Winds and bear storage

amigo

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Mar 23, 2015
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I'll be in the Winds mid-August on a week-long backpack trip with a buddy of mine.
I have been reading some of the bear storage threads but one thing isn't clear to me. One common theme is that above tree-line, best to use a canister. Are there not enough large boulders or cliffs from which to hang an Ursack in Titcomb And Indian Basins? Are Ursacks approved in the Winds?
 
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TannerT

Hike Hard, Tread Lightly
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May 15, 2013
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Hola Amigo!

Mid-August is going to be a great time to be in the Winds! I've done the food storage both ways in the Winds. Yes, with some ingenuity, you can hang an ursack down a cliff. The easiest thing to do is to buy/rent a bear keg, or the like, and use that as a food container. It's a little heavier but a lot easier.
Have fun in the Winds!

Salud.
 

isleroyaleguy

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Jan 23, 2014
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We were in that same area last August and we did find it difficult to find suitable places to hang food. We did the best we could but were never really comfortable with our options. This year we will go with canisters. There is no rule on what you can or can't use. As far as I know.
You will love the Wind's
Cheers
IRG
 

Artemus

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x2 on no rules that regulate you. x2 that a Ursack is perfectly acceptable replacement for a cannister IMHO. I have seen video of bears climbing cliffs so I typically just tie my ursack to a krummholz tree or boulder well away from the tent while above treeline. NOTE: fyi the northern part of the range has had grizzly bears for some time now but they have not been seen and photographed as far south as the latitude of Lander (but up in the mountains).
 
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Bob

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All my trips I have used LokSack...supposedly odor proof. Also practice good bear country stuff .... clean camp, no smellies, cook away from sleeping, etc... I have always hung the food sacks, even if it a large boulder or stubby tree...you have small rodents ...
Most bears are seen on the Rez side in the timbered drainages.
 

amigo

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Mar 23, 2015
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Doesn't sound too promising for hanging in Titcomb Basin. How often does one see a ranger in Titcomb Basin? What is the penalty if an Ursack isn't hung in such an area?
 

isleroyaleguy

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Jan 23, 2014
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Doesn't sound too promising for hanging in Titcomb Basin. How often does one see a ranger in Titcomb Basin? What is the penalty if an Ursack isn't hung in such an area?
I don't think there are any rules on if or where or how you hang you food. It's more about keeping it safe from the small critters than anything. IMO.
You just do the best you can, wherever you camp in the Winds.
Cheers
IRG
 

JoshuaDyal

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Mar 16, 2015
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Doesn't sound too promising for hanging in Titcomb Basin. How often does one see a ranger in Titcomb Basin? What is the penalty if an Ursack isn't hung in such an area?
Hardly ever see a ranger, and doesn't matter if you do. The only penalty is if a bear stumbles across your food. There is no legal penalty at all.
 

amigo

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Mar 23, 2015
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I see. I thought there was a rule.
Well, tying the bag to a rock (if can't hang it) should keep an Ursack from critters, no?
 

isleroyaleguy

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seekinglost

formerly metalbackpacker
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Jun 18, 2015
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I hiked the Winds last year, Green River Lakes to Big Sandy. I used the OPSak by LokSak, like I do everywhere when I hike. No issues. I never hang food anymore, I just use the OPSaks, and that has never let me down. When in the Weminuche Wilderness (San Juans) I once camped near an area that has tons of rodents running around everywhere. I just set the OPSak on a rock near the area the rodents were running around (because there was nowhere else to put it)and they never touched it. A guy I passed when heading up to that campsite (Eldorado Lake) had said that the rodents had their way with his food the night before when he was camping there, which was not in an OPSak. I have never had an issue with an animal of any kind messing with the OPSaks. Personally, I would just put your food in the OPSak and forget about it. Much easier than lugging around a bear canister. Maybe they work ok for shorter hikes but how are you supposed to fit a weeks worth of food in one of those things?

With that said, I did see a small black bear near Halls Lake. That's about 10,600ft. I always hear the bears typically stay below 9500ft, but even if they don't usually hang out up there, I'm sure they travel over passes and at high elevation to get to different areas. Between Dennis Lake and Halls lake there was TONS of bear crap along the trail.

As far as seeing Rangers goes in the Winds, I saw 2 on my 100 mile trek. One working his way around Peak Lake heading towards Green River Lakes. He had just come down from Knapsack Col, from Titcomb Basin. The other Ranger was hiking towards Big Sandy Lake from Big Sandy trailhead. So yes, there are rangers out there.
 
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