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Bear box update?

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  • rstrimbeck
    I just learned in a comment on the What do you do with your stuff? thread that some (all?) bear boxes have been removed from Vidette Meadows. Is there an
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
      I just learned in a comment on the "What do you do with your stuff?" thread that some (all?) bear boxes have been removed from Vidette Meadows. Is there an update to Wenk's 2008 list of bear boxes anywhere? I looked around a bit in  Files and Links but didn't find anything. We will have everything in bear cans but it sound like a lot of people like to use boxes when available.  I have used Wenk's bear box info on my Profile Planner and wouldn't want to mislead anyone...
    • ravi_jmt2013
      I recall some bear boxes at a couple of locations in Vidette Meadows and at Center Basin junction but I ended up camping closer to treeline before the pass
      Message 2 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
        I recall some bear boxes at a couple of locations in Vidette Meadows and at Center Basin junction but I ended up camping closer to treeline before the pass where there were no bear boxes.  This was on September 12 of last year.  The Vidette and Center Basin junction boxes are still listed on the NPS website:

        http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bear_box.htm
      • Robert
        Here is the site to go to for all of the bear box locations in the Sierras: http://climber.org/data/BearBoxes/BC.html The bear boxes Climber.org showed along
        Message 3 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
          Here is the site to go to for all of the bear box locations in the Sierras:

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

          The bear boxes Climber.org showed along Bubbs Creek were all still there last summer in July when I went through.


          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <rstrimbeck@...> wrote:
          >
          > I just learned in a comment on the "What do you do with your stuff?" thread that some (all?) bear boxes have been removed from Vidette Meadows. Is there an update to Wenk's 2008 list of bear boxes anywhere? I looked around a bit in Files and Links but didn't find anything. We will have everything in bear cans but it sound like a lot of people like to use boxes when available. I have used Wenk's bear box info on my Profile Planner and wouldn't want to mislead anyone...
          >
        • groundhogsteve
          The Climber.org data is out of date. The bear boxes at Kearsarge Lakes are locked due to mis-use by people hiking in resupplies and leaving trash in them. I
          Message 4 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
            The Climber.org data is out of date.

            The bear boxes at Kearsarge Lakes are locked due to mis-use by people hiking in resupplies and leaving trash in them.  I don't know about Charlotte Lake, though.

            The box for Lyell Canyon is no longer there.

            Bear pole at Shadow Lake is questionable.
          • Robert
            ... Not really. Here is the updated beatbox list, with the bold, red lettering on Kearsarge Lakes bear boxes being out of service:
            Message 5 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
              > "The Climber.org data is out of date."

              Not really. Here is the updated beatbox list, with the bold, red lettering on Kearsarge Lakes bear boxes being out of service:

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

              Climber. Org takes great strides to ensure accuracy based on trip reports from hikers, and I have found them to be accurate over the years. The will usually note if there is any doubt to the location or authenticity of a bear box or cable not being there.

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <groundhogsteve@...> wrote:
              >
              > The Climber.org data is out of date.
              >
              > The bear boxes at Kearsarge Lakes are locked due to mis-use by people hiking in resupplies and leaving trash in them. I don't know about Charlotte Lake, though.
              >
              > The box for Lyell Canyon is no longer there.
              >
              > Bear pole at Shadow Lake is questionable.
              >
            • miles harlan
              I used the Charlotte Lake Bear Box in 2012..North West of rangers cabin along the lake... On Thursday, February 6, 2014 10:22 AM, Robert
              Message 6 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
                I used the Charlotte Lake Bear Box in 2012..North West of rangers cabin along the lake...



                On Thursday, February 6, 2014 10:22 AM, Robert <rnperky@...> wrote:
                 
                > "The Climber.org data is out of date."

                Not really. Here is the updated beatbox list, with the bold, red lettering on Kearsarge Lakes bear boxes being out of service:

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

                Climber. Org takes great strides to ensure accuracy based on trip reports from hikers, and I have found them to be accurate over the years. The will usually note if there is any doubt to the location or authenticity of a bear box or cable not being there.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <groundhogsteve@...> wrote:
                >
                > The Climber.org data is out of date.
                >
                > The bear boxes at Kearsarge Lakes are locked due to mis-use by people hiking in resupplies and leaving trash in them. I don't know about Charlotte Lake, though.
                >
                > The box for Lyell Canyon is no longer there.
                >
                > Bear pole at Shadow Lake is questionable.
                >



              • groundhogsteve
                I hadn t been to their website since last year. Looks like they do have that noted correctly.
                Message 7 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
                  I hadn't been to their website since last year.  Looks like they do have that noted correctly.
                • Robert
                  I think in my cold-induced, cooped up in my house stupor I m in, I think I put up the wrong page link originally for the updated Climber.org info anyways;) !
                  Message 8 of 20 , Feb 6, 2014
                    I think in my cold-induced, cooped up in my house stupor I'm in, I think I put up the wrong page link originally for the updated Climber.org info anyways;) ! The second post has the current info!

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <groundhogsteve@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I hadn't been to their website since last year. Looks like they do have that noted correctly.
                    >
                  • katyjepsen1
                    Is is possible to do the JMT withOUT a bear can, if you plan it correctly, stoping at the bear box locations, even if it means longer/shorter days?
                    Message 9 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014

                      Is is possible to do the JMT withOUT a bear can, if you plan it correctly, stoping at the bear box locations, even if it means longer/shorter days?

                    • Dittli-Goethals
                      Only if you can hike from Yosemite to Kings Canyon in a day! JD ... -- John Dittli/Leslie Goethals John Dittli Photography www.johndittli.com 760-934-3505
                      Message 10 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014
                        Only if you can hike from Yosemite to Kings Canyon in a day!

                        JD


                        On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM, <katyjepsen1@...> wrote:
                         

                        Is is possible to do the JMT withOUT a bear can, if you plan it correctly, stoping at the bear box locations, even if it means longer/shorter days?




                        --
                        John Dittli/Leslie Goethals
                        John Dittli Photography
                        www.johndittli.com
                        760-934-3505 

                        Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                        2010  IPPY Gold Medal Award Winner
                      • katyjepsen1
                        hahaha. I met a guy at REI today who said he had done it a few years back. But I didn t see how it was possible. Just wondering if other veteran JMTers out
                        Message 11 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014

                          hahaha. I met a guy at REI today who said he had done it a few years back. But I didn't see how it was possible. Just wondering if other veteran JMTers out there have seen enough bear boxes on the trail for that...

                        • Jiminredbch
                          Elizabeth Wenk has a list of all boxes on the JMT. But remember, you will be ask if you have a canister with you before you receive your permit. If you say you
                          Message 12 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014
                            Elizabeth Wenk has a list of all boxes on the JMT. But remember, you will be ask if you have a canister with you before you receive your permit. If you say you have one they will trust you. Rangers on the trail will ask to see your permit and canister. 

                            Sent from my iPhone

                            On Feb 8, 2014, at 2:19 PM, <katyjepsen1@...> wrote:

                             

                            hahaha. I met a guy at REI today who said he had done it a few years back. But I didn't see how it was possible. Just wondering if other veteran JMTers out there have seen enough bear boxes on the trail for that...

                          • katyjepsen1
                            Good to know. I figured it was probably not encouraged to do the trail that way, but didn t know for sure if it was REQUIRED. We are bringing one either way.
                            Message 13 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014

                              Good to know. I figured it was probably not encouraged to do the trail that way, but didn't know for sure if it was REQUIRED. We are bringing one either way. I'm not sure how that guy got away with it. I've only hung a bag of food once in a pinch (bear box was broken) and I don't think I slept a wink worrying about it all night. (it turned out ok, but I definitely would not do that again). 

                            • ravi_jmt2013
                              While researching a possible future PCT thru hike, I have read about northbound PCT hikers who send their canisters to Mammoth rather than Kennedy Meadows and
                              Message 14 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014

                                While researching a possible future PCT thru hike, I have read about northbound PCT hikers who send their canisters to Mammoth rather than Kennedy Meadows and exclusively use NPS bear boxes in areas where canisters are required in Sequoia/Kings Canyon and hike very high mileage days to avoid camping in restricted areas.  I don't think this is a good idea for a few reasons:  (1) It limits flexibility within restricted areas by having to camp at bear boxes;  (2) if a bear box is locked by a ranger due to abuse of the box, there would be no legal way to camp;  (3) even in unrestricted areas, it might be difficult to effectively hang food;  (4) If there are severe storms a hiker may have to choose between proceeding in a storm or not having a legal place to camp;  (5) the planned high miles required might not be possible for other reasons like injury;  (6) if a backcountry ranger catches a hiker without a canister, the food strategy may not be believed which could result in a citation....


                                In my opinion, it is way more trouble than it is worth to try to avoid carrying a canister for the entire length of the JMT. 

                              • Robert
                                Yes, there are people going without a bear canister, but they are doing it illegally, and defeating the purpose of the regs by introducing a chance for a food
                                Message 15 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014
                                  Yes, there are people going without a bear canister, but they are doing it illegally, and defeating the purpose of the regs by introducing a chance for a food reward for the bears. Many thru-hikers choose choose to do the 'stealth camping' style hiking to reduce the chance of any bear encounter. While it isn't a complete bad idea, one should still use a bear can where required. I used to loath carrying a bear can, and I thought it was a major inconvenience until a couple of encounters with VERY persistent bears many years ago. Now I can't imagine NOT carrying one for peace of mind, if not from bears, but all of the other critters that like to get your food. They make great sitting stools too!

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <katyjepsen1@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > hahaha. I met a guy at REI today who said he had done it a few years back. But I didn't see how it was possible. Just wondering if other veteran JMTers out there have seen enough bear boxes on the trail for that...
                                  >
                                • Frank Dumville
                                  Ravi, For the reasons you listed I suspect that anyone that plans to do this ends up only using the bear boxes when it s convenient. In 2006 I witnessed a
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014
                                    Ravi,
                                     
                                    For the reasons you listed I suspect that anyone that plans to do this ends up only using the bear boxes when it's convenient.
                                     
                                    In 2006 I witnessed a ticket being issued to a thruhiker south of Mammoth for not having a bear cannister so the plan may not work out all that well.
                                     
                                    Frank
                                     

                                     
                                  • Jim Seamans
                                    I agree, use the can....but, Hike from Hi to TM on day 1, day 2 to reds, day 3 to VVR and then on day 4 stay at MTR. If you can do big miles you could get
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014
                                      I agree, use the can....but, Hike from Hi to TM on day 1, day 2 to reds, day 3 to VVR and then on day 4 stay at MTR.  If you can do big miles you could get that far.  After that it would depend on the location of bear boxes but I imagine it could be done.


                                      On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 7:02 PM, Frank Dumville <frankdpct@...> wrote:
                                       

                                      Ravi,
                                       
                                      For the reasons you listed I suspect that anyone that plans to do this ends up only using the bear boxes when it's convenient.
                                       
                                      In 2006 I witnessed a ticket being issued to a thruhiker south of Mammoth for not having a bear cannister so the plan may not work out all that well.
                                       
                                      Frank
                                       

                                       


                                    • cehauser1
                                      Jim: No, unfortunately, it isn t that simple. The climber.org website shows a huge gap in bear boxes in the middle of the JMT, between Red s Meadow and Woods
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Feb 8, 2014

                                        Jim:

                                        No, unfortunately, it isn't that simple.  The climber.org website shows a huge gap in bear boxes in the middle of the JMT, between Red's Meadow and Woods Creek suspension bridge... a gap of over 100 miles.


                                        Chris.

                                      • rstrimbeck
                                        As the OP I ll just say this has been useful for me, mainly for the updated list on climber.org but I also learned that you can t rely on all boxes at all
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Feb 9, 2014

                                          As the OP I'll just say this has been useful for me, mainly for the updated list on climber.org but I also learned that you can't rely on all boxes at all locations to be available, if rangers can just lock them whenever. We will of course have canisters, but may use boxes for a little POM if/when they are available. I don't know when I'll get around to updating the list on my profile planner, and even then it seems there may be some unknowns, so anyone using it should probably not rely on all boxes being available.

                                        • groundhogsteve
                                          I would like to point out that the rangers at Yosemite cite the statistic that since they have changed the bear management practices in the late 1990 s, damage
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Feb 9, 2014
                                            I would like to point out that the rangers at Yosemite cite the statistic that since they have changed the bear management practices in the late 1990's, damage to vehicles is down a whopping 85%.  I presume bear canisters are having the same effect in the backcountry. 

                                            So for everybody's and the bear's sake, all hikers should use a bear canister.  It isn't that much of an imposition for the benefits it brings to the bears, oneself, and those who follow. 
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