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Leaving gear at trail camp....
#12211 03/31/11 11:56 AM
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I went to a seminar at REI, and the instructor said if you are staying overnight at trail camp, go ahead and leave your gear there while you reach for summit, and just bring a day pack to the top. Does anyone else do this?

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12212 03/31/11 12:15 PM
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Highly encouragee and recommended.

Do not leave food in tent and pack.

Leave flaps open on tent to prevent critters from chewing through your tent. You don't want extra ventilation.

Don't leave valuables nor food in pack. Critters love bling bling, too.


Journey well...
Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12215 03/31/11 12:35 PM
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As + @ti2d said, it's standard practice. If overnighting, you're required to use a bear cannister, so food you don't bring to the summit will be stored in it. Leave this cannister outside your tent. The marmots are rather bold, and are used to human presence. The place isn't overrun with them, but if your tent is a bit apart from others, it's a more obvious target for them.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
KevinR #12216 03/31/11 12:40 PM
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I was thinking even packing up the tent and storing my large pack near a rock or something like that, and bringing a small backpack to the summit with water/food etc.

I've heard of tents being blown off trail camp. I am glad to hear it is standard practice, takes some pressure off of summit day, thats for sure.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12217 03/31/11 01:02 PM
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Yes, it gets VERY windy up there. Make sure you have plenty of rocks holding down your tent down, and then double it!

I usually put a couple of BIG rocks, as heavy as I can find, in a couple of corners of the tent.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12223 03/31/11 01:24 PM
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Before lugging a small summit pack to trail camp, I'd weigh the regular pack and the summit pack. You may find there's only a pound or so of difference, and if so - is it worth the effort of lugging the summit pack all the way to trail camp, or just cinching the bejesus out of your big pack and heading for the top?

I've done it both ways.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
KevinR #12224 03/31/11 02:03 PM
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Good suggestion on weighing. I have a nice little pack that is reversible as a stuff sack when it isn't being worn on your back. I think it is 'REI's Flash 18 pack'.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12233 03/31/11 03:46 PM
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Hi Sublatum,

First off, let me say I'm not an expert hiker or climber, in fact I've never climbed, but I have summited Mt. Whitney three times and I'm a girl so this post is from a woman's perspective.

I and my friends all carry Dana Design Marmot Kompressors ($40) in our backpacks. They're extremely lightweight and they serve as a very light and very strong backpack to wear to the summit so we can leave all our stuff at Trail Camp.

http://marmot.com/products/kompressor?p=116,173

Last summer we left our tents up while we summited (I don't recommend leaving your tents up because the wind can blow hard while you're summiting - we're either lazy or very trusting so we leave our tents standing while we summit). We camped right next to the rocks at Trail Camp. The only items we left in our tents were our sleeping bags and pads. We don't take any food or scented items like lotions, tooth paste, etc. into our tents with us "ever". All food, toothpaste, lotion, food trash, etc. is left in our bear canisters "outside of our tents, about 50 ft. away from out tents at night. While summiting, we leave our backbacks near our tent without any food or scented items in any pockets, again everything is in our bear canister. Even though there is nothing in our backpacks, we leave our zippers and flaps open on our packs so if any little critters want to get inside they can without chewing holes into our packs. We leave our used wagbags at trailcamp and carry clean wagbags. Take all vauables with you to the summit like drivers license, credit cards, money, watch, pocket knives. I've never known there to be any theft on the mountain, but it's best to watch out for yourself than to be sorry and regretful later.

You'd be amazed how much a Marmot Kompressor can hold. When you leave in the morning headed for the summit you'll have extra clothes on because it's cold. The Kompressor can hold a lot of clothes plus water, food and other essentials like flashlights, etc. Never summit without a flashlight and headlamp. If something happens and you have to come down in the dark, you're going to need light.

Remember Doug's rule: Turn around wherever you are at 1:00 p.m. and never later than 2:00 p.m. If you haven't summited by then, come back next year, the mountain will still be there. (Doug and his wife Earlene and their son run the Whitney Portal Store).

BE SURE TO HIKE WITH SHOES THAT GIVE YOUR FEET ROOM TO GROW A LITTLE so you don't have toe nails hitting the front of your shoe and so your feet don't ache because they've swollen larger than the width or lenghth of your shoe. Clip your toe nails before your hike or take a nail clipper with you. Wear cushioned Coolmax socks, Tholo makes nice ones.

Personally, I think the best thing about Summiting Mt. Whitney is the website linked to it, this website, THE WHITNEY ZONE.



Lynnaroo
Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
lynn-a-roo #12236 03/31/11 04:06 PM
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Well, I'm going to go with a slight variation. I left my pack and all non-food items in my tent and zipped it up. I left my bear cannister about 6' away from my tent. I figured that any marmots would pay more attention to the bear cannister than my smelly socks. And if a marmot was curious about the inside of my tent, I didn't want him wondering in and finding it a nice place to leave pee and/or droppings.

And.....when I got back to my tent (more at consultation lake than trail camp) I took a nice little 30min catnap before packing up and heading down the hill.

definitely gonna check out the marmot kompressor...

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
tdtz #12237 03/31/11 04:28 PM
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I carried a 21lb backpack + 4 litres of water up the summit to camp (28lbs altogether?)and to be honest, I did not notice the extra water weight after about the first three switchbacks. Even if I was not camping on the summit, I still would have taken my pack with me. Not only am I the non-trusting type, but I have a fair amount of paranoia that makes me not want to be parted with my gear.

My pack is an Osprey Talon.


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12239 03/31/11 05:15 PM
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Hello. My group of three left most of our stuff at Trail Camp (tents, sleeping bags, pads, any extra clothing, bear cannisters, camp stove, etc) while we summited last year. We used our backpacks as daypacks to carry cameras, water, food, 10 essentials, etc. We experienced no problems on our return.

We left our tents (all three of them) up since we opted to spend a 2nd night at trail camp after we summited. It was quite windy when we came back, but all three of our tents were fine. Of course, we did leave our bear cannisters 50 or so feet from our tents.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Akichow #12326 04/02/11 10:30 AM
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I remember my 1st trip with 56lbs in my overpacked pack. We camped overnight at Outpost and took only a daypack to summit and back. Next day packed up everything and was so tempted to leave that unbelievable beast at Outpost for someone to find and keep. I couldn't have carried a pebble more.Point is weight at altitude is everything. The danger of someone stealing your pack and goods is unthikable as no one wants to add anymore weight to their load.Besides I have found hikers to be exceptionaly kind good hearted people in general. More likely to help you rather than steal from you.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12334 04/02/11 12:09 PM
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Sublatum, you definitely want only a daypack going up from Trail Camp. Any additional weight will begin screaming at you not far into the switchbacks. Make sure no food is (ever) in your tent. Collapse it and place rocks on it if you have any doubts about two- or four-legged intentions. My buddy catpappy can relate a cautionary tale from a few weeks ago about leaving even a little food in your tent in Death Valley, where wildlife is relatively scarce compared to the Sierra. Even small mice can chew through a tent wall in short order.

Better yet, avoid the masses of marmots and people by making a left turn at Consultation Lake and set up camp on one of the ledges overlooking the lake. The view is better, you're better protected from wind, and the nighttime people-noise factor is about zero (Trail Camp can be a zoo in the summer, and very noisy at night). If you choose to try CL, I promise you won't regret it.

Quillansculpture and I did this last year. Left our tents up with bags, pads, stoves, etc, inside while we summitted, and returned to nary an issue. Of course all food and scented items were in the bear vault, stored quite a distance away. Marmots are certainly possible at CL, but they're not stupid. They tend to congregate where the food is, and that's the Trail Camp smorgasbord during summer.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Bulldog34 #12339 04/02/11 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Any additional weight will begin screaming at you not far into the switchbacks.

Double or triple that screaming-at-you factor on the uphill half-mile between the JMT junction and Trail Crest on the way back!

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Sublatum #12347 04/02/11 07:59 PM
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Yeah, leave your stuff there but make sure your food in your BRC and not in your tent or Mr. Marmot will make a mess of things.

I forgot to put my breakfast stuff back in my Ursack a few years ago and that gallon bag was gonzo without a trace.

Last edited by wbtravis; 04/02/11 08:02 PM.
Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
wbtravis #12353 04/03/11 10:48 AM
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> I forgot to put my breakfast stuff back in my Ursack a few years ago...

That reminds me of the cause of my one unfortunate bear encounter on the JMT a few years back:  I put my main food bag in the nearby bear box, but forgot the ziplock of trail mix in the backpack's side pocket.  The result being my backpack was dragged 50 yards off into a meadow!

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Steve C #12366 04/04/11 05:33 AM
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I always leave my pack open and the pockets unzipped and there have been a few times when I found the forgotten trail mix bag chewed through.

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
wbtravis #12634 04/10/11 04:15 PM
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I have been using a lumbar pack after depositing my main pack (usually a day pack) at Trail Camp. Once over Trail Crest I often just drop the lumbar pack, put on my jacket, hat, gloves and consume a 1/2 liter of water...then stuff some food (gel packs etc.)in my pockets, put two 1/2 liter bottles of water in my pockets and go rapidly to the summit.

Last edited by Marty; 04/10/11 04:16 PM.
Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Marty #12675 04/11/11 06:10 PM
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I assume it's ok and having seen pics of packs being left at Trail Crest when coming from the John Muir Trail?

Re: Leaving gear at trail camp....
Dennis68 #12676 04/11/11 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dennis68
I assume it's ok and having seen pics of packs being left at Trail Crest when coming from the John Muir Trail?

Yes, it is ok. But I have also seen packs there with holes chewed into them by the Marmots.

So open pockets, etc, and store all food and such in a canister placed OUTSIDE your pack, or take it on your back.

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