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Re: [pct-l] Lightweight Packs

Tom Reynolds wrote:
> Your math is at least as bad as mine 

No, it's not.  I ran the numbers using YOUR boundary conditions which
state that only 25% of that section of the trail is a problem and the
probability of a bear even showing up is 3%.  That means the probability
of having even a POSSIBLE bear problem is (0.03)x(0.25) = 0.0075 for any
given night. 

> 1. The probability of a bear showing up is 6/200 or 3%.
> 2. Every 3 nights of 4 the food is not hung.
> 3. The probality is .75% or 75 of 1000 nights, not 75 of 10,000 [i wish
> were right]

This is where you lost it - you're off by an order of magnitude. 

Now --- the whole thing is BS - in part because, as Brick pointed out,
your experience is the only hard data you have - and that's not
statistically significant. You should maybe also know that I'm an
engineer with 35 years experience, most of it in spacecraft ops.  You're
in my playground here.  And then there's the fact that you pointed out -
that  PCT thruhikers go through before the bears are active - and that
skews your numbers. I could go on - but I don't have time for this.  

> I have not met one Sierra hiker, not one, who told me how he successfully
> hung his/her food. [meaning, as you said your wife did, the counter
> defeated the bears. Is that true? What you say is that the counterbalance
> gave your wife time to scare off the bears. That's what the NPS said in
> 1990 -- the year of your wife's hike. It's not true in Yosemite, in the
> Kearsarge Area and a few other areas anymore. The NPS says you will lose
> your food.]
> There are thousands of hikers who don't carry a canister. However they
> a bear box and/or are lucky. One year in Yosemite between the Valley and
> Tolumne meadows everyone we met had a bear horror story.

The NPS says  lot of things that aren't necessarily true. You might NOT
want to take that sad tale to the ALDHA-W Gathering -- there are people
who'd laugh you out of the place. What kind of hikers do you meet
anyway?  You certainly don't meet the people that I play with.  

> You don't know thousands of people fight off the bears every year. You
> just guessing. That's an opineon. A 10 year survey where I ask people
> their experience with bears is data.

I didn't say anything about people fighting off bears - I just fed your
own numbers back to you - along with the personal experience of people
who have been there.  

In a separate post, you said - 
> Very few PCT through hikers will carry a bear canister. This is usually
> because they traverse the sierra while it is still under snow and the
> are less active. And yes, PCT through hikers tend to consider themselves
> above the law -- disconnected with civilization -- and all that.
> Unfortunately the bears don't care -- and will eat their food.

I'd have let this whole thing go, but you pissed me off with this one.
While it's true that the thruhikers generally go through the Sierras
early, you missed the point. Few, if any, thruhikers would carry a bear
canister in any case  --- simply because it's too damn heavy. I've been
known to cut the handle off my toothbrush to save half an ounce --- and
you want me to add 5 pounds to my load? Do I need to tell you where to
stuff that opinion?  

You've apparently got a "cause" - you keep using absolutes when there's
neither reason nor supporting data for them.  That won't endear you to
people like me, who demand hard data to support that kind of statement.
I've seen so far is subjective opinion that generally contradicts the 
experience of those people that I know who have been there.  You even
irritated my wife with your "absolute" statements (like -- "I have not
met one Sierra hiker, not one, who told me how he successfully hung
his/her food.")  But when she tells you that she did it - you discount
her experience - as well as the experience of the dozens of thruhikers
that we both know - but you apparently don't. 

Maybe you can sell your cause to those who only spend occasional
weekends in the backcountry, but when you start talking about thruhikers
- again, you're in MY playground. And if you want to talk the talk, then
walk the walk first. Your 200 days in the backcountry over 10 years are
impressive - but not too impressive. It's about half of what my wife
and I do over the same time period - and we'll be out there for about
200 days next year alone. 

Walk softly,

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