Video: Bear Canisters Are a Must in the ADK High Peaks

Bear canister and cookset
Average read time 2 min

Bears are lazy. Yogi will look for the easiest way to get food, and that includes your campsite rations. In the Adirondack High Peaks, it is required by law to use a bear canister in the eastern region. However, this does not mean that you should not consider it for other parts of the high peaks. In the high peaks, bears have repeatedly figured out how to break down food-hanging riggings; even systems the NYSDEC have outfitted. The bit of extra weight you’ll carry using a bear canister can save you the headaches of cutting your trip short because you lost your food or your campsite being trashed by a bear (or little bears – e g., raccoons).

We are visitors

As backpackers, we should always keep in mind we are visitors in the backcountry, and the wildlife lives there full-time. When we interact with the wildlife, we change their behaviors. By feeding wildlife, intentionally or not, we alter how they gather food. When bears become accustomed to a food source at a popular camping area, they tend to visit it regularly, looking for meals.

Black Bear in NY

Currently estimated at a minimum of 6,000-8,000 bears with


of bears in the

Adirondack region


of bears in the

Catskill region


of bears in the

Central-western region

If bears become aggressive or desensitized to humans, officials may relocate them. However, relocation has often failed as the bear travels back to its origin. In rare cases, bears have been euthanized due to human inability to secure food and other items that would attract bear into camp. One way to reduce bears from frequenting camps is by using secure storage systems that make it improbable that they are successful at grabbing your grub.

Bear Resistant Food Canisters Protect Wildlife

In other areas of the state hanging food is still permitted, but please do it right.

Related post: How to Hang a Bear Bag: The PCT Method

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