Help a brother not get eaten in bear country

Discussion in 'Americas' started by f800kris, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. f800kris

    f800kris Been here awhile

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    I understand dont sleep in the clothes you eat in and store food away from campsite etc.

    What I'm looking for...

    What a good meal option low smell for doing the continental divide when up north especially the bob Marshall area?

    I'm at cliff bars and water right now. Lol
    #1
  2. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Freeze dried meals, Mountain House and a few others out there are usually available at Walmart, BassPro and Amazon. They are in vacuum sealed foil packs. Alternatively, caned goods, soup, Spaghetti O’s etc.....your not worried so much about the weight since you have a pack mule.

    You can put smelly foods, toothpaste, deodorant etc in a bear canister or Pelican case too. Then tie it in a tree or use a campground food box. I have aluminum panniers and just lock them at night.

    Bears are less of a threat to your food than mice, raccoons and opossums.
    #2
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  3. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Get you some nuoc mam (Asian fish sauce) and dip your food in it, then get a jar of mam thom (shrimp paste) and mark around your tent.

    No living creation will dare come close … you’ll be safe til the 2nd coming of Christ…
    #3
  4. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    Freeze dried food (vacuum sealed) would probably be ok in an aluminum pannier, but I personally don't do it. If a bear does decide he wants something in there you'll end up with a knocked over, scratched up bike with a ripped seat (or worse) and a destroyed pannier.

    I camp like a backpacker and use all standard backpacking techniques. Which basically means food, and anything with a scent (toothpaste, soap, coffee, etc), goes into a bear cannister and placed 100+ feet downhill from my tent (or in a bear box if installed at the campsite). Stove always stays outside (cooking odors / splashes). Never take anything into your tent that has been in contact with food (I don't even put gum or mints in my riding gear pockets because I take them into the tent). Some really paranoid backpackers will leave clothes outside that they've worn while cooking.

    Seems like a lot of fuss but it's easy once you get into the habit.

    Breakfast suggestion: Mountain House Breakfast Skillet.

    Don't forget you need plenty of water if you're using freeze dried food.
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  5. f800kris

    f800kris Been here awhile

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    Had not thought about toothpaste a s deodorant. Thx
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  6. f800kris

    f800kris Been here awhile

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    Thanks sir. Great advice
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  7. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    I wouldn't worry about what foods to bring much unless you like carrying fried bacon snacks. Just make sure you keep your food and scented stuff safely secured away from your tent, like 100ft. Also, cook 100ft away from your tent if possible and leave your pots and stove there at night.

    When camping in bear country, I always carry my bear can on the bike
    Bear can.JPG

    I don't even worry about keeping the clothes I cook in out of my tent. Just don't wipe your smelly, greasy hands on them.
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  8. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    Another point I forgot to make about food: You also have to consider what to do with your trash. If you are using canned food in a backcountry location, you need to put the used can into your bearproof container and pack it out. Same thing if you're using freeze dried food but it's easier and cleaner because they have zip-lock type seals so you can just re-seal the empty/dirty package. Don't burn your food trash.

    And put your spoon and toothbrush (along with your toothpaste) into your bearproof container as well.

    I use a bear vault. They are somewhat awkward to fix to the bike but everything is lightweight if you're using freeze dried food so they can sit on the tail no problem (similar to what Motopsychoman has done in the previous post).

    https://www.rei.com/c/bear-resistant-food-containers

    I just put mine in a motorcycle specific tail bag which is then strapped down.
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  9. PNWet

    PNWet Long timer

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    Some campgrounds have bear vaults.

    Practice the PCT bear bag hang.

    I didn't know Pelican cases are bear resistant. I know their coolers are, but I've not been able to find any info on the cases. Anyone have experience with this?
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  10. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    Buy a bear bag, all food and trash goes in it. We even put all of kitchen in it.

    Then practice the food triangle.

    Carry bear spray. It is easier to spray and pray when you are woken in the middle of the night, with blurry eyes.

    08718892-1C58-4FB5-A28B-882757C9CD8E.jpeg
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  11. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    I always like to hang food near my buddy's tent.
    Notice the slice of pizza in this picture !!!!
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    I stopped cooking on back country ADV trips a long time ago. I know everyone is different and some folks love cooking while camping but to me it is such a PITA that there is no worth in doing it. I stopped for a whole host of reasons not including bears but if you include the bear issue it is even more of no-brainer to me to skip he whole cooking/food thing. When hiking in the back country you have no choice, you have to eat and you have to carry food with you. But on a motorcycle you have to go into town a couple times a day to "feed" the bike, so you might as well feed yourself then too. The food you can get at a local diner or Mexican restaurant or whatever is always going to be better and more convenient than doing it yourself. Take a look at your bike luggage when you don't have all this stuff packed: stove, fuel, mess kit, and camp food. Mine got bout 20% smaller and lighter. No more shopping for food, packing it, cooking it on a shitty stove, no more cleaning pots and pans in a creek, no more packing trash out, and no worry about bears. Try it it might work for you. It works for me.
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  13. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    I mostly avoid cooking dinner at my campsite when in bear country. If I'm going to cook dinner, I move a good distance (greater than a mile) away after cooking. I figure the actual cooking puts out the most scent and just want to minimize the amount of scent put out. Bears will be able to smell you from quite a distance even if you don't carry food - it's just a matter of trying to reduce the probability of attracting a bear. I always carry cook gear as sipping hot coffee while the sun rises is one of my favorite adv moments. Since I'll be leaving the area shortly, I figure that minimizes the time for a bear to cross the scent plume.

    I have a bear cannister now and while it's bulky, it's required in Yellowstone NP backcountry. It is rated as "bear proof." Bear resistant are not legal there but are better than nothing. One of my riding buddies works at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center ( https://grizzlyctr.givecloud.co/) in West Yellowstone which is one of the places where they certify "bear proof" and "bear resistant" containers. He supervises many of the tests and calls it bear CPR for one of the ways the 500+ lb bears get into bear resistant containers. Just imagining a bear doing that to my motorcycle panniers was enough to disabuse me of any notion the panniers would be a safe place to leave food. They have an interesting collection of containers there after they were tested.
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  14. cmattina

    cmattina Long timer

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    For myself, since it is really just a matter of mitigating the risk, rather than eliminating the risk... i just don't bring food into the tent....

    Bears will be attracted to your sent regardless of food smell (they're curious). They will also be attracted to the petroleum products on your bike (bears love seats and gas tanks). Of course, they love food most...

    Keep it away from your tent (whatever distance you're comfortable with) and just hope for the best. Put some pots and pans on your food so it will wake you up, and then pop off a bear banger.

    No matter what you do, you are just hoping for the best... there is no eliminating the risk.

    I am speaking from the experience of living in black bear country where they are in my neighborhood every year and i see them almost every ride in the spring and fall. I am much more concerned about Lyme disease than I am bears. Nymph ticks can infect you, and you'd never know it for months or years later.
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  15. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    I do wish bear bangers were legal here in the States, but they aren't.
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  16. cmattina

    cmattina Long timer

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    Even those little pen launcher ones? Even then, anything loud banging together is helpful.

    Of course... Not that I'd recommend breaking the law... Speeding is also illegal...
    #16
  17. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    Yup, they are not sold this side of the border.
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  18. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Bears are opportunists who are just looking for the easiest meal. Black bears are one thing, brown (Grizzly) bears are a completely different thing all together. A black bear will attack you if they feel threatened and will tear your shit up looking for an easy meal. Grizzly bears are known to hunt you down and eat you. You are protecting you shit from black bears, but you are protecting your life from Grizzly bears. Most black bear encounters that go bad come from surprising bears while hiking. Personally I'm not really worried about black bears. I don't cook or eat anywhere close to my tent and will try to stop and cook before moving down the trail to set my tent. I hang my pannier with my food and cooking gear using the PCT method when ever possible. https://theultimatehang.com/2013/03/19/hanging-a-bear-bag-the-pct-method/ If there are no trees that can support the PCT method, I will stash it at least 100 yards from my tent. In Grizzly country I will tend to not disperse camp and find a camp ground instead. Now days most Forest Service campgrounds in bear country will have bear boxes for your stinky shit. I carry two cans of bear spray, one stays with my cooking gear and one with my tent. Just remember that you sure don't want to discharge that bear spray while in your tent!

    I think this is the best vid on Grizzly bear safety:

    #18
  19. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    THIS....

    My two centavos input....
    Bear proof containers only piss a bear off, and chances are you'll not find the container after he/she's through with it.
    As far as sense of smell, I've seen vehicles torn apart because the owner had transported groceries home earlier that day... the smell lingers. Think about that for a minute or two..
    A local bear in my town had figured out how to open a car door to get at a bag of chips left inside... the car was parked on a slight tilt so when the bear got inside, the door closed behind him. The car was totaled.

    A boaters air horn can works well for helping a bear move on, although not guaranteed :arg

    Hang your stuff off a very high limb if you're able to.
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  20. f800kris

    f800kris Been here awhile

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    Good video!!
    #20