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[pct-l] Cannisters & bugs
Tom Reynolds writes:
> My ADVICE TO THRUHIKERS IS THAT THE ZONE BETWEEN MAMMOTH AND DONAHUE PASS
> represents the GREATEST RISK from bears and Rangers.
I agree with Tom. However, IMHO, this area and the Kearsarge Pass - Bubbs
Creek area are particularly bad bear areas due to relatively easy access and
severe popularity. As such, the areas get a lot of novice backpackers who,
upon reaching a particular nice stream/lake/vista plop down their camp where
multitudes of novices have before for millennia. The bears know these areas
as their favorite kitchens where ample food is easily accessible.
So, the strategy of thru-hikers, if you happen to come through these areas
late enough to make any of this valid (as bears hibernate into late May -
late June - even early July in some years), and for section hikers, is to
forget the f*$king bear canister, stealth camp where few or no others do,
and, if hiking in the prime summer season, hike at night when the rangers are
snug in their fat down mummys.
Many of the lakes in the Ansel Adams Wilderness are exactly in this
situation. Hikers work hard to reach the outlet of any particular lake.
Upon reaching the outlet, the view of the lake reflecting the saw-toothed
peaks of the Minarets and/or Ritter and Banner Peaks takes their breath away
and they dump their pack to camp. This has, in fact, occurred so frequently
that there are large "no camping" areas around the fragile outlets of most of
these lakes. So what do the novices do? They now hike just beyond the
boundary of these "no camping" zones and dump their packs. DO NOT CAMP IN
THESE OBVIOUS BEAR AREAS AND YOUR CHANCE OF RUNNING INTO A BEAR IS GREATLY
I would even wager that your chances of scaring off a bear outside of these
areas is increased, as the bear have learned (because they are very smart,
furry things!) that campers who camp outside of the popular, heavy trodden
campsites tend to manage their food better, cook with more attention to which
direction they are sending the "FOOD!!" message downwind, and are much more
vicious when confronted or challenged.
These opinions are, in fact, just that, opinions. I am not condoning or
encouraging anyone to break any law or unnecessarily put themselves in harms
Of course, my opinions are always correct and Tom's are always wrong.
Greg "Strider" Hummel
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