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Re: [pct-l] Lightweight Packs
It is about 300 miles between Kennedy Meadows and Hwy 108. A JMT through
hiker will average about 10 miles a day. A PCT through hiker will average
about 18 miles a day. This means that a hiker, hiking at the JMT rate, will
camp about 30 times to do that stretch and a hiker with a PCT hiking rate,
will camp 22 times.
I have hiked with a bear canister since 1988. This is about 200 days in the
wilderness. I have been visited by bears 6 times. That's about a 3% chance.
Along this stretch about 50% of the typical camps have bear boxs.Of the
remaining 50%, half are really too high to be much of a bear problem. That
leaves 25% of the time that you must hang food and drops the probility of
losing food to a bear to 22% at the JMT rate and 13% at the PCT rate. Do
Now the disturbing statistic. In 10 years no small party has ever used bear
hanging successfully. If the food is hung and the bear shows up -- bye,
bye, food! I am talking about over 100 bear encounters that I've heard of.
A bear encounter is always a subject of conversation and the bears always
get the food. The only exception is large groups like boy scout troops that
have a dozen kids to keep watch all night -- lots of fun eh?
Further, in talking to JMT hikers leaving Yosemite for Mt. Whitney, more
than half resort to sleeping with their food by Dohanue Pass. The Yosemite
Bears are real tough.
Hanging food is like Passing on a Curve. It works most of the time but when
it doesn't the price is high -- a ruined vacation. Sleeping with food is
more effective but the price for failure is even higher -- a mauling.
You may have a humble opineon but I have facts.
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