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PostPosted: June 1st, 2017, 10:30 am 
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Joined: May 8th, 2017, 9:34 pm
Posts: 2
we are a couple looking to do wind river this summer in July or August.
Looking to save $$ and wondering whether there is anyone with the same plan and we could join their party for a drop off flight (the more pax the cheaper the flight per person)

for the same reason we will canoe all the way to Fort McPherson and would like to hitch a ride back to the car - assuming that there will be some traffic on Dempster - wondering how long could the hitch take..2-3 days? we are not time restricted :)


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PostPosted: June 1st, 2017, 2:44 pm 
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Joined: June 30th, 2014, 2:03 pm
Posts: 26
Can't help with the flight, but it is a beautiful paddle!

Hitchhike is 500 miles. 370 on the Dempster, 100 on tar and 30 more to Mayo. It's 3 distinct steps. It took me 9 rides, because I got so many short ones. In mid-August I saw a total of 6 grizzlies on the road. Fortunately I was never walking when I saw one. Don't forget the drive back to Ft McPhoo and then back down to tar takes 2 days as well.

The campground in Ft McPhoo is a couple miles from the ferry.

Have a wonderful trip!


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 10:24 pm 
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Joined: May 8th, 2017, 9:34 pm
Posts: 2
thank you bearpaulsen
it will be quite a journey, we've hitch hiked similar distances in Alaska before, but on roads with much more traffic. we wanted to drop off the car at McPhoo first so that we are all set after the paddle.
I had one more question - bear safety and food - we have one bear container that we'll bring along but we'll need way more food - would you store tins and similar ina waterproof barrel away from the camp? or do folks bring multiple bear containers? the longest trip we have taken was just over a week.


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PostPosted: June 12th, 2017, 11:20 am 
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Joined: June 30th, 2014, 2:03 pm
Posts: 26
Everyone has they're own way to handle bears and food. Mine is to waterproof the pack containing the food and then store it a little beyond the 'perimeter' of the camping area. Waterproof = smellproof. I also adjust my menu for areas with grizzlies/polar bears to eliminate the smelliest foods, as those foods are issues for both storage and cooking.


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PostPosted: June 14th, 2017, 12:46 pm 
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Joined: October 31st, 2016, 9:32 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Missoula, Montana
Waterproof does not equal smellproof. Bears have very keen noses, and will tear into anything which smells remotely like food. This includes waterproof packs and anything else which you have handled while or after you prepared or ate food. Typical plastic barrels are not certified as bear proof. For a list of food storage equipment which is certified as being bear proof, see http://igbconline.org/wp-content/upload ... s_List.pdf .

I routinely recreate in areas where there are both black and brown (grizzly) bears. Any food that I want to eat on a trip, I either hang from a tree (in areas where there are suitable trees) or store in a bearproof container. If I don't need some food, and don't care if it gets eaten by a bear or some smaller critter, I still either hang it or store it in a bearproof container, because I don't want to let bears or other critters get used to eating human food. Certainly many groups which store their food on the ground at night in non-bearproof containers are lucky, and don't get hit by bears or other animals. But if a bear wipes out your food supply, you will have a hungry paddle out. Better bring a fishing rod, and know how to use it. Although fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner would get old pretty fast.

In areas where bears have become accustomed to eating human food, they become very clever about breaking into food containers of all kinds, and at pulling down food stored in trees. In these kinds of areas, certified bearproof containers are definitely the way to go. Manufacturers of these containers have some impressive videos of bears trying unsuccessfully to break into their containers.

I fortunately have never had my food supply attacked by a bear, although I have suffered minor food losses from smaller animals.My brother and sister in law have a cabin on a lake to the south of Denali Peak in Alaska. When they are not at the cabin, they secure its doors with large beams in brackets, and they secure shutters over its windows in a similar manner. A couple of years ago a family of bears broke into the cabin and completely trashed it. They sent us about 100 pictures showing the damage. It was incredible. The bears ate most of the food in the cabin, bit into pots and cans, shredded furniture, tore up walls, and generally demolished the cabin. This family of bears had become used to eating human food, and broke into a number of other cabins in the area. They were eventually all shot by cabin owners.

Bear canisters will protect your food against critters other than bears. There is nothing quite as irritating as discovering that a mouse has burrowed into your food supply, made confetti out of plastic bags and other food packages, eaten a little of this and a little of that, and then left some turds. Ugh. Shown below is a picture of a spotted skunk checking out some dry bags on the Grand Canyon. On another Grand Canyon trip, I woke up on the morning of the launch to discover that a rodent had chewed its way into one of my big dry bags.

![](https://forums.paddling.com/uploads/edi ... 1161jy.jpg "")


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PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 12:37 pm 
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Joined: February 18th, 2005, 12:41 pm
Posts: 417
Location: Denver, CO
I did the Wind to Ft McPherson last summer - see the trip reports section. I used one bear proof canister - it only held 6 days food for me (solo) - the rest was in a dry bag that I smell proofed with many layers of plastic bags - there really was no option for hanging from trees, so don't count on that. Caution!!! - I came close to losing all of my food when the Peel flooded - typically I would just put the bear proof canister out away from camp in a dip, and tie the dry bag of food to a tree in same vicinity - be sure to tie your food to some trees so that it can't be swept away if the water level rises quickly. for the same reason, try to camp on high ground if you can, rather than on gravel bars. The guide book is helpful, but not full of details - get the topo maps.

The Dempster highway ferry was shut down two different times last year due to the Peel flooding - the second time it was closed for 3 or 4 days and the road was washed out in a dozen or more places requiring reconstruction. I flew back from Ft McPherson. The campground is only a mile form the ferry, not two miles. You can likely hitch a ride there from passers by.


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