Be a good ambassador- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Be a good ambassador

    Common sense more than anything.
    As most in the bikepacking community know, we should be committed to the mantra of "leave no trace". In fact when I had a meeting with the park ranger for a local state park, he was astounded to learn that cyclists regularly frequented out of the way parts of the park and camped as they passed through. It all boils down to our mantra.

    Ways to make ourselves unwelcome is by not knowing appropriate laws and not taking care when in big critter territory. Little shows more poorly on us than high visibility stories such as this.


    This is much like the Tour Divide of a couple of years ago when it was a very wet June in the upper portions. Cyclists used motel towels to wipe mud and grime off of their bikes. It made for us being unwelcome at a lot of businesses.
    Help chart the mountains at www.appalachianbiketrails.org

  2. #2
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    How do you go to Banff/Lake Louise and not think there might be bears? Seems like a lame excuse.

  3. #3
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    I met a cyclist in BC who was touring from AK to somewhere in the US who slept with his food in his tent by his head to keep "an eye on it" and prevent animals from getting at it. No joke. I pointed out why that was a bad idea and he pushed back saying it had been working great for the past weeks so it must be a good plan.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  4. #4
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    Banff guy

    Texans gonna Tex.

    Don't act surprised

  5. #5
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I met a cyclist in BC who was touring from AK to somewhere in the US who slept with his food in his tent by his head to keep "an eye on it" and prevent animals from getting at it. No joke. I pointed out why that was a bad idea and he pushed back saying it had been working great for the past weeks so it must be a good plan.
    Kind of like claiming that seat belts are useless because one wasn't necessary for the past few weeks. People are frequently terrible at gauging risks and consequences...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    food in his tent by his head

    In areas where bears aren't habituated to humans this is actually good strategy.

    You have to tailor your methods to the area through which you're traveling.

  7. #7
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    In areas where bears aren't habituated to humans this is actually good strategy.

    You have to tailor your methods to the area through which you're traveling.
    Having grown up in Jasper National Park, where I spent a lot of time exploring and working in Canadian wilderness (populated by bears with various degrees of human-familiarity), I have to disagree with this, Mike. Bears, whether or not they have had contact with humans, are drawn to the smell of food--and they will thoroughly investigate anything that smells even remotely tasty. This includes things like Power Bars, energy drinks, bacon, toothpaste, etc. You really don't want a bear ripping a hole in your tent to extract your food bag out from under your head at 2:00 in the morning! Furthermore, even if sleeping with food were safe with un-habituated bears, you are extremely unlikely to encounter such bears in most places that people ride bikes.

    For anyone who wants to understand bear behavior, and learn how to avoid getting tangled up with one, I highly recommend reading Stephen Herrero's book, "Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance."

  8. #8
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    You're welcome to disagree with me, Toby, as I (in certain places on this planet) definitely disagree with the broad brush you're using.

    I'm not an expert on bears, but there *are* a lot of dead experts out there. When I first started traveling off piste in AK I believed as you do. I was quickly educated by people that had been traveling there for longer than I'd been alive, and *everything* I've seen since then supports "sleeping on your food" in areas where bears aren't habituated to humans.

    I still hang my food in the Lower 48.

  9. #9
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You're welcome to disagree with me, Toby, as I (in certain places on this planet) definitely disagree with the broad brush you're using.

    I'm not an expert on bears, but there *are* a lot of dead experts out there. When I first started traveling off piste in AK I believed as you do. I was quickly educated by people that had been traveling there for longer than I'd been alive, and *everything* I've seen since then supports "sleeping on your food" in areas where bears aren't habituated to humans.

    I still hang my food in the Lower 48.
    I'm pretty sure that Stephen Herrero knows more than both of us combined. He's the real deal, and he hasn't been eaten yet (unlike other experts that you reference).

    But neither of us has been eaten yet either, so let's hope that our luck continues to hold--regardless of how we choose to store our food.

  10. #10
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    if you are near a road system and can get food in a day or two. hang it.
    when you will not be able to be resupplied for 4-5 days or longer, sleep with it.

    just my take. it has worked for me.

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