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User Info So You're Hiking? What Do You Eat? in forum [Market-Ticker]
Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
Oh yeah. I haven't had any 'close' encounters with bears, fortunately, but have had many with other critters. I've seen some crafty and fearless marmots dig into a pack that had exposed food. Not pretty.

I carry a bear can these days. Just found a smaller one (the Garcia models are great but ****ing HUGE!) and ordered it -- it's nice, and will be my go-to even for 5-day exposures as I can (as expected) fit 5 days of rations in there. It's tight, but works -- and tight is fine. It's also half the mass (roughly) of the Garcia and can be carried INSIDE the back instead of strapped under the brain.

I like the Garcia as it doubles as a camp seat and washing machine (think about it), but damn it's big and heavy.

There are a lot of people who get bent about the cans due to their size and mass; I get it, but there's very little that will******you off more (never mind leading you to hate life) than having your food destroyed when you're ~2-3 days out from resupply. It won't kill you but you won't like it one bit. Everyone thinks "bears" (and that's a real issue) but there are a hell of a lot more mice and other rodents than there are bears in the woods and MANY of them are VERY capable of climbing and getting into a hung bag. The "Ursack" spectra bags that many people like will ultimately "resist" such intrusion (said rodent won't GET the rations in the end) but smashed/punctured/destroyed rations are effectively "gone" and what's worse is that ONE incident like that destroys the sack since it contaminates the bag with scent in a way that cannot be removed and thus it will forevermore attract further critter assaults, forcing you to discard it.

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Ponzi_unit
Posts: 9103
Incept: 2007-09-05

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"Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog."

So THAT'S what has been going on over the past 60 days.

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Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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BTW here's the Garcia canister next to the new one that I just got -- and which is, IMHO, PERFECT. Checked it and I can (with difficulty) get five days of rats into it plus a toothbrush and toothpaste (yes, those should be treated as "food" with regard to critters) AND it fits without problems in the main compartment of my pack with a "normal" carrying load. Oh, and it's also about half the mass of the Garcia too.

Me like lots.

(BTW the aluminum duct tape is so you can FIND said container after a critter tries to get into it and bats it around. Yes, that does happen.)
Inline

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Jazen
Posts: 3587
Incept: 2007-07-17

****cago
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Nice thing about the drops for water, they don't break.
Which the pumps can and do.
Been there.

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Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Yep the Sawyer is also either a squeeze or gravity unit gravity just takes longer

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Naomi_cas
Posts: 836
Incept: 2007-08-17

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You sure seem to have had a lot of small wild life issues, strange I have never had any, even leaving my bag on the ground when no bears, and I am actually wondering why??
I am sure that the fact that I usually stay away from "civilization" is part of the answer, also I have this automatic near surgical precision for not contaminating surfaces (comes from decades of lab. practice) so there is never any food scent on the outside of food containers, they get riced with water if there is a doubt, I wash my hands at least up to my elbows after I eat.
I have not yet used them but the odor proof OPSAKs seem like a good addition.

Not eating where I sleep (200 feet min.) or even opening food containers near my other pack items helps-mandatory in grizzly country. Keeping sleeping clothes in an odor proof bag.

Talking about cost of keeping pack light: I never buy anything full price, hunt for deals-discounts combination (buy returned used gear at REI).
I keep back pack+tent+sleeping bag at 6lbs or around. One can get a tent about 2 lbs for under $300 that way.
I am packing a 30 year old sky jacket of mine that is so ugly but that to my surprise is only about a pound.
For stove I try to stick to the famous can of Frisky's and denatured alcohol. I only boil water.
I will give those saussages a try, but what I like is dried (home dehydrator) beans-lentils and rice, cheese before it runs out. I pack some olive oil. I drink a lot of tea with NIDO added (dried milk). Nut of course and just dried oat meal (I have been know to eat it without even cooking it) best with dried fruits in it and warm.

Biggest weight challenge: I like photography...I may had to learn to stick to just a cell phone.
Of course mandatory weight: 2 cans of bear spray (yes, a back up) and an air horn (supposed to work even on grizzlies, but may be not good if you want to see wild life at all).

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Naomi_cas
Posts: 836
Incept: 2007-08-17

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I forgot: make sure the Sawyer is never exposed to freezing temps it may break and you won't even know it, so it is to be kept inside the jacket and sleeping bag

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Reason: spelling
Naomi_cas
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Incept: 2007-08-17

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There is a 3 lbs solo tent at Walmart for under $50, likely needing a few "custom reinforcements" for even the mildest weather, but still (like my cheap $30 46 L back pack)

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Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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I pay the weight penalty to carry a 2 man tent.... I like my gear inside the vestibule at night and this way I can have that.

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Naomi_cas
Posts: 836
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Yes, the Walmart tent looks like a hybrid between a tent and a bivy sack

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Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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All shelters are a set of trade-offs..

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Onelegged
Posts: 428
Incept: 2009-11-13

NW Colorado
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Salami (sliced). Cheese (sliced or not) and nuts. Water.

Good on ya Karl. Wear out them boots!

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Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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**** boots. I hike in Altra trail running shoes :)

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Topgun
Posts: 60
Incept: 2016-09-10


Banned
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Karl said:
Quote:
Checked it and I can (with difficulty) get five days of rats into it plus a toothbrush and toothpaste (yes, those should be treated as "food" with regard to critters)
and when on Winter hikes (hunting) put your Chapstick / Lip balm with your toothpaste, so the bears stay away.

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Bjonsson
Posts: 936
Incept: 2010-03-10

Ventura County, California
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Quote:
You sure seem to have had a lot of small wild life issues, strange I have never had any, even leaving my bag on the ground when no bears

It all depends on the particulars of where you are headed. I'm glad I canistered my food on this trip:



I agree with Karl, I always canister my food. I have a couple different models depending on the route. If not marmots, like the dude pictured here, it might be mice out in the desert, or all kinds of critters. This pic was out on the John Muir trail, not exactly a deserted place, but definitely deep into backcountry. And if marmots are attracted to exposed food in your pack, they won't just stop there.. They'll sometimes eat anything with salt on it, including even the sweat soaked shoulder straps of your backpack.

I usually shelter my pack in my tent vestibule, but have no problem leaving it out either (I just make sure to wrap it in a big plastic grocery bag to shelter it from morning condensation, or a surprise storm, while sleeping.) I just make sure that all my food, and any of my things that smell of something other than a human body are in that canister, and stashed 200 ft away.

EXCELLENT suggestion to put some reflective tape on your canister. Since the trip above, I have had an episode where I lost my stashed canister in the darkness of night. I don't think an animal batted it, I think that the darkness just kind of disoriented me and it took me some time to find it. I've now added the tape.

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Naomi_cas
Posts: 836
Incept: 2007-08-17

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Topgun:
yes lip balms has to be treated like food, and for women especially make SURE while in bear country not to wear any scented creme or cosmetics. That can be a challenge...together with finding trail runners that have no pink in them, but I digress...

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Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Yep.... leave the pit **** at HOME.

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Maynard
Posts: 298
Incept: 2007-11-27

Tejas
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Anyone use Lifestraw? I always have one in my vehicle but my bottle crapped out in one use and the CS is garbage with no response.

I also say that smaller animals are a much bigger issue with food than bears. BTW that first can is HUGE karl. Agree on the smaller one.

Slightly OT. Yellowstone ranger woke me in the middle of the night to tell me put away my dogs water dish that was empty and dry. I was upset, and yellowstone is overrated I feel. Tetons were a something to see though.
Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Oh by the way -- IMHO those "Bear vault" canisters are CRAP. Arguably worse than an Ursack.

The basic purpose of a bear canister is to keep critters out of your food, but NOT keep YOU out. The BV design fails on BOTH objectives.

First, there have been multiple reports of bears being able to get into the BV canisters. This is likely compounded by the fact that the canister is TRANSPARENT, which means said animal can SEE what's inside. Bad. Do not assume animals are stupid -- they are NOT. Being a "screw top" and the canister being made from a malleable (slightly) material there have been reports of bears that have managed to put enough pressure on the can that the top of it deforms sufficiently for the top to pop off. Oops. Remember, bears are rather heavy....

Second, and AT LEAST as serious, are reports of PEOPLE being unable to get into them. The lid screws on and then the lid has ridges that pass by a catch point on the base, "ratcheting" on sort of like a pool chlorine bucket. Nice idea, except for two problems -- anything that gets into the threaded area will make the lid harder to rotate -- maybe MUCH harder -- and second, in cold weather the plastic gets MUCH stiffer and thus harder to press the tab part inward sufficiently to clear the latching part while rotating the lid.

Of course there's NEVER any dirt, grit or other foreign material out in the backcountry, and it NEVER gets cold either -- right? Oh, and you NEVER want into your food can at 0600 when the sun first comes up and the can has been sitting out in 20F weather all night. Uh.....

Oh BTW none of these canisters are waterproof, which means the right way to stash them (noting the picture up above) is LID DOWN. Why? Because it might rain, that's why. Of course with a BV style can this exacerbates (by a lot) the potential for foreign material to get into the thread area.... You still need (with any of these devices) sealed bag(s) in which the actually food is both for odor reduction (the goal is NONE) AND to keep things like ants (which might otherwise get past the mechanical barriers) out of the food.

No thanks. The Garcia design requires a coin (or knife -- you DO have one of those, right?) to get into them, but it's damn near bomb-proof in actual use. It's opaque, so nothing can see inside. And it's HARD plastic, so it doesn't deform and the top can't be popped off. You'd have to smash it (literally) in order to get in it by brute force and this presents a problem for a bear because the amount of force required to mechanically break it looks to be extremely high due to the cylindrical design. Basically you'd have to chuck it against a large rock and since bears (other than Pandas) lack opposable thumbs that's not very likely to be something they figure out how to do.

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Elkad
Posts: 267
Incept: 2009-09-04

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I seem to remember reading that Sherpas on Everest eat sticks of butter for energy. Of course melting isn't much of an issue for them.

I've got too much infantry time to keep me from chuckling at the weight considerations of hikers. Carrying 100-150lbs of gear around was the norm, while still doing 12-20 miles a day, and then digging a foxhole and standing guard in it half the night, just to fill it back up the next morning.

If for some reason we went out lightly loaded, I'd just fill my pack with crap to get back to the same weight. Case of Pepsi or something. Meanwhile the hikers are cutting their toothbrush in half...

Of course I've got the broken down knees to show for it.
Burya_rubenstein
Posts: 1224
Incept: 2007-08-08

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Re Eleua 90 kcal per ounce? That's 1440 kcal per pound. Sugar-bowl sugar has 1500 kcal/lb.
Comrader
Posts: 237
Incept: 2010-06-10

pa
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something i have been wanting to do karl, i will be retired next year and my daughter will graduate college, could be the right time. you going the distance?
Tickerguy
Posts: 148437
Incept: 2007-06-26
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Seriously considering it....

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Capcon
Posts: 20
Incept: 2016-04-11

Tulsa
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Karl you are an inspiration to us all!
Couple of quick questions for your next trail break; Does the permethrin soaked pants and shirts bother your skin when you start to sweat? Does it weather well through rain showers? In Oklahoma we have voracious chiggers that compete with the ticks and black flies, I'm thinking of soaking socks in a solution to keep them off my ankles through the grasslands but I'm afraid the chemical /sweat mixture would be horrendous. Do you have a favorite type of trail pants, perhaps with side pockets for a phone? Speaking of phone, how are you charging your Blackberry out there?
Thanks, Happy Trails!
Flappingeagle
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Incept: 2011-04-14

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Karl did you start in GA at the beginning?

Flap

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