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camp: sleep without tent

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  • Stanley Peng
    I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced
    Message 1 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013

      I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.

      Stanley
    • Ron Cordell
      I cowboy camped every night I could; those nights I couldn t due to rain I just had a tarp. I had no issues with animals of any kind. Bear canister was well
      Message 2 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
        I cowboy camped every night I could; those nights I couldn't due to rain I just had a tarp. I had no issues with animals of any kind. Bear canister was well away from where I was sleeping, and I cooked well away as well. Cooking for me at night is only rehydrating food.


        On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM, Stanley Peng <gotsu@...> wrote:
         


        I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.

        Stanley


      • Robert
        Stanley, Once you start cowboy camping in the Sierras, you won t want to go back to a tent! In August and Sept the mosquitoes are no big deal, and even when
        Message 3 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
          Stanley, Once you start cowboy camping in the Sierras, you won't want to go back to a tent! In August and Sept the mosquitoes are no big deal, and even when they are, they don't bother you once the sun is down and it cools down. I switched a couple of years back, and I was REALLY bummed last summer because it rained 5 of the 6 nights I was out. There is no way to describe being able to look up into the night sky in the High Sierras, it is spectactular! I have run across many bears in the years of hiking around the Sierras and have never been bothered by them, other than one trying to sniff our packs one year in Vidette Meadows. I don't even bother putting my bear can way out of the way, as the bears are conditioned to not even bother with them anymore. Just don't be going to bed with a Snickers in your pocket ; )! I haven't had one disturbed in many years now.

          Get yourself a good quality tarp, and PRACTICE setting it up properly for the times when you do need it and enjoy the view!

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Stanley Peng wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.
          >
          > Stanley
          >
        • Anonwums
          I slept without a tent just above Guitar Lake. I woke up with frost covering my sleeping bag. It wasn t a problem but it would have been if I tried that a week
          Message 4 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
            I slept without a tent just above Guitar Lake. I woke up with frost covering my sleeping bag. It wasn't a problem but it would have been if I tried that a week earlier during a midnight torrential downpour at Shadow Lake.

            Adam

            On Jan 30, 2013, at 1:16 PM, Stanley Peng <gotsu@...> wrote:

             


            I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.

            Stanley

          • alanjrich007
            Stanley, I know it s natural to feel cozy and protected in a tent - but rationally, do you really think it protects you from a bear?? Like others who have
            Message 5 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
              Stanley, I know it's natural to feel cozy and protected in a tent - but
              rationally, do you really think it protects you from a bear??

              Like others who have responded, I have come to enjoy cowboy camping when
              the weather allows. On the JMT in late July last year, that was every
              night but two when there were sprinkles or threatening clouds.

              The one thing that might require a little more caution: I find I have to
              be more careful to keep rodents and other small animals from chewing my
              equipment looking for food (even though there is none) or harvesting
              salt. Closing all bags and zippers and hanging equipment from a tree is
              usually sufficient...

              Alan

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Stanley Peng wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a
              coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September).
              Need experienced opinion. Thanks.
              >
              > Stanley
              >
            • T
              I ve used an Outdoor Research Bivy for years on all different treks, it has a mesh panel that is over your face for bugs and you can zip another flap shut over
              Message 6 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
                I've used an Outdoor Research Bivy for years on all different treks, it has a mesh panel that is over your face for bugs and you can zip another flap shut over that if it starts raining or just leave the thing open. It's the best of both worlds imho. Only drawback is when it's closed you get condensation inside. For protection from bears, keep a clean camp, no food where you sleep. tim

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Stanley Peng wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.
                >
                > Stanley
                >
              • scriv.ener
                Stanley, IMHO, on the JMT weight is everything, largely because whatever ounces I carry I ll be carrying for 222 miles. I may carry a 3½# tent now, but I
                Message 7 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
                  Stanley,

                  IMHO, on the JMT weight is everything, largely because whatever ounces I carry I'll be carrying for 222 miles. I may carry a 3½# tent now, but I took a 1½# tarp on the JMT and was always dry and cozy. Rainy and confined to quarters, pitch it high; cold and blowing, pitch it low and behind a windbreak. Early season, might be a bug problem (I went in September partly to avoid the skeeters), but there are a half dozen solutions to that, too. Most days the weather was fabulous, wouldn't have wanted a tent then, anyway.

                  ~Jeffrey

                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Stanley Peng wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear
                  > back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent
                  > along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion.
                  > Thanks.
                  >
                  > Stanley
                  >
                • Stephen Kundell
                  The animals pretty much leave you alone if you dont have food. Marmots go after anything with sweat on it and can be annoying. That said, I have a friend who
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jan 30, 2013
                    The animals pretty much leave you alone if you dont have food. Marmots
                    go after anything with sweat on it and can be annoying.
                    That said, I have a friend who was nudged in his sleeping bag by a
                    bear. He things that the bear mistook him for a log and was trying to
                    find grubs under him. As soon as he jumped up, the bear ran off. He said
                    the bears breath odor was pretty bad.
                    His experience would not keep me from sleeping outside alone. That is
                    the only encounter like that I know among a number of hikers with many
                    sierra days.
                  • John Ladd
                    The only bad experiences I have had sleeping in the open is an unexpected rain shower in the middle of the night. My usual practice, after a few of these, is
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jan 31, 2013
                      The only bad experiences I have had sleeping in the open is an unexpected rain shower in the middle of the night. My usual practice, after a few of these, is to set up my shelter (for me, a hooped bivy) but sleep in the open nearby. If it rains, I just move into the bivy. I have had a bear smell at me once (Little Yosemite Valley) but she walked off after she woke me up and I banged on a pot. I do tend to leave a noisemaker nearby, now, when in bear-active areas like LYV but mostly don't bother.

                      I particularly like the nights with a late moonrise, where the night stars are spectacular. Once acclimated to the elevation, I prefer sleeping above treeline, especially on late moonrise nights.

                      John Curran Ladd
                      1616 Castro Street
                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                      415-648-9279


                      On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM, Stanley Peng <gotsu@...> wrote:
                       


                      I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.

                      Stanley


                    • robert shattuck
                      I welcome animals dropping by, but . . . I wouldn t worry about bears at all. Sure you ll no doubt see one in the Yosemite region, but they re so
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jan 31, 2013
                        " I welcome animals dropping by, but . . . " 

                        I wouldn't worry about bears at all. Sure you'll no doubt see one in the Yosemite region, but they're so accustomed to people that they can "barely" be bothered by you. There's an apple tree not fifty yards from the backpackers camp, which usually seems to hold the interest of a few bears, but they've never seemed to have much interest in amblin' over to the BC and checking things out. 

                        You'll no doubt encounter a bear, or more likely, encounter others who are making a lot of noise to get rid of a bear in either LYV or Sunrise and certainly, Tuolumne Meadows BC. 

                        Lyell Canyon is kind of a bear hot spot . . . all the ones too lazy to get to the BC in in TM, are waiting for you to camp around the Vogelsang junction, so they can have one last chance to bother you. My advice, get as high as you can . . . all the way through Lyell and up above treeline . . . never seen a bear up there. 

                        Since 1996, other than the bears in Yosemite, I've seen one young bear in the Reds Meadow BC . . . went right in my tent––I just happened to look over and there was a little bear butt, sticking out of my tent––I yelled and it took off so fast . . . 

                        I saw a mother and cub in Vidette meadow. This really spooked me as it was mid-afternoon and I was so involved in rummaging through my pack that I did not see them until they were an easy ten yards or so from me . . . but they didn't bother me or all the food things I had drying out (pre-canister) in the sun. In other years I have seen more results of bear activity in Vidette, so that I don't bother sticking around there too long. 

                        And for anyone who has gone through Vidette before, they removed the one bear box they had there . . . actually, I think they removed both of them, as there was another one up the trail another few hundred yards. 

                        In 2011 a bear and I scared one another in Deer Meadow . . . but otherwise, you will be lucky to see one. 

                        Coyotes. I always hear them up high, on the north side of Forester, but never anywhere else. Wonder why? 

                        If you sleep out under the sky you will see lots of shooting stars, and if an animal comes around, your encounter with it, will no doubt be just as brief. 

                        BOB
                        http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




                        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                        From: johnladd@...
                        Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 19:27:04 -0800
                        Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] camp: sleep without tent

                         
                        The only bad experiences I have had sleeping in the open is an unexpected rain shower in the middle of the night. My usual practice, after a few of these, is to set up my shelter (for me, a hooped bivy) but sleep in the open nearby. If it rains, I just move into the bivy. I have had a bear smell at me once (Little Yosemite Valley) but she walked off after she woke me up and I banged on a pot. I do tend to leave a noisemaker nearby, now, when in bear-active areas like LYV but mostly don't bother.

                        I particularly like the nights with a late moonrise, where the night stars are spectacular. Once acclimated to the elevation, I prefer sleeping above treeline, especially on late moonrise nights.

                        John Curran Ladd
                        1616 Castro Street
                        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                        415-648-9279


                        On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM, Stanley Peng <gotsu@...> wrote:
                         


                        I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September). Need experienced opinion. Thanks.

                        Stanley



                      • Chris
                        I have camped and backpacked in California for over 25 years without a tent and LOVE it. If I spent more time in rainy or buggy areas, I would use a tent for
                        Message 11 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                          I have camped and backpacked in California for over 25 years without a tent and LOVE it. If I spent more time in rainy or buggy areas, I would use a tent for those reasons, but in most of California in the late summer there's no need for a tent. IMHO tents only provide a false sense of security by providing a psychological barrier between you and nature. They only protect you from rain and bugs. And dirt.

                          It is amazing the things I see at night outside... watching bats swoop through the campsite, seeing the moon work it's way across the sky (I wake up occasionally throughout the night), seeing the light get imperceptibly brighter as the sun rises. Also, I wake up earlier and get an earlier start in the morning (important to me, since I'm not a morning person and can sleep until noon if I'm in a tent).

                          Years ago, I was sleeping outside in Yosemite Valley (Upper Pines, I think) and I woke up the next morning to see that a bear had trashed a neighbor's food and drink coolers that were sitting outside about 15 feet from where I was sleeping. Through my fuzzy sleep coma, I remember hearing the noise of the bear knocking over the coolers and spilling ice cubes and beer cans all around, and I remember thinking that those guys in the neighboring campsite were being very loud and inconsiderate, then I promptly drifted back to sleep. Really, that bear had one thing on its mind, and it wasn't me. I was never in any danger.

                          If you find that you are nervous sleeping outside, remember: "There's nothing out there at night that isn't out there during the day." It's true. In fact, I think we are in less danger at night than during the day, since there's less chance of surprising animals (stepping next to a rattlesnake, startling a preoccupied bear, etc). At night, they see and smell a person sleeping outside and avoid them, just like they'd avoid the sight and smell of a tent.

                          Chris.

                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ron Cordell wrote:
                          >
                          > I cowboy camped every night I could; those nights I couldn't due to rain I
                          > just had a tarp. I had no issues with animals of any kind. Bear canister
                          > was well away from where I was sleeping, and I cooked well away as well.
                          > Cooking for me at night is only rehydrating food.
                          >
                          >
                          > On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM, Stanley Peng wrote:
                          >
                          > > **
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > I welcome animals dropping by, but would I become a bear back rub or a
                          > > coyote marking if I sleep without a tent along JMT? (August-September).
                          > > Need experienced opinion. Thanks.
                          > >
                          > > Stanley
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • charliepolecat
                          IMHO tents only provide a false sense of security True, but it s that or bring the blankie along.
                          Message 12 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                            "IMHO tents only provide a false sense of security"

                            True, but it's that or bring the blankie along.
                          • staehpj1
                            On my recent trips to the Sierras I just slept on top of the bivy (no hoop). If it rains I just get inside. I generally have the pad inside the bivy already
                            Message 13 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                              On my recent trips to the Sierras I just slept on top of the bivy (no hoop). If it rains I just get inside. I generally have the pad inside the bivy already making it really quick and easy to get in. I typically have either a small tarp or poncho ready to pull over the mesh of the bivy if needed.

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd wrote:
                              >
                              > My usual practice, after a few of
                              > these, is to set up my shelter (for me, a hooped bivy) but sleep in the
                              > open nearby. If it rains, I just move into the bivy
                            • ravi_jmt2013
                              For those with down sleeping bags, how can we determine in the evening whether condensation will be significant enough overnight to get the outside of the bag
                              Message 14 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                                For those with down sleeping bags, how can we determine in the evening whether condensation will be significant enough overnight to get the outside of the bag more than a little wet? I like the idea of camping outside my tent in good weather but this issue has been in the back of my mind. I've always used a tent and find it difficult to predict when condensation will be on the tent in the morning.



                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "staehpj1" wrote:
                                >
                                > On my recent trips to the Sierras I just slept on top of the bivy (no hoop). If it rains I just get inside. I generally have the pad inside the bivy already making it really quick and easy to get in. I typically have either a small tarp or poncho ready to pull over the mesh of the bivy if needed.
                                >
                                > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd wrote:
                                > >
                                > > My usual practice, after a few of
                                > > these, is to set up my shelter (for me, a hooped bivy) but sleep in the
                                > > open nearby. If it rains, I just move into the bivy
                                >
                              • robert shattuck
                                . . . predict when condensation will be on the tent in the morning Just plan on it. If you brought along your barometer (or some such gizmo) and spent all
                                Message 15 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                                  "  . . . predict when condensation will be on the tent in the morning" 

                                  Just plan on it. 

                                  If you brought along your barometer (or some such gizmo)  and spent all kinds of time taking various measurements and using a table of data and a calculator and so on, you could probably figure out when you were going to wake up with a wet tent, or bag––but you'd have to stay up all night, monitoring your systems, jotting down data and waiting for that moisture to form . . .  

                                  But if you just go with the flow (open your vents) some mornings your tent will be free of condensation, and other times, it'll be wet.  This kind of moisture doesn't really hurt your sleeping bag or anything else and if it is wet, the simple fix is to set it out in the sun––let everything dry. 

                                  Of course if you're getting up at 4 a.m. and hitting the trail in the dark, so you can knock out the big miles, just remember to take a break in the afternoon and pull out whatever might need to dry out. 

                                  Just a side note to drying things out––make sure to tack things down . . . I've seen a few tents get blown away. 

                                  Condensation is pretty much just a daily part of your household chores

                                  Bob
                                  http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480





                                • charliepolecat
                                  A while ago on the Ozark Highland Trail I slept sans tent near the side of a lake. The next morning everything was covered with a heavy dew and my sleeping bag
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                                    A while ago on the Ozark Highland Trail I slept sans tent near the side of a lake. The next morning everything was covered with a heavy dew and my sleeping bag and me were soaking wet. Best to take an hygrometer with you.;-)

                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ravi_jmt2013" wrote:
                                    >
                                    > For those with down sleeping bags, how can we determine in the evening whether condensation will be significant enough overnight to get the outside of the bag more than a little wet? I like the idea of camping outside my tent in good weather but this issue has been in the back of my mind. I've always used a tent and find it difficult to predict when condensation will be on the tent in the morning.
                                    sleep in the
                                  • Don
                                    Condensation won t be a much of a problem cowboy camping on the JMT In a tent remember you re pumping out moist warm air with your breath and creating an
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                                      Condensation won't be a much of a problem cowboy camping on the JMT In a tent remember you're pumping out moist warm air with your breath and creating an condensation incubation environment. That moist warm air hits the colder walls of your shelter and creates condensation. I have yet to see a tent that vents well enough to totally eliminate condensation when the elements conspire to create the moisture. Sleeping in the open all that warm air freely circulates with the colder air, hence no condensation. Now if you camp in a low lying area next to a lake all bets are off. Chose your campsite wisely, higher ground, tree cover etc. all help.

                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ravi_jmt2013" wrote:
                                      >
                                      > For those with down sleeping bags, how can we determine in the evening whether condensation will be significant enough overnight to get the outside of the bag more than a little wet? I like the idea of camping outside my tent in good weather but this issue has been in the back of my mind. I've always used a tent and find it difficult to predict when condensation will be on the tent in the morning.
                                      >
                                    • Don
                                      Best to avoid the OHT if you want to stay dry. I did that trail in 2010 was pretty well saturated more than once. And that was just from walking through wet
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                                        Best to avoid the OHT if you want to stay dry. I did that trail in 2010 was pretty well saturated more than once. And that was just from walking through wet vegetation in the morning. It was the first time I experienced condensation splatter, heavy condensation on the tent walls being bounced off by heavy rain hitting the outside.
                                        Having said that, the OHT is well worth hiking if you ever have the chance. It's a 180 miles of a very different environment from the JMT.

                                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" wrote:
                                        >
                                        > A while ago on the Ozark Highland Trail I slept sans tent near the side of a lake. The next morning everything was covered with a heavy dew and my sleeping bag and me were soaking wet. Best to take an hygrometer with you.;-)
                                        >
                                        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ravi_jmt2013" wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > For those with down sleeping bags, how can we determine in the evening whether condensation will be significant enough overnight to get the outside of the bag more than a little wet? I like the idea of camping outside my tent in good weather but this issue has been in the back of my mind. I've always used a tent and find it difficult to predict when condensation will be on the tent in the morning.
                                        > sleep in the
                                        >
                                      • John Ladd
                                        My experience in the Sierra is similar to Don s. I sometimes used to get condensation inside a tent, but rarely when I sleep in the open. I avoid wet,
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Feb 1, 2013
                                          My experience in the Sierra is similar to Don's. I sometimes used to get condensation inside a tent, but rarely when I sleep in the open.  I avoid wet, low-lying campsites near meadows. Even a little breeze seems to keep the condensation away and anything on the bag when I wake up has usually dried off by the time I back up the bag.  If not, what little is there will dry out at a lunch stop.

                                          John Curran Ladd
                                          1616 Castro Street
                                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                          415-648-9279


                                          On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM, Don <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                                           

                                          Condensation won't be a much of a problem cowboy camping on the JMT In a tent remember you're pumping out moist warm air with your breath and creating an condensation incubation environment. That moist warm air hits the colder walls of your shelter and creates condensation. I have yet to see a tent that vents well enough to totally eliminate condensation when the elements conspire to create the moisture. Sleeping in the open all that warm air freely circulates with the colder air, hence no condensation. Now if you camp in a low lying area next to a lake all bets are off. Chose your campsite wisely, higher ground, tree cover etc. all help. 

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