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  1. #1
    1000+ miles down (2009), 1000+ miles to go (2021) RadioFreq's Avatar
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    Default Food protection and social media

    I'm starting a flip/flop at Harpers Ferry the last week of April. Before then I have to settle two questions:

    1. Is there a definitive list somewhere of where one MUST use some sort of hard food protection (i.e. Bear Vault, Backpacker's Cache, etc.) on the AT?
    Or is it still not mandatory on parts of the AT like it is on parts of the PCT?

    2. I have never had a presence on any type of social media, but I'm considering changing that in order to keep friends/family up to date on my hike.
    What I'm wondering is which platform do folks recommend for doing that? Obviously there would be photos (and possibly videos) involved.

    Any opinions or information on the items above would be greatly appreciated.
    "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute.
    But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute--and it's longer than any hour.
    That's relativity." --Albert Einstein--

  2. #2
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    1. Is there a definitive list somewhere of where one MUST use some sort of hard food protection (i.e. Bear Vault, Backpacker's Cache, etc.) on the AT?


    yes...

    one section in georgia....

    in the smokies----must hang from cables...

    not sure about anything north of there though....



    social media-----easiest will be facebook.....

  3. #3
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    Facebook could work and you could only accept friend requests from folks you want to share your hike with. I think Instagram is like a giant photo album of sorts, but doesn't allow much commentary if that's your thing, like Facebook would.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  4. #4

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    You could use any one of the following to keep family updated

    1. Group text
    2. TrailJournals.com
    3. Facebook
    4. Instagram
    5. Twitter
    6. Parler

    Which uses the least amount of battery power? Which does not require WiFi? If you have Verizon, you will probably get good signals on peaks (3G or LTE). Which of these platforms do your friends and family already use? Which would be easy for them to use?

    I joined facebook some years ago specifically to share experiences with family members while on an adventure. It worked. The downside? I got sucked into Facebook. It is a huge waste of time and I ultimately cancelled my account. I am not a FB fan.

    I am trying to sort this out myself right now. I am thinking either a daily group text with a couple photos or maybe trailjournals. Interested in what others have done.

  5. #5
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    I got on FB specifically to share my hike. I don’t write a daily journal but only share photos and inconsequential thoughts. It’s easier to tell people to look at your FB than to send emails or texts.

    I’ve also been sucked into FB, it does have some interesting stuff but also a lot of drek. Having said that, I’m going to check it after I leave here.

    Sent from my sleeping bag and tent in a PA state park.
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    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  6. #6
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Guthook has a social media component now. Actually, you can send text messages or even a "check-in" from the app, which will display your location. Your target audience must have the free Guthook app for the social media check-in. They don't have to buy the maps, but they can if they want to follow along. Check out Guthook's info on the social media use of their app here.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
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  7. #7

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    Don’t give upon the bear can yet. Think of how convenient it will be not to find a suitable tree every night and worry about wether you got your hang right. Not to worry about getting room in a slimy bottomed bear box at a crowded campsite. Never having a critter snacking on your snacks. Not putting bears at risk.

    Yes, it does add some weight, but you save 15 minutes every night (at the end of that difficult, rainy day)
    not trying to get your rope into the tree (if there is one). You do need to be more thoughtful about your food (really hard to get that bag of Doritos into the can) and resupply—you might not get as many miles in between town days.

    Hundreds (if not thousands) of hikers around the country use bear cans on every hike with no crippling injuries. For me (an experienced older hiker, not in great shape) the convenience is well worth the extra poundage.

    Give it a try, your fellow hikers will envy you—relaxing after dinner while they scour the woods for a suitable (hopefully) tree.

    Cosmo

  8. #8

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    IMHO, its highly recommended that you bring a rat sack like device. Even if there are zero bear issues, there are plenty of other critters that have been trained to associate campsites with food. Hanging may not work as flying squirrels can and do raid food bags no matter how well they are hung. Pine Martins (a northern critter) also can raid food bags that are hung from a line. The section in GA reportedly is not that difficult to avoid. The AT along in the WMNF in NH has had bear issues at almost every official and unofficial campsite and shelter even in areas without past history of bear issues. There are bear boxes at the official sites but its at your risk at the unofficial sites. Bear density in New England is at record levels.

  9. #9
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    Ursack has come out with newer lighter “Almighty” versions, supposedly bear and mouse proof.

    I agree hanging is a pain, especially in wooded twilight, for my 58 yr old, too much computer time eyes.

    I got the 20L, so I’d have the ability to go a little longer between town stops and not have to jam and cram.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    Don’t give upon the bear can yet. Think of how convenient it will be not to find a suitable tree every night and worry about wether you got your hang right. Not to worry about getting room in a slimy bottomed bear box at a crowded campsite. Never having a critter snacking on your snacks. Not putting bears at risk....
    Hundreds (if not thousands) of hikers around the country use bear cans on every hike with no crippling injuries. For me (an experienced older hiker, not in great shape) the convenience is well worth the extra poundage.
    Give it a try, your fellow hikers will envy you—relaxing after dinner while they scour the woods for a suitable (hopefully) tree.Cosmo
    I'm planning on an August SOBO start and have decided that I'll be taking a bear canister the whole way, for all of the reasons that you mention. I've had lower back issues, so a low pack weight is important to me, but I've been able to find more than enough weight savings in other places. I have an honest 13 pound base weight, including the 2+ pound bear canister: https://lighterpack.com/r/j1rqaf

    As it gets colder, I'll be adding a down jacket, down pants and down socks, which add another pound to my base weight.

  11. #11
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I
    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    Don’t give upon the bear can yet.
    Your post got me really thinking about whether or not bear cans will ever be widely used on the AT.

    In the end, I concluded the answer is “no”.

    That said, depending on when you asked me, would have bet the farm that common wisdom would continue to affirm:


    • Canister stoves are for weekenders; not a self-respecting thru hiker
    • Trekking polls are a fad and destined to go the way Suzanne Sommers’ Thigh Master
    • Luxury sleeping pads are an unneeded luxury
    • Hiking in running/trail shoes is irresponsible, and such foolhardiness deserves to be highlighted in Appalachia accident reports
    • Single-wall tents are for backyard campers or fools
    • Long pants and razors have absolutely no place on a thru hike


    Obviously I would have been 100% wrong about all that. So who knows?
    Last edited by rickb; 03-14-2021 at 22:39.

  12. #12
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Your post got me really thinking about whether or not bear cans will ever be widely used on the AT.
    In the end, I concluded the answer is “no”.
    So who knows?
    I was working on trail crew two years ago near Standing Indian and the USFS trail guy came by one morning. He said that the Nantahala NF was looking into mandating bear canisters in their forest because of bear issues. I started carrying a BV last year because it seems like there has been an increasing number of human/bear contacts and don't want to be part of the problem. I rarely camp at shelters so I cannot rely on bear cables or boxes and hanging isn't always feasible.
    More walking, less talking.

  13. #13
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    Sam Goldwyn, the “G” in MGM, once said “Never predict anything, especially the future”

  14. #14
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    Ran into a gal near high point SP on my '18 hike. She had been using Ursack (unknown model) that was found by a bear. Food inside was reduced to dust and bag was compromised enough to allow slobber in. Her POV was, "if I have to immediately resupply to replace useless food what difference does it make if food is stolen vs destroyed/contaminated".

    I totally understand her point while also recognizing that at least the bear wasn't rewarded for it's effort. Might mitigate the whole 'people equals easy food' concern.

    At any rate, when I do go to storage vessel (eventually) I will be avoiding any type of pliable sack. Of course, YMMV.

  15. #15
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    I used Day One app to record daily journal and attach pics. At end of each post there is option to share post. I'd send one to my email and one to Mom's. She could share it if she wanted.

    App also saves all posts to account, sends content from that date to me on anniversary each year. Pretty cool to re-read that days thoughts each year.

    Only problem is the stark reminder years later how deeply I've fallen back into the Matrix.

  16. #16
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    An alternative to social media is creating your own blog using Wordpress. It’s cheap and easy to use and you can control who sees your posts. I use Wordpress for other purposes but I don’t write about hiking.

  17. #17
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    Besides places that have installed placed to secure your food, there is only one section on the the AT that requires a bear canister. It's a short section in GA that can be hiked through in a day hike. So basically no need to carry bear protection for food unless you stop and camp in that one section.

  18. #18
    1000+ miles down (2009), 1000+ miles to go (2021) RadioFreq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Besides places that have installed placed to secure your food, there is only one section on the the AT that requires a bear canister. It's a short section in GA that can be hiked through in a day hike. So basically no need to carry bear protection for food unless you stop and camp in that one section.
    And that section is...........?

    And an update:

    1. I own the following: ZPacks food bag, Ursack food bag and the large Bear Vault. Right now I am dithering b/n the Ursack and the Vault. Anyone want to buy a lightly used ZPacks food bag with the toss bag and rope? The combination is currently listed at $50.00 at ZPacks.

    2. I've taken the plunge and created a Facebook account. After rummaging around for an hour or so I think I can wade through all the dreck and make it work. The clincher was that almost all my friends/family are already there.

    Thank you to one and all for your input.
    Last edited by RadioFreq; 03-15-2021 at 13:12.
    "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute.
    But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute--and it's longer than any hour.
    That's relativity." --Albert Einstein--

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioFreq View Post
    And that section is...........?
    Blood Mountain. From Jarrard Gap to Neel Gap.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5351875.pdf

  20. #20
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioFreq View Post
    And that section is...........?
    I've taken the plunge and created a Facebook account. After rummaging around for an hour or so I think I can wade through all the dreck and make it work. The clincher was that almost all my friends/family are already there.
    I guess it's too late, since you've "taken the plunge"! But Facebook, while certainly the most popular social media platform, by far the most trivial and innocuous. It's fun and easy, but you sacrifice both integrity and, if you allow it, identity privacy.

    I agree with Coffee about WordPress. Fairly easy to set up, and you've got much more room to write about your experiences while also sharing photos and allowing large space for commenters. It's more the "thinking man's" social media platform, especially if you enjoy writing. But I'm an old guy, a writer, a book reader, and enjoy intelligent discussion...so I'm biased.

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