ABC Bears and Trees

A few friends and I are planning a paddling trip in the Admiralty/Baranof/Chichagof Island region in SE Alaska.

Do any of you have experience there regarding food protection?

Are the bears ‘humanized’ enough to steal a cannister?

Does most of the shoreline feature enough trees to hang your food? (One site with no trees is all it takes, I guess)

Any interesting, amusing, or educational stories about the islands and/or the bears thereon?

(The gun/no-gun debate has been beaten to death in these posts, so for the record, I plan to bring a SureFire tactical light, cherry bombs, pepper spray and a 12-gauge. I’m really just looking for tree information)


We used Garcia Bear Barrels.
they work great.

The bear cannot get them open. They are just big enough so they can’t get their jaws around them.

They will roll them around and play with them for a bit, but then they leave them alone and wander off.

On that 12 gauge; how do you plan on getting it through Canada ? it is a no no you know?



In areas where there are no trees
use the golden triangle…eat at one spot…sleep at another…and place your food in another all about 100 yards apart…

Bringing shotguns into Canada?
Years ago, I had more problems crossing into Canada with my canoe than with my shotgun. I just quickly looked around on the internet and it seems that it is still isn’t too much of a hassle. But I haven’t actually tried it personally in quite a while.

My understanding is that rimfire rifles and manual action shotguns with a magazine capacity of less than five rounds falls into the Canadian “non-restricted” category.

I am all ears if you have other information.

I don’t plan to sleep near my food, but the real meat of the question is:

“Do I really need to bring canisters to Baranof or will there be enough trees to hang my food.”

It’s kind of Baranof specific question.

Good stuff. Thank you.
Keep it coming.

Beautiful creatures

Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you.

When walking through the willows or other dense brush talk out loud or do the “Hey bear” thing to let them know you are there, and that will be your best defense.

They won’t be surprised by your presence, will just take a look at you and then normally will wander off into the woods.

“Normally” is not always the norm though!



Have Ursacks been used in the area you are talking about? They are an option for backpackers in the Sierras and Rockies. Lighter weight and easier to carry in a pack than the hard-sided canisters.

I have taken a rifle and shotgun into
Canada with no problems…simply pay the registration fee and do the paper work at the crossing…

If you’re going to Baranof Island you should go to Sitka and talk to some of the kayak people there and get some local knowledge. They may be able to at least give you an idea of places to avoid camping. I spent several years there and carried a 12gauge with a short barrel. 00buck, followed by slugs, on advice from some guy in a gun shop in Juneau when I first got there. Fortunatly I never had to find out if it worked. I had 2 bears come within about 30 or 40ft of me once on the beach when I had no gun. They just walked across in front of me and probably didn’t even know I was there. Have a great trip. The country around there is beautiful and there are alot of protected waterways.