We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bear Boxes?

Florida Space Coast
Level Contributor
38 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Bear Boxes?

We will be going on day hikes and like to carry lunches in a backpack that is with us at all times (never keep food items in the car) Do we need to put our lunches in a bear proof canister inside the backpack, and if so can ones small enough to fit in a small pack be rented in the park? After a rather intimidating encounter with a bear in the Smokey Mountains we have a very healthy respect for bears and other wildlife! I know we are going to be in their territory and just want to do the right thing. Should I make sure not to wear scented sunscreen, etc? I guess it is obvious that while I look forward to getting out on some good day hikes I don't want to encourage close encounters with bears during our mid October visit. Thanks!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
60,183 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bear Boxes?

Hi Loucee

We have collected some good information about Yosemite bears and linked it to the Top Questions in the upper right. Read that article so you can be better informed.

Bears are looking for an easy meal. If you are carrying your food, then it's not easy to get. If you leave it out on the backseat of your car, and walk away from your car, that's easy. If you leave your daypack under a bush while you go explore someplace else, that's easy. If you leave a bear locker open, that's easy. But again, if you have your food in your possession, it's not easy for a bear to get it; the bear will look for an easier lunch.

Scented sunscreen is fine. Aromatic lunch is fine. Just keep your food with you.

In addition to removing food from the car, also remove water bottles. Some bears have learned that a liquid container sometimes has a sweet drink inside. During the day you can put everything out of sight in the trunk of your car, in your hard sided cabin, or in a trailhead locker.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
2,266 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Bear Boxes?

Bear cans are only useful for trips in which you camp in the wilderness. In such a case you'd put your bear can a good distance from camp, since you don't want to be drawing the bears to your tent. The bear can is a useless and bulky piece of weight for a dayhike though. Just always keep your daypack in your physical possession and you'll be fine.

LA
Level Contributor
10,043 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Bear Boxes?

The Yosemite bears are nocturnal scavengers and opportunists looking for an unattended meal.

They are not aggressive and you would be very unlikely (some say very lucky) to even see one during the day.

I can't imagine you would need any sort of protection during the day unless you smeared yourself in bacon grease and left at trail of maple donuts behind you on the trail.

Mariposa, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
2,361 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bear Boxes?

Black bears in Yosemite do behave very differently from east coast bears (having lived in North Carolina as well as in the Yosemite area). Good advice above. As mentioned above, food/toiletries are ok in the car during daylight hours, as long as they are out of sight and windows of vehicle are completely closed. Backpacks within arms reach at all times is the park mantra as far as dayhiking. Honestly though, encountering a bear on a hike...pretty rare. Happens, but not as often as you'd think.

I wanted to add though that people often see bears in campgrounds at night, Yosemite bears are opportunistic at all times of day and night...there are plenty of youtube videos of bears approaching unattended picnic areas (and unattended backpacks) in broad daylight. I've also personally encountered numerous bears approaching unattended food along the river, picnic areas, and campgrounds (Yosemite Valley) in broad daylight. Granted I spend more time in the park than the average person, but it does definitely happen regularly enough.

Happy planning!

Florida Space Coast
Level Contributor
38 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Bear Boxes?

THANKS for all the helpful advice. Just received a new backpack for day hikes that has small cooler right in it. Will plan on keeping it right on my person at all times when we are out and about. I see by the replies that as long as I do that there is no need for the canister. That's what I needed to know, thank you all again.

6. Re: Bear Boxes?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 23 October 2012, 19:16