Note: I am about three-and-a-half weeks away from my first step on the trail. I leave Happy Isles August 23rd and intend to summit Whitney early September 12th. In six days I'll leave home (for a business trip and then to acclimate to the elevation for a few days in Mammoth Lakes, California). That's my excuse for the next several blog posts to be a bit shorter than usual. Also, none of the next seven posts will reference current events; all will be written at the end of July or early August. I’ll be back in mid-September with more stories from the trail!
Is there a better bunch of people than those we interact with before and during a John Muir Trail hike? I’ve never met a more universally friendly bunch. From the hikers you meet on the trail, to the Rangers, the folks at the Wilderness Center, the staff of Red’s/VVR/MTR, and the owners & employees of the businesses we depend upon for gear, they all seem to be just plain nice people. Sure, we can all think of exceptions to that generalization (I approached a Ranger in McClure Meadow one day and got scolded for bothering him on his day off), but, in general, I always seem to run into terrific people who love what they’re doing.
Add to that list the folks at Wild Ideas (the people behind the Bearikade Scout, Weekender and Expedition). I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with them three times, twice to rent a canister and once to buy. Each instance was characterized by courtesy, friendliness, and a sense that I was talking with someone who actually understands what it’s like out on the trail.
They also offer a substantial (as in more than 40%) discount to John Muir Trail thru-hikers!
Of course, great customer service can’t make up for an inferior product. The good news is that, at least in my opinion, they make the best bear canister around. Why? Because it’s the lightest, it comes in more sizes, and it can even be purchased in custom sizes to fit perfectly into your backpack of choice.
I know nothing about the people behind Wild Ideas and have no financial interest in the company; this is just one man’s opinion. Give them and their product a try; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Good hiking, Ray