85 days remaining (How it works)

How things work is today’s theme.

How things work on the trail is a little more precise but over all how it works for me and sometimes why it works for me.

First up:
Bear canisters
There’s been a ton of chatter on Facebook about bear canisters on the trail. Some say ITS THE LAW! Others say it’s the law and I don’t know why. A few say it’s a stupid law. What do I say? I’ll tell ya. I tend to say it’s a law designed for the general public to solve problems created by the general public whose conception came from the general public. (We are only as strong as the weakest link) To solve the bear eating our food problem we should eliminate our food so that their own food is the only available option to them. The powers that be know it’s not possible to make the entire general public avoid eating food in the back woods or at national parks, after all they sell food at the national parks so there’s a question of profit in there somewhere. Back to eliminating food. It can’t be done. What can be done is eliminating the smell of food. We have the means to make that possible for everyone but will everyone take the time to do it? The powers that be know that not everyone will take the time to practice eliminating the food smells so they implement law requiring people/hikers to carry bear canisters. The problem with this is the food smell still exists. Now if a bear can still smell your food but now can’t eat it, what do you think might happen? Yes. Now you’re thinking. That’s right. It’s very likely the bear will still come around, it’s very likely the smell of food will arouse the bear, it’s very likely it’s not going to smell our food and then go away looking for its own food after being frustrated, it’s also likely that the only other easy food source bears can get to is you. Especially if you’ve locked food in a bear canister. I think fisherman would get this concept quickly. The bear canister is what bait is to fish. There’s no hook here but there is a reward for the most aggressive bear and that’s you! Then to complicate things the powers that be send the aggressive bear into the wild to wonder where ever it can with its new skill set. Because I’m not the general public or the powers that be I’ve come up with a tried and tested solution for me. Eliminate the smell of food! What a concept.
Here “how it works”. When I get hungry I plan out how it will happen. So instead of going for the food first I will actually work backwards. What does this mean? It means I picture the moment I want to create first. I will ‘see’ that moment in its entirety first then go backward until I discover how I got there. After all we are civilized creatures with a spirit and a powerful mind and that separates us from animals that might just ATTACK our food first. So I ‘see’ myself enjoying a lunch with my feet up, shoes off and almost reclined. I see myself with reading material near by and ready if I might like to read while I eat. I see myself enjoying my food with out having to touch anything while I eat. I see myself keeping what I have safe from bugs, mice, bears. I imagine the prep time in reverse if I’m cooking. I imagine how I will access the trash bag and the food bag. I will almost always stop at a water source to eat/cook. I will set everything up first BEFORE touching anything food related. The last thing I will touch before eating is my food only. Then I imagine the clean up. I picture washing all the items that came into contact with food or food smells. The near by water source will mask the smells that travel for 20+ miles in the air. Then when I actually start to prepare food I’m already prepared in every other way so as NOT to scratch my face, unzip a jacket, untie shoes or move sitting pads. It’s ALL done ahead of time to prevent transmitting the smell of food to me or my clothes or gear. And the last rule I follow, I never sleep where I’ve eaten or never eat where I’m going to sleep. Always put a few miles between the two. Especially in bear populated areas. So will I carry a bear canister? I will not. Let the general public do that.

Washing your down sleeping bag
This is an answer to a previous post for those that wish to know. Oils from your skin as well as dirt and general use can build up on any sleeping bag and actually reduce the temp ratings of said down bag/quilt. So it will need to be washed from time to time and I’m from the school of thought that washing and use should be balanced. Some say never wash them, some say wash often. I say everyone has different skin types. Some people do not have oily skin at all, others sweat in their sleep. Find what’s right for you and find your balance. When you’ve decided to wash that favorite down bag/quilt use a gentle method. If you have a hand wash setting on a machine, use that one. If I use a machine I will add some other sheets in the wash because it helps to keep the bag/quilt from getting stuck in the little places on the machine. The best method is to hand wash my down bag/quilt in a bath tub. If this is your favorite piece of gear then treat it like a baby, literally. Warm water, mild soap and mild agitation. Rinse several times. I will put mine in a dryer, other refuse but I do. Air fluff dry with tennis balls or those rubber fabric softener balls. The goal here isn’t to dry the bag/quilt in a hurry its more a goal of bringing back the loft of the down. The entire process for washing your down sleeping bag/quilt should take almost all day and that my friends is how it works.

Here’s a break from how it works, please enjoy these answers from the 100 days post in order.

2655 but most round up to include Manning Park (2660)
Only for a maximum stretch of 10 days.
I will up new boxes along the way.
Pretty much anything but mostly light weight calorie rich.
Yes Please! I mean that! Really! Salami, beef jerky, cheese anything will be so welcomed.
Are you worried about bears? (See above)
No weapons other than the one between my ears.
Fight back until one of us wins or the bear calls truce.
Not sure I’ll need it.
I’ll use the other one to get help.
Great question! I’ll let you know.
Several times. Not in a single day of course.
Same thing that happens when you do.
Maybe the first days from towns.
Only if it’s dehydrated. 🙂
So looking forward to it, use iTunes and ask for my I.D.
Yes more than I’d like.
I do but only for Washington really.

Hope this helps some.

Tarps vs Tents
Let discuss tents first. We were brought up in part by parents and camp counsellors or some other outside influence to believe tents are useful when camping for a multitude of reasons but if you’ve ever used one then you know most of those things are delusional at best. They don’t stop ants or flying insects. They do not stop bigger animals from getting in if they want in. You can change your clothes in privacy in them but you have to be agile usually. They are heavy for hiking. If one thing breaks, poles or straps, the damn thing never works properly again. The condensation builds up in them and sometimes it’s dryer outside of the tent. I could go on and on but you get the idea. I prefer a tarp can you tell. They are getting better all the time in design, construction and weight. My tarp is an Echo2 (see gear page) At the minimum it uses two stakes and eight for deluxe setup. Lets talk about how it works. Tarps are basically like using the rain fly of a tent. There is no base or bug netting and usually no zippers to fuss with. Mine can be set up in a few min. to stop rain or create a little shade but other than those two things I won’t need it for much else. Ah! So wind might be the only time a tent instead of a tarp might be better. If wind is pushing rain sideways a tent will have an advantage tarps do not.

This turned out to be an extra long post and I still feel like there’s more to share but I’ll limit myself to here for now. Thank you for reading and following this amazing journey.


About Canyon

Just a little about life
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1 Response to 85 days remaining (How it works)

  1. marianne says:

    excellent information!!!! 85 days! did you get a harmonica???? hugs to you!


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