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Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › TRT Thru Hike

TRT Thru Hike

A former member
Post #: 778
I did my research, because i wanted an ursack. I found a store that sold them. They had one left. They would mot sell it to me when i told them i hike in the sierra because they were sick of refunding people who came back with ripped up bags.

Rangers i have spoken to in inyo and yosemite and seki have described torn ursacks, properly tied off, that required the ropes to be cut from the tree after the bear worked so hard on it the knot would not loosen.

A trip report i read had a series of pictures of a bear working the bag then the bag torn in two....

Do your own research.
Oakland, CA
Post #: 4
Really appreciate all of this good info. A few responses:

Some gear I'm stuck with, at least for the time being, due to cost. I love my shoes, which are trail runners but not UL, and very comfy. Sandals are only 2 oz so willing to carry them.

For warmth I'm getting a wind shirt and down jacket for insulation, which will be a total of about 12-14 oz, saving me 9 oz from the fleece jacket and vest. Dropped neck warmer.

Conflicted on bear cannister... definitely don't want to carry and some folks say you should have it and some say you don't need it. It's not *required* at this time.

All those platys are necessary because there are significant dry stretches and I'm a little paranoid of running out of water, but will usually not be carrying them full. Also, I'm thinking about the sawyer squeeze (3 oz) for a filter w/ tablets as backup. Have read some great and some bad reviews.

Pretty conflicted about cooking... I don't want cold food the whole time so I want some sort of stove. Cannister is so heavy! Alcohol seems to be the choice on most forums I've found... great advice to test it and a tablet stove out at high altitudes. May go with cannister after all and invest in a lighter sleeping bag.

Slightly updated list :)­
user 9194737
Alameda, CA
Post #: 101
I use a Caldera Conr Ti-tri System. I've used alcohol for years. I have a 750 ml ti pot. With alcohol it is best to use a wider base pot so the flame had more surface area to heat. It is best to become very familiar with using an alcohol stove before taking it to the Wilderness because a lot of people start fires with them. The Ti-Tri comes with a small esbit stove gram-weeine stove.

Bear Cannisters are not required on the TRT. It is a personal choice.
I would recommend that any Down Jacket be 800-850 down fill. The WM ones are great but the microlight fabric is very fragile and easy to catch on fire or rip I would go with one with a more durable shell.
When you get your new sleeping bag be sure there is enough girth in the bag to 'layer up' with your jacket.

I think the driest stretch is between Mt. Rose and Tahoe City. About 40 miles with two on Trail water sources. I have seen Trip Reports where people have been in such a hurry they walked by them. There are some additional water sources off trail but effort is involved in getting to them.
bob s.
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 62
On your reluctance to carry a bear canister. Get used to it if you plan on doing any hiking in the rest of the Sierra––the JMT for instance. And really, what are you going to do on the TRT (or elsewhere) hang your food. Use an ursack?

As noted, the ursack can get pretty beat up and or, just taken, if not tied properly tied. And they aren't legal on about 90 percent of the JMT anyway.

Hanging your food with the old counter-balance thing is in my opinion a complete waste of time these days. The bear is going to get your food––it's only a matter of time and this time is something you will have to spend, trying to deny the bear. lot of work. I played this game and lost.

A canister weighs a few pounds, but when you calculate this out to time saved and stress reduced, it doesn't weigh much. Before canisters became required, I can remember getting into camp . . . especially one night, high up, lovely sunset and I am tromping all over, swearing and struggling to throw a stupid rock on a string through a tree . . . and meanwhile, a happy couple a few yards away (I was too close to them) sat there, soaking in the bliss of another sunset, their canisters parked back a ways in the rocks––they were enjoying themselves, while I was not. Get a canister and get on with it. Just sayin' . . .
A former member
Post #: 6

"Conflicted on bear cannister... definitely don't want to carry and some folks say you should have it and some say you don't need it. It's not *required* at this time. " - One of the biggest problems regarding this issue is that so much misinformation is published. The rule used to be that one should always hang your food. (I heard someone say that hanging is no longer recommended due to poor hanging techniques, but don't remember what agency or area this was regarding.) I'm mostly experienced regarding black bears east of the Mississippi so I'm certainly not an expert for the TNT. On AT the only problem we have is hikers feeding the bears with poorly hung bags. So you might ask, "What's a poorly hug bag? " In my opinion any bag that is hanging, because our bears have masters degrees in grabbing hanging bags, some are Ph.D. So slept with my food bag the entire trip, except when regulations required hanging. The Usack was mostly for mice, two crazy chipmunks and one whacko squirrel. If you research the issue you'll find that no black bear in the history of the AT (and perhaps anywhere else) has attacked an AT thru-hiker to take their food, so I felt pretty comfortable that I wouldn't be the exception. I was at Blood Mountain, Ga. Shelter with three other hikers that hanged their food. There were reports of a nightly bear raid on the food bags and the other three wisely hung their food. They were a bit surprised when I declared my intention not to hang my food. A long story short, they lost their food I didn't. By the end of the hike most thru-hikers were not hanging their food. My argument is that bears go after food that been left alone (hanging food) and that hanging food creates problem bears. I look forward to hearing about West of the Mississippi bears. I've hiked bits of the PCT and on the Lost Coast and have yet to see a bear.
A former member
Post #: 2
On your reluctance to carry a bear canister. Get used to it if you plan on doing any hiking in the rest of the Sierra––the JMT for instance. And really, what are you going to do on the TRT (or elsewhere) hang your food. Use an ursack?...Get a canister and get on with it. Just sayin' . . .

I couldn't agree more. A bear canister is peace of mind. Not only does it guarantee your trip won't be ruined by bears or other critters getting into your food, it allows you to blissfully sleep through the night unworried about having to get up and run off a critter trying to steal your grub.

I've backpacked and paddled around the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada, and in my experience the bears (and mosquitoes!) of the High Sierra are the most challenging of anywhere I've been.

If a canister seems heavy, train harder. There is no substitute.
Oakland, CA
Post #: 5
Wow - folks have very strong feelings. Appreciate all the info.
A former member
Post #: 779
No real strong feelings here - what works will work, what does not, is not appropriate in areas where bears are a problem. And because bears teach their young very well, and people don't take food storage seriously, there continues to be serious issues in Yosemite, on the JMT, in Sequoia and Kings canyon.

I usually take a Bare Boxer for all trips these days, because if you talk to rangers and professionals who work out there all the time, bears are excellent thieves. We were doing a preventive SAR project at the boy scout camps at a national forest recreation area (Huntington Lake) and the bears are a serious issue there - bear boxes in campsites, and the scout camp we visited last had a bear break into the kitchen and raid the canned goods storage, because someone neglected to take the last bag of trash out last season.

Bear canisters can be rented for long trips (google the Bearikade) by mail - the Bearikade is the lightest for the volume you will find. And if you are going high elevation, it's what I recommend. We were finding bear poop up in the Tablelands (no trees, granite boulders and slabs and open alpine). The rangers will tell you that the bears are starting to follow people up there.
user 9860949
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 27

Obviously in Yosemite, JMT, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon the story is very different, but the OP is not hiking there. smile

My recommendation was based on section hiking on the TRT through Desolation Wilderness, in July, we asked the ranger (in the field) specifically about food storage (counter-balance vs. pct hang vs. ursack vs. canister). He said "Why bother?... the bears are all down in town living high on the hog! (but don't quote me on that)"

Depending on the local bear situation I will either.... do nothing at all, hang food, use an ursack, or use a canister; which ever is the lightest option that gives me peace of mind.

A former member
Post #: 780
The bears are getting worse in national forest locations because people do nothing at all, because there is not a bear problem YET.

So if you would like the whole range to develop a problem bear population and can requirements, that's a great way to do it. Do something effective and keep the cans out of it as long as you can, if you like a light pack. Ounce of prevention, two and half pounds of cure.

Bear cans have also saved my stuff from mice (woke up to poop on the lid) and raccoons (on the coast, in areas where they are pernicious and determined).
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