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RE: [pct-l] Weekend


Welcome to this side of the long trail universe. I didn't recognize your
original post as you've changed you're email address. As to your three
concerns, I'll try to address them in order.

Bears - They can be a problem but only for a relatively short section of the
trail in the high Sierra Mtns. Even then, most thru-hikers travel through
before they become too much of a problem. The PCTA website bear page should
give you good tips on what to do and look forward to. Not to open too large
a can of worms, but the NPS is beginning to require Bear Canisters for
hikers above 9600 in some areas. I don't know what their feelings are on the
topic of the new Specta cloth food containers. My understanding is that they
aren't very good. But my info maybe out of date.

On our travels through bear country we only saw one or two other thru-hikers
carrying bear canisters. As far as I know, no one had a significant problem.
We always stealth camped and slept with our food. The only bears we say were
in a NPS campground when there were bear boxes.

Lighting - Fortunately the weather systems out here are pretty stable. The
only lighting we encountered was again in the Sierra's. But I've had far
more close encounters with lighting hiking on the Southern portion of the AT
than on the PCT. Storms here are too infrequent to be much of a problem. If
one's coming in, you can generally tell long enough in advance to get down
to tree line.

We had a few lighting storms in the Sierras for a few days but not too bad.
The storms always passed in a few hours leaving us with clear beautiful

Getting Lost - This is where the PCT is a big departure from the AT. It
isn't blazed. In general there are markings at the places where the trail
crosses roads or other trails. Once you're on the trail it's not hard to
stay on it. But it can get pretty confusing at times. The Guide book is
needed but occasionally confusing. 

I only got lost once for a few miles but got confused a few times. I was on
the trail and very happy to see the trail marker. Still overall you
shouldn't have too much problem.

Good luck and have a great hike. 

By the way, what area are you planning to hike?

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
PCT 2000 - http://www.fallingwater.com/pct2000

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To:            rogercar@pacifier.com, pct-l-digest@backcountry.net