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Colorado BackCountry - Bear Box or Bag Hang?

Original Post
Doug S · · Westminster, CO · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

After having 9 bear encounters during my last backpacking season, I want to get my bear prevention right this year. 8 were in the smokies, and 1 was about 10 feet away from me at night in the Colorado backcountry!

I've always hung my food bag at night. I'm not a complete weight weenie but I'm a lighter frame guy who likes to move fast. Not stoked about the idea of carrying a $70, 2 lb box around with me, but also not stoked about having any more bear encounters!

I'd like to know what you Coloradans do for your overnight trips. Bear canister like the BVXXX, UrSack, or simply hang a dry bag. Let me know!

Solace Easy · · Nomad · Joined Apr 2019 · Points: 0

Maybe another way to look at it: You are carrying the extra weight for the bears. Look how light gear is these days. Share, brah! You can bear it. Colorado Kind.

That said, experiences with Colorado bears can vary a lot depending on human traffic and local bear population patterns. I have gotten away on overnight trips without a bear can because the consequences aren't that great - for me. I do feel guilty that if bears found my food I would make them more at risk of death from future human encounters though.

Most of my trips now are multi-day and it just makes more sense to protect your food for yourself and from the other creatures - to keep your interactions as separate as possible. I haven't had a squirrel chew through my pack to get at my trail mix in years either.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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