quote:Originally posted by Dru
Keeping your food in your car is a good way to teach bears that breaking into cars gets them fed. Lots of bears in Yosemite know how to break into cars now thanks to people storing food in the car.
They've been training bears in Yosimite to be conditioned to humans and how to get their food for years and years, though. Parent bears actually teach baby bears how to do it. Up here, as a general rule, the bears haven't quite figured out how to use the slim jim...
Keeping food locked in the trunk of your car is recommended at many (one could almost say most, but that would be assuming too much) Provincial Parks in BC. As a PFO, I had three things that I told People. 1) We have never had a problem here with bears, and we don't intend to. Don't keep anything that smells like food in your tent; keep it in your vehicle. 2) Firewood is free here. Don't go nuts. Keep the fires small. 3) We collect depositable recycling. Don't throw it in the trash. Put it at the end of your picnic table when you leave.
Don't believe me? Here's an excerpt from the Bear People Conflict Plan from BC Parks:
Most frontcountry campers are expected to provide some type of secure food storage (e.g.,the trunk of vehicles). Coolers left unattended in the open are not secure from bears. Food storage lockers have been installed in some campsites where the level of bear-people incidents indicates they are needed. For example, steel lockers have been installed in Mount Robson Provincial Park at four different sites (H. Mulyk, pers. commun. 2001) and at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park where grizzly habitat is adjacent to the campground (H. Markides, pers. commun., 2001). This also benefits campers travelling without secure food storage capabilities (cyclists, hikers, etc.). Other methods of bear-proof food storage
include secure, small buildings, elevated caches and canisters (see also Backcountry areas).
Yes, that is not the case everywhere, but I would hope that those places that it is an exception (Mount Robson, Yosemite), they will provide you with the appropriate alternative.
As I said earlier, there were a couple of times when I confiscated people's food (and dirty dishes) because they hadn't secured it before leaving, even after I explained it to them. I gave it back when they got back. Better me than a bear. And if a bear associates food with campsite, they'll figure out the lovely smell coming from this vehicle is food, and that's when you have serious problems.
My favourite story was about a tenter who woke up, heard something outside her tent. She unzipped the window to see a mamma black bear and two cubs on the other side of the campsite...eating fireweed. They hadn't learned to associate food with campsites (other than the fireweed grows better at the edge of the clearing), or to associate cars with food.
I never get lost. It's just that sometimes, I'm not sure where I am.