[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[pct-l] stealth camping
- Subject: [pct-l] stealth camping
- From: email@example.com (Marion Davison)
- Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 20:02:28 -0700
Expanding on this thread, Jardine's book is "The Pacific Crest Trail
Hiker's Handbook" and it is a must read for anyone determined to hike a
section or more. Stealth camping is a way of avoiding bear problems.
Jardine points out that if you could fly over the Sierra Nevada at
night, you could observe strings and circles of lights, created by
people camped along streams and around lakes near the trails. Bears
know what campsites people use every night, and make the foraging easy
on themselves by denning near these areas and visiting a habitual route
every night that maximizes their chance of finding human food. Bears
are notified of the human's nightly presence by the smell of campfires
and cooking food, as they can smell food cooking from three miles away.
People in these sites must take all precautions to safeguard and defend
their food, and many lose it anyway. People who want a good nights
sleep and want to keep their food will be wise to stealth camp. It is
an ideal method for the thru hiker who is going to hike from dawn to
dusk anyway. Arise at dawn, walk to the next convenient water source,
and make your breakfast. Fill up your water supply for the day. Hike
on and stop to make dinner at a convenient water source, before dark.
Then pack up and hike on until dusk, to some campable spot (off trail,
and perhaps no bigger than your tent floor), far from water, where no
one has likely camped before. Don't have a fire or cook any food
there. The bears and other critters won't come looking for you there as
they don't expect anyone to be there, and haven't been lured in by smell
signals. What you do to store your food there depends on local
I am here to tell you that this method really works. We have hiked
300 mile sections of the PCT and connecting trails in the High Sierra
for the last 5 summers, and have stealth camped every night ( about 250
nights). We have slept with our food and never had a bear incident.
Sadly, today we broke down and bought two bear cans, as we are
embarking next week for a 400 mile loop trip between Sonora Pass and
Muir Pass, and will spend a lot of time in areas where bear cans are now
mandatory equipment ( Yosemite and several regions of the Inyo Nat.
Forest). We hoped it would never come to this, but it has.