[pct-l] future thru-questions

mark v allemande6 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 29 12:27:16 CDT 2009

1)  If you're not trying to do huge-mile days like a thru-hiker, some sort of reasonably lightweight goretex mid-high boot might be appropriate.  Something like the old Merril Torque Mid.  June 21st there will still be plenty of snow, and boots can protect you from _some_ wet feet and from little ankle twists and turns that happen on snow.  BUT, if you're plowing through, thru-style, boots are too heavy, uncomfortable, and blister-producing for most people.   In that case, you may be happier with trail runners, wool socks, and wet feet.

2)  I saw a rattler just north of Kennedy Meadows.  It rattled, i walked around.  You won't see any above 8000'.  North of Tuolumne you won't see any above 5000' or so.  And lower as you go north into wetter climes.  No special precautions.  When taking a break, don't stick your hand behind some log or rock.  A lot of snake bites happen on the hand from things like that.  Stomp around or hit the rock with your trekking pole.   Snakes like early evening hours, and morning hours on south/east facing slopes.  In the end, the vast majority of rattlesnake bites happen to people screwing around or handling the snakes.  If you check the numbers, and incredibly high percentage happen to males in their teens, 20s, and 30s.   Macho factor?  Those are the people in the outdoors more?  I don't know...it looks to me like those are the ones that screw around trying to get pictures or touching the snake with a stick.  I just turned 40.  I'm safe now!!!  (jk, sorta)

3) Read and heed the Yosemite and Sierra bear canister rules.  That will give most of the info for those places.  In other places, it depends on your comfy level, but the going practice is to sleep with your food.  Better odds for avoiding bears at night if you're away from the trail and away from water, but this doesn't guarantee anything.  If a bear charges, be big, yell, throw things, stand your ground.  Don't run or play dead.

Snakes and bears don't cause very many problems.  Don't mess your head up worrying too too much.  The bigger issues are weather, falling, mosquitos and bees (allergies and infections), getting lost.  If you're going to fret, start there.

Happy hiking!

> Hello everybody,
> My friends and I are taking off on the PCT from Kennedy
> Meadows on  
> June 21st.  I have a few questions I just wanted to shoot
> out at y'all:
> 1) would you recommend thick, ankle-protective hiking
> boots, light  
> tennis shoes, or most likely something in between?
> 2) what have you done to prepare yourself for rattlesnakes?
> 3) what is your best advice on dealing with bears: both
> preventing  
> incidents as well as handling them if they occur?


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