. "


Yes, a week at Rockwood in a cabin, starting in mid-June this year. Looking forward to it. Also have a wonderful three-week European and Scandinavian cruise planned for July and August. I have macular degeneration now, and I have to see as much as I can while I still can. Every day is a gift.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1030)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/23/2024 06:00PM  
timatkn: "
gravelroad: "
tumblehome: "The bwca has been around for 80 years and not until this year did this mandate come to be."




It was pointed out earlier in this thread that you misstated the facts on this. There was an order for five BWCA lakes in 2020 and a forest-wide order in 2021."



That's a little ticky tacky...come one. It was in effect on just a few lakes for part of the season and then again for a part of the 2021 vs. the entire rest of the BWCAW creation and pre BWCAW. But since ya decided to bring it up, If anything sort of proves his point, during that sample size of the orders in 2021 and 2020 nothing changed as far as bear encounters. So the order must be ineffective :)...you brought it up LOL


T"


HITH is it ”ticky tacky” to point out that the very premise for the OP’s argument is a falsehood that has now been brought to his attention twice?
 
05/23/2024 06:24PM  
Spartan2: "
boonie: "
Spartan2: "
"



Yes, a week at Rockwood in a cabin, starting in mid-June this year. Looking forward to it. Also have a wonderful three-week European and Scandinavian cruise planned for July and August. I have macular degeneration now, and I have to see as much as I can while I still can. Every day is a gift."


Enjoy your trips, Spartan2! :)
 
05/24/2024 04:36PM  
billconner: "
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."



Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost."


We had to remove our bear boxes out of the campground in Alaska USFWS where I worked, because the public filled them with their camp garbage.
 
05/24/2024 05:06PM  
LindenTree: "
billconner: "
bobbernumber3: "I just hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Trail. Every area designated for camping had a bear-proof food storage locker."




Were they empty or was there debris left in them? I think the maintenance would be worse than initial cost."



We had to remove our bear boxes out of the campground in Alaska USFWS where I worked, because the public filled them with their camp garbage."


We go to VNP once or twice every year and the bear lockers we've had at camp have always been really nice and clean. And we often stay at the more popular campsites...
 
05/26/2024 11:13PM  
I'm a little upset with this ruling and refuse to start throwing rocks up in the sky in the woods. I finally just accepted it and bought a BV500 from Amazon with points so it wouldn't cost me anything.

My little "I win" victory you could say. That said, that BV500 could be like a sacrificial prop hiding your true pack. This rule seems impossible to regulate. I'm in compliance now so ... whatever.

Here's a revelation. Bears climb trees!
 
BdubyaCA
member (12)member
  
06/06/2024 02:33PM  
tumblehome: "The BWCA was ‘created’ in 1964. And until recently, annual visitor numbers had been dropping. Prior to this year, there has essentially never been a food storage order in the BWCA.
And this is not ‘out west’ where similar orders have been in place for some time.

Many seasoned campers have historically hung their pack, as we were taught from our youth. And many more seasoned campers do not hang their pack and have not had problems. The new generation of campers berates the older campers as being ignorant, arrogant disrespectful to norms and so on.

The truth is that historically, bear food issues have been extremely rare in the BWCA. There have been isolated incidences of bear activity over the years and they have been well publicized. The particular incidents are usually a single human habituated bear. Not a gang of bears stalking all campers in the BWCA.

The food storage order is brought on by a new generation of ignorant campers and youthful new USFS employees that are equally ignorant to the long history of bear activities in the the BWCA as a whole. I am not speaking to all youth campers and employees. But there is a percentage that I am referring too. Perhaps I can refer to them as Covid campers and Covid era employees.

The problem is people, not bears. Or at the very least, the problem is bear, not bear(s).

There was a time when camping in the BWCA was a learned experience taught to us b people that had gone before us. I myself was taught camping skills by a public school district in the twin cities. Two summers spent in summer school and going to the BWCA with a chaperone at the age of 11 and 12. And there are still groups teaching the youth (many camps, Boy Scouts etc. ) I am grateful for them. And if you are reading this, you are appreciated by me.

It seems that for many, not all youth, that has gone by the wayside.

I am one of the older campers that does see the absurdity of the bear storage order. I really have been on countless trips without a bear problem. Mostly from the learned skills I have acquired. 90% of the BWCA does not have a bear problem nor do 90% of the campers out there have a food storage problem. It’s the 10% that is making this a mess for the rest.

I just needed to say this.

Tom the meanie.


"


Ok boomer
 
billconner
distinguished member(8664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/06/2024 07:02PM  
okinaw55: "


Here's a revelation. Bears climb trees!"


As the picture I posted above shows, bears sometimes get into a BV500. Pick your poison.
 
06/06/2024 08:52PM  
Someone created a fake name/account just to post “OK Boomer” and I thought I had issues on this subject…LOL

T
 
06/07/2024 07:05AM  
timatkn: "Someone created a fake name/account just to post “OK Boomer” and I thought I had issues on this subject…LOL


T"


They also started a thread telling us to watch a 90 minute YouTube trip video and count violations. Kind of ironic considering their post here. As I was responding that maybe they should just tell us what the issues are because nobody wants to spend that kind of time doing that it was deleted.
 
06/07/2024 07:41AM  
I've been traveling to the BW since the early 80s. Always kept a clean camp and only hung my food a handful of times. Either I hid my sealed food outside of camp or recently used an Ursack. Never had a bear in camp or mouse problem. Does anybody have any data that supports poor human activity being the problem
 
06/07/2024 08:26AM  
Blatz: "I've been traveling to the BW since the early 80s. Always kept a clean camp and only hung my food a handful of times. Either I hid my sealed food outside of camp or recently used an Ursack. Never had a bear in camp or mouse problem. Does anybody have any data that supports poor human activity being the problem"


Evidently nobody has any data that shows there is a problem to begin with.
 
Carbonfiber
member (13)member
  
06/07/2024 02:16PM  
The forest service would rather inconvenience, thousands of humans then.

Then remove the one or two problem bear or bears every couple of years.
They would rather let a bear destroy or require thousand's dollars to be spent.
Then remove the one or two problem bears every couple of years.

Black bears are not endangered Mn has a bear season every fall.

This what the state of MN thinks a bear is worth.

MN bear lic. fees

Resident, age 18 and older: $45 (includes fee) Non-resident, age 18 and older: $231 (includes fee) Ages 13-17, regardless of residency: $6 (includes fee) Ages 10-12, regardless of residency:

At the most 231 dollars at then least 6 dollars a high-end food pack cost
hundreds of dollars
. Let alone the food inside it. Then lost tripping cost ect. when a bear ruins a trip,
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(2059)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/07/2024 06:59PM  
I have always used Bear Vaults in the BWCA. The biggest benefits are: 1) my food does not get crushed, 2) you can see where the item is that you are looking for without digging, 3) you have a seat, a wash bin, and a place to wash your clothes, 4) If each person wants to bring their own food it's easy to divide up, 5) if you want to sort your food by meal daypart (breakfast, lunch dinner, snacks) it's super easy, 5) for the most part they are very water resistant, 6) they float well, 7) they fit perfectly in most CCS packs, 8) they are not only bear-proof but they are mouse, squirrel, and chipmunk-proof, 9) they make it easy to distribute weight, 10) they are SO much easier than hanging! As an added bonus I fill them up with other fragile items as they get emptied out and gain space in my packs.
 
EmmaMorgan
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
  
06/07/2024 08:16PM  
Northwoodsman: "I have always used Bear Vaults in the BWCA. The biggest benefits are: 1) my food does not get crushed, 2) you can see where the items is that you are looking for without digging, 3) you have a seat, a wash bin, and a place to wash your clothes, 4) If each person wants to bring their own food it's easy to divide up, 5) if you want to sort your food by meal daypart (breakfast, lunch dinner, snacks) it's super easy, 5) for the most part they are very water resistant, 6) they float well, 7) they fit perfectly in most CCS packs, 8) they are not only bear-proof but they are mouse, squirrel, and chipmunk-proof, 9) they make it easy to distribute weight, 10) they are SO much easier than hanging! As an added bonus I fill them up with other fragile items as they get emptied out and gain space in my packs."


+1. I also like to use mine as a foot stool when I kick back in my camp chair.

 
06/08/2024 12:18AM  
billconner: "
okinaw55: "



Here's a revelation. Bears climb trees!"



As the picture I posted above shows, bears sometimes get into a BV500. Pick your poison."


Hey Bill its been a while since I've noticed you around. Of course, Im not the most observant person either.

I think you proved my point. The FS's own solution to the problem is not a solution. The only solution is masking scent and hiding your cache somewhere bears have never looked for food before. I cant think of any other way that is better. Just my opinion.
 
06/10/2024 10:25AM  
I also find the order annoying as in 100s of trips I have never seen a bear but alas I bought the Ursack thing and will just continue as if nothing has changed. Perhaps I will like this Ursack bag even more than what I have been using.
 
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