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[pct-l] Thru-Hikers and cans (was Scary bear story & not hangingfood)

I'm ALMOST speechless...

Laws ARE laws, and if you think they need changing, there's an elected
rep out there to talk to. As far as the validity of the laws on this
particular issue, I think your perspective is a bit skewed (at least
from mine, and I'm a proud card-carrying member of the wacko-RIGHT

>From what I understand, the park services are trying to keep the bears
from getting used to equating people with food source - in a non-lethal
(to people AND bears) manner. From what I've heard, once a bear begins
to go after people for food, the rangers have to kill it. That's a
bummer for everyone involved, not just the bear.

What was that ratio of thru-hiker to "weekenders"? and I imaging the
ratio of  thru-hikers who's base weight is 8 pounds vs. those in the
teens is about as disproportionate. To change the current policy from
co-existence to hunting because a handful of park visitors are
inconvenienced is a bit extreme...

Someone wrote a day or so ago on this thread that "We're the trespassers
in the bear's home" (or something to that effect). Don't you think you
could accommodate the park service's polices in their efforts to address
this issue?

Sure, cans are big. They're heavy. They're expensive (I'd be more
inclined to attack this aspect more than the overall need for cans).

An 8 pound base weight? Impressive. I'd more grumble about the weight of
a can if my base weight was up in the high 20's (which it is, BTW. I'm
not a thru-hiker...yet). but if you're already down to 8 pounds, I'd say
you could afford the additional weight of the can. If you REALLY wanted
to go ultra light, you'd forage naked along the trail.

I carried a Garcia can for the first time last week in the GTW. Inyo
station didn't require it, but they "strongly recommended" them. The
weight, for me, wasn't an issue. My 35 pound pack fits VERY comfortably
on my back. The size wasn't a problem either. I stuffed everything I had
to into the can, so the volume it occupied in my pack was the same even
if I hadn't carried it.

It WAS nice to not have to fool around with counterbalancing. I was
HOPING a bear found the can because I wanted to see just how well the
can survived afterward. But no animal took interest in it.

And I've heard that they make great camp stools!

So you advocate "limited" hunting to address this issue instead of the
above? Let' say this happens. Do you think the bears will stay away from
the scent of food because it'll become scared of people? I imagine
teaching bears to be scared of people by hunting them is like giving
someone and education, then hanging him. The lesson is lost upon

A question for the thru-hikers: Is carrying a can REALLY that serious of
a problem in the areas where they're required? Don't they go into the
bounce boxes when they're not needed?

That all said, I'm looking forward to the BV200 passing the test and
becoming conditionally approved! Even when cans are not required, I'll
probably still pack something like that. There are a lot of other
critters out there that get into hung food besides bears...

My not-so-humble opinions.

M i c h a e l   S a e n z
McLarand Vasquez Emsiek & Partners, Inc.
A r c h i t e c t u r e    P l a n n i n g    I n t e r i o r s
w  w  w  .  m  v  e  -  a  r  c  h  i  t  e  c  t  s  .  c  o  m

-----Original Message-----
From: dude [mailto:dude@fastmail.ca] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 1:50 PM
To: pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: [pct-l] Thru-Hikers and cans (was Scary bear story & not

> I have come to the belief that the whole issue of cans and some of the
> thru-hikers that are so against cans is not one of discomfort or
> inconvenience, but rather one of rebellion, one of attitude and belief
> that thru-hikers are above the rules.

I disagree.  I cannot even fit a bear can into my 1900 c.i. pack.  When 
I trail ran the JMT, I carried a 900 c.i. lumbar pack, no cannister 
will even come close to fitting in there.

Carrying a can goes against the whole "ultra-light" philosophy.  If my 
entire pack base-weight is 8lbs, adding 3 more lbs is increasing my 
base weight by nearly 40%!!!  Why should I try to eliminate EVERY 
single item in my pack that doesn't have multiple uses, except for 
one?  The bear can reverses all my hard work of getting pack weight 
down to an absolute minimum.

Then there is also the cost issue.  Bear cans are not cheap, you cannot 
easily rent them on a thru-hike, and they do not provide any usefulness 
for hikes where they are not required.  It will end up being just 
another item in my garage.

The park service should look at their policy on bears.  Bears are not 
endangered, and they are not threatened.  If they would allow very 
limited and well-managed bear hunting in the park, bears would very 
quickly become scared of people (the way its supposed to be) and would 
no longer bother hikers and campers.  Why is is illegal to carry a gun 
to protect yourself, your spouse, or your children from a bear, but it 
is not illegal to carry a gun to protect livestock???  Is this not the 
ultimate left-wing wacko law??  when cattle and mules are more 
important to protect than human beings, something is definitely awry.  
I understand that people *might* abuse the law if it were legal to 
shoot bears to protect people, but surely we could figure out another 
way around this.

I know that this will unleash a huge backlash of environmentalist 
rhetoric, but there is nothing wrong with discussion.  tht's why we are 
on this list, right?

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