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Re: [pct-l] Lightweight Packs

I just got back from this area.  I did the JMT south bound.  We were near
Cathedral Lakes( about 4 miles south of Tuolumne) about two weeks ago and
thought we had hiked far enough past the lakes to avoid the popular camp sites.
After we set up our tent, about four other campers set theirs up in a circle
200yds away from us.  They all cooked.  We cooked about five miles before and
went right to bed, using our food as a pillow.  All night long the other campers
were banging pots and throwing rocks at bears trying to get their food.  And all
night long the bear walked right past our tent on its way to another campsite
and never stopped to pay us a visit.  I think that part of the problem is that
campers are afraid of bears and the bears sense that fear.  All of the other
campers banged pots and threw rocks, but none of them ever yelled at the bear or
attempted to show the bear that they were not afreaid of it.  In return, the
bear graciously spent all night ripping up all their gear that was not in their
tent . . .  we saw all kinds of packs, boots, and other gear strewn about the
next morning.
    I know that it may seem kind of dumb not to be afraid of a bear, but I truly
believe that this is part of the problem.  It used to be that the bears were
afraid of us because our ancestors used rocks, wooden tools and intelligence to
hunt bears.  Now we have turned the natural balance of nature on its head by
living away from nature.

Dude in TX

Tim Barton wrote:

> So what should one do?  I will be going into the area south of Toulonme
> along the JMT and cut west towards Half Dome.  What kind of bear problem
> should be expected.  Should a bear cannister be used or will
> counterbalancing work in this area?
> Thank
> Tim
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brick Robbins <brick@ix.netcom.com>
> To: Tom Reynolds <Tom.Reynolds@ilan.com>
> Cc: pct-l@backcountry.net <pct-l@backcountry.net>
> Date: Monday, August 31, 1998 12:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [pct-l] Lightweight Packs
> >At 11:57 AM 8/31/98 -0700, Tom Reynolds wrote:
> >>What I should have said is something like "Along the PCT between Kennedy
> >>Meadows and Sonora Pass, and the access trails that most PCT/JMT hikers
> use
> >>for food replenishment, certain areas have high bear activity and the risk
> >>of losing food is high. In these high risk areas counterbalancing doesn't
> >>work most of the time and certainly won't work if you do it improperly. If
> >>you lose your food, are not using a bear canister, and a Ranger happens
> >>along you will probably be cited for improper food storage." Like that?
> >
> >Well Said! I have no disagreement when you put it that way.
> >
> >> I suspect that the only way to clarify the legal situation its to fight
> the
> >>citation in court. Probably we should take up a collection.
> >
> >I have considered going into onion valley and getting a citation. I know
> that rangers there have been escorting hikers out of the forest if they
> don't have a canister. If I refused to leave, I assume they would right me a
> ticket for "resisting arrest" or some such, instead of not having a bear
> can. That would be hard to fight.
> >
> >I just don't have the time right now.
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