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Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin

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First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 12:00PM
Living in NJ, my wife and I are only able to get out to Yosemite once (or, occasionally, twice) a year. We usually stay in Yosemite West which, for the lower part of the park, is very conveniently located, very comfortable and, by now, feels like home to us. We almost always go in May so rarely get to see much along the Tioga Road but there are more and more hikes up there that are calling to me. So, this year, we'll plan a trip the first week of September. We booked too late to get anything at TM Lodge and the "real" cabins at White Wolf were already taken (which, I suspect, is no surprise...I understand that I'm more likely to win big in the Megamillions lottery than to get a cabin at WW). At any rate, we were able to get a few nights booked in a WW Tent Cabin and I have a number of questions( it might be relevant for some of these questions to know that we'll only be doing day hikes):

1. What kind of night-time temperatures can we expect in September?
2. I've read that the Curry tent-cabins have electric heaters...is there any kind of heat in the WW tent-cabins?
3. We normally buy most of our food on the way in to the Park and keep it in the room. What sort of bear concerns should I consider here? Should we have bear cannisters in the room? For the car? Are we better off leaving food in the tent or in the car? Or just throw everything out every night and re-stock at WW every morning?
Similar question for the day-time while we're out hiking...what should we do with our food?
4. How about valuables? We're certainly not planning on bringing a selection of oil paintings to decorate the tent-cabin and most of the electronic stuff will be with us (either in the tent at night or with us during the day) all the time but has anybody had problems with stuff getting stolen from the tent cabins?
5. Between cell-phones, walkie-talkies and cameras, I'll need to be doing at least some recharging over the 3 or 4 days we'll be up there. Any suggestions? I have a car charger I can use for some (but not all) of these devices but has anybody had any luck with solar chargers or those "recharge from a battery" devices?
6. Hate to sound like one of those "scared of the wilderness" newbies but we're used to a certain kind of setup (i.e., a secure room with heat and electricity that can be used as home-base) and I just don't know what sort of preparations we should make for the new experience in "almost-outdoors" accomodations.
7. Finally, the three hikes we currently have in mind for the area are Tenaya Lake to Cloud's Rest, TM to Glen Aulin area (and maybe a bit beyond if we're feeling ambitious) and Tamarack Flat down a good stretch of the Old Big Oak Flat Road. If we can swing it time-wise, we're also thinking of WW to Aspen Valley. Does WW seem like a good base of operations or do you think we should look for last-minute cancellations at TM Lodge? I believe that TM only has tent-cabins (is that correct?) If so, would any of my WW Tent Cabin questions merit different answers at TM?

Thanks (as always),
David
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 12:18PM
Food: You cannot have any food (or anything with an odor for that matter) inside your tent, ever. They provide bear boxes for storing all that stuff. And, you can't leave it in your car either. Not even in a bear cannister, I cannot stress this enough. Your car WILL get broken into if there is even the hint of smells coming from it. I always thoroughly clean my car before going to Yosemite, because there is always a french fry or something that fell under the seat.

Your valuables should be relatively safe. Everyone else there is like you, there to enjoy Yosemite, not steal. In Curry, they have put safes in most of the tents, but I don't know about WW.

For charging things, you need to get a light bulb adapter. I haven't stayed in WW, but I am guessing they are the same as Curry, where you have a bulb hanging from the ceiling. Go to the hardware store and get a light bulb adapter that has two outlets on it. Unscrew the bulb and screw in the adapter, then the bulb into the adapter. Bring an extension cord and you'll be fine.

Bring either a sleeping bag or extra blankets. We like to bring our own sheets too, because the ones they provide aren't all that great. In fact, we used their blanket to cover the mattress before we put on our sheets, to keep out some of the cold from the crappy plastic covered mattresses.

The tents in Curry that have heat cost more. As much as double if you book in advance. A secret I learned this past winter was to book a non heated room, then at check in I was offered a heated tent for only $10 more. It would have been about $40 more if I had booked it in advance. We actually declined, but then got lucky: our non heated tent had a breaker issue. We went to the desk and told them, and of course said that we had lots of stuff and didn't want to move very far. The nearest free cabin was heated, so they gave it to us at no extra charge for the trouble.

I don't know about temps in WW in Sept. But the valley is blazing hot and WW is higher, so it will probably be maybe 10-15 degrees cooler. So subtract 10 degrees from blazing and you get the idea. Someone else can probably give more accurate estimates.

As far as what else to bring. I like to bring additional battery operated lights, the bulb in the ceiling is just not adequate sometimes.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 12:30PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
I don't know about temps in WW in Sept. But the valley is blazing hot and WW is higher, so it will probably be maybe 10-15 degrees cooler. So subtract 10 degrees from blazing and you get the idea. Someone else can probably give more accurate estimates.



See
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,30781,30900#msg-30900
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 01:55PM
Hi Hotrod,
Correct me if I'm mis-reading it but it sounds like your comments are based on the Curry tent cabins. Do you have a sense of how different the WW tent cabins are? For example, the accomodations page for it on the NPS site says that there is NO electricity (although they do, apparently have wood-burning stoves for heat). Unfortunately, carrying extra blankets isn't really an option for us (we'll be flying out from NJ so, unless we stop somewhere on the way to the Park and buy some cheap stuff that we get rid of somewhere (or struggle with too much luggage), I'm not sure we can bring in much of our own stuff. That much said, picking up some cheap sheets on the way in sounds like it might not be too bad an idea (unless anyone knows that the mattresses and supplied sheets at WW are significantly better than those at Curry).
We'll be in a rental car and have done day-hikes off the Tioga Road in the past. I don't know how much more active bears are at night up there but we've parked by the side of the road for 8-10 hours at a time with no problems (I'm not trying to make light of the concern...I've seen those "break-in" videos, too...just saying I think that the rental car will probably be reasonably scent-free...and (hopefully) free of stray french-fries!).
--David
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 04:25PM
Yes, my comments are for the curry tent cabins. I am assuming that the tent cabins in WW are the same, perhaps they are not. You need to ask them if they have a light bulb, otherwise you'll definitely need some lamps and or flashlights. You probably won't need extra blankets in Sept, but I would at least bring a set of sweats to wear to bed if it is cold.

And ok, yes, I exaggerated a bit about the car getting broken into, but I still never leave food in the car after dark.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 10:14PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Yes, my comments are for the curry tent cabins. I am assuming that the tent cabins in WW are the same, perhaps they are not. You need to ask them if they have a light bulb, otherwise you'll definitely need some lamps and or flashlights. You probably won't need extra blankets in Sept, but I would at least bring a set of sweats to wear to bed if it is cold.

And ok, yes, I exaggerated a bit about the car getting broken into, but I still never leave food in the car after dark.

They're way different. Check the TripAdvisor link I posted for some pictures. Here's a WW tent cabin:



Looks like you can park your car right next to the tent cabin, and there's a stove for heat. I couldn't find a decent interior picture. All the Curry Village tent cabins are located a good walk from the parking lot. I've heard of some complaints about the CV bear boxes being set up next to the tent cabins. People used to drag their stuff a short distance, but now have to haul their stuff all the way to the tent cabins.

The photos I've seen of heated CV tent cabins show an electric or gas heater:

Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 10:29PM
Quote
y_p_w
All the Curry Village tent cabins are located a good walk from the parking lot. I've heard of some complaints about the CV bear boxes being set up next to the tent cabins. People used to drag their stuff a short distance, but now have to haul their stuff all the way to the tent cabins.
I actually much prefer the new bear boxes next to each tent. You now have your food and other goodies right there at your tent. The old bear boxes were next to the parking lot, and there were also much smaller ones that you could fit your toiletries in that were a little closer to the tents. We eat our food in the lounge next to the fire. When we checked in, the "valet" told us if all we were gonna do was heat up water, and we did it discretely, we could do it at our tent cabin.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2011 10:30PM by hotrod4x5.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 02:05PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Food: You cannot have any food (or anything with an odor for that matter) inside your tent, ever. They provide bear boxes for storing all that stuff. And, you can't leave it in your car either. Not even in a bear cannister, I cannot stress this enough. Your car WILL get broken into if there is even the hint of smells coming from it. I always thoroughly clean my car before going to Yosemite, because there is always a french fry or something that fell under the seat.

Your valuables should be relatively safe. Everyone else there is like you, there to enjoy Yosemite, not steal. In Curry, they have put safes in most of the tents, but I don't know about WW.

There's a review on TripAdvisor where someone complained about the contents of their bear box at White Wolf being stolen by people, although I'm not sure if they're at the tent sites or in the parking lot. I know at Curry Village they now have bear boxes at the tent sites and the photos I've seen look like there's a hasp which can be padlocked. I used an additional padlock on my box at Upper Pines both for some items as well as an extra measure if the locking mechanism didn't lock. A neighbor's box wouldn't close properly, and I think an additional measure (padlock or carabiner) might have kept the bear from rampaging through their stuff.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g61000-d248060-r18461595-White_Wolf_Lodge-Yosemite_National_Park_California.html

As for guaranteeing that food in a car will be broken into, I think you're overstating it. I've accidentally left a little food in my car from time to time and have never had my car broken into by a bear. Bears do have an excellent sense of smell and Yosemite is one of the places where bears have learned to break into cars. I certainly wouldn't intentionally leave food in my car in Yosemite after dark. Having food smells in a car is matter of taking chances. Most cars won't get broken into, whether it's because a bear doesn't come across it or because they don't find an opportunity where there aren't any people around. However - it sucks when it does happen, and proper food storage is the key to preventing it from happening.

As for the original questions....

1) All your food should go into a bear box. There are a variety of types in Yosemite, although the bolt and clip mechanism is notorious for pinching fingers. I did that once and had a purple spot where there was bleeding under the skin. Hopefully a lot will have been upgraded to a captive key that turns a simple locking nut.
2) I don't know. You can call Delaware North and ask.
3) Certainly buy what you need.
4) If you can lock your bear box, then that might be an option.
5) A good option is a power inverter to use when you're driving. They plug into the 12V lighter outlet and convert to a standard 110V AC plug. You might also be able to combine one with an emergency jump starter. You can find various types at auto parts stores or discount stores. I bought one about the size of a deck of playing cards with a rated 100W output. The only caveat is that they tend to make a buzzing sound that can range from mild to really loud for a high output one.
6) Just have fun and relax. Have you ever gone regular tent camping before?
7) I've done Tenaya Lake to the junction of Clouds Rest and John Muir Trails as part of a backpacking trip. I of course went down the left fork when your plan would be the right fork. It's very nice, although I think you're looking at about 12-13 miles round trip. I did Clouds Rest as a short day hike from my backcountry campsite before heading back, packing up, and heading for Little Yosemite Valley. It's beautiful up there. Click on the link for the full picture:

http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/5458/img4745.jpg
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 02:45PM
Quote
y_p_w
As for the original questions....

1) All your food should go into a bear box. There are a variety of types in Yosemite, although the bolt and clip mechanism is notorious for pinching fingers. I did that once and had a purple spot where there was bleeding under the skin. Hopefully a lot will have been upgraded to a captive key that turns a simple locking nut.
A strange answer to "how cold does it get?" but useful information nonetheless! grinning smiley
Quote
y_p_w
5) A good option is a power inverter to use when you're driving. They plug into the 12V lighter outlet and convert to a standard 110V AC plug. You might also be able to combine one with an emergency jump starter. You can find various types at auto parts stores or discount stores. I bought one about the size of a deck of playing cards with a rated 100W output. The only caveat is that they tend to make a buzzing sound that can range from mild to really loud for a high output one.
Even without the inverter, I have a cig-lighter-to-USB adapter that I can use for most of my electronics...I just don't plan to be doing much driving up there (longest haul will probably be the day we drive from WW up to TM for the Glen Aulin hike). I've heard about these solar things you can hang off a day-pack while hiking but I've also heard that they charge things VERY slowly.
Quote
y_p_w
6) Just have fun and relax. Have you ever gone regular tent camping before?
I always have fun and relax in Yosemite! Never been tent camping before...once we've moved to California and I'm able to get to Yosemite more easily, I definitely want to do some overnight trips in to the wilderness areas but, being completely inexperienced, I'd probably want to go with somebody experienced (I'm not sure I can get my wife interested...she's not even close to being a prima donna about her accomodations but sleeping on the ground seems not to appeal to her!).
Quote
y_p_w
7) I've done Tenaya Lake to the junction of Clouds Rest and John Muir Trails as part of a backpacking trip. I of course went down the left fork when your plan would be the right fork. It's very nice, although I think you're looking at about 12-13 miles round trip. I did Clouds Rest as a short day hike from my backcountry campsite before heading back, packing up, and heading for Little Yosemite Valley. It's beautiful up there.
http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/5458/img4745.jpg
The trail books say 14 miles for Clouds Rest from Tenaya and that's doable for us. We usually keep our hikes in the 8-12 mile range (depending on how much elevation gain there is) but a couple of extra miles is no big deal, especially since there's a relatively small elevation gain there (only in the Sierra Nevada can you refer to 1500 feet of elevation gain as "not much!"winking smiley. We did most of the Half Dome hike in one day (got to the cables just as a storm was starting to move in so we got back down as soon as we could)...that one left us sore the next day but I'm not anticipating problems with the CR hike (in fact, my wife's looking forward to it as a relaxing alternative to going back up Half Dome!). We'll probably save that one for our last hike and then spend the next day just driving back out to the coast.

Very cool shot on top of CR, BTW.

--David
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 03:07PM
Quote
DavidK42
Quote
y_p_w
As for the original questions....

1) All your food should go into a bear box. There are a variety of types in Yosemite, although the bolt and clip mechanism is notorious for pinching fingers. I did that once and had a purple spot where there was bleeding under the skin. Hopefully a lot will have been upgraded to a captive key that turns a simple locking nut.
A strange answer to "how cold does it get?" but useful information nonetheless! grinning smiley

Sorry. If you didn't notice, food storage was what I was mostly thinking about. I actually started adding more to my first two paragraphs, then thought I'd start ticking off your list one at a time. Didn't quite match up the first point to your question.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 03:35PM
Quote
DavidK42
Quote
y_p_w
5) A good option is a power inverter to use when you're driving. They plug into the 12V lighter outlet and convert to a standard 110V AC plug. You might also be able to combine one with an emergency jump starter. You can find various types at auto parts stores or discount stores. I bought one about the size of a deck of playing cards with a rated 100W output. The only caveat is that they tend to make a buzzing sound that can range from mild to really loud for a high output one.
Even without the inverter, I have a cig-lighter-to-USB adapter that I can use for most of my electronics...I just don't plan to be doing much driving up there (longest haul will probably be the day we drive from WW up to TM for the Glen Aulin hike). I've heard about these solar things you can hang off a day-pack while hiking but I've also heard that they charge things VERY slowly.

I think the lighter (12V nominal) to USB (5V nominal) is DC-DC and probably wouldn't be that loud. You mean a standard adapter, right? I've got a few of those (old Motorola mini-USB charger) as well as some for Magellan GPS units. Some of them just don't seem to be cross-compatible even though they share the same plug. My inverter actually has a USB outlet for power only. I've had a few devices that can use that, including a bluetooth charging cable.

Quote
DavidK42
Quote
y_p_w
6) Just have fun and relax. Have you ever gone regular tent camping before?
I always have fun and relax in Yosemite! Never been tent camping before...once we've moved to California and I'm able to get to Yosemite more easily, I definitely want to do some overnight trips in to the wilderness areas but, being completely inexperienced, I'd probably want to go with somebody experienced (I'm not sure I can get my wife interested...she's not even close to being a prima donna about her accomodations but sleeping on the ground seems not to appeal to her!).

My wife loves Yosemite but would rather stay in Yosemite Lodge next time. I don't know about spending over $200/night on what's less than an average motel room, but I guess she wants heat, a real door, and our own bathroom. We went tent camping at Upper Pines in 2009 when this guy visited our neighbor (I mentioned something earlier):



We ended up locking our bear box, leaving our tent out, and checking into a room near Oakhurst for a night. I had no problem with it, but it freaked her out for a day before we would get back in the tent.

Quote
DavidK42
Quote
y_p_w
7) I've done Tenaya Lake to the junction of Clouds Rest and John Muir Trails as part of a backpacking trip. I of course went down the left fork when your plan would be the right fork. It's very nice, although I think you're looking at about 12-13 miles round trip. I did Clouds Rest as a short day hike from my backcountry campsite before heading back, packing up, and heading for Little Yosemite Valley. It's beautiful up there.
http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/5458/img4745.jpg
The trail books say 14 miles for Clouds Rest from Tenaya and that's doable for us. We usually keep our hikes in the 8-12 mile range (depending on how much elevation gain there is) but a couple of extra miles is no big deal, especially since there's a relatively small elevation gain there (only in the Sierra Nevada can you refer to 1500 feet of elevation gain as "not much!"winking smiley. We did most of the Half Dome hike in one day (got to the cables just as a storm was starting to move in so we got back down as soon as we could)...that one left us sore the next day but I'm not anticipating problems with the CR hike (in fact, my wife's looking forward to it as a relaxing alternative to going back up Half Dome!). We'll probably save that one for our last hike and then spend the next day just driving back out to the coast.

Very cool shot on top of CR, BTW.

--David

I liked the view. I didn't exactly have it all to myself, but I don't think I saw more than maybe two people from and to Clouds Rest. There were several people at the top, but I think they probably were day hiking from the north like you're thinking of doing.

I'm not a terribly experienced backpacker, but I was able to do it. My big mistake was packing too much food. I weighed it at about 11 lbs, and I only consumed about half of what I packed. I even bought 12 oz of flour tortillas at Curry Village but never ate them until I got home. I also made the mistake of wearing shorts with a round, wide (1/4" thick) drawstring. My pack had a pad right at the waist, and after the first night I had this welt on my waist where the pressure from the back had pressed into the drawstring. I should have worn hiking shorts with a flat nylon belt.

BTW - you said something about bear canisters. Those should strictly be used for backpacking. If you're transporting food by car, there's going to hardly be any room for food. I remember spending weeks experimenting with how to pack food in there. I was taking easy cook/rehydrate packet meals (Knorr pasta sides are a popular item as is Quaker instant oatmeal), punching holes in the packaging so I could squeeze out the air, and taping them up. I did that with freeze dried meals, instant oatmeal, mac & cheese, hot cocoa packets, etc. I've heard that some people even go as far as squeezing the air out of Clif Bar pouches. For the most part you're not going to want to deal with a bear canister if you're not backpacking.

Are you thinking of cooking? There isn't going to be any place you can cook at White Wolf unless you can maybe head over to the campground and persuade someone to let you use their campsite. You mentioned Yosemite West, which sounds to me like a vacation home or condo with a full kitchen. You're not going to have a kitchen at WW and cooking is only allowed at picnic areas with grills. I think the Tenaya Lake picnic area would be the closest to WW.
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 05:51PM
Quote
y_p_w
Are you thinking of cooking? There isn't going to be any place you can cook at White Wolf unless you can maybe head over to the campground and persuade someone to let you use their campsite. You mentioned Yosemite West, which sounds to me like a vacation home or condo with a full kitchen. You're not going to have a kitchen at WW and cooking is only allowed at picnic areas with grills. I think the Tenaya Lake picnic area would be the closest to WW.
We'll do most of our own food prep when we're at Yosemite West but in WW, we'll mostly be eating at the restaurant there (or getting boxed lunches). I read somewhere on this board that at least some people feel it's one of the better restaurants at the various tent-cabin sites.
Anybody know if there's any kind of store there if we want to get some basic supplies and make our own (cold) lunch? Of course Crane Flat's pretty close by and we'll be starting at least one of our hikes from TM so the store up there is an option, too, I guess. I'm a real "foodie" and try to take healthy & interesting food on my hikes but the few nights were there, I don't mind if I have to settle for a boxed lunch or two.
--David
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 10:21PM
Quote
DavidK42
Quote
y_p_w
Are you thinking of cooking? There isn't going to be any place you can cook at White Wolf unless you can maybe head over to the campground and persuade someone to let you use their campsite. You mentioned Yosemite West, which sounds to me like a vacation home or condo with a full kitchen. You're not going to have a kitchen at WW and cooking is only allowed at picnic areas with grills. I think the Tenaya Lake picnic area would be the closest to WW.
We'll do most of our own food prep when we're at Yosemite West but in WW, we'll mostly be eating at the restaurant there (or getting boxed lunches). I read somewhere on this board that at least some people feel it's one of the better restaurants at the various tent-cabin sites.
Anybody know if there's any kind of store there if we want to get some basic supplies and make our own (cold) lunch? Of course Crane Flat's pretty close by and we'll be starting at least one of our hikes from TM so the store up there is an option, too, I guess. I'm a real "foodie" and try to take healthy & interesting food on my hikes but the few nights were there, I don't mind if I have to settle for a boxed lunch or two.
--David

I heard the breakfast is pretty good, and of course they'll prepare the box lunches for you. From what I heard, the dinners are pretty pricey - maybe $20-30 entrees I would think. I got the impression that dinner is similar to prices at Wawona, and I recall spending $20 for a trout dinner.

I don't think it's against the rules to eat outside your cabin, but of course it's going to be cold since they don't allow cooking.

As far as being a foodie goes, I'm looking forward to the next time I'm there. I really want to bring some oysters fresh from a Marin County oyster farm and my trusty knife. Just some lemon, Tabasco, and let 'em slide down the gut.
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 13, 2011 10:16AM
Quote
y_p_w

As for guaranteeing that food in a car will be broken into, I think you're overstating it. I've accidentally left a little food in my car from time to time and have never had my car broken into by a bear. Bears do have an excellent sense of smell and Yosemite is one of the places where bears have learned to break into cars. I certainly wouldn't intentionally leave food in my car in Yosemite after dark. Having food smells in a car is matter of taking chances. Most cars won't get broken into, whether it's because a bear doesn't come across it or because they don't find an opportunity where there aren't any people around. However - it sucks when it does happen, and proper food storage is the key to preventing it from happening.

If you look at the statistics for bear problems it's clear that he overstated - there were 504 incidents last year, 19 in the wilderness and all the rest in parking lots, campgrounds and "other areas". There are thousands and thousands of cars and RVs going in and out of the park year round.

Also of note - packs are occasionally dragged off by bears, and folks who leave them unattended while hiking have had gear destroyed by bears who have learned what packs LOOK like. It's not about smell anymore .... Bears will also break into cars to get an empty ice chest, investigate a bag or box that may or may not contain food, etc. So having a blanket or some other way to hide non-food-containing containers is a good idea. All smell items (food, lotions, etc) should go in the bear boxes.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 13, 2011 02:21PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Quote
y_p_w

As for guaranteeing that food in a car will be broken into, I think you're overstating it. I've accidentally left a little food in my car from time to time and have never had my car broken into by a bear. Bears do have an excellent sense of smell and Yosemite is one of the places where bears have learned to break into cars. I certainly wouldn't intentionally leave food in my car in Yosemite after dark. Having food smells in a car is matter of taking chances. Most cars won't get broken into, whether it's because a bear doesn't come across it or because they don't find an opportunity where there aren't any people around. However - it sucks when it does happen, and proper food storage is the key to preventing it from happening.

If you look at the statistics for bear problems it's clear that he overstated - there were 504 incidents last year, 19 in the wilderness and all the rest in parking lots, campgrounds and "other areas". There are thousands and thousands of cars and RVs going in and out of the park year round.

Not all bears are that interested in securing human food. I've heard that a lot of bears are simply curious (while somewhat wary) about people. My backpacking trip included a visitor. A neighboring family said that this bear went through their campsite and didn't even sniff at their bear canister which was in plain sight. A lot of the incidents are just random. I guarantee that every vehicle entering Yosemite has some sort of food residue that a bear can detect via smell, whether it's a cooler or maybe just chunks of movie theater popcorn transferred from a shoe to a floor mat. The best one can do is remove any real food and try to clean up any crumbs to reduce the "food odor signature" of a vehicle. I heard an store clerk in bear country describe bears as purposeful in that they want to get food and not just investigate a smell. She noted that maybe a small odor wouldn't be enough for a bear to go through the effort of breaking through a car door.

Quote
AlmostThere
Also of note - packs are occasionally dragged off by bears, and folks who leave them unattended while hiking have had gear destroyed by bears who have learned what packs LOOK like. It's not about smell anymore .... Bears will also break into cars to get an empty ice chest, investigate a bag or box that may or may not contain food, etc. So having a blanket or some other way to hide non-food-containing containers is a good idea. All smell items (food, lotions, etc) should go in the bear boxes.

Bears are certainly visual. Yosemite rangers tell the story of "Camaro Bear" - one that scored a pretty good haul out of a Camaro and then started to break into similar vehicles on sight about 20 times the same year before it was put down. Then there was "Snaggletooth" - known for chewing through cans and the unique teeth damage it acquired as a result. I heard its demise came when it tried chewing through a can of pressurized whip cream; they found it with the schrapnel stuck in its mouth.

I was spending my last night at the Valley Backpackers Campground when a sizeable scout group arrived at about 9 PM. After an incident (I was trying to sleep but woke up as a result), I talked to the teenager who had his pack dragged off by a bear when he just let it down for less than 10 seconds. There were food smells all around with people cooking and eating for the past 4 hours, so I doubt this bear could have homed in on this one pack based on smell.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 03:59PM
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hotrod4x5
Food: You cannot have any food (or anything with an odor for that matter) inside your tent, ever. They provide bear boxes for storing all that stuff. And, you can't leave it in your car either. Not even in a bear cannister, I cannot stress this enough. Your car WILL get broken into if there is even the hint of smells coming from it. I always thoroughly clean my car before going to Yosemite, because there is always a french fry or something that fell under the seat.

I would stress that Yosemite and other parts (Tahoe, SEKI) of the Sierra Nevada aren't the norm when it comes to food storage rules. I've been tent camping in the Mt Rainier NP and Olympic NP where bear boxes weren't even provided except for a few communal boxes for those arriving by bicycle or motorcycle. I was told that food storage in plain sight was legal, and that their only concern was that leaving out food meant that squirrels and birds could get to it. I called about maybe staying at a tent cabin in Grand Teton NP and asked about food storage (i.e. are there bear boxes?). I was told that the usual thing is to store the food out of sight in a car, and that bears don't break into cars there. The only bear box I noticed on the trip was on an island on Jackson Lake where food is sometimes prepared for paying guests. They didn't have any buildings or vehicles to store the food in, so they placed the boxes.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 04:08PM
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y_p_w
I would stress that Yosemite and other parts (Tahoe, SEKI) of the Sierra Nevada aren't the norm when it comes to food storage rules.

SEKI isn't even the same as Yosemite. The kitchen and dining area at Bearpaw HSC aren't exactly bear proof:

avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 10:05PM
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eeek
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y_p_w
I would stress that Yosemite and other parts (Tahoe, SEKI) of the Sierra Nevada aren't the norm when it comes to food storage rules.

SEKI isn't even the same as Yosemite. The kitchen and dining area at Bearpaw HSC aren't exactly bear proof:

Well - yeah.

I remember at Lodgepole they had a big 'ol gas grill cooking meats, along with large unsecured trash cans. The campground less than 1/4 mile from the area is bear central too.

Still - they have warnings in some areas that food must be stored at the trailhead bear boxes at all times, including daytime. I did have food in my car at Grant Grove village and asked about it with a ranger. She said it should be OK during the daytime, especially with so many people walking in the parking lot. I guess at night all bets are off.
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 07:55PM
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hotrod4x5
For charging things, you need to get a light bulb adapter. I haven't stayed in WW, but I am guessing they are the same as Curry, where you have a bulb hanging from the ceiling. Go to the hardware store and get a light bulb adapter that has two outlets on it. Unscrew the bulb and screw in the adapter, then the bulb into the adapter. Bring an extension cord and you'll be fine.



According to the website, the WW tent-cabins do not have electricity; only the 4 cabins with baths do:
http://www.yosemitepark.com/Accommodations_WhiteWolfLodge_LodgingDetails.aspx
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 02:08PM
Just curious, where do you stay in Yosemite West ?
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 02:28PM
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The Other Tom
Just curious, where do you stay in Yosemite West ?
We actually always request the same room in the Condominiums. We've never had a problem getting a room up there, in fact, except for a single day on one visit, we've never had a problem getting the exact same room (it's actually a bit run-down but it's at the far end so you're furthest from the parking lot and late-arrivals). It's far from the cheapest place in the Park (although, technically, it's not in the Park...the Wawona Road at Chinquapin is pretty close to the Park boundary and when you go the mile or so down Henness Ridge Road to get there, you cross out of the Park...no way to get there except through the Park, however) but it's comfortable, centrally located for the southern part of the Park (pretty much equi-distant from Wawona, GP and the Valley) and it has a fully equipped (if far from gourmet) kitchen so you can prepare all your own food (and, on the day you decide to do something like Half Dome, it's VERY nice to have leftovers waiting for you!). So, factoring in time spent driving to trailheads (and gas) and not having to eat all your meals in a restaurant (or cafeteria), the $50 or so extra a night (compared to something like the Lodge...certainly MUCH more than staying in Curry or a campsite) is well worth it. They also have some very sizeable houses up there (can comfortably fit up to 8 people in them). They're pricey on the surface, but if you're travelling with enough people to fill the place, it's a pretty good bargain.
--David
Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 12, 2011 06:15PM
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DavidK42
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The Other Tom
Just curious, where do you stay in Yosemite West ?
We actually always request the same room in the Condominiums. --David
Thanks for the link. Thinking of taking the family (10 people) to Yosemite and we will ned a big place. If it's just me and my son, we'll camp smiling smiley
avatar Re: First time stay in a tent-cabin
January 15, 2011 09:36AM
I don't know how true it is but I read somewhere that the Yosemite bears are so visual that one was known to have broken into a car just to get at a spare can of engine oil. To the bear it looked just like like a food container. As for their sense of smell it's off the charts compared to humans.
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