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Old 06-10-2014, 11:42 PM   #91
Hunter-Douglas OP
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Location: Truckee-Tahoe Int.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
I haven't yet been able to understand how you spray bear mace from inside your tent at a bear who is grabbing you from outside your tent?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
That is my actual worry time. I'm fine when moving or hanging. As soon as I close that zipper....'what the f was that ?'

I carry mace, which as you pointed out would be useless in your tent. What then? Stab the bear with a little knife as he is munching on your leg pulling you out.
I know it might sound crazy but you really don't have to worry about the bears too much, even up here. I'll shoot out some advice from limited time chasing them around Yosemite and riding through Canada and Alaska:

-Black bears are really like dogs, most of them run away the moment you approach them since most people are physically bigger than any of them. If they don't run away, they're curious or really trying hard to snag your food the moment you look away. They rarely get confrontational and if they do, it's usually because of being conditioned to go after human food.

-Browns and Grizzlies will usually give you space, as long as they know you're there and you don't sneak up on them. When you're hiking and bushwhacking, this involves paying attention to the direction of the wind and the noise level of the area around you. If a brown can't hear or smell you, it can be easy to surprise them. Usually they'll know you're around from a long way off and hide out in the brush until you go.

-A few things to keep in mind are to NEVER store food in your tent. Always in the boxes on the bike for me, since they're hard bags. Regardless, the odds of a bear actually trying to get inside your tent with you in it are incredibly minimal. You might hear the odd story or legend about it happening but 99.9% chance it doesn't happen. But if you're gone and there's food in there, don't be surprised if gets torn up.

-If you do get confronted, stand your ground. Bears rarely charge right out the gate and will give you some warnings that they're pissed like walking sideways, huffing (loudly) and pawing the ground. That might be a good time to back away slowly or chuck something loud to spook them off. The whole playing dead thing is debatable, since most people have an instinct to live and will probably try to beat the crap out of any bear pinning them down.

Yes, the big browns are dangerous but it's not in the situations you might think. It's all about the mother and cub separation and when the bear feels surprised or threatened that the situation turns deadly. And don't fire off mace from inside your tent, you'll probably blind yourself
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:29 AM   #92
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And then there is this video:

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/disc...tack-video.htm

Didn't mean to hijack the thread. Carry on.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:30 AM   #93
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The only part I'm not sure about on your process is storing food in hard cases on your bike. The scent is the big thing, we always did bear bags hanging up in a tree. Ripping open a hardcase or destroying the bike wouldn't be anything for a bear that has the sweet smell of Jack Links in it's nose. But if it's trying to get the bear bag, you'll be able to hear it from a safe distance and act accordingly.

The bike is your lifeline. Being out in the wilderness, if you lose that, then you've got maybe a week's hike back to civilization. Depending on what gear was lost, you could be in a bit of trouble.



Enjoyed your trip thus far, on the part about caving, I was thinking that same thing with the Descent before you mentioned it. I was like, yep, not a chance in hell. If I can walk, I can run. If I'm crawling and worming myself through a crack, nope nope nope.

And that shot of the "office"? So, jealous. The dark corner in the grey cubicle I'm in just doesn't compare.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:40 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by dirtykdx View Post
The only part I'm not sure about on your process is storing food in hard cases on your bike. The scent is the big thing, we always did bear bags hanging up in a tree. Ripping open a hardcase or destroying the bike wouldn't be anything for a bear that has the sweet smell of Jack Links in it's nose. But if it's trying to get the bear bag, you'll be able to hear it from a safe distance and act accordingly.

The bike is your lifeline. Being out in the wilderness, if you lose that, then you've got maybe a week's hike back to civilization. Depending on what gear was lost, you could be in a bit of trouble.



Enjoyed your trip thus far, on the part about caving, I was thinking that same thing with the Descent before you mentioned it. I was like, yep, not a chance in hell. If I can walk, I can run. If I'm crawling and worming myself through a crack, nope nope nope.

And that shot of the "office"? So, jealous. The dark corner in the grey cubicle I'm in just doesn't compare.
Well so far I've really had no issue with it. If I was more worried I could always just take the one box with food off the bike and put it somewhere where there would be no collateral damage if a bear went after it. But the interesting thing is the more wild the area, the less they know to go after human food by habit. Well, at least compared to problem areas where human food is their go to method.

The caves are fun. But it's wild feeling that pressed in. Deep breaths
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:05 AM   #95
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My last night before having to head out to the Wrangells I decided to try out the Sewart highway through the Chugach Mountains area and the inlet. I rode into Anchorage for the first time under a dense cloud of smoke from the nearby fires. For a hot minute the California panic kicked in and I wondered if it was smog before I remembered AK doesn't really have that problem. I cruised through town for a bit but didn't stick around for long. I was feeling some waterfront time so I headed out along the inlet and watched the smoke hover over the coastline.




I stopped for a bit to watch the local fisherman at work.
I'm not sure which species seemed to be having more luck with the salmon.




After playing hide and seek with a pair of eagles and my camera I rolled on around the U-Turn to Turnagain Pass. I was pretty blown away with how beautiful the valley was. I poked around at the rest stop trying to find a place to camp but wasn't really seeing anything I was all that stoked about. A half mile down the road though I saw an unmarked dirt road heading off to the side of the valley. I took a chance and followed it and ended up at possibly one of the best free camping spots I've ever found. There was flat dirt, clear pools and a stupidly awesome view. I ate my $2 of mashed potatoes and drank my $10 of beer and just stared at the mountains for a long, long time.


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Old 06-15-2014, 01:13 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
And then there is this video:

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/disc...tack-video.htm

Didn't mean to hijack the thread. Carry on.
Scary stuff...
I hope I can chalk that up to a 1 in a million kind of deal.

I hope.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:24 PM   #97
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So my riding is over-ish for the next few months while I'm holed up in McCarthy in the Kennicott valley.
I climbed a local peak the other day and took a panorama of the glacial valleys that I've been working in.
The Wrangells are unbelievable. It's the Alaska everyone pictures in their mind.


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Old 06-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #98
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Awesome photos HD!

Tahoe
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #99
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Wow that's beautiful. Front page material for sure.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:45 PM   #100
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Awesome photos HD!

Tahoe
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Originally Posted by Blixa View Post
Wow that's beautiful. Front page material for sure.
Thanks guys! I'll keep them coming along.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #101
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So part of my job up here involves guiding some whitewater. I don't mind getting paid a bit to fly out on bush planes and row through spots like the Nizina river:







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Old 07-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #102
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Sweet Summer....
Keep the updates coming.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:59 PM   #103
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I keep meeting fellow travelers on bikes here in McCarthy. Even saw a 650gs parked along the trail out to the glacier I walk for work. It's pretty rad being a small town where 4th of July just means ridiculous costumes, a parade and guys firing shells into the river bank. This town is off the grid, but definitely a place that is not even close to boring. There's some pretty great and also some pretty messed up stories from the locals out here.

McCarthy is about 8 hours East from Anchorage into the Wrangell wild. The last 60 miles is dirt road from the town of Chitna to the "end of the road". A footbridge is the only real way into town after that, but it's wide enough for ATV's and bikes. Locals have cars they bring across the ice or the private bridge but the only out of town vehicles are people like us riding through AK. I've met a few crews from the midwest so far and love seeing you other guys riding out here and hearing your stories.

I will warn you though- Everyone knows everyone and your bike might be the only unknown vehicle in the entire town at any given time. If you ride around faster than 10-20 mph through town or blow by the Miller's place on the way up to Kennicott you will get definitely some dirty looks from the locals and they'll know exactly where to find you to give you some shit.

Figured I would toss that out there since I would have had zero idea and probably would have mobbed around with a grin on my face if I had rode right on into town without knowing how they did things here.

But this is a rad place. Come check it out.
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:57 AM   #104
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Really cool bro, I hope the summer brings you everything that you are looking for. Will be a cool story to tell for years to come regardless :)
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:14 AM   #105
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Really cool bro, I hope the summer brings you everything that you are looking for. Will be a cool story to tell for years to come regardless :)
I sure hope so! If nothing else it should fund six months of riding every year in the off season. I'd love to hit the road for a few years straight, but I'm definitely not in a financial place to do that.

Actually come to think of it I think I like the idea of six months on, six months off. The company I'm working for is great and with the money I make here should fund a solid 6 months on the roada year if I can keep to a 1k/ month lowish budget and travel the cheap direction. It would mean I would have to mostly spend my time in the southern hemisphere or equatorial regions November to April, but I think I can make that work. South America will be this off season, hopefully 6 months in Africa after next season. Work 6 months, play 6 months. Maybe I can circle the globe in for or so off seasons?
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