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[pct-l] Re: stealth camping & bears

On Fri, 2 Jan 1998 19:46:11 EST LDRice4 <LDRice4@aol.com> writes:
>  I know there's some controversy over this, but I would suggest
> not bear bagging and just not eating where you camp and stealth camping
> well away from water sources and established camp areas. The typical
thru-hiker just >doesn't have the time to worry about bear bagging every

   Lemme suggest something easier: put your food (cooked/uncooked,
wrapped/unwrapped, smelly or no) anyplace, anytime - just make sure you
are right next to it, 24 hours a day. Bears may attack people in
predation or defense, but black bears don't "attack" to get food; if they
realize they'll have to fight you first before tasting your vittles, then
they will be safe from your inadvertently feeding them. If the idea of
"defending" your edibles is a problem, then use bear boxes or canisters,
or hang in places where the counterbalance method is still effective (ask
the rangers about this). Camping away from established sites, keeping
smells down, etc _helps_, but is no guarantee; pissing on rocks, etc., is
silly/useless. You should be 100% sure that no bear will _ever_ have
access to your food. If anyone feels he is to tired or "busy" (surely
thru-hiking doesn't make anybody too Important...) to follow this basic
wilderness ethic, they should adjust their schedule/priorities
accordingly. The likelihood of being caught-by-Smokey should never be a
factor, nor should "odds" or tales of other people's luck. Just a
thought: maybe many thru-hikers keep their food because of their unique
hiking style - if they spend all the daylight hours walking with packs on
their backs (food in the packs), eat a quick meal (food at their sides),
then crash in the tent (with their food), they may be unconsciously
following the plan I outlined above... Just make sure you don't deviate
from this and wander away from a food-containing pack or tent! Even if
you "get away with" leaving food around in bear country for years (& you
should never advise others to do the same), the one time a bear gets your
food makes you a Bad Guy, big time.
   You can tell from my near-sobbing tone that I feel very strongly about
this :-)    bj
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