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Skeeters in the Sierra - 2010

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Postby fluxlib » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:32 pm

Scott M. wrote:Fluxlib,
I day hiked/climbed Pilot Knob so did not camp. The area around Desolation Lake wasn't too bad, though. We took a little snack break there and weren't eaten alive. Some folks were camped on the bench just south of the lake and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Scott


Scott,

Thanks very much. We are intending to camp in and around Desolation with some day excursions. Your info puts me at ease. I can deal with skeeters, just not black clouds of them covering me head to toe and blocking out the sun.

Much appreciated. I suppose we can find a dry area with a bit of wind exposure to beat the skeeters.
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Postby JHH60 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:20 pm

Anyone use picaridin-based products (e.g., Natrapel) instead of DEET for really bad skeeters? I know DEET works and used to carry REI Jungle Juice this time of year, but recently did serious damage to a digital camera in my pack when a bottle leaked. An effective alternative to DEET would be great. I have read studies that claim that 20% picaridin is at least as effectice as similar strength DEET, but wonder how it compares with the industrial strength Jungle Juice.
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:33 pm

I always carry my DEET container in a ziplock bag.
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Postby JHH60 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:50 pm

mrchad9 wrote:I always carry my DEET container in a ziplock bag.


I do too, but it wasn't enough to keep a little bit of the stuff from getting onto my camera, melting my pack lining, making everything in my bear cannister taste like DEET, etc.
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:33 pm

JHH60 wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:I always carry my DEET container in a ziplock bag.


I do too, but it wasn't enough to keep a little bit of the stuff from getting onto my camera, melting my pack lining, making everything in my bear cannister taste like DEET, etc.

You have me nervous. My DEET is already at home in my bog for the weekend. I can't wait to get back there so I can put a second ziplock on it. :(
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Postby ShortTimer » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:58 pm

You put your deet in a bear canister?! Are you nuts?


Back to the answer, the Picaridin stuff, even at 20%, only lasts for a couple hours at most. So if you only have a few bugs in the evening then it is great. if you are out in the swarms all day, bring the 200% deet.
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Postby JHH60 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:00 pm

I always put all scented stuff in a bear cannister. Bears may not don't particularly like the smell of DEET but they apparently love the smell of citronella, so why take a chance?
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Postby JHH60 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:32 pm

Yeah, I know, and I get wilderness permits too. I'm just a law-obeying kinda guy. But I have had a pack that I accidently left food in chewed apart by animals while bagging a peak so it's not just fear of citations...
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:47 pm

JHH60 wrote:Yeah, I know, and I get wilderness permits too. I'm just a law-obeying kinda guy. But I have had a pack that I accidently left food in chewed apart by animals while bagging a peak so it's not just fear of citations...

A bear can wouldn't fix that- unless you always take the food and the can out, but you can take the food out without a can too.

Ursack is the only bear can worth buying... and even legal in the national forests now.
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Postby JHH60 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:00 pm

I know - the ripped up pack was user error - but after that I was extra careful to hang or bury in snow anything scented. When bear cans started to become mandatory I bought one (grudgingly, as they're obscenely heavy and expensive) but having coughed up for it I bring it where legally required as it does keep critters away from food. The ursack does sound better though.
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:22 pm

Burying in snow might stop critters, but it wouldn't affect a bear- they can smell through that.

Not sure if you meant to imply that. Maybe you were only referring to critters.

(ursack is the best!)
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Postby JHH60 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:02 am

I wouldn't bury food in snow if I were worried about bears, but it works well for small critters and big birds.
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Postby butitsadryheat » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:04 am

JHH60 wrote:Anyone use picaridin-based products (e.g., Natrapel) instead of DEET for really bad skeeters? I know DEET works and used to carry REI Jungle Juice this time of year, but recently did serious damage to a digital camera in my pack when a bottle leaked. An effective alternative to DEET would be great. I have read studies that claim that 20% picaridin is at least as effectice as similar strength DEET, but wonder how it compares with the industrial strength Jungle Juice.


I have had much better luck with that than DEET (for me, anyway. I attract skeeters). You just have to bring more, as it requires frequent re-application.
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Postby McCannster » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:37 pm

Margaret Lakes in the Silver Divide was BAD. We didn't get a break at camp, and to get out them we had to hike a few hundred feet up the hill, and even then there were a few here and there. How are they over on the east side, I'm headed to North Pal early next week.
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Postby thegib » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:07 pm

Went over University pass and hung out in Center Basin Tues-Weds-Thurs and I didn't even use repellent! Going up there were some at Robinson lake, but not above. I had a leisurely snack at 11000' and sat unmolested. They came out at the universal dinner time both nights, but during the day, (I was moving), they weren't an issue. Very pleasantly surprised.
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