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Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley

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Hey everyone.

I'm a new memeber here just created my account today and I am super excited to have found an entire forums dedicated to my backyard. tongue sticking out smiley No but seriously I live in Twain harte so I consider the sierra nevadas to be my backyard because I find that I am never to far away from a trail head.


A little about me first and then onto some things I would like to know about you guys; I've lived in the Sierras my entire life so hiking isn't really anything new to me, however, I have never done anything to exciting just your average day hike, half dome, pinecrest, sword lake, basically just simple day hikes with a small pack for lunch and water. This year however I have decided that I was going to change that and finally get out there and explore some of this amazing country I live in. So I have been slowly collecting gear to set myself up for some overnight/multiday backpacking out to some of the more remote lakes and such. I've got my pack all decked out as it stands right now with a 25lb base weight with no fuel, water, or food.


So here comes the things that I have come here to learn. Even though I have lived in the sierras all my life I really only know about the more well known trails and I know very little about how to get out into the emigrant and have a good time. I'm here to see what kind of advice you guys can offer to help out this newbie with some more cross country hiking. I have a Gps, compass and maps of a lot of the areas and I am fairly decent using them and not getting lost or anything, but I find that picking out good routes to get places can be a challenge. I've noticed looking through some of the hiking topics on here that you guys use a lot of the same paths to get out there and then branch off after that. I know of very few, if any trails out there so it would be much appreciated if you could point me in the right direction as far as thats concerned, I know about crabtree road and I know that it leads out that way but I have no idea how good/bad the road out there is or how the hiking out that way is as well.


I'm Going on a overnight down to Sword lake for some fishing and gear testing in a few weeks. I would like to get out and hike around the emigrant for the first time a few weeks after that (so in roughly a month or so) any suggestions for a first time hike out that way? I'm looking for a place I can hike out to in 1 day, spend the night enjoy the next morning and then break camp and head home, So maybe a 20ish mile round trip hike. I've done 20 miles in a day before but would like to keep it more like 10 or so for the first time so we have time to make camp and just enjoy the area (Thats what its all about anyway right?). Of course I would like it to be around a lake or river so we don't have to bother with water (Besides, somethings nice about camping near water).


Another question I have is what do I have to have for an overnight out in the emigrant. I.E. What kind of permits will I need, anything required of me before I go, while im there, on the way, ect, ect.

Last but not least I would love to hear some of the tips and tricks you guys have picked up from a lifetime of hiking that could help out a newbie like myself. smiling smiley


Anyway I'm super excited to have found this forum and am looking forward to not only learning here but also to getting out there and trying it out. Rest assured I don't plan on going anywhere so hope you guys are ready for a newcomer. tongue sticking out smiley



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2014 01:13PM by randomsteve95370.
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 19, 2014 03:52PM
Here's a website with some backpacking and trip info:

https://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 19, 2014 04:35PM
"...in the Sierras my entire life...
...the sierra nevadas to be my backyard..."

FYI, Sierra Nevada translates to Snowy Mountains - already a plural. In California there are no Sierras, just the Sierra. Also there is no sierra nevadas - just Sierra Nevada.
Sorry, (a pet peeve) but for someone who has been living in the Sierra their entire life...(sigh!).

BTW,You say you can start out from sea level and do 20 miles per day with a full pack at altitude...impressive but somewhat questionable..
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 19, 2014 05:21PM
Hey, Steve. Welcome to the forum.

Don't worry, we're not all nit-pickers and nay-sayers. I hope to hear about some of your trips.

Quote
markskor
"...in the Sierras my entire life...
...the sierra nevadas to be my backyard..."

FYI, Sierra Nevada translates to Snowy Mountains - already a plural. In California there are no Sierras, just the Sierra. Also there is no sierra nevadas - just Sierra Nevada.
Sorry, (a pet peeve) but for someone who has been living in the Sierra their entire life...(sigh!).

BTW,You say you can start out from sea level and do 20 miles per day with a full pack at altitude...impressive but somewhat questionable..
Now that I'm done responding directly to you Steve... I'll second wherever. Welcome to the forum and hope to hear about your trips!
Quote
markskor
"...in the Sierras my entire life...
...the sierra nevadas to be my backyard..."

FYI, Sierra Nevada translates to Snowy Mountains - already a plural. In California there are no Sierras, just the Sierra. Also there is no sierra nevadas - just Sierra Nevada.
Sorry, (a pet peeve) but for someone who has been living in the Sierra their entire life...(sigh!).

BTW,You say you can start out from sea level and do 20 miles per day with a full pack at altitude...impressive but somewhat questionable..


Hahahah. Head roll I hear ya and totally understand its just one of those things I guess. Living in Tuolumne county my whole life I guess you just kinda pick up what the locals say, but then again I guess the book learned definition is less important then what the locals say imo any way. tongue sticking out smiley

As far as the miles I said I can do I never mentioned anything about starting at sea level, but I can definitely do 20miles with a pack at altitude. Just 2 weeks ago me and some friends did a day hike up to kennedy lake which according to my gps was just shy of 16 miles from the parking lot there and back with an elevation gain of about 1800ft. We did that in 8hrs which included multiple stops on the way up, lunch at the river and a 1hr nap at the lake itself. We were doing about 2.5-3 Mph up and about 3.5 back down (It rained on us up there and cooled it down real nice and we felt like kicking it in high gear on the way back).

About a month before that me and 1 friend did pincrest peak starting from the pinecrest minimart/Steam Donkey parking lot which ran us over 20miles and we did that one in just under 8hrs with the same kind of schedule but less stops going up (less people so less stops haha).

Honestly I don't think 20miles in a day is anything to crazy, and I know for certain a lot of hikers like to do 25-30 miles days. Just looking around on the forums here I've seen a few people do hikes like 50miles in 2 days so its nothing to write home about. tongue sticking out smiley

The altitude doesn't bother me because I have grown up at 3500ft and have spent most of my recreational time in the mountains around 5,000-7,000ft.

Anyway I'm not in it to speed hike it though so I have no problem doing a 10mile day and stopping to smell the roses and exploring when we get there.

Anyways I'm just here to learn for you guys with the experience and then get out there and have some more experiences of my own. smiling smiley



Edit: just thinking about the whole mile thing I was talking 20 miles on a PCT, TYT, or JMT like trail (not an easy trail, not a flat trail, but a cleared trail non the less) So obviously if you have to do some brush hiking and such out where people don't hike then ymmv



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2014 05:57PM by randomsteve95370.
I'll add BackpackingLight.com for tips and tricks on lightening your load further. Many benefits to this. Also a lot of general tips/tricks there too.

If you haven't done much cross-country work, I'd say stick to trails and start taking some cross-country excursions, trying to match what you see in the terrain around you to the map. Different areas have different personalities and you learn to understand the nature of the terrain such as the general nature of ledge-systems in the area you find yourself in. Use Google Maps Satellite View and a good topo map to research the area before you go in. The technology exists now, so better to use it. And it helps to have some understanding of how to take care of yourself out there. Don't be a SAR story.

Please follow Leave No Trace principles, pack out all trash, and do not build any new fire rings. Frankly, this year, I'm feeling it's irresponsible to have any open wood fire out there at any elevation.

Please don't leave marks of your passing through cross-country sections, let others have the fun/challenge of finding their way. With a good GPS (as you say you have) you can use that and your map to find your way back. Little ducks and big cairns have no place off-trail, imo. Allow others to see the area as untouched by humans as possible.

I think you have a good plan to play conservative with mileage as you learn the tricks of backpacking - which are different than just day hiking. It's a great idea to give yourself the time to learn where and how you want to set up your camp. Fiddle with procedures to try to be efficient, but not rushed. I still find myself slow as molasses in the morning packing up. I love waking up early, but actually getting out of camp is a slightly different story. You will figure out what a comfortable day is for *you* as you balance the time it takes to find/setup/take down camp and do the mileage.

I'm not an expert on the Emigrant myself, and will let others pipe up on actual places. This year, a popular entry point for us Yosemite-oriented folks - the Cherry Lake Road to the Shingle Springs Trailhead for the Kibbie Lake trail and others will probably remain closed as they work on getting the burn area cleared out. At least that's what I gathered when I spoke to some rangers earlier this year at the Groveland ranger station. I'm sure we'll hear if they open it earlier than next year! The only other way I've gone into the Emigrant is via Leavitt Lake road which has apparently deteriorated somewhat and a REAL 4WD is recommended, especially if you are unused to such roads.

Make sure you are familiar with the easily accessible information on the Stanislaus National Forest website. (Wilderness Permits!) And make sure to read about Yosemite and any other wilderness areas before you enter them. Call the local office to get information before you go. Be prepared. All basic, but it's not kind to other backpackers to stand in line asking basic questions when, as a famous bird on this forum says "Daylight's burning". Many of us have schedules that are tricky to arrange, and haul out there with minimum time to spend waiting in line to get a permit. This applies to NF and National Park permits. Be courteous to your fellow backpackers.

And the more you contribute to this site, the more information you'll find coming your way. Nothing more disheartening than taking the time out to respond to a request like yours and then hearing nothing - no follow up questions, no trip reports, etc. The site works as long as people contribute and share what they can.

Good luck to you! And if something goes awry on your first backpacking trip, don't give up, just try to figure out how to avoid that problem in the future!
Quote
JustKeepWalking
I'll add BackpackingLight.com for tips and tricks on lightening your load further. Many benefits to this. Also a lot of general tips/tricks there too.

Snip-

Thanks so much for your reply some very helpful information for sure!


I've actually been looking around backpackinglight. I've trimmed my pack down as much as I can for the time being without spending much money. I still have a synthetic bag that ways like 5lbs and a few other things that are not as light as they could be if I had the money to spend but I will be slowly obtaining better and lighter gear as the funds become avaliable because imho its no fun to hike while carrying half your body weight, but its also no fun not being able to pay the rent because you spent all your money on backpacking gear. tongue sticking out smiley


As I mentioned I am not new to hiking, im newish to backpacking. So following trails, keeping a sense of direction, practicing simple leave no trace principles, and such is common practice/sense for me. But I do not have a lot of experience cross country hiking so I would like to ease into that a little bit. 1 of the first hikes/overnights I was thinking about doing was out to Long lake Its suppose to only be about a mile or 2 off the trail that heads out to jewelery and Gem lake so I thought that would be a good first time cross country trip. If anyone has ever been out there I would love to hear your thoughts on the trail and the lake and such. Or if you have a suggestion for a hike that would be a good primer for cross country backpacking then please let me know.



yeah I was curious about the rim fire and how that affected the Kibbie lake areas. As far as I know the fire didn't really make it to far to that side of cherry but I wasn't sure if hiking out that way was restricted or where it was restricted. As far as I know forestry (got friends working out there) is saying not until sometime november are they gonna open cherry back up.

Anyway I've kinda rambled on a bit, sorry if my writting style is a pain to read, it just kinda comes out this way tongue sticking out smiley Hope its not to bad though because I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon I'm hoping to summit Sonora Peak this saturday for a fun little day hike and will try and post pictures if I do get up there. Thanks again.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2014 10:36PM by randomsteve95370.
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 20, 2014 06:24AM
You posted in the thread where I mentioned we goez to Kibbie in April this year:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,74874,74976#msg-74976

Me tinks posted about it somewhere else too... can't remember. Usually going all
the time... get up there from Sea Level and hike 10-15+ miles on day 1.
There are many among us. Not sure what the deal is there.

Haven't been to Long Lake yet ... but been all up and around over and yonder in Emigrant.
Biggest complaint has always been the horse dookie. The place is overrun with
horse packing imo. Gets pretty bad. Kennedy Lake can be the worse. And you been
there. You know you can just get permit and suss out yur gear there... do some short trips.
O... was gonna say... saw no one really but some crazy Perret on this trip last year
from Sonora Pass to Yose Border... but... saw horses at Huck Lake. That should give
a good indication of just how horsey it is.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,70901,70901#msg-70901
and
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,70926,70926#msg-70926
This was October 17th.. when most have given up for the year...

Anywho. Got to Summit Ranger or Mi Wuk and lookie at their maps and have a chat.
FS Rangers either are somewhat knowledgable ... or not really.
But they can help you a bit with the lay of the land and whatnot if you need that.
But ... maybe you don't need that... I see trail to Long Lake... but going up the outlet
looks pretty trivial from Deer. Prob. be in there in a week or so... if u don't go
by then might be able to say more. Honestly you have to just go out there and do it.
Do the trails first if you haven't... get the lay of the land... and have ur topo and
gps with you and get an idea how the topo matches the land out there.
Sometimes 1 line can give you fits... sometimes an area that is flat on map
is anything but. A small squiggle on the map can translate to a gully which
you can have fun climbing up or down... or make it hard to go yonder.
Anywho.
Maybe you want to buy Ben Schifrin's book "Emigrant Wilderness"
To me... it's like Schaffers "Yosemite National Park". Yeah yeah, there's some
sites out there that maybe have some info on them... but these have it all.
Schaffers inspired me to do all the trails and explore Yosemite to all ends.
(and it's never ending really)
Anyway. Get out there with your kit and go for it. Start slowly and just dooz it.
Backpacking is not dayhiking though... and you may quickly find that
out when you have your sights set on a far away place...

Not sure how much this helps really... it's not rocket science tho.
Will and desire go a long way. That and being in decent shape. tongue sticking out smiley

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 20, 2014 06:44AM
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 20, 2014 08:22AM
If I was rich enough to add my two cents, I would toss around the idea of keeping the first day of your first couple of trips fairly short, say under 10 miles. Then as you gain experience of your personal needs, you can adjust to go as long as you want.

There is allot of difference in 5 or 6,000' and 9,000', especially with a pack. A short day will let your body adjust. From experience, it is not fun to get too tired on the first day at elevation and never be able to fully recover. After a trip or two, you might be fully good to do 20 miles the first day without hitting a wall.

I'm a bit of an extreme. My bed is 4" above sea level. I usually get up at 3am for a 5 hour drive to the permit office, then to the trail head. Not only do I huff and puff the first day, I am tired by the time I get to camp. From experience, I either limit my first day to 6 miles or spend the night at a back packer's camp. You will probably never need such limits as mine.

This is just a thought until you know your own limits.

Have fun and send some pictures!
Quote
atomicmonkey
If I was rich enough to add my two cents, I would toss around the idea of keeping the first day of your first couple of trips fairly short, say under 10 miles. Then as you gain experience of your personal needs, you can adjust to go as long as you want.

There is allot of difference in 5 or 6,000' and 9,000', especially with a pack. A short day will let your body adjust. From experience, it is not fun to get too tired on the first day at elevation and never be able to fully recover. After a trip or two, you might be fully good to do 20 miles the first day without hitting a wall.

I'm a bit of an extreme. My bed is 4" above sea level. I usually get up at 3am for a 5 hour drive to the permit office, then to the trail head. Not only do I huff and puff the first day, I am tired by the time I get to camp. From experience, I either limit my first day to 6 miles or spend the night at a back packer's camp. You will probably never need such limits as mine.

This is just a thought until you know your own limits.

Have fun and send some pictures!


I agree there for sure. Keeping within a reasonable hike and taking plenty of time to rest and adjust until I feel comfortable doing more with a pack is gonna be a must. I feel sorry for you guys coming all the way up from sea level and having to acclimate each time to the higher altitude. I can say that living at 3,500 and being accustom to working/playing and everday life at that elevation and higher do give me an advantage to not have to acclimate to the altitude much. smiling smiley
Cool deal sounds like when I get over to hiking some of the Yosemite trails i'll grab myself a year pass and save myself the money.


Out of curiosity what trail did you guys take to get out to kibby since the main trailhead is closed this year? I would love to check out Kibbie and the top of Cherry bomb sometime.


Well it looks like I need to just find the time to get out there and have some fun this year and report back with my accomplishments. Im planning on doing a day hike out to Sonora Peak and Wolf Creek Lake this saturday so I will definitely post back if I do happen to make it out there this weekend.
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 23, 2014 06:44AM
Quote
randomsteve95370
Out of curiosity what trail did you guys take to get out to kibby since the main trailhead is closed this year?

Hetch Hetchy to Lake Eleanor to Kibbie



Chick-on is looking at you!
Weird thing is, we do it so often now, I don't really feel it. Seriously. Drive up, start backpacking from 9k'. Will be careful and have a slow start, but once warmed up, all good. (knock on wood and all that, since I just typed this out..)
So does it mean the trail out to kibbie is open right now? I've been wanting to go out there for years and was gonna finally do it this year and then with the Rim fire and all I thought it would be closed.



I probably won't get out to Long lake for at least a month so please do let me know how it is if you make it out there. There is a small lake on the peak to the east of long lake that accorsing to some of my friends is suppose to be a good swimming hole, def let me know what you think about the place if you make it out before me.


Overall you guys have been a big help pointing me in the direction of more information on the areas near me. What I am looking to learn mostly is not "how" to backpack, I'm looking more for "Where". Half the fun imho is learning how exactly it is that you like to backpack. I have just been curious about the more mundane things such as what trailheads lead out to the emigrant? Do you cross country mostly when you get out there? Or do you find there are a lot of trails out there that are not on forestry maps?
Stuff like that is really what I am the most curious about because it seems to me thats the kind of stuff that is the hardest to find.



Another thing I wonder about is what do you guys do about park fees in yosemite? Do you all have park passes or something? I tend to only get out to yosemite about once a year because not only is it nearly a 2hr drive but then once you get there its like a 20$ park fee, its more crowded, you have to have a bear barrel, and all of the other restrictions setup make it seem a lot more difficult (and expensive) to just go for an overnight in Yose then it is to wonder off into the emigrant. Am I wrong about this? Is there some easier/cheaper way to get out into the Yose area and hike around?


Anyway as always I appreciate the advice/hints/tips/motivation
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 20, 2014 08:48AM
No trail required man.

It's only 40 bucks for a whole year pass. And the permits are free.

It's only crowded if you stay where everyone else is.
Emigrant is no different. Go to Bear Lake or Gem Lake ... and you will have loads of company.

It's a big place. If you want solitude it's easy to find. Personally ... it's not common to run
into people... b/c off trail for 90% of the time.
I can count on one flipper how many peeps we run into on a trip. Often times it's zero.

Somebody said they didn't put a trail there for a reason. It's actually opposite of that...
They put a trail THERE b/c it's the safest way for horses to travel... and that is what most
of the trails were put in for... to patrol on horseback. So.. get off ur hobby horse... and ...
Have fun
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 20, 2014 08:48AM
The trail to Kibbie is open. The trailHEAD that is closest is not.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 23, 2014 12:58PM
Steve,
I don't know if your 25-lb pack weight includes an empty bear can or not. If not, your total weight with food, bear can, fuel, and water may easily exceed 30 lbs. You said your backpack weighs 5-lbs empty! Sounds like a Gregory or something similar, very comfortable but outrageously heavy. I know; been there--done that--got rid of it! Folks here are probably tired of hearing me say this but for the average person's stride every unnecessary extra pound equals approximately 1-ton of extra foot/leg lifting per mile. Example: 5 extra pounds x 1-ton x 10 miles = 50 tons of unnecessary lifting when you add up all those individual steps. Any unnecessary weight should be left at home. There's some around my waist I wish I could leave at home since that counts also. Helpful tip: There's no need to carry heavy naglene or aluminum water bottles. Large empty soft drink bottles do just as well and weigh next to nothing.

Anyway, just enjoy and don't worry too much about where you hike. It's all good and once you start doing it you will want to see it all.Backpacker
I don't own a bear barrel or plan on using one for the time being. I hike out in the stanislaus national forest where bear barrels are not a requirement. I do however hang my entire pack PCT style as do most everyone else around here. So no that doesn't include a bear barrel weight and it won't for some time until I get my gear situation more squared away. As far as my pack weighing 5Lbs empty.... I don't remember saying that, and if I did I probably miss typed and was suppose to be talking about my sleeping bag which ways right about 5Lbs. My pack is just a cheapo Coleman brand pack that I have had for years and is nothing special but it only weighs a few Lbs. I'm pretty proud of shaving my pack down to roughly 25lbs because of the fact that I haven't spent more then 50$ on gear. Everything I have in my pack is stuff I have had from car camping, day trips, and the like. In the near future when I have the money saved up I will be able to shave a lot of that weight off my pack by just upgrading a few simple things. I really want to get a new down sleeping bag when I have the 200$ or so saved up and that alone will probably take 2-3lbs off my pack. I also really want a ULA Circuit when I have the money for a new pack. Stuff like that is what will be coming next it just all takes money and for the time being im happy to carry the weight while I save up the cash.


Little update on my trip to sonora peak over the pass until I can get an offical trip report up. We made it to the top of the peak and then back over the northern side and down to Wolf Creek lake where we had lunch, after that we hiked back up out of the bowl the lake was in and then followed the PCT back to the car to end a very enjoyable day. I got home saturday night and had to go right back to work sunday morning because work has picked up like crazy. Got another full day ahead of me tomorrow (And by full day I mean 12hrs atleast). Hopefully I will get the time to get some pictures and a more detailed report up soonish. Anyway I thank you guys again for the help and advice.
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 24, 2014 08:39AM
If you venture into Yosemite while backpacking a bear canister is mandatory for food storage for any overnight camping. Hanging food in any fashion is prohibited and PCT hikers should not be doing it inside the park boundaries.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2014 08:48AM by tomdisco.
Chill guys. I appreciate the advice and understand where you guys stand on this but for the time being I plan not to camp with one. As I mentioned I camp in the stanislaus national forest and bear barrels are not a Req there. If and when I camp inside of the Yosemite boundaries I will of course bring a barrel with me as I do not plan to break any state/park rules.


As far as the complaints people have about hanging bags I find that most (if not all) are just stupid and could be said about most anything else hikers do. As far as hanging your bag not working, well thats just idiotic to say. Lots of state parks, national forests, campsites, ect ect provide pre hung wires for you to hang your bags from so obviously it does work you just have to hang it correctly. Saying that hanging will not keep a bear from your food is the same as saying that a bear barrel will not keep a bear from your food its just not true but it doesn't mean they are fool proof. As far as leaving ropes in trees go, well thats just stupidity, yet I find trash out there all the time as well so should we go and make a law that no non bio-degradable trash is allowed in any state park? No. More rules and laws and regulations do nothing but take the last little bit of common sense people have away and force them to live in a box.


Hanging PCT style is simple and quick and requires no ropes being left in the tree, no tie off point on the ground, and no way for any animal to get to what is hung without it climbing the tree, climbing out on the branch, and then either cutting the rope or climbing down said rope. When I hang my bag I personally like to leave the tag end of the rope reaching down to the ground (or close anyway) for 2 reasons. 1. It makes it easy to retrieve when you need to. and 2. If any bear comes along and decides to mess with the rope all that will result is the bag being pulled farther up the tree resulting in the bear becoming frustrated and leaving. (If you don't know what hanging a bear bag PCT style means I suggest you watch This And I suggest watching this if you think you have to have the perfect tree and branch to get a bag off the ground and well away from a bear.)



Bear canisters are great don't get me wrong but I find that they have some flaws of their own (Just like hanging does)

First off there is the whole weight and volume thing that can be irritating. When Hanging your bag you can pack it however you like but when carrying a bear canister you have to make sure every little piece of food, scented item, trash ect fits in it.
Second I find that people put far to much trust in their bear barrels thinking that just because they have their food and such in the barrel and the barrel set away from camp that a bear will have no reason to come visit you. People often forget that they have been wearing their pack all day, sweating on it, setting it down different (interesting smelling) places, eating with it on (you know you carry your trail mix in the mesh pocket on the side),Thru hikers often bring it with them into gas stations, resturants, outhouses, ect. And not only does you pack slowly collect these interesting smells so does your gear, your diry clothes, and everything else you may come in contact with. I hang my entire pack so that there is nothing left in camp but my shelter, what im wearing and my shoes at the end of the day. Everything that can goes in the backpack and up in the air a good distance from camp.


Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a bear barrel and will be using one when I am required to and may even get one of my own in the future, but for those of you that think that you might as well cover yourself with honey and put a sign up that says "free bear buffet -> this way" if your one of those people that (Gasp) hangs your stuff in a tree you might want to do a little more research. For the time being I do not have the money to buy a barrel for myself, the space to carry one until I can get the money to buy a better backpack or the desire to add more heavy things to my already to heavy pack.
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 25, 2014 06:49AM
Quote
randomsteve95370

As far as the complaints people have about hanging bags I find that most (if not all) are just stupid and could be said about most anything else hikers do. As far as hanging your bag not working, well thats just idiotic to say. Lots of state parks, national forests, campsites, ect ect provide pre hung wires for you to hang your bags from so obviously it does work you just have to hang it correctly. Saying that hanging will not keep a bear from your food is the same as saying that a bear barrel will not keep a bear from your food its just not true but it doesn't mean they are fool proof.

YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

You WILL lose properly hung food in Yosemite. Maybe not the first time, cause bears do not always hit the same place each night. But bears have been getting properly hung food in Yosemite for years, because of THIS attitude. People KNOW canisters are the only legal way and insist they can hang the food "right."

RIGHT DOES NOT MATTER TO THESE BEARS. They have the ability to utterly defeat the properly hung bear bag. Hanging your food properly still works - SOMEWHERE ELSE NOT YOSEMITE. And not along the JMT south of Yosemite, not in the Whitney Zone, not in the alpine areas where bears follow people up the pass to areas with no trees, not in Rae Lakes. Not on the Lost Coast. Not in Desolation Wilderness. Hanging does not work there, do not try.

We are not kidding.

Bear canisters work great in Yosemite. There is a bear in Kings Canyon that opens Bear Vaults - there are bears in Wyoming that shatter Bearikades - back east, Yellow Yellow taught her cubs how to bite tabs off the lids of Bear Vaults - BUT, in Yosemite, canisters work great.

You can leave food in your car in all kinds of places where bear canisters are mandatory. In many places bears don't break into cars. They haven't bothered to learn how yet. But in Yosemite, YOU MUST HAVE A CLEAN CAR. Do not leave any items with a smell in your car. Have clean carpets and put everything in the bear lockers as instructed. Don't leave even an empty ice chest in plain sight - the bears want to look inside because they know what an ice chest is, and they will pull off the car door to do it.

Bear habits are entirely regional, and you have to know what's do-able. In Yosemite the bears have advanced degrees in getting your food. Read the rules and follow to the letter, and you will be fine. Don't follow the rules, imagine you can hang food better or that leaving gum in the glove box doesn't matter - hey, here's your fine. They fine you if the bear gets a food reward. Even if the bear destroyed your car to do it.

My friend decided, in the early 90s, before the canister regulations, to hike the JMT all in one go - he had 40-50 lbs of food in two sacks and executed the PERFECT hang near Tuolumne Meadows. While he was getting ready for sleeping and taking photos of sunset, along came mama bear and a cub - they had the food within minutes of their arrival and mama carried off the sacks in her mouth at a run. She taught her cub to chew the rope and drop the sacks. It does not matter how good you hang food - the bears in Yosemite can get it. They have been teaching their cubs how for YEARS.

A camper at Curry was digging for her bag of stuff in a locker in the parking lot. She heard heavy breathing. The bear's head was inches from her elbow - he wanted his share and took a look. She screamed, the bear took off, eventually she got up off the dirt and took her stuff and locked up the locker again. The bear doesn't want to hurt YOU. He just wants your granola. He's just not afraid of people and he'll do anything, anything to get those yummy carbs from you. The really aggressive bears get killed before they hurt people - so you're doing the bears a favor by following the rules to the letter.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2014 07:25AM by AlmostThere.
Again you seem to have missed the point by a mile. I said, will say, and will continue to say that I am not camping in, or even close to the Yosemite border and therefore am not required by law to carry a bear barrel with me. When/if I go somewhere that requires bear barrels then I will by all means bring one not only because its the law but also because most of the time those laws are in place for a reason. Bear barrels are required in Yosemite because there are so many people there that the bears have become accustom to people and the fact that they bring food that you now need to use a bear barrel to keep them out of it. Totally understandable, entirely reasonable. My only complaint (And listen closely because this is the point I have been trying to get across) is that people who use bear barrels all the time or people who have had bad experiences hanging bags (I.E. hung there food bag somewhere that they were suppose to have a bear barrel and got it ripped apart) feel that hanging your food bag is the stupidest idea on the planet and only complete idiots would think such a stupid caveman tradition would work. Saying that hanging your food bag "Does" work is entirely different then saying hanging your food bag "works everywhere everytime".


I appreciate the stories, experiences, warnings, deep seated emotions and everything else that comes with it, and I do take note of what you guys are saying and believe me. If I ever go camping in yosemite a bear barrel is going to be the first thing on my list to bring with. But believe it or not me and hundreds of people who hike out in the "sierra" every year have had very good success hanging our packs while out on the trail. Many PCT hikers only carry a bear barrel in the few parks they pass through that require them (Yosemite being 1) and belive it or not hundreds and hundreds of them make the trip every year and have success with the hang it method.


I know a lot of you probably just think im a over confident idiot bound to get mauled by a bear out there and give the rest of you hikers a bad name but believe it or not I have actually lived in the mountains my entire life, I have done a lot of camping and have had plenty of run-ins with bears in my time and have never lost a bag that was hung properly in the areas that I have camped. I do bring camping experience to the table with me I just don't have much backpacking experience. You know, things like how do you like to pack your backpack? Whats your favorite item you always bring with you? What "extra" items do you like to bring? Favorite trail foods? How many miles do you usualy do a day when cross coutry hiking? You know those kind of things.


Just to clarify my point 1 last time. In short; If a barrel is required you bring one (Rent, borrow, buy, whatever), end of story no further discussion. In areas where they are not you have to make the decision for yourself but I do feel that you need to make a well informed one. Know the area you are going and know the bears there. For the time being I will be hiking around areas that I know well and have no problem hanging my entire pack as it stands. When I have the spare 60-100$ around I will get a barrel and will have no problem using it but for right now I do not have the money.


Any way im not here to pick a fight so I will leave you with this.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2014 03:03PM by randomsteve95370.
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 25, 2014 03:52PM
you missed my point by 10 miles. I did not say anything condemning the proper usage of a hung food bag. I am trying to provide you with information that is important to you for backpacking in various wilderness areas in California. there are a lot more areas that require bear canisters then you think and there are more coming. PCT hikers have been injured by Bears because they decide not to use lockers and not to use bear cans but sleep with their food. PCT hikers have also lost their packs to bears that steal them. This has happened in areas outside the mandated bear canister territories.

No one thinks badly of you for not understanding the entire story. And certainly I would never think that anyone would be mauled by a bear in California, since there are zero, zip, nada deaths related to wild black bears in California.
Thanks. I totally understand what your saying. Its my fault how this conversation about bear cans got off. The whole bear can/hanging method has had me a little perturbed as of late because of some people who have basically told me that I should be dead because of the how lazy I am in the way I have chosen in the past to keep food away from animals and that basically I give hikers a bad name ect ect ect. When I read the first set of replies and answered back it was after a long day of work and I jumped in with the assumption that you guys had the same atitude on the situation. As I mentioned I didn't mean to start a fight or anything and I truely do listen to what you guys have to say as I know that you have real experiences with these kind of things and are not just speaking out your Arses. For now I cannot afford a barrel and do not know anyone I could borrow one from but for the time that I do not have one I will be sticking to places I have hiked around in the past and know the local bears and just experiment with my gear and have fun and not worry about dealing with any Super brain Yose bears until I have the proper technology tongue sticking out smiley
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 26, 2014 09:16AM
FWIW, Yosemite, Inyo, and Sequoia/Kings Canyon (SEKI) all rent canisters for a nominal fee ($5 per trip for Yosemite), so don't let the lack of a canister keep you out of Yosemite (or SEKI). You can rent the canister where you pick up your wilderness permit and can drop it off at any permit station--not necessarily the one you picked it up at.
Thats Good to know. 5$ is cheap. You said 5$ per visit so is that a flat 5$ even for a trip that is several days long?
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 30, 2014 02:27PM
It is $5 per week:

Bear Canister Rentals
You can rent a Garcia Backpackers' Cache 812 canister from any staffed wilderness permit station. The cost is $5 per week with a $95 deposit (cash or credit card accepted, but you must pick up the cash deposit at the location where you rented the canister during business hours). Reservations are not available, nor are they necessary.

Garcia Backpackers' Cache canisters are 12 inches (30 cm) tall, 8.8 inches (22.4 cm) in diameter, have a volume of 615 cubic inches (10 L), and weigh 2 pounds, 11 ounces (1.2 kg).

Taken from:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearcanrentals.htm
Thank you very much for the info.
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 24, 2014 11:25AM
Bear canisters are mandatory in Yosemite and some areas in Kings/Sequoia NPs, as well as a number of other wilderness areas in California. I make them mandatory for my group hikes as there are frequently no handy trees for a REAL bear hang - 15 feet up, 5-6 down from the branch, 10 feet from the tree trunk - and I grow weary of finding coils of rope in trees everywhere.

Learn to love the canister.

Hanging your pack in Yosemite may result in the bears stealing it. Rangers warn not to leave your backpack anywhere unattended. Bears know what they are and steal then destroy them - as an acquaintance found out in Hetch Hetchy. Ended his four day trip on day one, all his gear destroyed. just by leaving it to go 30 feet behind a tree to take a leak.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2014 11:29AM by AlmostThere.
Quote
AlmostThere
Learn to love the canister.

Great statement! I love ours!!!! Peace of mind!!!!
avatar Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 25, 2014 08:25AM
There reportedly have also been instances where bears have actually injured themselves leaping from a tree trunk to reach a hanging food bag.
As for bear canisters, the Yosemite bears know they cannot get into them so soon move onto easier pickings. They may bat it around a bit but that's about it. Just don't leave your canister where it can be rolled down a mountain or into a stream! Just for the record, very few back country hikers ever see bears, let alone get visited by one at night. They the know the food prizes are in cars or sitting on picnic tables. They can smell it two miles away! Where would you go if you were a bear looking for human treats?
Re: New memeber looking for advice, wisdom, and all you have to offer. tongue sticking out smiley
June 25, 2014 09:06AM
We saw bears every night in backcountry campsites, sometimes twice a night. Got up to bear slobber on the pots we left out.
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