HST and bear boxes | High Sierra Topix  

HST and bear boxes

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!
User avatar

HST and bear boxes

Postby Saltydog » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:05 am

HST food/bear strategy question:

Doing HST in a couple of weeks, and taking it slow -- snow, side trips etc.

For a variety of reasons, I find we are pushing the space limitations of our bear canisters. I also notice that canisters are officially "strongly recommended" but not actually required for any of the HST proper, but only on the Whitney trail. Finally, All of the established campsites from Mehrten to Junction Meadow would seem to have bear boxes. If all this is accurate, is there anything wrong with bagging a couple of days' food and relying on the bear boxes for a couple of days, knowing that everything else will be snug in the bear canisters for the rest of the trip?

I know this is not ideal, but just how far off the mark is it?



User avatar
Saltydog
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:47 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby maverick » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:39 pm

Why not carry the canister for those days when you want to stay at a special place like
Precipice Lake, Kaweah Gap, Nine Lakes Basin, Chapooga Plateau, or some where else
that may be of interest to you instead of bagging, and use the bear boxes in all the other
locations.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby Saltydog » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:34 am

Thanks, that answers the basic question, whether a combination of canisters and bear lockers is a sound strategy. .
User avatar
Saltydog
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:47 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby cahiker » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:55 pm

We hiked the first section of the HST Memorial Day weekend a couple of years ago and the ranger talked us into taking the bear canister out of our pack and leaving it behind. It all comes down to how sure you are that you'll camp at places with bear boxes until you eat enough for everything to fit in the canister.
User avatar
cahiker
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:03 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby quentinc » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:33 pm

Last year my group was very intent on camping next to bear boxes. It's easy to do except for the last night. We stayed at Guitar Lake and you need canisters there. But for only one day we did't need very many for the entire group.
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby Saltydog » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:50 pm

Yeah, I counted up all the places bear boxes are listed on the HST, and I get 12, the last one at Crabtree RS. So theoretically, we would only need two days food in the canister: Guitar Lake and Trail Camp. We'll probably take at least three (five in the party) just to be safe, and to give us max freedom from crowds and fixed campsites, but its good to know we don't have to cram everything into five canisters for 10-11 days.
User avatar
Saltydog
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:47 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:43 pm

Hi Salty

If you want to stick to organized campsites, which may also mean company
(human and bear), than stay near the bear boxes.
There are just to many beautiful places one can explore along this route, which
makes being restricted to certain campsites the whole way a shame.
Do some research on area's which the HST runs through, and pick 2-3 places, which
look interesting to you, and go explore it, and stay there the night, instead of passing
through an area, rushing to get to the next bear box.
Nine Lakes Basin for example has beautiful wild flowers, small cascades, and beautiful
hidden lakes that is worth exploring.
Chagoopa Plateau has beautiful forests, and very pretty hidden lakes, like little
gems scattered all over, which are rarely visited.
A hike up to Gallats Lake is great, with great views of the Kern Ridge, and the Triple
Divide Peak area, and the meadow is one of the best in the Sierra.
A fabulous area, with beautiful lakes, wild flowers, and peaks, is to be had in the
Wallace Lakes Basin, and should be on your itinerary.
You also have Crabtree Lakes on you way to Whitney, which area also worth seeing.
If you need any more info on any of these area's feel free to PM me.
Last edited by maverick on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Add on
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: HST and bear boxes

Postby Saltydog » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:26 pm

Thanks Maverick. We are looking at all these suggestions, one reason why we have a 10 day window to cover 70 miles. Just need the bear boxes for the first two days bagged food, which will just take us over K Gap. From there on, everything is in the canisters and we are free as birds. Leaving time to go way upstream on some of the crossings, especially Wallace. and looking at Lake South America. Leaving Gallats for next year. Doing JMT SoBo, and may bail west by LSA or Tyndall, then Gallats and Pants Pass to 9 Lakes and Crescent Meadow.
User avatar
Saltydog
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:47 am
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron