New member intro

Want to know more in-depth about the Park? This is the forum for you.

Moderators: Bruce, DPS

Post Reply
tlveik
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

New member intro

Post by tlveik » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:00 pm

Hello everyone. First post, new user. Am planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer. I've done a lot of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and some in a few other national parks, but I haven't been to Yellowstone since I was 12. I don't have a lot of friends who like to hike like I do, so I'm usually solo on my trips. I'm hoping this won't be too much of a problem in Yellowstone. I'll be there in late August so I'm hoping there will be enough other people there so I'm not too far from other people on the trails for safety purposes.

Anyway, just wanted to post and say hello.

Tom



RikWriter
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by RikWriter » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:07 am

Hey Tom, nice to have you. Hope your summer trip goes well.



User avatar
Mike
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:20 pm
Location: California

Re: New member intro

Post by Mike » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:30 am

Hi Tom and welcome,I am a solo traveler also and there are a few things that you can do to make your trip safe.First off take a minute to post a note on the inside of your car listing how many in your hiking party and where you are going and when you should return.If rangers see a car parked unattended at a trail head for a extended time they will investigate.Carry a GPS unit or a map and a signal whistle,the draw of leaving the trail and heading off bushwhacking is great for those that have a sense of adventure,unlike some other mountain ranges that are more "up and down" and it's easy to know which way to walk out or have prominent peaks to use as a landmark,Yellowstone has many flat plateaus,heavy lodgepole forests and drainage running both east-west and north-south that can confuse your sense of direction.

August is a busy month,backpacking season so you will probably be crossing paths with people,the further down the trail the less people you will encounter.

Bears,as a solo hiker this should be top of you mind at all times,I strongly suggest to carry bear spray,move cautiously through heavy forested areas,high grass or tall willows where bears might be bedded down.Use caution around all animals,in the dozens of times I have been to the park the scariest thing I have seen was a attack on a person by a bison.I have had moose blocking a trail and the only thing I could do was to just leave the area
A more controversial safety item is carrying a side arm,this is legal but discharge is illegal even if you are protecting yourself or others or using it as a signal device,more than likely you will be charged with a federal crime.

Last safety item and you probably already know this since you are a experienced hiker,try to stay clear of scree fields,rock falls,fast moving water,and most important do not go out on to any area that has thermal features as it might look like solid ground but it could collapse under your weight and plunge you in to water that is over 200°.In the past people that have fallen in to a thermal feature do not fare well.Also most caves in the park are off limits due to build up of toxic gases from the volcano right under your feet.



tlveik
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by tlveik » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:47 pm

In the past I have always kept in touch with family by either email or phone before and after each hike for safety purposes. A note in the windshield is probably a good idea too. I'll do that. I always carry a GPS and maps too. The GPS is always in "bread crumb" mode too so worst case, I can follow my track back out. Prior to getting my GPS, I have on occasion had to use a compass to keep on track in the mountains because of low fog/clouds.

I have a healthy respect for wildlife and have never really had any threatening encounters. Most often elk blocking a trail that made me choose a different path. I'll get the bear spray and keep that handy.

Thanks for the info Mike, I'm looking forward to my trip.



BobTN
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by BobTN » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:45 am

Hi Tom welcome to Forums and hope you have a great Aug visit. I too am a solo YST hiker for 15 yrs. Great advice by fellow posters. I restrict my visits to spring and late fall, so can't comment much about Aug. But Solo hiking comments, whether you go in 1 mile or 10 miles all equally apply. Bear spray and having it accessible in split seconds is a must. I've been amazed coming across hikers in prime grizzly country without it. And you don't have to be deep in Backcountry to potentially need it.

One May on a trail near Cascade Lake, I met a father with young son. No bear spray. We exchanged greetings and he commented, ,,"oh there's no bears around here.". Well, ok have a good hike back.

They turned to leave, Looking down they were alarmed as I put my hand in a huge very fresh grizzly track in wet ground we were standing on. They quickly left as I glassed them safely out of the meadow into tree line.
My point is dont reley on ,"others being around" for any possible contingency when leaving any trailhead regardless if short or certainly, longer hikes.



tlveik
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by tlveik » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:10 pm

Hi Bob. Thanks for the welcome and the advice. No doubt, getting bear spray will be one of the first things I do when I arrive. I'm pretty sure I've seen other posts saying it's easy enough to get the spray there so there is no need for me to get some before I go.

In the mean time, I'm enjoying reading others posts here.

Tom



yellvet
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by yellvet » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:28 pm

Tom, welcome to the forum! Hope you don't mind but I'd like to make a suggestion about bear spray. If you can, buy the bear spray canister that comes with a chest holster. That way the bear spray will always be out in front of you, at your finger tips, and ready to use. Hikers can't be too careful. And it really doesn't matter how familiar are or how experienced you are with bears. Keep in mind, that August is the month when bears enter their non-stop eating phase called hyperphasia...they're fattening up before they go into hibernation for the winter. They eat constantly so hikers need to stay extra alert and cautious whenever they're hiking. You might want to check out the types of berries and the bushes and berries so you'll be able to recognize them when you're on the trail (wild strawberries and blueberries, snow berries, elder berries, goose berries, chokecherries and wild rose hips to name a few). When it comes to hungry bears, they're totally non-partisan. They'll eat just about anything. I've even seen them break into vans to get at the doritoes and beer that were tored in the car's rear cargo area. At the same time, August also marks the start cooler weather and the start of the bison rut. So, you should be able to get some very exciting pix of the bison. Hope you'll post a trip report along with some pix when you get home. The end of August has always been one of my most favorite times of the year to be in the Park....leaves and trees and bushes are turning brilliant autumn colors, wildlife gets frisky and the wildlife viewing and fishing can be exceptional. Best part, with the colder temps at night, hopefully, most of your daytime hikes will be bug-free. Hope you a wonderful trip and stay safe.



tlveik
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by tlveik » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:12 pm

Thanks for the tip about the bear spray. I haven't looked into it at all yet so I didn't know there were options. A chest holster sounds like a good idea.

The bears have quite the varied diet don't they. I was just reading that they also eat lots of moths, up to 40,000 a day.

https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things- ... -in-august

Tom



BobTN
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 pm

Re: New member intro

Post by BobTN » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:55 am

Tom, bear spray comes with neo sleeve and loop. I simply hook the sleeve to chest strap on backpack. Works perfect, in split second can draw it on ready. I heard Costco in Bozeman had 2 pack for $39.00, about half price than in Park or elsewhere. Please don't get too spooked by YST bear possibilities, enjoy the hikes, but be bear aware.
Grizzlies in mid late summer will climb high to the mountain scree boulder to feast on army cutworm moths that migrate from Midwest heat to cool under Mtn boulders. Yes it is a major protein source for many along with berries and whitebark pine nuts before Nov climb to hibernation.
I hope to post a trip report for my upcoming mid late May . I usually have lots of luck in May and planning on some new trails with some old favorites for wildlife.... weather dependent.
Have a great time, YST always surprises...at times things may appear to be slow and then the next five minutes or mile, amazing encounter may appear. There is something very special , unique to the sensses , hiking in grizzly country, especially if solo. The beauty of the park especially venturing out off a TH and chances of wildlife sightings away from the crowds, are memorable.



Post Reply