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Food security

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A Quetico ranger pointed out you heat water on a jet boil and rehydrate fd food, not much odor. Build a wood fire, fry meat or eggs or whatever, a LOT of odor - bear attractant. Just seems to be a part of the bear issue.

Hanging seems to work at Philmont, but great "trees".
 
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Hanging seems to work at Philmont, but great "trees".
My first ever encounter with a bear was at Philmont in 1973. I could hear it eating our (poorly hung) food in the middle of the night. Realizing I had slipped half way out of the floorless tent, I tried, without success, to quietly slide my body back into the tent while on a plastic groundsheet. We had to hike out and get more food.
 
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A Quetico ranger pointed out you heat water on a jet boil and rehydrate fd food, not much odor. Build a wood fire, fry meat or eggs or whatever, a LOT of odor - bear attractant. Just seems to be a part of the bear issue.

Hanging seems to work at Philmont, but great "trees".
I don't understand why bear would want my food unless it were fish. We barbecue and smoke outdoors and live in bear country. Never had a problem. But we do shoot bear. Personally I am not much of a fan of freeze dried but it is convenient. I do love to bake.. For some reason bears love sweets. In August bear is baited with old donuts and baked goods.

Also time of year might matter and the available of mast crop and berries. In a poor year bears will eat almost anything. They are mostly vegetarians ( black bear)'

We were instructed about keeping food safe ( and we kept it in a steel locker) in Glacier National Park.. We were still visited by a bear as our campsite was..duh...smack in the middle of a berry patch.
 
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My favorite bear story isn’t mine, it is my brother-in-law Bart’s.

In his college days he and a roommate decided to go backpacking in the Shenandoahs. In youthful fashion they got off to a very late start, and it was dark by the time they arrived in the Shenandoahs. So they decided to keep driving. To the Smokies.

Got to the Smokies the next morning and hiked in a mile or so when they saw two guys in a tree.

Bart asks “Hey, what’s up guys?”

“There’s a bear!”

So of course Bart and his partner dropped their packs and climbed a tree.

Whereupon the bear tore their packs to shreds and ate their food.

Bart and friend did not have the money to replace their food, not to mention their packs. So they drove back to Maryland.

Bart tells it better.
 
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My favorite bear story isn’t mine, it is my brother-in-law Bart’s.

In his college days he and a roommate decided to go backpacking in the Shenandoahs. In youthful fashion they got off to a very late start, and it was dark by the time they arrived in the Shenandoahs. So they decided to keep driving. To the Smokies.

Got to the Smokies the next morning and hiked in a mile or so when they saw two guys in a tree.

Bart asks “Hey, what’s up guys?”

“There’s a bear!”

So of course Bart and his partner dropped their packs and climbed a tree.

Whereupon the bear tore their packs to shreds and ate their food.

Bart and friend did not have the money to replace their food, not to mention their packs. So they drove back to Maryland.

Bart tells it better.
Climbing a tree to get away from a bear seems like an even worse strategy than trying to outrun one. Unless the theory is the bear might laugh itself to death.
 
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“I think you told your story well enough, Mike. I read it to Kathleen and she laughed right out loud”

Bart’s retelling included the conversation they had with the other treed pair, who provided color commentary on the bear’s rapid disassembly of their backpacks, which Bart couldn’t see from his perch.

One thing I recall he kept as a souvenir was a Sigg fuel bottle with tooth punctures.
 
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If nothing else, Bart got a good story out of it. That’s important.

As has already been mentioned, the average bear is pretty smart, even if not as smart as Yogi. I once went backpacking in Glacier National Park. I think 1973. A long time ago, anyway. My friend Tom and I were being advised by a park staff member just before we headed out from the parking lot.

“Be on your guard. We have been telling hikers that there’s a grizzly hanging around. If you’re approached, one thing you can do is throw something on the ground to distract the bear, and then keep backing away slowly. Most of the people are day hikers, and they have been throwing their day packs, containing their lunches, on the ground. The bear has figured this out, and generally waits just off the trail. Day hikers come along. Bear jumps out. Day hikers throw their day packs on the ground and return to the parking lot. Bear eats another bologna and cheese sandwich, with gorp for dessert.”
 
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If nothing else, Bart got a good story out of it. That’s important.

As has already been mentioned, the average bear is pretty smart, even if not as smart as Yogi. I once went backpacking in Glacier National Park. I think 1973. A long time ago, anyway. My friend Tom and I were being advised by a park staff member just before we headed out from the parking lot.

“Be on your guard. We have been telling hikers that there’s a grizzly hanging around. If you’re approached, one thing you can do is throw something on the ground to distract the bear, and then keep backing away slowly. Most of the people are day hikers, and they have been throwing their day packs, containing their lunches, on the ground. The bear has figured this out, and generally waits just off the trail. Day hikers come along. Bear jumps out. Day hikers throw their day packs on the ground and return to the parking lot. Bear eats another bologna and cheese sandwich, with gorp for dessert.”

That story proves two things… bears are smart, your average person is not.
 
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That story proves two things… bears are smart, your average person is not.
A couple of years ago driving on my way to the Yukon, I drove through Banff National Park. At a location just outside the village itself there were road signs telling drivers to not stop on the 4 lane two way roadway. Up ahead I noticed what initially appeared to be an accident with multiple cars stopped in the middle of the road. As I approached I saw the butt end of a large grizzly bear heading uphill through a fence with a crowd of camera toting tourists in the road chasing after it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I just kept going on through.
 
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A couple of years ago driving on my way to the Yukon, I drove through Banff National Park. At a location just outside the village itself there were road signs telling drivers to not stop on the 4 lane two way roadway. Up ahead I noticed what initially appeared to be an accident with multiple cars stopped in the middle of the road. As I approached I saw the butt end of a large grizzly bear heading uphill through a fence with a crowd of camera toting tourists in the road chasing after it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I just kept going on through.
You should have seen what is was like in the early 1960's (or before)......

This Video is not from Banff but looks exactly like what I saw during my first Banff trip in 1961.

 
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I remember the 1967 event as well, headed out to Glacier, Banff and Jasper the summer of 1970.

As a child, I remember my parents taking me to a dump to watch bears near Copper Harbor, in the UP. Even as a child, I thought that was a stupid idea.
 
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Climbing a tree to get away from a bear seems like an even worse strategy than trying to outrun one. Unless the theory is the bear might laugh itself to death.
I'm sure it's first thought was "Pinata"...;)
 
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When I first started tripping, I read about hanging the food in a tree...this was 30+ years ago. I tried it and didn't see how it would help.

When we went far north, there were no trees. Or no suitable trees. So we packed everything up and piled it together in a pile and put a tarp around it secured by bungy cords. We set this stuff far away from the tent. We never had problems with bears. Hardly ever saw a bear. These were very much untraveled waterways at that time.

I don't carry fresh food and everything is sealed up. I'm sure some smell gets through, but its not overwhelming like bacon and eggs, hot dogs or steaks would be.

I also tend to put food, medicine, clothing, whistles, knives, etc. in each pack. At least some. That way, if a pack is lost (I was thinking mostly white water here, not critters), I would at least have something. That may change this upcoming trip as I need to keep weight down.

So, if I really go with Marshall Kap, and mem says the bears there are afraid of people, I will probably be okay with my system.

I have got to work today. I would so rather spend time canoeing....
 
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I haven't had a bear bother my grub in the last 50 years. We always pee around our camp to provide a human scent fence which works, usually.
Lately we have set two Critter Gitters near camp and we were able to an approaching black bear get scared off by the Critter Gitter. If we are going to be in a camp for a longer period, we apply a bit of jam to a couple cans of starting fluid to place near camp. One bite and the bear is discouraged by the taste surprise. And....the 12ga full of Brenneke slugs is close at hand.
 
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So, if I really go with Marshall Kap, and mem says the bears there are afraid of people, I will probably be okay with my system.

I have got to work today. I would so rather spend time canoeing....

The Marshall Lake route is a great trip, the bears are very shy, I didn't see any but I did see 7 moose, a wolf, heard a pack of wolves and saw 2 woodland caribou.

1650987721627.png
 
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You should have seen what is was like in the early 1960's (or before)......
I remember as a kid it was good Friday night entertainment to go to the town dump to watch the bears rummage in the garbage.
There was one in Old Forge and also in Long Lake. NY. Dads would keep their kids close and also have a .44 handy. Just in case.
 
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The Marshall Lake route is a great trip, the bears are very shy, I didn't see any but I did see 7 moose, a wolf, heard a pack of wolves and saw 2 woodland caribou.

View attachment 130521
Seeing a caribou would be neat. I read about the Woodland Caribou. Isn't life amazing?

I saw caribou high on a Quebec river and was startled because I hadn't realized we were that far north until we got there.

I have also never seen a wolf. Seen tracks. Big ones.

Summer can't come soon enough.
 
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