Bronze's Expedition Log

Expedition Log

Bears and Hardtack

Researched permit requirements and bear canister requirements in my Wilderness Press guidebooks and on the PCTA site. For a nominal fee the PCTA will issue a blanket permit for any thru-hiker going more then 500 miles on the trail. I will need to get California Campfire Permit too, but these are free from any ranger station.

Regarding bear canisters, I have yet to find a definitive list of where they are required. I may need to contact each national forest individually. The only certain requirement I’ve found in the guide book is a 12.5 mile stretch of the John Muir Trail from Forrester Pass to Glen Pass. I’ll have to make some calls this week.

The Bear Vault looks like it could be an acceptable canister, should I need one. However, having a big plastic tub would be a glaring reminder of the 21st Century. I have found several makers of bear-proof panniers that I’m looking into. This may be the way to go as they conform to my vision, plus I might be able to use them as a seat and table.

I baked about 9 days worth of hardtack ration tonight. I recommend against storing uncooked hardtack in the fridge for later baking—despite being in a sealed Pyrex dish they seemed to absorb a significant amount of moisture from the air and took longer than usual to cook. Plus they stuck to the baking sheet like crazy, and in my violent attempts to release them for rotation I accidentally turned my oven up to 500°. No doubt I will be cursing my ineptitude for 10 days on the trail, as I choke down charred hardtack.

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