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RE: [pct-l] Weekend

Saskia asks >> Maybe a very newbie question: but what do you consider
camping? <<

Stealth Camping is pretty simple in concept. In bear country it involves the
practice of eating and sleeping. First before you make camp, stop somewhere
along the trail at a water source and cook your dinner. Then proceed on down
the trail another mile or more. 

Select a campsite well away from the trail 2 to 3 hundred yards. Locate a
site that doesn't look like it's been used as a campsite and setup camp
there. Practice a little LNT by not disturbing the ground under your tent
too much.

Cooking odors attract bears. So by cooking well away from you camp, you
minimize the odors in your camp that will attract bears. 

Also bears are creatures of habit. They will frequently visit areas of known
success. Like established campsites. By camping well away from them, you
greatly reduce you chance of encounter. You're likely  to see a bear only if
they happen to wander by.

I would also add that if you're using a tent or tarp, select one that blends
in with the background. Bears are very curious by nature and are attracted
to things that seem out of place. A brightly colored tent is far more likely
to attract a bear.

Before entering the Sierras, I was somewhat concerned about finding suitable
stealth campsites. However, it turns out that the Sierras offer the best
areas for stealth camping I've ever seen. Unlike the narrow ridged and
brushy mountain East coat, the ridges in the Sierra Mountains are wide and
the forest is relatively clear of brush. The wide glacial valleys also offer
remarkable camping opportunities.  It's very easy to find a nice campsite
well away from the trail. 

One upside is that if you select your stealth camp well, it's not likely
that the rangers are going to see you either. Also at the peak of thru-hiker
season, most of the backcountry rangers are still down in the valleys. I
only saw one from Kennedy Meadows to Echo Lake.

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

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