NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State DEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters for overnight campers in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.
Bear resistant canisters are the most effective way to prevent bears from gaining access to food while camping. Although they may be able to move canisters by swatting and rolling them, they will not be able to get inside.
Those staying in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 And November 30 are now required to use the canisters. The NYDEC is also suggesting that campers throughout the Adirondack and Catskill backcountry do the same.
The idea of the the canisters is to teach the black bears that food from those staying overnight is not accessible forcing them to look for natural foods in the forest.
The NYSDEC is providing the public with advice on how to pack, use and store the bear-resistant containers.
They suggest packing all scented items into the canister, including garbage. In order for this to be possible campers should pack dense, high calorie foods, remove excess packaging, plan each meal to avoid over or under packing, and to make sure everything will fit before leaving for the trip.
When using the canister for carrying the items, campers should make sure the canister lid is secured and carry it on or in a backpack. They also suggest placing reflective tape on the outside to make locating it in the dark easier and to label the outside with your name and contact information in case it is lost.
When storing the canister campers should leave it at least 100 feet from the campsite and 100 feet from the cooking area. It should be hidden in a ground level area where it will not be visible to a bear. The NYSDEC said canisters should never be stored close to you or attached to your belongings as a bear may carry them both away, and not to store them near water to avoid risk of it sinking or your food and belongings being damaged.