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beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby guyd » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:45 pm

My wife was also wondering if we should try to encourage one our teenager of switching to a low fragrance anti-perspirant instead of his usual product that smells at 10 feet, but I understand now that it would not be necessary. Any comment on that?
Thanks all of you.



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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby yosehiker » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:16 pm

I wouldn't worry about the low fragrance antiperspirant. You have a lot of other odors coming from your body than just your antiperspirant, and those will identify you as 'human' or another animal. Additionally, a bear just doesn't smell, it can see, hear, think, etc so there are multiple ways for it to figure out your are another animal and it shouldn't mess with you.


Wandering Daisy wrote:I repack all my food so my garbage only contains plastic bags and TP. I see no need to hover over the fire and breath plastic fumes. When the fire is out, if there are any globs of plastic remaining, I fish them out and put them in a bag. This reduces the trash. When you are out for 15 days straight, the amount of trash becomes significant and really starts to smell. For shorter trips (less than 5 days) then I carry it all out. Burning trash is one trash handling option. It is all a matter of judgement. I do not think there is a single answer. A hot fire actually will do a pretty good job of getting rid of trash.


I would disagree with you. What I meant with burning plastic is that it is toxic. I don't have to breath it in directly, but it is still in the air all round. Obviously the air isn't pristine in the sierra's and we all contribute to air pollution it in our own ways, but I would like to think that when given a chance to not pollute just for convenience sake, one wouldn't do that. I keep all my trash in big gallon zip lock bags and within that, smaller zip locks that held my food I've eaten, nesting as much as I can. With that method I haven't had any problems with it smelling, though my longest trip recently has been 8 days. But you are right, there isn't a single or 'right' answer, though I hope you will see it my way and not burn plastic.
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby rlown » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:52 pm

There is this article on black bear senses: http://www.americanbear.org/senses.htm

Seriously, unless it's a problem bear, and you've taken all the proper precautions, bears are not a problem.. YMMV..

Spend more time on your fuel and food planning..
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:07 pm

rlown wrote:

Seriously, unless it's a problem bear, and you've taken all the proper precautions, bears are not a problem.. YMMV..


Yes and no. I agree the issue of what to do with your toothpaste spittle is unimportant as far as bears go.

But bears can be and are a problem in certain areas. These are habituated bears like you see in Pate Valley and Vidette Meadow, both heavily used areas. Storing food in bear boxes is the best strategy in these areas. Even that is not fullproof (or should I say foolproof!). See this interesting aside from today's Whitney Portal Store Message Board:

- Bears will come into your campsite. We had a bear sneak in around 11pm when two of our guys showed up late and opened the bear cage to put their packs and food in. The bear ran in and we were quite lucky to get the cage shut before the bear got to it. We woke up at 1:45am to eat breakfast and hit the trail by 2:30am; after eating breakfast and putting away all the food, we had out packs on the picnic table and we were standing over by the car, when the bear ran back into our campsite and grabbed one of our packs and started to drag it away. The owner of the pack started chasing the bear and yelling "NOOOOOOO" until the bear let the pack go and ran away. This was in the main "family campground".. apologies to the entire campground who probably thought someone was getting eaten at 2am Friday morning.


http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... #Post85143

This is from a trail report regarding a recent hike from Whitney Portal to the summit of Mt. Whitney. He is writing here about his experience camping at Whitney Portal, where he obviously ran into a very determined bear. This sort of experience is not uncommon in heavily used areas.

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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby rlown » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:23 pm

Ok.. check out Guyd's original post at viewtopic.php?t=6053

That is his trip.. Not exactly the whitney portal.. Just in case this isn't all tied together for the readers yet..
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:48 pm

huh? Not sure what you are trying to say, rlown. The bear experience described above took place in the campground at Whitney Portal. Read the post. GuyD is asking questions about how many cans of fuel to bring and about toothpaste spittle and bears. If he is planning to hike in Yosemite, the bear anecdote above is most appropriate.

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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby rlown » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:00 pm

I agree with you to a point, but he's not going there. Bears are not scary, If you're prepared, and keep a clean campsite.. He was wanting to go to SEKi and Yose..
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:02 pm

My wife was also wondering if we should try to encourage one our teenager of switching to a low fragrance anti-perspirant instead of his usual product that smells at 10 feet, but I understand now that it would not be necessary. Any comment on that?


I say let it all hang out. Why would anyone take antiperspirant on a backpacking trip? It won't work -- you're gonna sweat like crazy no matter what. Learn to love it!

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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:14 pm

I agree with you to a point, but he's not going there. Bears are not scary, If you're prepared, and keep a clean campsite.. He was wanting to go to SEKi and Yose.


Rlown, we're getting off topic here.

I think you are wrong -- bears can be very scary, especially to someone new to the backcountry. If, as you say, guyD is planning to hike in Yosemite, then he should be especially aware of the issues. Bears are attracted to heavily used areas, like the High Sierra Camps and the drive-up campgrounds in Yosemite and at Whitney Portal. They are clever, resourceful, tenacious. They can surprise you, as the Whitney Portal anecdote shows. The best prevention is to camp away from crowded areas and store your food properly.
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:16 pm

rlown wrote:I agree with you to a point, but he's not going there. Bears are not scary, If you're prepared, and keep a clean campsite.. He was wanting to go to SEKi and Yose..


Rangers warn you not to turn your back on your food when it's sitting right in front of you, when in Little Yosemite Valley, because the bears will run in and snatch it even though you are sitting a couple of feet from it.

A friend was getting something out of a locker in Curry parking lot. She felt something warm, heard heavy breathing, turned to look and the bear had crept up behind her, put its nose nearly in the locker just a foot from her! She screamed, the bear bolted, and nothing was lost.

Habituated bears are habituated bears. All you have to do is not panic, keep an eye out, and play it safe. They don't want to hurt you - they just like your food.

And no matter how many times we say that... the first encounter, and the second, and the third, are always going to be adrenalin rushes, and scary. It's a bear. We're told in the movies that they roar and claw at you. Takes a while to get past that.
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby rlown » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:24 pm

All I asked was to look at Guy's original post. And tie it all together. He wants his family to be safe. I've seen bears on top of people, people between a cub and momma bear, and as long as your calm, it works out. Different areas have different problems. Ask your local ranger about current issues and you'll know what you have to do. Food locked up (given), Curry Parking Lot (go figure :D )

So on topic.. Family of 5; 3 cans of ISO, unless you actually cook meals and not just boil water. Toothpaste; Spit it at least 50 yds away from your camp in an innocuous place.
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Re: beginner's questions: toothpaste and how many butane

Postby guyd » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:51 am

Well, to detail where we (2 adults/3 teens) are actually heading for our two short backpacks:

a) 2D/1N in SEKI on Woods Creek up to Middle Paradise Valley campground, and back. (our permit is July 2)
b) 3D/2N on Pohono from G.Point (back-and-forth) (permit July 6). [Plan to camp at Brideveil Creek, and second morning move tents near Dewey Point and continue on Pohono with day packs; out to G.P. on day three]
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