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Using bear boxes south of MTR?

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  • eric
    Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until
    Message 1 of 20 , Apr 29, 2012
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      Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous, oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein powder.

      Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B) where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?

      Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making everything fit into a bear vault.
    • Ray Rippel
      Good day, Eric, That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR
      Message 2 of 20 , Apr 29, 2012
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        Good day, Eric,
         
        That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed!  One thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a little past Lake Marjorie.  See: http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
         
        I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch.  My only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR.  There are problem bears in that area.
         
        Good hiking, Ray
         
        Ray Rippel
        Author, Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail
        http://jmtbook.com/
        Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook

        On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
         

        Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous, oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein powder.

        Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B) where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?

        Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making everything fit into a bear vault.


      • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
        Eric, here is the site that lists the locations of bear boxes: http://www.climber.org/data/BearBoxes.html The only problem is there are no bear boxes where you
        Message 3 of 20 , Apr 29, 2012
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          Eric, here is the site that lists the locations of bear boxes:

          http://www.climber.org/data/BearBoxes.html

          The only problem is there are no bear boxes where you need them after
          re-supplying at MTR, By the time you get to your first bear box you will probably be able to fit your food in your bear can. There is about 62 miles between Muir Trail Ranch and the first bear box at Woods Creek. What size bear can do you have? I would consider renting the Bearikade Expedition or look into re-supplying with Berners over Kearsarge.



          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
          >
          > Good day, Eric,
          >
          > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
          > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
          > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
          > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
          >
          > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
          > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
          > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
          > in that area.
          >
          > Good hiking, Ray
          >
          > Ray Rippel
          > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
          > http://jmtbook.com/
          > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
          >
          > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > >
          > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
          > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
          > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
          > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
          > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
          > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
          > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
          > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
          > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
          > > powder.
          > >
          > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
          > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
          > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
          > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
          > >
          > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
          > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
          > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
          > > everything fit into a bear vault.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • vegasjmtdave
          It is my first time hiking such a long trip without resupply and I had exactly the same questions as you do. It is really hard to get more than 6 or 7 days of
          Message 4 of 20 , Apr 29, 2012
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            It is my first time hiking such a long trip without resupply and I had exactly the same questions as you do. It is really hard to get more than 6 or 7 days of food in a bear canister without expert dyhdration (John ladd has some goo post and tips on this). I probably will be staying away from cliff bars and the like for trail food because of their relatively low calorie to volume ratio. I will snaking on mostly dyhdrated fruit and muscle milk powder from MTR on. Still I won't get 10 plus days food in my Garcia canister so I will be using a Ursack for the supplemental space. http://www.ursack.com/

            Check out the message thread I started title Resupply at Charlotte Lake March 12, 2012.
          • eric
            I carry the Bearvault BV 500, which holds 11.5 liters
            Message 5 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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              I carry the Bearvault BV 500, which holds 11.5 liters

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "rnperky@..." <rnperky@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > Eric, here is the site that lists the locations of bear boxes:
              >
              > http://www.climber.org/data/BearBoxes.html
              >
              > The only problem is there are no bear boxes where you need them after
              > re-supplying at MTR, By the time you get to your first bear box you will probably be able to fit your food in your bear can. There is about 62 miles between Muir Trail Ranch and the first bear box at Woods Creek. What size bear can do you have? I would consider renting the Bearikade Expedition or look into re-supplying with Berners over Kearsarge.
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Good day, Eric,
              > >
              > > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
              > > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
              > > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
              > > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
              > >
              > > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
              > > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
              > > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
              > > in that area.
              > >
              > > Good hiking, Ray
              > >
              > > Ray Rippel
              > > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
              > > http://jmtbook.com/
              > > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
              > >
              > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@> wrote:
              > >
              > > > **
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
              > > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
              > > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
              > > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
              > > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
              > > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
              > > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
              > > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
              > > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
              > > > powder.
              > > >
              > > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
              > > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
              > > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
              > > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
              > > >
              > > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
              > > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
              > > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
              > > > everything fit into a bear vault.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • eric
              Good to know that they are not required legally. According to our expedition plan, we were going to camp in aspen meadow, about 3.5 miles south of MTR
              Message 6 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                Good to know that they are not required legally. According to our expedition plan, we were going to camp in aspen meadow, about 3.5 miles south of MTR

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                >
                > Good day, Eric,
                >
                > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
                > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
                > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
                > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
                >
                > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
                > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
                > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
                > in that area.
                >
                > Good hiking, Ray
                >
                > Ray Rippel
                > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
                > http://jmtbook.com/
                > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
                >
                > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
                > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
                > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
                > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
                > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
                > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
                > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
                > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
                > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
                > > powder.
                > >
                > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
                > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
                > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
                > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                > >
                > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
                > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
                > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
                > > everything fit into a bear vault.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Roleigh Martin
                You can rent a Bearikade Expedition for $55 and it holds 1400 cubic inches and weighs 2 lb 5 oz. (rental fee is discounted for JMT thru hikers from
                Message 7 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                  You can rent a Bearikade Expedition for $55 and it holds 1400 cubic inches and weighs 2 lb 5 oz.  (rental fee is discounted for JMT thru hikers from wild-ideas.net)
                  -------------------------------------------------
                  Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                  _




                  On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM, eric <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                   

                  I carry the Bearvault BV 500, which holds 11.5 liters



                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "rnperky@..." <rnperky@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Eric, here is the site that lists the locations of bear boxes:
                  >
                  > http://www.climber.org/data/BearBoxes.html
                  >
                  > The only problem is there are no bear boxes where you need them after
                  > re-supplying at MTR, By the time you get to your first bear box you will probably be able to fit your food in your bear can. There is about 62 miles between Muir Trail Ranch and the first bear box at Woods Creek. What size bear can do you have? I would consider renting the Bearikade Expedition or look into re-supplying with Berners over Kearsarge.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Good day, Eric,
                  > >
                  > > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
                  > > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
                  > > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
                  > > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
                  > >
                  > > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
                  > > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
                  > > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
                  > > in that area.
                  > >
                  > > Good hiking, Ray
                  > >
                  > > Ray Rippel
                  > > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
                  > > http://jmtbook.com/
                  > > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
                  > >
                  > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > **
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
                  > > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
                  > > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
                  > > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
                  > > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
                  > > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
                  > > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
                  > > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
                  > > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
                  > > > powder.
                  > > >
                  > > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
                  > > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
                  > > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
                  > > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                  > > >
                  > > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
                  > > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
                  > > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
                  > > > everything fit into a bear vault.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >


                • Robert
                  Eric, Not to be an alarmist, but there has been an uptick in bear activity in the area of Aspen Mdws. and into Evolution Valley. I was chatting with a ranger
                  Message 8 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                    Eric, Not to be an alarmist, but there has been an uptick in bear activity in the area of Aspen Mdws. and into Evolution Valley. I was chatting with a ranger on this area as people usually have extra food after their re-supply, there has been an increase in reports of food loss in that area. I would research a proper counter-balance technique or get a bigger can or Ursack. I agree with Robert on the mon-consumables as not very appetizing for the bears. The smell may attract them, but even after losing a food bag many years ago, the bears ate everything but my non-consumables! I don't stress over not getting all of that in bearcan anymore and haven't had any issues.

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Good to know that they are not required legally. According to our expedition plan, we were going to camp in aspen meadow, about 3.5 miles south of MTR
                    >
                    > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Good day, Eric,
                    > >
                    > > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
                    > > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
                    > > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
                    > > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
                    > >
                    > > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
                    > > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
                    > > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
                    > > in that area.
                    > >
                    > > Good hiking, Ray
                    > >
                    > > Ray Rippel
                    > > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
                    > > http://jmtbook.com/
                    > > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
                    > >
                    > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > **
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
                    > > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
                    > > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
                    > > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
                    > > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
                    > > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
                    > > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
                    > > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
                    > > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
                    > > > powder.
                    > > >
                    > > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
                    > > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
                    > > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
                    > > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                    > > >
                    > > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
                    > > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
                    > > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
                    > > > everything fit into a bear vault.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Roleigh Martin
                    Correction (thanks to the emailer who caught my typo). I got inches high mixed up with cubic inches. The dimensions of the Bearikade Expedition are:
                    Message 9 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                      Correction (thanks to the emailer who caught my typo).  I got inches high mixed up with cubic inches.  The dimensions of the Bearikade Expedition are:

                      Specifications:
                      • 2 pounds 5 ounces
                      • 9" diameter base by 14" length
                      • 900 cubic inch volume

                      -------------------------------------------------
                      Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                      _




                      On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                      You can rent a Bearikade Expedition for $55 and it holds 1400 cubic inches and weighs 2 lb 5 oz.  (rental fee is discounted for JMT thru hikers from wild-ideas.net)
                      -------------------------------------------------
                      Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                      _





                      On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM, eric <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                       

                      I carry the Bearvault BV 500, which holds 11.5 liters



                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "rnperky@..." <rnperky@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Eric, here is the site that lists the locations of bear boxes:
                      >
                      > http://www.climber.org/data/BearBoxes.html
                      >
                      > The only problem is there are no bear boxes where you need them after
                      > re-supplying at MTR, By the time you get to your first bear box you will probably be able to fit your food in your bear can. There is about 62 miles between Muir Trail Ranch and the first bear box at Woods Creek. What size bear can do you have? I would consider renting the Bearikade Expedition or look into re-supplying with Berners over Kearsarge.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Good day, Eric,
                      > >
                      > > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
                      > > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
                      > > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
                      > > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
                      > >
                      > > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
                      > > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
                      > > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
                      > > in that area.
                      > >
                      > > Good hiking, Ray
                      > >
                      > > Ray Rippel
                      > > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
                      > > http://jmtbook.com/
                      > > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
                      > >
                      > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > **
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
                      > > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
                      > > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
                      > > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
                      > > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
                      > > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
                      > > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
                      > > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
                      > > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
                      > > > powder.
                      > > >
                      > > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
                      > > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
                      > > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
                      > > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                      > > >
                      > > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
                      > > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
                      > > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
                      > > > everything fit into a bear vault.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >



                    • Herb
                      Eric s problem is certainly nothing new. Packing more food than should fit into a bear can is JMT-sport! But please don t think that improper food storage is a
                      Message 10 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                        Eric's problem is certainly nothing new. Packing more food than should fit into a bear can is JMT-sport! But please don't think that improper food storage is a "so what?" issue. It is not just the inconvenience of losing several days food. Once a bear links humans to high-fat high-calorie food, that bear is a threat to people and may have to be destroyed.

                        Most readers here are probably aware, but for anyone new to the delights of filling a bear can, everything must be repackaged. That is the key to reducing excess volume and cannot be overstressed. Freeze-dried meals are the biggest offenders. We repackage most of them, then take one meal in the foil pouch to reuse as a cook cozy. Tear the directions off of the package and drop them into the baggie. A freeze dried meal can also be "de-aired" by poking a pin-hole in the package, squeeze out the air, then recover the hole with duct tape. Close up baggies but leave a tiny opening in the ziplock. This will allow additional air to escape during the jamming process.

                        If everything is loose in baggies with all the air you can get out of it, start packing the items into the can. Bars seem to work best vertical against the sides of the cans with stuff jammed in the middle. Lay in food a layer at a time. With a jamming device (like a plastic peanut butter jar or the palm of your hand), push down hard and force out excess air. Really lean on it. Since all your food is loose in baggies they will fill all empty spaces. I try to pack the top of the can in a breakfast-lunch-dinner order to avoid having to pull out and repack any items while things are still tight. Obviously you don't need to pack the food you will consume the day of your resupply.

                        If there is still excess food you will have to hang or use a bear box. Before heading out on the trail practice counter-balance food hanging--it is a vanishing art. There are many methods, but here is one: Look for a branch 20'+ high that allows food to hang at least 10' from the tree and lower branches. Find a good long stick. Tie an oblong shaped rock to your chord and throw it over the branch about where you want the bags to hang. Once the line is over, divide up the food into two bags of approximately equal weight (no need to be precise). Tie one bag to the end of the line, then pull it all the way up until it is right under the branch. Take the second bag and tie it on the line as high as you can reach. Stuff the excess line into the bag, leaving yourself a "grab" loop that DOES NOT hang below the food bag. Use the long stick you procured to push the lower bag up until the two are equal height. The goal is at least a 10x10x10 hang--10' off the ground, 10' from the top and 10' from the trunk.

                        To retrieve the food, use your long stick and hook the loop. Pull down the bag, untie, and let down the other bag. And be sure not to use your long stick as firewood during the night!

                        Do not hang food by suspending the bag over a tree limb and tying off the other end. Yosemite bears are professionals, and some learned to play that tied off line like a guitar until something good happens. Also, make sure its a strong branch. One hiker told me he watched the bear bounce on a branch until bear and food all came crashing to earth.

                        Bear encounters are not that common and generally limited to a few hot spots. Nevertheless is is up to the hiker community to know how to deal with the bears in the safest and least destructive manner.

                        Herb



                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous, oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein powder.
                        >
                        > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B) where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                        >
                        > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making everything fit into a bear vault.
                        >
                      • Roleigh Martin
                        If you are going to hang your food, I recommend you get OPSAK plastic bag and put your smelly stuff inside that which
                        Message 11 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                          If you are going to hang your food, I recommend you get OPSAK plastic bag and put your smelly stuff inside that which can't fit into your bear cannister.  The OPSAK " is made from special film that is 17,000 times more odor resistant than HDPE. When used properly, the OPSak is 100% water and air tight."

                          If a bear can't smell your hanging food, he/she is less likely to notice it or go after it.  
                          -------------------------------------------------
                          Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                          _

                        • Dale Stuart
                          Here are a few things that I have used. I found that the trail bars ie. cliff bars, do not pack well due to the irregular shape and dimensions.  Instead I go
                          Message 12 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                            Here are a few things that I have used.
                            I found that the trail bars ie. cliff bars, do not pack well due to the irregular shape and dimensions.  Instead I go for the "rectangular shaped"  bars and am able to arrange them like a picket fence around the perimeter of the canister.   Instead of individual meal bags, have a large bag for the rice, one for oatmeal etc, Put these bulk foods into center of the "picket fence".they will pack down well.  Trail mix, nuts, etc, can be loose filled in the canister.  They will fill many little cracks and crevices.   Every morning you can measure and pull out whats needed for that days meals and store at top or outside of the canister. 
                            If you are noodle person, you might try substituting Orzo for Ramen or other larger noodles as they take much less space.  

                            Good luck
                             
                            -Dale 


                          • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
                            Eric, Does your pack have the capacity for a Bearikade Expidition? If so, it looks like it will hold a lot more food for you: BV 500, 11.5 litres = 702 cu. in.
                            Message 13 of 20 , Apr 30, 2012
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                              Eric, Does your pack have the capacity for a Bearikade Expidition? If so, it looks like it will hold a lot more food for you:

                              BV 500, 11.5 litres = 702 cu. in.
                              Bearikade Expedition, 14.75 litres = 900 cu. in.

                              You would be able to get another two or three days of food in it,FWIW. It does take up a lot of space in or out of a pack though.

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I carry the Bearvault BV 500, which holds 11.5 liters
                              >
                              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "rnperky@" <rnperky@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Eric, here is the site that lists the locations of bear boxes:
                              > >
                              > > http://www.climber.org/data/BearBoxes.html
                              > >
                              > > The only problem is there are no bear boxes where you need them after
                              > > re-supplying at MTR, By the time you get to your first bear box you will probably be able to fit your food in your bear can. There is about 62 miles between Muir Trail Ranch and the first bear box at Woods Creek. What size bear can do you have? I would consider renting the Bearikade Expedition or look into re-supplying with Berners over Kearsarge.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Good day, Eric,
                              > > >
                              > > > That predicament is not at all unusual...no need to feel ashamed! One
                              > > > thing to remember is that bear canisters are NOT mandatory from MTR until a
                              > > > little past Lake Marjorie. See:
                              > > > http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map.
                              > > >
                              > > > I didn't get everything back into my canister until two days out of MTR and
                              > > > never saw a bear (or heard stories of problems) along that stretch. My
                              > > > only caveat would be if you're camping near MTR. There are problem bears
                              > > > in that area.
                              > > >
                              > > > Good hiking, Ray
                              > > >
                              > > > Ray Rippel
                              > > > Author, *Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail*
                              > > > http://jmtbook.com/
                              > > > Follow me at: www.twitter.com/JMTBook
                              > > >
                              > > > On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, eric <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > > **
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days
                              > > > > worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at
                              > > > > MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to
                              > > > > make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every
                              > > > > year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous,
                              > > > > oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail
                              > > > > foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly
                              > > > > beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack
                              > > > > that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein
                              > > > > powder.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes
                              > > > > regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant
                              > > > > fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B)
                              > > > > where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular
                              > > > > problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first
                              > > > > long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making
                              > > > > everything fit into a bear vault.
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • senorcalicokat
                              I used a Bearikade Expedition for my JMT last year. The section from MTR To Whitney Portal was indeed the toughest to cram all the food not to mention the
                              Message 14 of 20 , May 1 8:38 AM
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                                I used a Bearikade Expedition for my JMT last year. The section from MTR To Whitney Portal was indeed the toughest to cram all the food not to mention the shock your body will feel when you go from little to nothing in your bearikade to a over flowing one. Those first few miles out of MTR where truly a shock.

                                I took all my Mountain House meals and repackaged them into quart sized freezer bags. I added the boiling water right into the freezer bags and ate right out of them. Saved lots of room in the bearikade and alot less trash.

                                I ate Pro Bars, Bear Valley Pemmican Bars, Trail Mix, M&M's and Jump Start Smoothies from Pack It Gourmet. I was able to get eight days of food into the bearikade this way. The one extra night of food I left out in my pack and ate it that night so all my food was secure the first night. I was not able to fit my toiletries in the bearikade, but luckliy nothing wanted to eat my toothpaste or deodorant :)

                                Send yourself some special goodies in your re-supply bucket to eat at MTR while you sort through your loot and something to eat on the trail that first day. You will be glad you did :)
                              • eric
                                I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I
                                Message 15 of 20 , May 1 8:33 PM
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                                  I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I would have to figure out what to do with its bulk first. I have a 65 liter pack right now that is going to be fully loaded with my BV500 and everything else. If I got the bearikade canister I suppose I could lash it to my pack's brain and just carry the food in a separate sack internally. I am considering getting an 80 liter pack to be used instead of the 65 if push comes to shove.

                                  However, I really like the idea of the Ursack even though I dont quite understand how the heck a pliable fabric can keep a bear from getting into ones food, though apparently the technology exists. I could see myself using the ursack on future trips to make hangs. Surely I will be able to fit everything into my BV 500 except for 2 days when I will have extra for the ursack. The question now is, how should I secure the ursack when near MTR? Should I hang it or just tie it to a tree with some p-cord so that a bear cant wander off with it (the bear might just chew through the p-cord)?

                                  Still considering the bearikade canister but with two of us needing to rent, $110 is a lot to rent. Maybe I can move some money around and just buy one.

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous, oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein powder.
                                  >
                                  > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B) where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                                  >
                                  > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making everything fit into a bear vault.
                                  >
                                • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
                                  Eric, The Ursack is a great way to go for your extra food. Take a look at their website for proper tying methods, ( figure-8 knot ). One of my hiking buddies
                                  Message 16 of 20 , May 1 8:57 PM
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                                    Eric, The Ursack is a great way to go for your extra food. Take a look at their website for proper tying methods, ( figure-8 knot ). One of my hiking buddies uses the Ursack with the liner and has had no issues at all with it. Two words of advice with the Ursack though: don't hang it, a bear may not get at the food, but they will drag it off if not tied properly to a tree stump, and either way your food will be gone. Put food in it that you don't mind getting crushed unless you are packing the liner. Both the bag and the cord are Kevlar, so don't worry about them chewing through either, It is great for keeping out marmots at the Whitney trail juntion as well.

                                    When are you heading out on the JMT? You will love this trail! Have a great hike.



                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I would have to figure out what to do with its bulk first. I have a 65 liter pack right now that is going to be fully loaded with my BV500 and everything else. If I got the bearikade canister I suppose I could lash it to my pack's brain and just carry the food in a separate sack internally. I am considering getting an 80 liter pack to be used instead of the 65 if push comes to shove.
                                    >
                                    > However, I really like the idea of the Ursack even though I dont quite understand how the heck a pliable fabric can keep a bear from getting into ones food, though apparently the technology exists. I could see myself using the ursack on future trips to make hangs. Surely I will be able to fit everything into my BV 500 except for 2 days when I will have extra for the ursack. The question now is, how should I secure the ursack when near MTR? Should I hang it or just tie it to a tree with some p-cord so that a bear cant wander off with it (the bear might just chew through the p-cord)?
                                    >
                                    > Still considering the bearikade canister but with two of us needing to rent, $110 is a lot to rent. Maybe I can move some money around and just buy one.
                                    >
                                    > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous, oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein powder.
                                    > >
                                    > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B) where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                                    > >
                                    > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making everything fit into a bear vault.
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • eric
                                    I think I will go without the aluminum liner for now as we are already going to be carrying enough weight. The figure-8 is surely one of the most reliable
                                    Message 17 of 20 , May 1 11:49 PM
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                                      I think I will go without the aluminum liner for now as we are already going to be carrying enough weight. The figure-8 is surely one of the most reliable knots I know of.

                                      We have two permit dates, one for june 30 and the other for july 14. I think we are leaning towards july 14 as it allows me for a little extra time for international travel prior to the trail. Not looking forward to dealing with the bugs and having to change my diet but I know it will be worth it!

                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "rnperky@..." <rnperky@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Eric, The Ursack is a great way to go for your extra food. Take a look at their website for proper tying methods, ( figure-8 knot ). One of my hiking buddies uses the Ursack with the liner and has had no issues at all with it. Two words of advice with the Ursack though: don't hang it, a bear may not get at the food, but they will drag it off if not tied properly to a tree stump, and either way your food will be gone. Put food in it that you don't mind getting crushed unless you are packing the liner. Both the bag and the cord are Kevlar, so don't worry about them chewing through either, It is great for keeping out marmots at the Whitney trail juntion as well.
                                      >
                                      > When are you heading out on the JMT? You will love this trail! Have a great hike.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I would have to figure out what to do with its bulk first. I have a 65 liter pack right now that is going to be fully loaded with my BV500 and everything else. If I got the bearikade canister I suppose I could lash it to my pack's brain and just carry the food in a separate sack internally. I am considering getting an 80 liter pack to be used instead of the 65 if push comes to shove.
                                      > >
                                      > > However, I really like the idea of the Ursack even though I dont quite understand how the heck a pliable fabric can keep a bear from getting into ones food, though apparently the technology exists. I could see myself using the ursack on future trips to make hangs. Surely I will be able to fit everything into my BV 500 except for 2 days when I will have extra for the ursack. The question now is, how should I secure the ursack when near MTR? Should I hang it or just tie it to a tree with some p-cord so that a bear cant wander off with it (the bear might just chew through the p-cord)?
                                      > >
                                      > > Still considering the bearikade canister but with two of us needing to rent, $110 is a lot to rent. Maybe I can move some money around and just buy one.
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Ok Im a little ashamed to admit that I am having trouble fitting 9 days worth of food into a bear canister, meant to feed me from my resupply at MTR until whitney portal. While I am scouring the net for ideas on how to make more dense meals, I cant understand how people manage to do it every year and I just cant fit everything in. My camp meals, ie. couscous, oatmeal, rice, etc dont seem to take up that much space. Its the trail foods that are killing it. Cliff bars, bags of trail mix, nuts, jelly beans- all of them are bulky and I cant seem to figure out a trail snack that isnt unless I want to resort to eating nothing but pure protein powder.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Anyway, I do have a couple of peers who swear that there are bear boxes regularly placed on the trail and have advised me not to worry if I cant fit everything into a canister. So my questions are A) is this true? B) where is the map that conveniently marks all of their locations?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Fitting everything into a bear canister is going to be a particular problem for the first two day's worth of hiking after MTR. This is my first long distance hike and I guess I am yet to master the art of making everything fit into a bear vault.
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • M L
                                      I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I
                                      Message 18 of 20 , May 2 8:00 AM
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                                        I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I would have to figure out what to do with its bulk first. I have a 65 liter pack right now that is going to be fully loaded with my BV500 and everything else. If I got the bearikade canister I suppose I could lash it to my pack's brain and just carry the food in a separate sack internally. I am considering getting an 80 liter pack to be used instead of the 65 if push comes to shove.

                                        Last summer my husband and I rented Bearikade Expeditions for our hike.  My pack is a Mariposa Plus (approx. 59 liters total, 46 for the main bag) and my husband's pack is an Exos 58.  Each of us was able to fit our Expedition in our pack, vertically, with our other gear under and around it.  I guess it depends on what else you are bringing on your trip.  We try to be lightweight (tarp, no chairs, etc.) but we wouldn't qualify as "ultralight."  My pack had all our shared gear--tarp, cook kit, first aid, etc.  My husband's Exos is Osprey's curved frame type, and even with that he was able to use the Expedition.  So yes you should be able to use a 65 liter pack with an Expedition.

                                        Mina
                                      • John
                                        FYI My Bearikade Weekender fits vertically into my Osprey Atmos 50 with room to spare and not extending the collar of the pack s main compartment. If I had an
                                        Message 19 of 20 , May 2 8:36 AM
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                                          FYI 

                                          My Bearikade Weekender fits vertically into my Osprey Atmos 50 with room to spare and not extending the collar of the pack's main compartment.  If I had an Expedition (at the same diameter and 4" longer), I know I could extend the collar and make it work in my pack at only 50L and with a "self-modified", curved Osprey frame. 

                                          Like Mina said, I too would fall into the lightweight rather than UL category, so the rest of my load isn't minimalist nor full of luxuries either.  Be sure to take a look at your packing strategy and efficiency around your canister before resorting to strapping it on the outside of your pack. 

                                          John

                                          On May 2, 2012, at 8:00 AM, M L <minafall2004_7@...> wrote:

                                           





                                          I have been phasing through all these responses trying to determine the best method for us. The bearikade expedition canister sounds like a good bet, but I would have to figure out what to do with its bulk first. I have a 65 liter pack right now that is going to be fully loaded with my BV500 and everything else. If I got the bearikade canister I suppose I could lash it to my pack's brain and just carry the food in a separate sack internally. I am considering getting an 80 liter pack to be used instead of the 65 if push comes to shove.

                                          Last summer my husband and I rented Bearikade Expeditions for our hike.  My pack is a Mariposa Plus (approx. 59 liters total, 46 for the main bag) and my husband's pack is an Exos 58.  Each of us was able to fit our Expedition in our pack, vertically, with our other gear under and around it.  I guess it depends on what else you are bringing on your trip.  We try to be lightweight (tarp, no chairs, etc.) but we wouldn't qualify as "ultralight."  My pack had all our shared gear--tarp, cook kit, first aid, etc.  My husband's Exos is Osprey's curved frame type, and even with that he was able to use the Expedition.  So yes you should be able to use a 65 liter pack with an Expedition.

                                          Mina

                                        • Joe MacLeish
                                          Endorsing I think what Barbara said, try Berner s packers. You can get a resupply on the trail or at Charlotte Lake (a little more than half way to Whitney).
                                          Message 20 of 20 , May 2 12:14 PM
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                                            Endorsing I think what Barbara said, try Berner’s packers.  You can get a resupply on the trail or at Charlotte Lake (a little more than half way to Whitney).  You don’t have to carry the full load and your stuff fits in a weekender Bearicade.  I have only used the weekender for years and it almost always works.  There might be a bit of extra on the first day out of MTR.  The total load is certainly less.  Weekender weighs less than the Expedition and the total weight of food is almost half.  Try it, you’ll like it,

                                            Joe

                                             

                                            From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of senorcalicokat
                                            Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 8:38 AM
                                            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Using bear boxes south of MTR?

                                             

                                             

                                            I used a Bearikade Expedition for my JMT last year. The section from MTR To Whitney Portal was indeed the toughest to cram all the food not to mention the shock your body will feel when you go from little to nothing in your bearikade to a over flowing one. Those first few miles out of MTR where truly a shock.

                                            I took all my Mountain House meals and repackaged them into quart sized freezer bags. I added the boiling water right into the freezer bags and ate right out of them. Saved lots of room in the bearikade and alot less trash.

                                            I ate Pro Bars, Bear Valley Pemmican Bars, Trail Mix, M&M's and Jump Start Smoothies from Pack It Gourmet. I was able to get eight days of food into the bearikade this way. The one extra night of food I left out in my pack and ate it that night so all my food was secure the first night. I was not able to fit my toiletries in the bearikade, but luckliy nothing wanted to eat my toothpaste or deodorant :)

                                            Send yourself some special goodies in your re-supply bucket to eat at MTR while you sort through your loot and something to eat on the trail that first day. You will be glad you did :)

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