Bear Canister Noob Question

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Feb 15, 2018
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I know this is old, but just wanted to say that I had a black bear get my pack one time and he scarfed down the insect repellent, which had DEET in it. He also loved toothpaste and deoderant. So after this I store anything with a scent in my canister. Definitely going to be ordering an Ursack soon though.
 

Pianomover

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May 25, 2019
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As a Ca hiker who doesn’t go where canisters are required mainly because most of it coincides with the no pets rule I highly recommend the ursack
 

Outdoor_Fool

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I know this is old, but just wanted to say that I had a black bear get my pack one time and he scarfed down the insect repellent, which had DEET in it. He also loved toothpaste and deoderant.
As @ParochialNimrod aptly described, anything with a scent can attract bears. Any new or interesting scent is game for the bear to investigate. Bears are awesomely curious and intelligent with an incredible sense of smell. When you go to bed in your tent, there should never be anything scented in there with you, good or bad. It's a short list of what can be in your tent with you and a lo-o-o-ong list of what should not.
 
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Yeah, I believe it was last year I was reading about a guy in his tent in Colorado that got his leg nipped by a bear while he was sleeping. He said he had nothing with scent except for a single candy bar wrapper that he thought would be safe. This is why if you are really trying to be safe you cannot even cook anywhere near where you will be sleeping for the night.

I am hoping that this year out west the extreme amount of moisture we had all winter and spring will provide plenty of berries or whatever else bears like to eat so encounters are as frequent as they have been lately.
 

Jackson

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I've spent a decent number of nights in grizzly and black bear country and until now never knew to put my bug spray in my bear bag. Whoops!
 

Shirt357

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I think sometimes people will think that you only need to put things that have a food or other tasty smell in the bear can, but I've always been told to essentially put anything with a scent in the can because its not just food scents that attract animals but any scent that is out of the ordinary for their environment... so hence I try to put everything from food to sunscreen to lip balm in there. Though more than once I did forget the bug spray.
 

Jackson

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I think sometimes people will think that you only need to put things that have a food or other tasty smell in the bear can, but I've always been told to essentially put anything with a scent in the can because its not just food scents that attract animals but any scent that is out of the ordinary for their environment... so hence I try to put everything from food to sunscreen to lip balm in there. Though more than once I did forget the bug spray.
That's a really good way of looking at it.

We were camped 500ish feet from an old elk carcass with a pile of bear scat next to it on my most recent trip to the Winds. The carcass looked pretty old, and the scat was at least a week or two old, so we decided it was probably fine to camp there. I'd probably have been a bit more nervous that night had I realized that I still had a decent bear attractant sitting in my tent's vestibule.
 

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