Hello Avalon School Outdoor Education Class!!
Thanks guys for your responses. We’ll include them here with some feedback.
Part One: Food Storage
The response we got back regarding food storage was a little to be desired, here’s what the class came up with:
To store your food when there are trees present, throw one half of a rope over an outer branch to extend the height that you can put the bag to make it harder to reach by animals. Then lower the end of the rope and attach the bags to it. Then, raise it and tie the other end to a branch or the trunk. If there isn’t any trees then double bag the food so that one opening is on one side and the other facing the opposite direction (to help waterproof the food bags, put a plastic bag on the outside) if you don’t have enough bags, then put anything you can pack easily and doesn’t release an odor, not including food, inside the tent to get the other bags for the food. If your bags have straps, then use extra tent pegs to peg it into the ground.
Hanging food in a tree can be good, we’ve done it in the past for backpacking trips however this can be time consuming and tedious. We are also traveling in places where bears getting into your food is not the main concern. Racoons, squirrels and other rodents can be more problematic and are far more adapted to the arboreal environment! As for leaving the bags on the ground and pegging them to the ground, let’s just say I am not going to trust our food to those tactics.
However the following is a list of alternate ways we’ve found of storing food that have kept the critters out:
- using supplied food caches found at many state parks and back-country camps;
- storing food in the back side of bear proof garbage cans;
- hanging food from the rafters of cook shelters;
- hanging food or placing food bags in washrooms where there are no other receptacles;
- asking an RV’ing neighbor if they don’t mind storing your food bag overnight.
Keeping food safe is one of the most important precautions we must take. Not only so we have something to eat the next day but also to prevent wildlife from becoming habituated, in the case of bears and other large predators, habituation often leads to their death.
Part Two: Interior Route or Coastal Peninsular Route
The students at Avalon school chose the peninsular route as they thought it was more appealing and also because it takes us through the town of Forks, WA where the popular Twilight series saga begins. In addition, we were also sent on assignment to find out why “Humptulips” is named as such.
We’ve now toured the Olympic Peninsula and are currently in Aberdeen, WA. We passed through the tiny coastal town of Mora, WA which draws in a huge number of tourists to see where part of the Twilight Saga takes place… we had to keep our whits about us as the Vampire threat level was rated as ‘DANGER’.
We also found out that the author, Stephenie Meyer, had never actually been to Forks, WA but did an internet search to find a small town place in the United States that had a large amount of rain to base her story in.
From Mora we headed into the Hoh Rainforest which boasts annual precipitation to be between 141 to 165 inches (360 to 420 cm). Prince Rupert, BC is voted as one of the wettest places in Canada averaging about 122.5 inches (311.1 cm) annually! We were lucky and had nothing but blue skies during our stay.
Finally we passed through a little town called ‘Humptulips’ the students and us thought it was a peculiar name and we were sent on assignment to find out what the name is all about. On passing the Humptulip grocery store I asked the clerk what was up with the name and this is the response I got:
It’s named after the Humptulip river which means in Native American ‘Hard to Pole’ meaning it’s a hard river to canoe against the current.
Not the answer I was expecting but much cooler. Also checked it out on the web and Wikipedia reported the same thing.
So now we are headed down the Oregon coast … we need ideas on what you think is worth seeing and doing and why, where good camp grounds are, where food is and what the local flare is. We’ll be in Astoria, OR by Wednesday October 19th and plan to check out the Goonie House but after that… not sure!