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Do I really need a bear canister in RMNP?
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Aug 21, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Just a little overhanging....
I bivied up by Ship's Prow this past July and was specifically told by the RMNP ranger that I got my permit from that we DID NOT need bear canisters for our bivy even though it said we did on the permit. Mr. Stevens
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 22, 2011
640 points
Sep 25, 2013
We camped at the boulder field at the end of August. When we got our permit, they were very adamant that we needed to have a bear canister, and the ranger claimed that there had been a bear sighting at the boulder field the week before.

Furthermore, when we arrived at the boulder field, a ranger actually stopped us and required that we prove we had a bear canister before we could continue to our site.

Even further more, there was one particularly cute and OBNOXIOUS rodent who has clearly been fed way too many times (c.f. cute) by people, and as such, no longer has any fear of people WHATSOEVER. He will crawl right into your bag right in front of you. He will enter your tent. He will not run away if you yell at him, growl at him, run at him, or even hit him with a rock. When my wife kicked him out of my pack, he took one step back, gave her a look, and made a "hmph!" type of sound in annoyance. The attitude on this creature! When you go climb, he will chew through your tent, tarp, or pack if you leave them at the boulder field (trust me). I'd bring the bear canister just for that little guy alone.

FYI.
A.Constantine
Joined Jan 20, 2013
5 points
Aug 18, 2016
Bear cannisters are needed if only for the marmots, pics, and yes, a Pine Marten. This is a verified sighting, so it's true. Must be easy prey up that high above treeline. I was stopped by Rangers, and was happy I complied. Peeved off though, when two other packers came up late with no cannisters or permits. Next March I'm going to have my finger keyed on the sights I want! Lol Mtnbyker76
Joined Aug 18, 2016
0 points
Aug 18, 2016
Bear cannisters are somewhat of a pain (heavy and bulky) but:
1. Keep critters, large and small (Mice, marmots, squirrels, etc) out of food
2. Keeps food dry if it rains
3. Allow you to take more "fragile" foods that might be crushed if you shoved them in your pack

Last time I backpacked in RMNP (Wild Basin area), we were confronted by a rather aggressive young park ranger, who insisted we show him our bear can and our permit, which was still attached to our tent (we were on our way out). Had to basically unpack and repack our backpacks. He was unappologetic and told us "If there's one more bear incident, we're going to shut down the trailhead", even though we did everything we were required to do ("preaching to the choir").
Jim Fox
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jun 16, 2014
73 points
Aug 21, 2016
I used an ursack for going into the alpine. I had to correct the ranger at the station, that indeed, no bear proof cannister was needed in the alpine. Prolly would want to follow the rules on the cannister for below tree line as well. Dirt Squirrel
From Golden , co
Joined Mar 16, 2015
26 points
Aug 22, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Smile for the camera.  Me topping out of Pice of C...
It's interesting the requirements that occur in overused outdoor areas. I've been backpacking in bear country (griz and black) for over ten years without a bear canister without issue. Of course this requires you to be educated and proficient at keeping a clean camp and knowing how to hang your food/ toiletries. Chad Miller
From Grand Junction, CO
Joined Nov 8, 2006
149 points
Aug 23, 2016
I've come across bears in the alpine at RMNP before, just so you know.

More importantly though, bending the rules puts you, wildlife, and climbing access at risk. Regardless of how "stupid" the policy is, it exists for a good reason and it's best to adhere to it so that everyone can continue to have the opportunity to climb and camp in the alpine.
Michael Sammartino
From Eagle, Colorado
Joined May 20, 2014
0 points
Aug 23, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: bear cannister rules
bear cannister rules


Here. These are the rules. Have fun.
Dirt Squirrel
From Golden , co
Joined Mar 16, 2015
26 points
Aug 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Smile for the camera.  Me topping out of Pice of C...
Just remember that the canisters can keep critters out but it won't keep the same critters from moving it. Even small animals can knock a canister quite a ways while trying to get into it. Keep that in mind when picking a spot to leave your canister 100 yards away from your camp site. Chad Miller
From Grand Junction, CO
Joined Nov 8, 2006
149 points


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