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New food and water storage/caching rules, Bear canisters in the Bend

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Offline mule ears

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If you are just finding this thread read through it all but at least read page 5 with the latest details from the NPS

Well the 2014 Compendium is out and it looks like the heads in charge have read our thoughts and fears and it now looks official as to food and water have to be in bear proof containers if remotely cached.   :eusa_doh:

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Within all designated backcountry and zone campsites, any food, food product, cooking utensil, food
garbage, used food containers or other aromatic products (including soap, toothpaste, deodorants, etc.,)
must be stored inside a vehicle or in a container that will prevent bears or other wildlife from acquiring
the items, when the items are not actually being transported, prepared or consumed.

The caching of food and water by backcountry users is prohibited unless the food and water is stored in a
bear-resistant container.*
*Only bear resistant containers that have been certified and approved by the Interagency Grizzly
Bear Committee (IGBC) and or the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) may be used.
Bear proof containers are defined as securable container constructed of solid non-pliable material
capable of withstanding a minimum of 300 foot-pounds of energy. When secured under stress, the
container will not have any cracks, openings, or hinges that would allow a bear, or other animal,
to gain entry by biting or pulling with its claws. Wood containers are not considered bear
(animal) resistant unless reinforced by metal.
*Note that (most) ice chests and coolers, tents, dry bags, stuff sacks, or plastic packing boxes
(Totes, Action Packers, etc) are not bear resistant containers. “Bear Bagging”, where items such
as food or other perishables are placed in a bag, or other container, and then suspended in the air
out of reach of a bear using a rope is not permitted.
*Currently Big Bend NP is developing a list of approved IGBC or SIBBG containers that may be
used in the park. Until that list is developed campers may use IGBC and SIBBG containers that
have been approved for use at other national parks. That list can be found at:
www.sierrawild.gov.
The cached food and water must be labeled with the owner’s name and expected date of removal. Water
and/or food must be cached at least 100 yards from historic structures and trails.

So in thinking about this and doing some quick research there are no bear proof water only containers but the BearVault 500 that I use and is the cheapest approved container out there (you can get them on sale for about $60) not only will hold 7 days food but also will hold nearly 3 gallons of water (11.5 liters) if you can find a bladder type bag(s) to put in it because they are not water tight.  That is about as much water as I have ever cached anyway so maybe not too bad other than the cost and hassle.

Thoughts?

« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 08:26:10 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline iCe

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 12:02:03 PM »
Nifty

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Offline catz

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 04:11:01 PM »
Well, there are bear boxes at both Homer Wilson and at the Juniper trailhead.  As well as throughout the Chisos, of course, and at some of the back country sites.  They are not water only but I'm sure it's fine to stash water in any or all of them.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 05:20:39 PM »
Well, there are bear boxes at both Homer Wilson and at the Juniper trailhead.  As well as throughout the Chisos, of course, and at some of the back country sites.  They are not water only but I'm sure it's fine to stash water in any or all of them.

All true and I have left plenty of water in the bear boxes.  I am thinking more about long cross country walks like trtlrocks or Roberts or some of mine where leaving some water at points makes them possible.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline iCe

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 06:13:16 PM »
What about a simple day trip around the South Rim? Does this mean no more camelbak or backpack with 1 liter water bottles in it?


What about hiking down to Burro Mesa Pouroff, or into Sante Elena or Boquillas Canyon?

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Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 10:53:04 PM »
What about a simple day trip around the South Rim? Does this mean no more camelbak or backpack with 1 liter water bottles in it?


What about hiking down to Burro Mesa Pouroff, or into Sante Elena or Boquillas Canyon?
These rules are for leaving an unattended cache to be picked up at a later date.  This isn't going to affect day hiking or anything you carry in your pack.

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Offline iCe

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 08:16:08 AM »
Ok thanks.


Did something trigger the change? Seems like we would have heard if Yogie and Boo Boo had raided someone's cache... or pic-a-nic basket?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 08:23:15 AM by iCe »

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Offline Robert

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2014, 09:21:11 AM »
As a quick test, I blew up some of my 70 oz Platypus bottle with air and put them in my BV500. I got 3 bottles in the BearVault, so roughly a gallon and a half of water. It was a pretty tight fit so you might not be able to get the bottles completely full.

This rule might have some unintended consequences. First, people may increase their reliance on springs which the park has discouraged. Second, people may end up caching less water or hike to springs that are dry and end up running out of water. I've always brought lots of water with me to the park and usually cached an ample supply. But this now puts a constraint on how you prepare for your trip.

Also, how is this rule to be interpreted?

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Within all designated backcountry and zone campsites, any food, food product, cooking utensil, food
garbage, used food containers or other aromatic products (including soap, toothpaste, deodorants, etc.,)
must be stored inside a vehicle or in a container that will prevent bears or other wildlife from acquiring
the items, when the items are not actually being transported, prepared or consumed.

Does this mean all "designated zone campsites" or just all "zone campsites". Are there any designated zone campsites?  Since almost nobody zone camps near a bear box, it sounds like you are required to hike with a bear canister.

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Offline wigfall

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2014, 10:24:59 AM »

Also, how is this rule to be interpreted?

Quote
Within all designated backcountry and zone campsites, any food, food product, cooking utensil, food
garbage, used food containers or other aromatic products (including soap, toothpaste, deodorants, etc.,)
must be stored inside a vehicle or in a container that will prevent bears or other wildlife from acquiring
the items, when the items are not actually being transported, prepared or consumed.

Does this mean all "designated zone campsites" or just all "zone campsites". Are there any designated zone campsites?  Since almost nobody zone camps near a bear box, it sounds like you are required to hike with a bear canister.


I don't see any necessary interpretation. Everything in the list whether at a designated back country site (Pine Canyon #4, Talley #1 etc) or while zone camping (Dodsen zone, Blue creek zone etc) must be in the car or in an approved bear proof container.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 12:32:29 PM »
As a quick test, I blew up some of my 70 oz Platypus bottle with air and put them in my BV500. I got 3 bottles in the BearVault, so roughly a gallon and a half of water. It was a pretty tight fit so you might not be able to get the bottles completely full.

Yes with something like a platypus container it would be hard to get more in but if you had a totally flexible bladder from like box wine or something that could fill the whole interior in theory you could get almost 3 gallons in.

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This rule might have some unintended consequences. First, people may increase their reliance on springs which the park has discouraged. Second, people may end up caching less water or hike to springs that are dry and end up running out of water. I've always brought lots of water with me to the park and usually cached an ample supply. But this now puts a constraint on how you prepare for your trip.


My thoughts too.  People either won't try long, off trail trips or may get in trouble. 

I have said before that in the Sierra or anywhere else in the Rockies that require bear containers they only require food or smelly items be stored in them.  In BBNP they have said they did not want the bears getting into water containers too.  I guess as a desert they don't want to have bears get habituated to "man made" water.  The difference between Big Bend and Sierra or Rockies is there is abundant water in those mountainous areas for the bears to have.  It would be great if one of the Wildlife folks like Raymond Skiles could explain their thinking on this and the research behind it.

I am planning a trip to Death Valley this winter and you can cache food and water in any container you want (you also don't have to have a permit either but they do ask that you get a "free backcountry permit" just for record keeping purposes) but then no bear there just mtn. lions, badgers, coyotes, etc.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Robert

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2014, 12:36:25 PM »
I don't see any necessary interpretation. Everything in the list whether at a designated back country site (Pine Canyon #4, Talley #1 etc) or while zone camping (Dodsen zone, Blue creek zone etc) must be in the car or in an approved bear proof container.

Interesting. That paragraph does not mention "approved bear proof container". Unless you believe that "caching" applies to storage of food while not transporting, preparing or consuming it, I'm not sure how you can make that connection.

The Yosemite website explicitly talks about storage of food in a  "allowed bear-resistant food container" anytime food is not within arms reach. http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanisters.htm

The Mount Rainier website discusses rules on caching in the context of storing food for future use along a route. They do allow plastic buckets.
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/caching-food-and-fuel.htm


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Offline wigfall

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2014, 01:42:20 PM »
I don't see any necessary interpretation. Everything in the list whether at a designated back country site (Pine Canyon #4, Talley #1 etc) or while zone camping (Dodsen zone, Blue creek zone etc) must be in the car or in an approved bear proof container.

Interesting. That paragraph does not mention "approved bear proof container". Unless you believe that "caching" applies to storage of food while not transporting, preparing or consuming it, I'm not sure how you can make that connection.

The Yosemite website explicitly talks about storage of food in a  "allowed bear-resistant food container" anytime food is not within arms reach. http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanisters.htm

The Mount Rainier website discusses rules on caching in the context of storing food for future use along a route. They do allow plastic buckets.
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/caching-food-and-fuel.htm

Um...

"The caching of food and water by backcountry users is prohibited unless the food and water is stored in a
bear-resistant container.*"

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Offline mule ears

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2014, 04:24:20 PM »
Also, how is this rule to be interpreted?

Quote
Within all designated backcountry and zone campsites, any food, food product, cooking utensil, food
garbage, used food containers or other aromatic products (including soap, toothpaste, deodorants, etc.,)
must be stored inside a vehicle or in a container that will prevent bears or other wildlife from acquiring
the items, when the items are not actually being transported, prepared or consumed.

Does this mean all "designated zone campsites" or just all "zone campsites". Are there any designated zone campsites?  Since almost nobody zone camps near a bear box, it sounds like you are required to hike with a bear canister.

Because it mentions vehicles I assume the zone campsites are the primitive roadside campsites.  Front country camping appears to only apply to the 3 developed campgrounds and all other designated sites are backcountry (Chisos and roadside).  But it could be interpreted that one has to hike with a bear canister.  I hope not!   >:(
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline wigfall

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2014, 06:34:40 PM »
Also, how is this rule to be interpreted?

Quote
Within all designated backcountry and zone campsites, any food, food product, cooking utensil, food
garbage, used food containers or other aromatic products (including soap, toothpaste, deodorants, etc.,)
must be stored inside a vehicle or in a container that will prevent bears or other wildlife from acquiring
the items, when the items are not actually being transported, prepared or consumed.

Does this mean all "designated zone campsites" or just all "zone campsites". Are there any designated zone campsites?  Since almost nobody zone camps near a bear box, it sounds like you are required to hike with a bear canister.

Because it mentions vehicles I assume the zone campsites are the primitive roadside campsites.  Front country camping appears to only apply to the 3 developed campgrounds and all other designated sites are backcountry (Chisos and roadside).  But it could be interpreted that one has to hike with a bear canister.  I hope not!   >:(



No, the zone campsites are like what people do when they do the OML (Blue Creek zone, Dodsen zone etc, or Banta shutin, Tornillo zone). These would require a bear container that you provide. The roadside sites are just that, on a back countrey road, like say Grapevine #5 or Terlengua abaja #2.  So you gotta keep your stuff in the car, or the bear box if the site has one.

What is says is that if you are backpacking into a zone, you have to have a bear container. AND if you are gonna cache some food or water, its' gotta be in a bear container.

If you are backpacking into the High Chisos, and staying olny in a desiganted site, like say Southest 4,  then you dont need the container since there is a bear box in each site.

Hers the ZONE camping explaination from the park:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc-zone_camping.htm


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Offline dprather

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2014, 10:11:32 PM »
Hold it.

I just got back from outta the country.

Does t his mean I have to store my potato soup and crackers in a bear container if I'm backpacking the Dodson?????????????????????
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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