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Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

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Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby Xosob » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:10 am

I am considering doing a day hike this Aug up to Iceberg Lake out of the Reds Meadow area and am trying to plan where I would store my food (I will be starting a 13-day hike out of Piute Pass the following day). I've thought about reserving a campsite at Lake Mary for two nights (one for the day before the day hike, which I would use to acclimatize a bit, and one for the night of the day hike so that I could leave my food in a bear locker), but that plan is wasteful in several respects. I'd rather car camp at a higher elevation than Reds or Agnew Meadow (and status of the campgrounds there is uncertain anyways).

Are there lockers in Mammoth which I could rent to store my food (a large BearVault's worth)?



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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby SSSdave » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 am

13 days is a long time to have food cached in a public bear locker. Why not store the food inside your vehicle inside a bear cannister? If you are worried about some smell still getting out, simply put the food in Ziplock bags AND tape the seals.
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby Xosob » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:46 pm

Let me clarify: I need to store food for <24 hrs in Mammoth while I hike up to the Iceberg Lake region. I plan on getting a very early start (before 6 AM) and park my car at Agnew Meadows (hence, I don't want to store the food in my car). My 13-day trip includes a resupply at the MTR, and I'll only have 1/2 the cannister loaded when I wish to store it (I'll buy the rest of the supplies I need after the dayhike in Mammoth & Bishop). I'm flying out from the East Coast and will be having a rental, and it wouldn't be fun to find a bear decided to break into my car (nor do I want to feed a bear). And I'm extra careful w/ how I handle my food (I've never seen in bear over many weeks of backpacking, possibly because of this care).
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby tim » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:19 pm

Aren't there trailhead bear boxes at Agnew Meadows? I would be surprised if not - there certainly are plenty at other Mammoth trailheads like Duck Pass. I think there are bear boxes at Devils Postpile trailhead (by the ranger station) as well. I'd suggest you call the Mammoth permit office and ask.
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby SSSdave » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:41 pm

So your issue is about a fear of a bear breaking into your car. You think that you cannot leave food in a vehicle because however you might seal it, a bear might still smell it. If so that is incorrect.

Buy some large size plastic garbage bags and not the ultra thin type but something 2 mil or so that definitely will not get pin hole punctures by your handling. Put whatever food containers or loose food inside the plastic bag. Get some good duct tape and seal the bag opening. Put the bag into the vehicle trunk. Don't leave visible equipment in your passenger compartment and if so cover it up say with a tarp. If someone says a bear will still smell it they are spouting nonsense. Even if someone put something with strong odors in a well sealed plastic bag, odors will not get out. Odor molecules cannot pass through the plastic. If it was a paper bag it could, but not plastic.
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby BuckSnort » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:46 pm

They could actually still smell it...
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:14 am

SSSdave wrote:So your issue is about a fear of a bear breaking into your car. You think that you cannot leave food in a vehicle because however you might seal it, a bear might still smell it. If so that is incorrect.


It's a very valid concern in Yosemite, where you are supposed to hide even an empty ice chest - the bears know them on sight and don't bother to slow down for a sniff test.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/bear/ ... dents.html

Note that in one of the incidents the bear had "eaten some canned goods." I don't know that smell had anything to do with it. (none of these incidents, bear related injuries, are in Yosemite, note.)

While you won't have incidents every single time, they happen often enough that I am inclined to recommend being cautious.
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby balzaccom » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:39 am

And the rangers in YOsemite will ticket you for leaving anything remotely resembling food or food packings ( including an empty icebox) visible in your car.
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:01 am

I have always wondered that if a bear rips into your car and there was food in there, does your comprehensive insurance cover that? I also think if whatever reason a bear rips into your car, and it gets food, you may bet a ticket. I never leave food inside my car. I have an old bear can (Garcia that I do not use backpacking anymore) that I simply put outside the car. So far nobody has stolen it. Could you have someone mail the food to you, general delivery to the Mammoth PO and plan it so that it would arrive within a day or so of when you need it? (I am not sure PO do this anymore). Two years ago we stored food at one of the B&B's and simply gave them a tip. It does not hurt to ask. If you buy stuff from one of the outdoor stores, they may store it for at tip. I know you can rent a locker at the ski area, but do not know the cost.
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:04 am

Oh, forgot to say - the lockers are at the main ski area building at the big parking lot at Mammoth Mountain. Call the ski area and they could give you details and prices.
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby SSSdave » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:58 pm

BuckSnort wrote:They could actually still smell it...


...the plastic

and would leave
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Re: Storing Food While Hiking Out of Mammoth Area

Postby Xosob » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:56 pm

The lockers at the ski area should do it. Price will be minimal. I'm flying out the day before from Boston and will be bringing food w/ me (no need to mail it) -- I pre-pack as much as possible to be organized.
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