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July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

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July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby dunlapry » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:10 am

Hello,

This is my first post on this site. Ive been reading for a few weeks and have learned a ton of great information. Thanks for all your contributions. I apologize for any repeat questions, I have read and searched quite a bit.

We'll be a Group of 3 or 4 and a are pretty experienced on and off trail. We have a 10 day trip in mid to late July in the works and finalizing travel plans now. We are from Michigan so very much flat landers, but our last trip was 10 days in Yosemite and we had a great time. Prior to that we have covered just about every inch of Isle Royale over many trips. We're hooked on the mountains now and can't wait to get back.

We will be starting our trip at South lake and working around to North lake with some side detours planned. We especially want to get over Lamarck Col and to Darwin Bench. We plan on leaving the rental car at North Lake and getting a ride to South Lake to start. We will start out nice and slow and hopefully acclimate well to the elevation. We followed a similar game plan in Yosemite and it served us well.

I have read that we can rent bear canisters at the permitting stations. Is this correct? What type do they rent and what are the fees? Any chance they will run out? If so, I guess we'd have to buy them in Bishop. Is there a place to purchase in town? It looks like we'll be picking up permits and looking for canister rentals on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

In Yosemite we shipped a resupply box to ourselves in Toulumne Meadows about half way through so we didn't have to carry so much food. For this trip it looks like we have to carry all 10 days with us and will hopefully be able to catch some fish to supplement. (We love fishing for trout so another reason for taking our time with this trip.) We used the Garcias in Yosemite and managed just fine, although I swear they are made out of lead. I am worried about fitting 10 days of food into one and will have to pack wisely.

We'll be flying into Reno and getting a rental car. My thoughts are to pick up our permit and rent bear canisters at Lee Vining or Bishop (if we have time to get there before they close for the evening). We also will be shipping some of our gear ahead of us so the TSA doesn't confiscate anything they don't like, so we'll need to pick up at a post office.

thanks for any advice, I'm sure I'll have more questions I'll need help with.



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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby austex » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:22 am

Welcome to HST!
I believe they are Garcia canisters. $5?
You can call any of these and find out, Lee Vining, Mono Lake Vistor Ctr.,Mammoth or Bishop as they are between RNO and Bishop
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/about-forest/offices
If you wan to buy a bear can there are stores in Bishop; maybe better deals in RNO. I'd support local vendors first.
Getting a ride from North Lake to South lake is a doable hitch. I once took a guy all the way. Most get a ride to the 168 jct and then to South lake . (2 hitches)
Last edited by austex on Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby markskor » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:23 am

Welcome to HST - Nice trip planned there.
You might want to look into the renting of Bearikades for your intended adventure - lighter and holds much more food - more space.
http://www.wild-ideas.net/rental-faqs/

In Yosemite, those "lead-lined" Garcias rent for $5 a trip...many other places also rent these tubs and should be similar fees elsewhere all Sierra but not exactly sure. Also suggest calling the wilderness office where you will get your permit?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby Ikan Mas » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:23 pm

There is a trail that goes from the road below South Lake, up over Table Mountain back to Lake Sabrina. If you have an extra day or are good hikers, its a way to avoid hitching back (not that hitching back is a problem).
Check out: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8374
The last few photos show this connector.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby dunlapry » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:57 pm

thanks. That trail may be an option. I contacted mammoth taxi and they quoted me $175. For a 30 minute ride thats a little steep for my blood. I will contact a few others and see if we can arrange a ride for less. I think I read somewhere that someone at the resort (or hotel/whatever it is) at South Lake would drive one of us for much cheaper. Im not so sure about hitchhiking and would prefer to have something arranged ahead of time.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby rlown » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:10 pm

I'll point you here from past discussions: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6916&p=48517&hilit=shuttle+service#p48340

If Bob still does it, it'll be Bob.

To make the backtracking more easy: http://www4.mtwhitneyshuttle.com/ from the last post I saw.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby overheadx2 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:20 pm

When I did that trip, I stayed at Parchers the night before in one of the backpacker cabins (rustic, but clean and relatively cheap for 4). From there, you could talk some one from there or the bishop creek lodge into giving you a ride after work the night before for a couple bucks. This would get you acclimated to the elevation and you could just grab breakfast at Parchers and head out in the AM since the resort is only 1/2 mile from the trail head. I know the Bishop Ranger Station rents the black bear canisters, and has had them for rent every time I've been there.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby Hobbes » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:39 pm

Well, the first question in any buy vs rent analysis is usage. If you're never planning on returning to the Sierra, then renting could be a feasible option. Still, you could probably purchase a good quality can, use it for your trip, and then sell it on eBay, with the difference probably being close to total rental charges. So, rather than a bulky Garcia, you could be styling with a Bearikade.

OTOH, if you have 5, 10, 20 years of hiking in which to look forward, why not buy once and be done with it? I'm always going on about spending money on a few high quality key items, mainly pack, shelter, bag & can. The best quality gear can last decades - the real amortized cost is absolutely cheap by any measure compared to other activities.

Cans have a huge ripple effect; with a Bearicade, you can take a lighter, smaller pack. (And, if you're in a non-can required area, a Ursack can be used with a frameless UL pack.) The Garcia practically requires an old school, large capacity pack. Think about this: your plane tickets, rental car, hotel and eating out expenses will dwarf your equipment costs.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:06 am

+1 on renting (or buying) a Bearikade. It'll make your trip much more enjoyable.
BTW you didn't mention where you're coming from. On our last trip to the Sierra, we flew from the east coast to RNO, arrived noonish. Buy the time we ate lunch, got the car packed, etc, we were able to make it to Mammoth before crashing. Remember the time change if coming from the east coast....8pm Pacific feels like 11pm eastern. The next day we drove to Bishop and got our permit.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby dunlapry » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:14 am

So, is it a fairly safe bet that if I drop the $320 bucks on the Bearikade that I could easily resell for $270-ish when done?

At least that would make me fell better about it I guess, even though since I love my gear I might accidentally forget to resell it.

we're flying out of Detroit and should arrive to Reno about 11:30am. I know getting out of the airport and on the road will take a while but we plan on driving to either North or South lake that same day and finding a place to camp and organize gear (any suggestions which of the campgrounds in the area are the best?).

Google is telling me its a 4 hour drive from Reno, is this accurate?

I know with the timing we may need to stop at Lee Vining to pick up pemits/canisters if it doesn't look like we can get to Bishop before they close.

We have to get permits, rent bear cans, buy fuel, and pick up or self-mailed package so we know it will take a while.

Early the next morning we'll drop the car at North Lake and I'll get a ride to South Lake so we can start on the trail. We only plan on doing a few miles that day to Long Lake/Chocolate Lake or Saddlerock if we're doing ok with acclimatizing. The 2nd day we'll head over Bishop Pass and stay in Dusy Basin. We know the altitude is nothing to take for granted and aren't trying to set any speed records.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:58 am

I guess 4 hours sounds ok from RNO to Bishop. Seems like it was longer for me, but maybe I was jet lagged and tired.

I've seen bearikades listed on ebay but never really followed them to see what they sold for. You can get a good idea of how much you can get back by looking at the completed auctions.
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Re: July Trip Planning/Bear Canister Rentals

Postby paul » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:34 am

Used Bearikades don't show up often on the various gear swaps, and when they do they are sold quickly. So I'd guess you'd have little problem selling a lightly used one if you didn't want to keep it and didn't want to rent one. Not sure if anyone has mentioned it but Wild Ideas does rent bearikades - you have to deal with shipping back and forth but it's an option.
I have two bearikades - one of each size - and though it felt like a stretch at the time to spend that much I have not regretted it for a second. Much superior to the other cans.
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