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Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP/Size of bear boxes at Lodgepole

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Question
First time in this neck of the woods with my wife and two kids (12-14) and other families, really looking forward to the vacation next week.  I really appreciate the insight and suggestions you provide. My question:  Do you know the inside dimensions of the bear boxes so I know what cooler(s) to bring?  We've done a lot of eastern sierra camping and we always use bear boxes but have yet to see a bear.  Do I want bear repellent spray?  Thanks, great site!

Answer
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your kind words.

Here is a good site with information about bear boxes:
http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bears.htm

You can fit a good sized cooler in one plus a couple of large grocery paper bags full of groceries.  I have a medium sized cooler and fit that in plus a Xerox box that I put in the bear box.

You should also have a bag where you can put all of your toiletries, chapstick, and anything else that has a scent to it.

One time, camping at Dorst, we saw 8 bears during the 10 days we were there, and I had to chase one out of our camp (with the help of our neighbors, I wasn't going to do that alone!). For the past 4-5 years, though, my sister-in-law was bummed because we never saw any bears.  Last year, we saw one across the creek.  It was so cool.

Bears don't care about us, they just want the calories of our food, so if you put the scented stuff in the bear box you won't have any problems.  I typically leave my dishes out (again, in a Xerox box on its side), and water bottles.  The bears don't bother them.  One time, I left my dish sponge out, and the bear tore it up.  It probably smelled food on it.  :o

You won't need any spray, but if they come close, we are to make a lot of noise to chase them away.  Banging on pans and yelling works well IF you should see one.

Have a fantastic time!

Regards,

Mary Jo

(here's a site with pictures of bear boxes:  http://www.campsitephotos.com/campground/Lodgepole/photos/Lodgepole-033)  You can scroll throught the pics to see more.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

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MaryJo Mellado Willey

Expertise

I take my children camping in Sequoia often. I have favorite places to visit, and some easy hikes to take. There is also a small lake close by where one can fish, swim, or rent a small boat.

Experience

I've camped in both Lodgepole and Dorst campgrounds. There are plusses to both of them.

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