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[at-l] re:scaring bears?

<<Bears are usually not the enemy.>>

Depends on where you're standing.  The places I hike the ARE the enemy! <g>

<<...as long as I have my pack and food bag IN MY PERSONAL POSSESSION ...>>

Gads, I'd only be in the way of the bear if I had food in my posession.

Where I go bears...

1. Are not afraid of people.

2.  Associate people with granola, gorp and other goodies

3.  Did I mention that they're not afraid of people?

I've had packs ruined by bears (two Kelty's), a pair of Vasque boots chewed by
bears, assorted gear mauled by bears licked by bear (in my tent at 2 o'clock
in the blessed AM!) and chased by bears.

I learned this from a group of deaf kids that regularly hiked Glacier Park.
Make noise.  Not like new years eve, but unnatural noise.  They tied bells on
their packs.  Rattled tin cans with rocks, _especially_ when approaching a
crest or turn in the trail.

Bears can and will climb things you'd never think they would.  I watched a
bear climb a 14' tall 4" diameter steel pole and rip the bottom out of a bivey
sack that had the grub of another group.  How can a bear do this you ask?
Hell, I don't know, but they're good at it.  They will also climb trees that
_won't_ support their weight.  Pulls the tree and your gear down.  I had a
bear step out onto a wire and try and shake our gear down.  This while 13 jr.
high age kids were throwing rocks as big as pineapples at it. I was trying to 
stop them but I was invisible to the kids and they were invisible to the bear.

They'll also dig underneath the fence in the front of a shelter and get into 
your stuff. I learned this at Mt. LeConte.  This LeConte bear wouldn't go away
even when we threw rocks at it.  Threw them hard and all she'd do is woof at
us and rush a few steps.  Bears are much more devious than people give them
credit.  They want your food.  You're just in the way.

Anyway, I seperate _all_ my food from the rest of my gear. Never eat or cook
where I sleep tie a rope between two trees HIGH and I use this _tough_ nylon
rope that a bear hasn't chewed through yet, (but tried). Then I pray the bears
don't show up.

Anyway, my two bits about black bears in the GSMNP.

Steve Hiller
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