Sep 13, 2010 at 9:53 am #1263250
The bear discussion is pretty common and the general guidelines for cooking are well known ( example here). What about carrying your cookware?
Here's the situation I run into all the time: I make a meal, clean up and then have to put my pot back into my pack – crammed in there with my sleeping bag, extra clothes etc etc. Doesn't this defeat many of the bear avoidance precautions? Won't my pack and everything else get contaminated with odors? Is it even worth worrying about it? Should cookware be stored in an OP sak?
My cookware has a dedicated silnylon stuff sack, but I have trouble believing that it does anything more than keeping soot off of my other gear.
Thoughts, techniques and comments would be great!Sep 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm #1645232
Both links are to this thread.Sep 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm #1645259
fixed…Sep 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm #1645266
Try freezer bag cooking. No food goes in the pot so you don't have to worry about it getting on anything in your pack.Sep 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm #1645268
I have a large stuff sack food bag which I store my cookware in, along with my food of course.Sep 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm #1645323
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Amusing, but not for little kids.Sep 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm #1645334
In my experience and from what I've gathered from others, bears use their amazing nose to discriminate between food and food smells.
While the smell of cooking on your clothing or gear might attract a bear to your site, they know that people don't harbor Ramen and powdered milk under their t-shirts. They will rustle through your pots if they are left out, but after a cursory sniff they can tell it isn't worth finishing the job your brillo pad started.
Bears use their noses to target the worthwhile stuff, much like a thru-hiker choosing between an AYCE buffet or a stick of sugar-free gum. To them it is an Easter egg hunt, using their smell radar to hunt down your densely packed high calorie goodie bag. They've got things to do and places to be, and will soon be on their way if your candy is locked away.
All bets are off with truly wild bears though. If they can't tell the difference between a bipedal hominid (or quadruped w/hiking sticks) and a trash can, they might feel the need to get a taste. Read some of the journals from folks who walked around Alaska and how bears ran at them to find out what they were.Sep 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm #1645358
@socalmikeLocale: So Cal
If you're using a bear canister but are afraid your pots and pans, etc will attract bears, what you do you do then? You're not going to shove all of your cookware into a canister. Are people placing food, toothpaste, etc in the canister and leaving the pots/pans somewhere else? It seems to me that if you hang your food, you're probably capable of hanging your cookware, etc along with your grub. But those using canisters just keep their cookware with the rest of their stuff. Is this accurate?Sep 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm #1645394
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If you are not using a bear canister, and then if you are hanging your food in a tree, you can use your cookware on the tree. Tie a cord through the cook pot and mug handles and around the tree trunk about 4-5 feet off the ground. If a bear comes into camp and decides to climb the tree, he will make a racket trying to get around all of the hardware. That gives you some warning to wake up and defend your food hang.
–B.G.–Sep 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm #1645396
@snusmumrikenLocale: SF Bay Area
At night I put my pot and cup on top of the bear can. It's never touched. As somebody else said, it may smell like food, but there isn't really food in it so the bear isn't interested.
During the day I often pack the pot inside the bear can. I do it because the pot fits better in the can then anywhere else in my pack.
Early in the trip this means I have to remove some food from the can and carry it in a plastic bag in my pack. That's OK, its at night that you have to make sure all your food is stored inside the can.Sep 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm #1645401
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
Most of the food we eat when backpacking just needs hot water to "cook". Our mugs are cleaned after use and the pot smells like smoke, all are placed in the kitchen area at our camp. We also keep our food in the kitchen area in ursacks. We have had bears come through our tarp and kitchen areas while we slept, but none have ever explored the mugs or the pots. I wouldn't worry about a bear tracking you for the smell coming off the pot while you walked either.
Granted, we camp in less visited areas than most, but I would think the pot smelling of smoke would mask any remnant odors.
this is our kitchen area from last Saturday
and, about 150 meters away, the tarp campSep 14, 2010 at 4:22 am #1645424
While I'm sure there's merit to some of the other advise and experience here, I simply don't take the chance. EVERY smellable, including toothbrush and toothpaste, gets hung every night. I usually only boil water, but if my pot smells like food, it gets clipped to the outside of my pack.
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