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Question re. keeping gear safe at Tuolumne Meadows.

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Question re. keeping gear safe at Tuolumne Meadows.

Postby OzSwaggie » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:02 pm

Hullo again everyone. Guess we are all back into planning mode for next summer...

Logistical question!

We come to hike in the Sierra Nevada from overseas, travel by public transport, and so don't have a car trunk to leave things in. Need to get to Tuolumne Meadows trailhead the day before our backpacking trip so can collect wilderness permit. Only bus for the day gets in mid-morning, meaning we have to fill in the rest of that day in and around Tuolumne Meadows, (which will be lovely!) and camp that night at Tuolumne Meadows before heading off the next morning.

We would like to set up our tent and leave our packs and most gear at camp so we can wander around and enjoy ourselves unencumbered but are really nervous that things might go missing. Important, hard to replace things like sleeping bags and backpacks (and maybe even our expensive Swiss hiking tent itself!). On our first ever backpacking trip we left our tent up and our packs and other gear inside a (shared) bear box and padlocked it at LYV while we did a day hike to Half Dome, but have since learned this is not cool! (It was very quiet the time we were there, not many other campers.) Does anyone have any suggestions/experiences?

I'm wondering if we actually booked a campsite in the TM Campground and paid the fee, would that mean we would get our own bear box that we could lock with a padlock, and would it be big enough to hold two large, external frame backpacks, or would it just be a small one intended to hold food and toiletries? Finally, if we did just carry our gear around with us all day then set up the tent last thing before bed - is there a chance (in late July) that we might not get a spot at the backpackers' area in the TM Campground - does it ever fill up?

I suppose another option might be to book in at the Lodge, so we can leave our gear in a tent cabin. But I've never been able to get a vacancy at TM lodge, even looking a year ahead!

So any tips or information most welcome.



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Re: Question re. keeping gear safe at Tuolumne Meadows.

Postby ndwoods » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:54 pm

You won't get your own bear locker. But...it will hold 2 external packs. However, I have camped numerous times in Tuolumne and left my tent set up for days and never had a bear bother it...I did not leave any food or sunscreen or anything like that inside...that all went in the bear locker.
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Re: Question re. keeping gear safe at Tuolumne Meadows.

Postby markskor » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:34 am

Last summer spent 3 months in Yosemite - at least six times staying over in and out of Tuolumne and...
I have never heard of anybody having any problems with theft of gear in the walk-in backpacker camp (just above the campfire circle). Backpackers are an honest folk...at least in the Meadows.
I just pick a site, set up my tent, and they even suggest you put your pack in the bear box - one is located in each site...no locks needed.
FYI, I think nothing of leaving my gear alone there all day...Western Mountaineering bag, TT Rainbow - expensive stuff - no worries.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Question re. keeping gear safe at Tuolumne Meadows.

Postby Grzldvt » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:48 am

I agree with everyone, we have left gear out during the day and never had any problems at all. Not sure why but there is an unwritten rule of honesty in Yosemite that I have not seen in other places.
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Re: Question re. keeping gear safe at Tuolumne Meadows.

Postby OzSwaggie » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:43 am

Thanks all for responses. That's very reassuring! I never worry when out in the backcountry 'cos I know everyone out there has more than enough to carry anyway!
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