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If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
- Topix Expert
- Posts: 789
- Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
- Experience: Level 4 Explorer
- Location: Camas, WA
AlmostThere, I understand your frustration and concerns. I was careful to restrict my comments to Desolation and also to say that you have to know how to do it the right way. Skill is required in knowing how to thread the cord over an appropriate branch. Experience as a climber helps with the ability to stack a rope correctly. In 40 years of using Tandem Suspension I have never gotten the cord tangled. And I have never been unable to find an appropriate branch in Desolation.AlmostThere wrote:Respectfully, I have seen tracks and poop in the Tablelands, among other high places, and never leave home for the Sierra without the bear can, period. They'll follow you if they're motivated.Tom_H wrote:Respectfully, I have to disagree regarding the need for bear canisters in Desolation. While true that bears are present, most of them are at low elevation along the periphery of civilization on Lake Tahoe.
Too many dead trees out there now -- easily pushed over. Also there are rarely trees with which to make a proper bear hang -- too many branches, too few branches low enough,all the branches are too fragile to hold the bag, too short, too *something* -- and I've long since tired of pitching the rope over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over -- bear canisters also make good seats. And there is already FAR too much rope left hanging in branches all over the darn place, since paracord is LOUSY for hanging and getting the rope back -- it snaps, rebounds into the branches, and gets left there. Effectively cutting the trip short if you have no more rope. As happened multiple times to friends.
Add that to the fact that not enough people practice, or know about, or have the energy at the end of a day's hike, to execute a proper hang -- somewhere I have some great pictures of a dead stupid bear bag job where the bag was slung about two feet above the roof of their tent. A pinata with a really lousy landing spot underneath it, just waiting to happen. So, nope, I am never going to be a fan of bear bagging.
As to canisters, it is my belief that the ability to roll a can around but not open it is more likely to make a bear more aggressive than its inability to reach suspended food bags. If I am going to a place where canisters are required, or I know I will camp above the tree line, I will use one.
I will acknowledge that I have seen tangled cord left by others, but I also have seen illegal fire rings, huge rock divvy walls, broken glass from beer bottles, piles of garbage, exposed feces and TP, tent trenches, waist high cairns, trees chopped with hatchets, piles of gun shells and cartridges, and all other kinds of wilderness abuse. There are many ways that people are irresponsible in the wilderness. Rangers at the Talyor Creek Station have stated that Tandem Suspension is the preferred method in Desolation. I am a careful practitioner of leave no trace and that includes my suspension of food bags. When I was a professional guide we always took big trash bags and had our students pick up and carry out any trash we found left by others, a practice I still maintain today.