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Thread: Bear Stuff...

  1. #1
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    Bear Stuff...

    When you guys go camping do you take a bear-proof container or hang a bag up in a tree? Can anyone confirm that there are bear lockers at Bertha Creek or Granite Creek? I'm sure I read it somewhere, but I can't find it now. Maybe I should take my cat and tie her out as an early warning device

    Google: Bertha Creek has bear lockers http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach/cab...ng/bertha.html

    Both Bertha Creek and Granite Creek Campgrounds don't officially open until Memorial Day. Will it be a problem if I camp there?

    My "55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska" book says that camping is unrestricted in Chugach National Forest, so I guess I could pull off anywhere and camp out...
    Last edited by daveIT; 05-15-2007 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    It should not be a problem, I have camped many times at Porcupine (Hope) before Memorial Day and have actually found that is the best time to go. Less crowds and the best sites are first come, first serve...rather than reserved weeks in advance.

    I just checked on www.recreation.gov and looks like they are accepting reservations prior to Memorial Day. The flipside to just showing up is that it's always nice to know that you're guaranteed a spot.

    ...and yes I have also read about and witnessed the camp anywhere phenomenon (sp) but I've got to think there are some sort of limits. I just have not had the balls or the need to test them yet.

  3. #3
    Diaskeuast
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    I can't say for sure that there are no bear-proof lockers at Granite Creek, but I've camped there twice and never noticed any. The problem with hanging food in Alaska is that it can be difficult to find good, sturdy branches in our scrawny spruce trees.

    The last time I managed to get a bag up in a tree, I felt bad because it seemed like I was damaging the limb. Granite Creek is heavily wooded, so you can probably find a decent tree. Bear cans are hard to beat, but they're cumbersome and a little heavy.
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  4. #4
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    If you are car camping, why don't you just leave your food and stinky items in the car?

  5. #5
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    I'm riding my bike down! I guess I could just take a bunch of salami and shove it in the frame tubes.

    I don't know why I'm worrying...last time we camped at Bird Creek the whole site was full of bear sh!t and there were well-traveled paths through the site. I didn't get eaten then.

  6. #6
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    Sorry, your post didn't say anything about riding down.

    They make these kevlar like stuff sacks that are claimed to be bear proof. It took a little while for the bears at the Anchorage zoo to get through them during a trial, but if you used them to stuff your food (reduce smell) and slung them over a branch it might give you a little reassurance. You also may not have to be so picky about how skookum your tree set up is. If I remember correctly, as Timwooody said, those campgrounds are usually in the big trees.

    People have been camping/hunting in bear copuntry for years while not using bear proof containers. If you keep a clean camp and cook away from your tent and stored your food away from your tent you can reduce your chance of direct interaction. There are not many food conditioned bears in Alaska, however, southcentral and the Kenai (particularly campgrounds) may be the place to find them. If your food is far enough away from your tent, but close enough to see/hear, then you may be able to chase 'em away. In that situation, the worse case scenario - bear gets food (hopefully doesn't start a new behavior on the reward system) and you have to buy twinkies and jerky at a little store on the side of the road. I guess it is all about reducing the risk to whatever degree is in your control.
    Last edited by Valhalla; 05-16-2007 at 10:16 AM.

  7. #7
    Alaska Turner Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveIT
    I don't know why I'm worrying...last time we camped at Bird Creek the whole site was full of bear sh!t and there were well-traveled paths through the site. I didn't get eaten then.
    I was just at Bertha Cr and man was I worried. This bruiser came up the creek into my campsite, 1400 lbs of man-shredding claws. He came in slowly, hesitant. I sensed that he feared he may have intruded on a camper that might do him harm. I stood from my tent door, our eyes crossed, we sized each other up. A stare down ensued that lasted about fifteen seconds as he lifted his nostrils and inhaled my machismo. His instincts alerted him to danger, not to take on the Rando, he showed reluctance. He bowed his head and started to backtrack, I continued my glare as I snapped a photo. He read my thoughts, that if he didn't back off I'd charge him and make him my victim. He crossed Bertha Cr downstream, showing only his rear in embarassment because it had been years since he encountered an intimidating adversary. I snorted at him as a reminder he was in my territory. His sharp hearing accepted, and he broke into a lope to escape. I proceeded to mark the nearest tree.
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  8. #8
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    So what your saying is I'll be safer if I just lay my bivy on the centerline of the Seward Highway. Should I do that where the highway is 2 lanes or 4?

  9. #9
    Alaska Turner Mafia
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    Start drinking some pimp juice!

    Rando
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

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