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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Critters on the Rancherias Trail?

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Offline Reid

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Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« on: December 29, 2009, 09:48:58 PM »
Hi folks.  I'm taking a small group of Scouts backpacking on the Rancherias Loop this weekend.  We normally hang "bear bags" in trees when we backpack, but I'm thinking we might be lacking tall trees along the Rancherias. :)

What do you all do with your food and smellables in BBRSP?

What's your opinon of putting them downwind in a waterproof river bag?  That bag would be fairly heavy, how about hanging them in a trash bag over a rock ledge?


Thanks!

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Offline Al

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2009, 12:04:13 AM »
Reid, I am not aware of a bear problem in BBRSP.  The desert campsites in the national park west of the Chisos don't have bear boxes nor any of the sites I've camped at in BBRSP.  Shouldn't be a problem. Be sure and talk to the rangers when you get there.  They are very good.

Al

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2009, 12:39:26 AM »
It's the little critters you need to worry about. They can find ways into almost any kind of bag of smellables, so matter where you hang it or how waterproof it is.

I took an Ursack with me in the mountains of Idaho. I don't know if any bears messed with it, but I watched several rodents get very frustrated with it and eventually leave it alone. It's pretty lightweight and holds six person-days of food and toiletries. It can be attached to any tree, branch, stock tie, whatever's handy. Obviously, the bigger the better if you're in bear country, but just in critter country, you want to attach it to something a little critter can't drag off.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2009, 07:59:50 AM »
It has been a few years but when we did the Rancherias loop we had no critter problems (Jeff is right, it will be the little critters not the bears to think about).  In the Bend, outside of the Chisos, I never hang my food and have never had a problem visitor.

That being said if you camp near the springs at Casa Reza and Rancherias springs there are large cottonwoods there you could hang food in.  It is these sites that will most likely have habituated mice and such.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Boojum1

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2009, 12:28:05 PM »
Javelinas could be a potential problem but I wouldn't think they had been habituated to food from campers.  I haven't been there in a while plus don't know the effect of potential road access to Rancherias springs from headquarters now.   Its a nice hike.  Enjoy.
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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 01:43:28 PM »
As a scout master with eagle scout son, the only critters you really need to worry about is the ones in class A or B uniform, they will eat you out of house and home. :rolling: :rolling:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline catz

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2009, 12:06:25 PM »
If you hike the Rancherias Loop the "standard way" (that is, counterclockwise), the hardest day by far is the first day.  So if your troops get worn out, you can tell them--correctly--that it gets a lot better the next day.

P.S.  I agree that you shouldn't have any problems with critters.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline troubledog

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Re: Critters on the Rancherias Trail?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2010, 12:11:29 PM »
We were down in Fresno canyon a few weeks ago.  There were coyotes around and some apparently came through our camp at night.  Lots of prints around the SUV, where we kept the food.

 


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