Ursack AllMitey bear bag

I use an Ursack on every overnight trip — except where a Bear Vault is required.

In fact I have two Ursacks and have carried both on longer trips for greater capacity.

Next time I need to replace one of those I’ll go with the best of their product line, the Ursack AllMitey.

  • 10.6 liters
  • Spectra (ballistic polyethylene), Kevlar
  • 13 ounces

Ursack recommends using an odour-barrier bag as a liner (sold separately).

Details.

Click PLAY or watch it in action on YouTube.

North America – Black Bear fatal attacks

Black Bears killed 25 people in 20 years.

About 1.25 fatal attacks per year in North America.

The most deaths have occurred in British Columbia, Canada (6), with Quebec, Canada (3) and Alaska (3) tied for second most.

LIST OF FATAL BLACK BEAR ATTACKS IN NORTH AMERICA OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS

Read about Brown (Grizzly) and Polar Bear fatalities on Wikipedia.

Palm Springs to Paradise Cafe – day 6

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Another fantastic campsite. Great weather again.

Here are views looking up from my tent.

Majestic.

I’d been steadily descending from the snowy heights. Vegetation now changing rapidly.

My only health worry was hot foot. Would I get blisters?

Just in case I took off the shoes every hour or two.

I’ve used the same pack for many a year – the super light frameless Granite Gear Virga 2.

The similar Granite Gear Crown2 is the 5th most popular on the PCT. My next pack will be a Hyperlite, the 3rd most popular. It’s heavier but near waterproof. And more durable, I reckon.

Cactus.

Here’s one of the main reason people buy the Guthook app — to find off-trail water in the desert.

Though I treated this pipe water, it did look and smell great in April.

Water is scarce. Researchers use watering holes to check on the health of mammals in the area.

Successful in the desert are birds, snakes and lizards.

Down, down.

Into the trees.

Here’s where PCT hikers often get their water. GIFTS from Trail Angels.

I finally reached the first road. Would the mini-resupply I’d hung in a tree still be there?

YES!

I had enough food for the final 40 miles to Warner Springs. Yet I diverted one mile down the highway to famed Paradise Cafe.

My camp fuel was running low. I didn’t think I could make it two more days.

Unfortunately Paradise does not sell camp fuel. I returned to the trail hoping my Jetboil Flash would run on fumes.

Back on the PCT, I made it another couple of miles.

It looked like wind and rain so I set up my broken tent high enough in the wash to avoid flash flood.

As I feared, my stove fuel ran out before I could boil water for dinner. 😞

___ day 7

Weather forecast for today was for rain and very big winds. Not good.

I started south. Stopped. Then turned around and headed back towards Paradise.

Skipping the next 40 miles meant missing most of the desert wildflower bloom. Too bad.

Three reasons for quitting on my intended route:

  • broken tent
  • no stove fuel
  • weather forecast

The restaurant was packed. As usual.

I ended up seated with a tourist couple from Philly. As they were headed for Palm Springs I offered to pay for breakfast in exchange for a lift to town.

My PCT week was over. After breakfast.

Despite glitches — I really enjoyed hiking southbound on the PCT during peak season. The highlight was seeing hundreds and speaking with dozens of normal people whom — for one reason or another — wanted to try to hike from Mexico to Canada.

They are inspiring.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Palm Springs to Paradise Cafe – day 3

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles 

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Having hiked 1 day and 2 hours so far … I took a zero in Idyllwild, California. 😀

Most PCT hikers take a zero in Idyllwild. It’s one of the most popular towns on the PCT. Party time. But most hikers have put in 10 hard days or more to get here.

Civilization

I hadn’t planned on taking a zero. I was fresh.

But the day prior my beloved MSR Hubba tent pole broke in two places. It took a couple of hours, one splint and plenty of duct tape to hack a fix.

There’s one good gear shop in Idyllwild – Nomad Ventures.

By the time I got the tent fixed and packed up … it was Noon.

The library opened at Noon. Free internet. A chance to fully charge all my electronics. I couldn’t resist. One thing led to another and …

… the library closed at 5pm. Too late to get back on the trail.

I returned to the $5 PCT camping area and set up my fragile tent. Again.

Reportedly the least expensive rooms in town were $150 / night. And were full.

Dinner was rotisserie chicken, my favourite townie food. And then I headed over to Higher Grounds Coffee Shop for LIVE music on Friday night.

I hung around the campfire until 10pm. That’s an hour later than usual. Hiker midnight is 9pm.

PCT hikers were in holiday mode. One insisted I have a beer.

OK.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Jetboil MiniMo – my fave stove

In recent years I’ve been using the JetBoil MiniMo.

I cook and drink out of the one pot.

I love the convenience of the piezoelectric igniter. The auto-igniters on early JetBoils FAILED quickly, but they seem to have solved that problem now.

You can fit an 8oz canister in the wider pot of the MiniMo. You can also fit a 4 oz canister along with the MiniMo’s burner in its pot sideways. That’s handy.

I don’t need simmer so that’s not a selling point for me.

The MiniMo replaced my much used MSR Reactor.

The best thing about the Reactor is that it is NOT locked on to the stove. I find it safer.

MSR Reactor

Both those stoves might be nearing end-of-life. … Or they may keep working for another decade. Both are bashed up.

So in advance of my recent, remote Patagonia trip I bought a new stove …

JetBoil Flash.

I hadn’t realized it had a colour changing boil indicator. Cute. I did watch.

But I found myself more often boiling over my dinner in the Flash. For me the larger capacity MiniMo is just right. And the MiniMo is easier to clean.

Adventure Alan likes the MiniMo best, as well.

Read about other, lighter options here

related – Outdoor Gear Labs review – JetBoil MiniMo