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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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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2014, 10:20:36 AM »
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?????????????????????

That is the question in debate.

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.

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



No where does it explicitly say that backpackers have to carry a bear canister.  It only says that if caching food and water you have to have it in a bear proof container.

Roberts question was the meaning of "Within all designated backcountry and zone campsites".  Does designated refer only to the backcountry sites like the ones in the Chisos or also to designated "zone campsites" of which the only ones I know of are the "primitive roadside sites" as suggested here on the park website under Backcountry Food Storage

In my reading/understanding "zone camping" is different. 

In any case, someone better find out if bear cans are now required for any non-Chisos backpacking (because there are bear boxes in the "designated campsites" and you certainly won't have a "vehicle" up there)  because that changes the entire picture all together and has never been printed, put on the web or mentioned to anyone I have talked to before and will by and large kill backpacking in the park as most folks will not buy or own a bear can.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 04:01:12 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline WL2

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2014, 11:58:44 AM »
There is an alternate view.  In a desert the loss of your water could be life threatening. So while you may think it is unnecessary, the consequences could be serious. 

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Offline wigfall

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2014, 08:36:25 PM »

No where does it explicitly say that backpackers have to carry a bear canister...

Um, uh, well, yes it does:

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.


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Offline mule ears

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2014, 09:00:36 PM »

No where does it explicitly say that backpackers have to carry a bear canister...

Um, uh, well, yes it does:

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.

wigfall, my friend, unless you are with the Park and know this as a fact then I will have to disagree with your interpretation until someone who is of authority can verify it, and show me in official writing.  Until then no more needs to be said.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline wigfall

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2014, 09:10:07 PM »
This is where I got the information, or conformation as to what the rule means 1-432-477-2251

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Offline dprather

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2014, 11:31:59 PM »
May I suggest that we ask a Big Bend fed (maybe the widely respected Ranger Rob) a specific question and get a specific answer?

I am reminded of a story from the PBS Civil War series.

Shortly after his assignment to a general's staff, Custer observed the general arguing with his staff about the depth of a river.  Disgusted with the talk, Custer wheeled his horse into the middle of the river and announced, "This is how deep it is."

With deepest personal regards for everyone on here and for their treasured advice, none of us issues tickets or refuses permits.

Specific question: am I gona have to haul a bear-proof something with me in October when, Lord willing, I do MDA?  Am I gone have to haul a bear-proof something with me when I backpack the Bend?

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2014, 07:04:09 AM »
May I suggest that we ask a Big Bend fed (maybe the widely respected Ranger Rob) a specific question and get a specific answer?

I am reminded of a story from the PBS Civil War series.

Shortly after his assignment to a general's staff, Custer observed the general arguing with his staff about the depth of a river.  Disgusted with the talk, Custer wheeled his horse into the middle of the river and announced, "This is how deep it is."

With deepest personal regards for everyone on here and for their treasured advice, none of us issues tickets or refuses permits.

Specific question: am I gona have to haul a bear-proof something with me in October when, Lord willing, I do MDA?  Am I gone have to haul a bear-proof something with me when I backpack the Bend?

Exactly as I said 5 posts above

Quote
In any case, someone better find out if bear cans are now required for any non-Chisos backpacking (because there are bear boxes in the "designated campsites" and you certainly won't have a "vehicle" up there)  because that changes the entire picture all together and has never been printed, put on the web or mentioned to anyone I have talked to before and will by and large kill backpacking in the park as most folks will not buy or own a bear can.

dprather why don't you also call the park and ask about this.  I think I will write and maybe call too.

This is where I got the information, or conformation as to what the rule means 1-432-477-2251

Mr. wigfall, why didn't you say earlier that you had talked to them directly?  When do they plan to make the new rule effective?  Did they have a rationalization and did they say if and how they plan to let the backpacking public know?  Do they plan on providing or renting bear cans to people who show up unprepared because they had no clue it was now a rule?

As I said before, this will effectively kill any non-Chisos backpacking.  Might be a business opportunity for the local outfitters, renting canisters.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 09:18:28 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 dprather

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2014, 08:48:14 AM »
I've got an email into the park now.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline dprather

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Bear-proof containers necessary for BiBe backpackers
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2014, 01:50:02 PM »
I have been in direct contact with NPS personnel at BiBe and they have kindly confirmed that backpackers who travel overnight into Zone-camping areas are now required to have and use bear-proof containers.

They reference page 11 of the most recent Supt's Compendium.

They are working on a list of approved containers.

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Don H

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Re: Bear-proof containers necessary for BiBe backpackers
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2014, 02:06:14 PM »
That is so F'd up! :banghead:
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Bear-proof containers necessary for BiBe backpackers
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2014, 02:10:48 PM »
On the plus side, I've heard that most bear canisters can double as stools when in camp. :icon_rolleyes:

Anyone care to take bets on whether or not they put this information online anywhere other than the Compendium? I wonder how many BIBE visitors who aren't members here are even aware of that document's existence.

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2014, 03:21:14 PM »
Water would have a scent, depending on what's in it.  However, pure water has none.  So, would filtered and/or purified water have a scent? 

I understand that ammonia has a scent that actually deters bears.  If this is true, would it work to add a small amount of ammonia to cached water in order to keep bears away? 

What is the need for this new bear canister rule?  Is there an incident that anyone can point to?  Is this somehow related to the now dual purpose of park personnel (park admin/border security)?  If so, maybe the rule has something to do with water caching for the purpose of human trafficking.  I just don't see a practical purpose that has anything at all to do with park visitor safety.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2014, 04:10:22 PM »
Anyone care to ask how many bears in the past 10 years have been killed or relocated because they raided zone campsites and endanger hikers??????

3 years ago( maybe 2) there was a bear running around the Chisos parking lot during Thanksgiving.  Pretty sure that bear didn't follow a zone camper back from his backpacking trip following unprotected food smells.

How many backpackers base camp out in the zone areas?  I bet I am one of the few who actually use a base camp and return after a climb or day hike.   Most everyone else is traveling through and always has their pack beside them.  Are there ANY numbers on how many times a zone backpacker lost  his food to bear that can support this change?

"Welcome to BB. Oh, you want to backpack?  Sure.  First I need to see your ID.  Now, you must carry this 4 pound plastic tube, and remember, don't take water from the springs, because the wildlife need it more than you......"

Why don't they address a real problem and ask backpackers to present their shovel and used toilet paper baggies?
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Offline mule ears

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2014, 04:33:06 PM »
Not that there is any real good rationalization for hikers to have to carry bear canisters in Big Bend but my guess is that it is problems at roadside campsites that has prompted this.  A few years ago they closed the Glenn Springs sites for a while because of bear activity. 

It kills me that the approx. 26 bears in the park (1 bear for every 48 square miles) are this much of an influence.  In the Smokies there are 1500 bears (2 bears per square mile) and you don't have to carry a bear canister.  They do now have cables at every campsite to hang your food at night though.

OK so here are your main options for bear cans



The one of the far right is the largest and most space per oz., weighs 36 oz. but is made of carbon fiber and costs $275   :icon_eek:

The blue ones are the Bearvault 450 and 500.  The little one can hold 4 days food and weighs 33 oz. and can be found on sale for around $45 and the big one can hold 7 days food, weighs 41 oz. and can be found for around $60.

I think the other one is the Bare Boxer but not sure.  All other cans are heavier than the Bearvaults and more expensive.

Here is the list of containers allowed in Yosemite, the brains at Big Bend will not find or approve anything different.

Oh and you have to have a pack big enough to get it into or strap it onto.  Let's see, 2 pounds equals one more quart of water that will come out of the springs too.   :eusa_doh:
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 07:10:56 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline badknees

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Re: New food and water storage/caching rules
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2014, 09:21:46 PM »
Another asinine rule. I believe that the bcrats want to deter as many people as possible from walking on "their" park. The facts and history don't indicate any need for this type of inconvenience for bpackers. There is stupidity and/or dishonesty at work here. You watch....all the rangers are going to hide behind the rule book now. Like a bunch of stupid robots. Spineless bunch too!.  That's what happens when you put idiots in a position of oblique power. This really pisses me off........Sorry.
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