Bear Boxes on HST | High Sierra Topix  

Bear Boxes on HST

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

Bear Boxes on HST

Postby robert h » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:55 pm

We have a permit to hike the HST in Aug. Should we plan to use food lockers along our route or carry bear canisters? Would be nice not carrying 2-3lb canister but that limits us to campsites with available locker space. Maybe that's not a problmm on HST. Oh, we're heading north on JMT and finishing at Onion Valley. I apologize if this has been asked. Did a quick search and saw a few comments.



User avatar
robert h
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:03 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:30 pm

Hi Robert H,

Welcome to HST! Definitely would recommend the bear canisters, they will give
you the freedom to set up camp where ever you want to, and allows you to stay
away from larger groups, especially along the JMT. It will allow you to freely visit
and stay in beautiful Wallace Lakes Basin, Wright Lakes Basin, Upper Kern Divide
or/and Center Basin!
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: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby longri » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:17 pm

I did it without and wished I'd had one. YMMV.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby DavePloessel » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:09 am

100% BRING A CANISTER!!!

First off, it allows you the freedom to camp at places where there aren't bear boxes/do side trips. Second, there are times where the bear boxes are already full of other people's gear/food when you get there, and then you are screwed.

Having the canister allows you so much more flexibility it's well worththe extra couple pounds. They also make a handy camp stool.

Also, the standard "stopping/camping" spots on the HST get a ton of people camping in them (sheeple mentality). That's fine if you want to hike into the wilderness to hang out with a big group of strangers, but if you actually want a real wilderness experience, try stopping a mile before or after the standard spots, or just hike a bit off trail every day to find a private camp spot. It's more than worth the extra effort.
User avatar
DavePloessel
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am
Location: sandy eggo
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby richlong8 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:11 pm

I always bring a canister. You don't have to be huddled with others in one spot, waiting for the bears to come thru, or be concerned about marmots or mice looking for goodies. Good seat, good table, etc; In many areas, I believe marmots can be more of a threat to your food than bears.
User avatar
richlong8
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:02 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby sparky » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:33 pm

Another option is to do both. If I really try I can fit 4 days food in my small bearvault 450. Camp the first couple nights by boxes, then whn you have eaten your way down to the stash in the canister you can get away from the designated camping areas.

But honestly if you are allready carrying a canister, might as well bring the big one. I have done it this way and I really wasn't super jazzed about camping by loud groups.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby orbitor » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:32 am

robert h wrote:We have a permit to hike the HST in Aug. Should we plan to use food lockers along our route or carry bear canisters? Would be nice not carrying 2-3lb canister but that limits us to campsites with available locker space. Maybe that's not a problmm on HST. Oh, we're heading north on JMT and finishing at Onion Valley. I apologize if this has been asked. Did a quick search and saw a few comments.


There is no one answer to your question. What you will choose depends on two things:
1) When in the summer you are going
2) How fast you plan on moving

Last year we went the week after Labor Day, when traffic decreases considerably. As a result, 3 of us (including myself) decided to ditch the canisters and used the lockers. The other 2 carried canisters, but ended up putting them in the lockers too. There was plenty of space for all.

Since you are going in August, you will see considerably more activity on the trail, so it's probably better to take the cans. This also frees you to camp (almost) anywhere, as others have pointed out. For us, we knew we wanted to stick to the trail, so exploration/rambling was not a factor.
Connect, Learn and Climb: Sierra Mountaineering Club
http://www.sierramountaineeringgroup.org
User avatar
orbitor
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:36 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby robert h » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:26 pm

Awesome website...thanks everyone for the input! Sounds like carrying a bear canister is the way to go.

We're planning 7 days/6 nights. I'd prefer adding another night for more opportunity to explore but 7/6 seems ok. I've been reading trip reports at various sites but if anyone has any side trips they recommend would love to hear about them. Maybe that would help convince our group to add another night. We day hiked Mt. Whitney last year so skipping that and heading north on JMT to finish at Onion Valley.
User avatar
robert h
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:03 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby LMBSGV » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:34 pm

For side trips from the JMT, both Wallace/Wales lakes and Wright Lakes are highly recommended. There's a use trail to Wallace Lake that heads off from the JMT junction. Cross-country travel in Wright Lakes basin is easy. There are lots of trip reports about both areas with photos to give you a better idea.
User avatar
LMBSGV
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:42 pm
Location: San Geronimo, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby DavePloessel » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:14 am

For side trip areas you could hit:

-lake S. America/upper kern basin - very pretty and some great easy xc options. It's an easy add in without really changing your miles since you are skipping Whitney and exiting via onion valley - just head North at the intersection about 1/4 mile from Junction Meadow instead of heading east up out of the Kern valley.

-Bighorn Plateau and wright lakes... just google images of those areas... 'nuff said

-Mt Williamson and/or Mt Tyndal. Both are (relativly) easy climbs, particularily after you've already had 5 or 6 days to acclimate, and the views are quite simply sublime. Mt Williamson is staggeringly large..

Enjoy your trip!!
User avatar
DavePloessel
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am
Location: sandy eggo
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Bear Boxes on HST

Postby orbitor » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:05 pm

If you're of the peakbagging variety, I highly recommend Mt. Kaweah. The easiest access point is from the HST right before it starts descending toward the Chagoopa Plateau. We climbed Kaweah mid-way through our trip; it's 3 mi, 3200' gain of boulder hopping to the top, but the views are simply unreal.
Connect, Learn and Climb: Sierra Mountaineering Club
http://www.sierramountaineeringgroup.org
User avatar
orbitor
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:36 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests