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dvbl
06-20-2006, 12:54 PM
I'm sure the vast majority of people here know how to properly hang food when camping in the backcountry. But for those who don't, please read how or ask someone how. Especially in bear country, not knowing this can be very dangerous to those camping with or near you.

Here's a picture I took at about 6am this past Sunday. In order to protect the guilty, I won't mention what trail or tentsite I was at. My walking stick is about 4 feet tall, so you'll notice the supermarket plastic bag is about 6 feet off the ground. The angle of the picture doesn't show it, but the bag is hung about 3 inches from the trunk of the tree. About 30 feet down the trail, there was another bag (this one was a backcountry food bag) about 6 feet off the ground, bungee-corded to the tree trunk. Sorry, no picture of that one.

Please share your knowledge with those who might need it. Let's all stay safe so we can keep playing in the woods.

How not to hang your food (http://community.webshots.com/photo/551533134/2271327610033455906MGYMLq)

Tom Rankin
06-20-2006, 01:25 PM
I'm sure the vast majority of people here know how to properly hang food when camping in the backcountry.

I'd say that there is *NO* way to hang a bear bag properly. A determined bear will get your food if you hang it in a tree.

Use a bear vault.

Rik
06-20-2006, 01:31 PM
I'd say that there is *NO* way to hang a bear bag properly. A determined bear will get your food if you hang it in a tree.

Use a bear vault.

Hanging bags worked well for quite some time and is still effective in areas that don't have overuse/problem bears issues. Of course this assumes proper hanging unlike the bag in the photo.

dvbl
06-20-2006, 01:41 PM
I'd say that there is *NO* way to hang a bear bag properly. A determined bear will get your food if you hang it in a tree.

Use a bear vault.


Yeah, I understand your point, but I don't really agree. Anyway, that's not the point I was making. The point I was making was...just as I was educated (and am still being educated) about things I need help with, I am simply trying to show through this picture that we shouldn't be putting out the welcome mat for bears, squirrels, mice, etc. Let's at least make them work for it.

Tom Rankin
06-20-2006, 01:52 PM
Yeah, I understand your point, but I don't really agree. Anyway, that's not the point I was making. The point I was making was...just as I was educated (and am still being educated) about things I need help with, I am simply trying to show through this picture that we shouldn't be putting out the welcome mat for bears, squirrels, mice, etc. Let's at least make them work for it.
Agreed. :D

KMartman
06-20-2006, 02:15 PM
Thanks for posting this...I in fact will be section hiking part of the App Trail in NJ this coming weekend and my book says the area is a "high bear" area and to "hang food". I bought a bag http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=9204&memberId=12500226&storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1

and intend on using it..including sun tan lotion, bug spray, and anything else a nosey bear might find fun to put into his/her mouth. not bringin much food or supplies for that matter as its only an overnight, but not taking chance since this is a very populated bear area..

Man in that pic any creature that can climb is in that bag too easily..

correct me if im wrong but it should be higher and place well away from the tree "base" or trunk itself???

Thanks again.

M

sun=electric
06-20-2006, 02:18 PM
I usually hang my pack and/or food sack even for a five minute break as I have had mice and chipmunks waste no time and have started to chew through (mice) and jumped right in (chips). Bears? In remote areas in eastern ADKs where they know more hunters than hikers I hang stuff suspended from two of the skinniest tall trees I can find and pee under the spot! High peaks and where required always use a canister.

Neil
06-20-2006, 02:18 PM
The correct method of hanging food only works where there are appropriate trees. Jack Pines seem to fit the bill nicely. I was once a black belt food hanger but when it came time to hang food in the ADK's I turned in my black belt for a black bear vault. Such a PITA finding the right trees and going through the rigamarole! On a recent trip my wife and I submerged our food. You have to put a lot of heavy rocks into the stuff sack but it worked for us.

Camping in the CDN rockies above treeline but below bear/wolverine etc. line I used to divide my food into multiple stashes, spread it around and hope for the best. I was very lucky. I never lost anything.

BTW, what is the point of this thread? To show people what not to do?

jfb
06-20-2006, 03:04 PM
I've hung my food like that before. I don't see what's dangerous about it. If a bear shows up, he gets an easy meal and I get hungry the next day. It's better than storing food in a tent.

KevCon223
06-20-2006, 03:04 PM
I was once a black belt food hanger but when it came time to hang food in the ADK's I turned in my black belt for a black bear vault. Such a PITA finding the right trees and going through the rigamarole!


I agree, just use a Bear Container and never worry!!

dvbl
06-20-2006, 03:13 PM
...BTW, what is the point of this thread? To show people what not to do?


Well, for your benefit, I'll quote a few lines from the original post:

"I'm sure the vast majority of people here know how to properly hang food when camping in the backcountry. But for those who don't, please read how or ask someone how. Especially in bear country, not knowing this can be very dangerous to those camping with or near you...Please share your knowledge with those who might need it. Let's all stay safe so we can keep playing in the woods."

I hope that helps you.

dvbl
06-20-2006, 03:21 PM
I've hung my food like that before. I don't see what's dangerous about it. If a bear shows up, he gets an easy meal and I get hungry the next day. It's better than storing food in a tent.

Oh my goodness, I hope you're just kidding. If not, I don't even know where to begin. Please read a book (for example, Bear Attacks by Stephen Herrero) or talk to someone who knows. Soon! Please!

KMartman
06-20-2006, 03:28 PM
Oh my goodness, I hope you're just kidding. If not, I don't even know where to begin. Please read a book (for example, Bear Attacks by Stephen Herrero) or talk to someone who knows. Soon! Please!


Yeah isnt that like inviting guests over for dinner and then not having anything to eat? Then they go looking for something or SOMEONE to eat...not good...


I think this thread is important I think we get lulled into thinking it "can't happen to me" and get lazy..

Can't EVER hurt to be reminded.

M

Neil
06-20-2006, 03:36 PM
I hope that helps you.
Actually, it won't help me one bit :) but if it helps Buster Bear from getting shot then it's a great thread.

Incidentally, Herrero's book is the Bible for anyone veturing into Grizzly country. Rather gruesome, he interviews his "witnesses" from their hospital beds.

Jeff-B
06-20-2006, 11:41 PM
Although I see this photo and read discussion of how NOT to hang your food, how about posting "how to hang your food" for those who don't already know?

I have mastered my skills in this area with proven bear attempts and have passed every instance.

The method I use was instructed to me by Yosemite Rangers, but important to note, all Yosemite areas now require canisters.

2 bag equal weight method:
Need:
30ft of 1/8"-3/16" braided rope (I use spectra line)
2 stuff sacks equal volume

*Find a tree where limb is clear off ground 20ft (15ft can work)
*Limb must be less than 2" round at 8-10ft from trunk.
*Separate food into 2 equal weights in 2 stuff sacks.
*Tie line to one bag
*Toss rope over limb at 8-10ft from trunk
*Haul bag to top of limb
*Reach as high as possible and tie 2nd bag
*Coil remainder line to 2nd bag
*Find a 10 ft stick and push 2nd bag up, while 1st bag drops
*Balance each bag at same height
*Completed hang should be at least 10ft off ground and 8-10ft down from limb
It is suggested to tie some pots to the bags which will clang & rattle if animals are attempting a steal.
This is one noise I heard a few times! :eek:

I did this routine for an entire summer in the Sierras with no problems and true tested.
That was a long time ago, before the smartest bears in the world figured out how to get the cubs to "sky dive" for the bags, which has made this method useless out in Yosemite.
Now the big joke has this method labeled the "Yosemite Pinata" :)

So now the big scene is to watch bears play soccer with the bearvaults!
Last year one particular bear had learned to unscrew the lids by sitting on it and turning!

I suspect it will be a long time before these lessons are picked up by bears in the east. So I still prefer to hang'em unless in restricted areas for cans or until I get robbed!

the starchild
06-20-2006, 11:46 PM
On a recent trip my wife and I submerged our food.



just try and get it! go ahead! messin' with my food is like messin' with my emotions.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/480570374/1480799485075807115KLDCpY

the starchild
06-20-2006, 11:51 PM
Here's a picture I took at about 6am this past Sunday. In order to protect the guilty, I won't mention what trail or tentsite I was at.
[/URL]

c'mon dude, who are you protecting? :rolleyes: a friend? :D is this a skeleton in your closet? :eek: :eek: were you paid off by the campers with the bad hang? ;) inquiring minds wanna know! :)

where'd you snap the pix?

Pete_Hickey
06-21-2006, 05:02 AM
So now the big scene is to watch bears play soccer with the bearvaults!
Last year one particular bear had learned to unscrew the lids by sitting on it and turning!The other kind (Garcia?) are more difficult, since you need a coin to open them. Bears do not have pockets, so it it is more difficult for them to get these.... No place to store their money.

Chip
06-21-2006, 06:11 AM
Last year one particular bear had learned to unscrew the lids by sitting on it and turning!

If you aren't careful about how you screw the lid on a Bear Vault then the little tab gets outside the nub that prevents it from being unscrewed. I'm pretty sure the bear couldn't unscrew the lid if it was on proper, but anything is possible.
Bear canisters are easy and you can sit on them. No more Outside Olympic Events for me trying to get the right rope over the right branch of the right tree.
However, if I had to now and what I used to do was the PCT Method, described further down in this link. (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/bear_bag_hanging_technique.html)

KMartman
06-21-2006, 07:23 AM
The other kind (Garcia?) are more difficult, since you need a coin to open them. Bears do not have pockets, so it it is more difficult for them to get these.... No place to store their money.

Dont know if this is the one you're referring to, but it states it needs a coin to be opened..

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=8905&memberId=12500226&storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1

M

Neil
06-21-2006, 07:35 AM
Dont know if this is the one you're referring to, but it states it needs a coin to be opened..

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=8905&memberId=12500226&storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1

M
Cute comment in the description. They should have added, "unless the bear has opposable thumbs"

Truly amazing about the cubs dive-bombing the food bags...I wonder how the parents explain to the cubs just what they want them to do....Maybe they draw a series of stick pictures on the ground or perhaps they mime it out.

KMartman
06-21-2006, 07:40 AM
Cute comment in the description. They should have added, "unless the bear has opposable thumbs"

Truly amazing about the cubs dive-bombing the food bags...I wonder how the parents explain to the cubs just what they want them to do....Maybe they draw a series of stick pictures on the ground or perhaps they mime it out.

That is interesting...theres certianly some sort of communicating going on because they don't just figure it out..

Thought that canister was pretty well priced too..don't know anything of its integrity, but...

M

giggy
06-21-2006, 08:17 AM
I would say most don't know how - and you know what - most of time, my hangs are usually flawed too - they are never 100% textbook hangs. - esp when camping higher and trees get shorter and more scarce. I do the best I can with what I got. I try and get the bag high (over 15 feet) and as far away from the trunk as possible.

I think the thread starter here is a little dramatic, but he/she has a good point. If that bag was a decent amount of distance from the tent - I think its safe to assume nobody's life was endangered. I thinks its safe to say most people camping in the NE don't hang properly and most people don't get attacked

DougPaul
06-21-2006, 09:32 AM
Truly amazing about the cubs dive-bombing the food bags...I wonder how the parents explain to the cubs just what they want them to do....Maybe they draw a series of stick pictures on the ground or perhaps they mime it out.
A bear has also been observed climbing on another's back to get at the low hanging "fruit".

Doug

KMartman
06-21-2006, 09:51 AM
A bear has also been observed climbing on another's back to get at the low hanging "fruit".

Doug

Any we think humans are the smartest...Ha.....talk about ingenuity...I love animals...

M

dvbl
06-21-2006, 10:20 AM
...I think the thread starter here is a little dramatic, but he/she has a good point. If that bag was a decent amount of distance from the tent - I think its safe to assume nobody's life was endangered. I thinks its safe to say most people camping in the NE don't hang properly and most people don't get attacked

Wow, I've been called many things, but I've never been called 'dramatic' before! Perhaps I have some future career options I didn't realize :)

No drama here, just a heads up about hanging food properly. And I'm certainly no expert at it. But it sounds like you make the effort to do it right, which is a far cry from what's shown in the picture.

And also, we don't want to give the bear an easy meal, because then he starts to think "humans in the area = easy food to be had". This is bad for us and the bear.

Take care.

Sincerely,
He/She :D

jfb
06-21-2006, 02:21 PM
If that bag was a decent amount of distance from the tent - I think its safe to assume nobody's life was endangered. I thinks its safe to say most people camping in the NE don't hang properly and most people don't get attacked


I think so too.

Actually, I worry more about the food that may be laying around the ground that I don't know about. Maybe someone spilled a pot of chili on the ground the previous night and I just set up my tent over the spot.

What about all the people who cook near their tents? The aromas will attract bears right to your campsite.

I still have my little bear bell that I bought in Yellowstone in 1974, when I first went backpacking in grizzly country. Back then, the rangers recommended cooking about 1/4 mile from the tent and hanging food 1/4 mile away from both the tent and cooking areas. I don't think people in the Northeast bother with these precautions. Actually, when I camped at Imp campsite a few years ago, the caretaker said there were no bears around and recommended just hanging food as shown in the original picture. :eek:

giggy
06-21-2006, 02:31 PM
I never cook near or in the tent - except in winter. too paranoid!

KMartman
06-21-2006, 02:41 PM
I think so too.

Actually, I worry more about the food that may be laying around the ground that I don't know about. Maybe someone spilled a pot of chili on the ground the previous night and I just set up my tent over the spot.

What about all the people who cook near their tents? The aromas will attract bears right to your campsite.

I still have my little bear bell that I bought in Yellowstone in 1974, when I first went backpacking in grizzly country. Back then, the rangers recommended cooking about 1/4 mile from the tent and hanging food 1/4 mile away from both the tent and cooking areas. I don't think people in the Northeast bother with these precautions. Actually, when I camped at Imp campsite a few years ago, the caretaker said there were no bears around and recommended just hanging food as shown in the original picture. :eek:


Wow a ranger said that? Thats interesting......do you know if this was a "new" inexperienced ranger ??

M

jfb
06-21-2006, 02:51 PM
Wow a ranger said that? Thats interesting......do you know if this was a "new" inexperienced ranger ??

M

I don't remember exactly who or if it was just written in one of those small brochures they hand out, but I do remember spending about a half-hour ringing all the bells in the gift shop at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone until we found the one that sounded "just right."

KMartman
06-21-2006, 02:53 PM
I don't remember exactly who or if it was just written in one of those small brochures they hand out, but I do remember spending about a half-hour ringing all the bells in the gift shop at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone until we found the one that sounded "just right."

LOUD..was the key there...HA....I might pick one up tonight at the local hiking shop....I dont have one and will be in what ive been told is "bear" country.. in jersey

M

Jeff-B
06-21-2006, 04:29 PM
Here is an official posting for approved bear canisters in the High Sierra.

Sierra Approved Bear Canisters (http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/approvedcontainers.htm)

Most interesting to note however, is this special issued statement!

BearVault 110b, 200, BV250 and BV300
Visit www.bearvault.com for product details and contact information or call Tel / Fax 866-301-3442
June 3, 2006 -- The Bear Vault containers listed above are not allowed in the Rae Lakes area of Kings Canyon National Park until further notice. Check out the Rae Lakes Canister Swap Program, for info on how you can swap out your old Bear Vault for a newer. One or more bears have figured out how to open the BearVault in this area- and have opened at least eight canisters. It may be only the earlier version that is the problem - the SIBBG and the manufacturer are looking into the problem. In the meantime, we are asking hikers to either use a different type of canister or use a locker.


I have visited and camped the Rea Lakes area along the John Muir Trail. It is quite popular destination with many sequoia trees to hang food, but no longer allowed.
Now the canisters are getting compromised! :eek:

sardog1
06-21-2006, 09:06 PM
One or more bears have figured out how to open the BearVault in this area- and have opened at least eight canisters.

Only two rules to remember about bears:

1. There are no rules about bears.

2. When in doubt, refer to Rule #1.

Woody
06-21-2006, 09:29 PM
Last time I was at Imp Campsite there was a large steel bear box for camper food and other smelly items. The caretaker was pretty firm about using it. Unless there is a steel bear box around I do try to hang my food bag about 15 feet high and more than 6 feet away from the tree trunk. I have had to be pretty creative at times. I am going to get a bear vault.

Woody

Pete_Hickey
06-21-2006, 10:12 PM
Last time I was at Imp Campsite there was a large steel bear box for camper food and other smelly items. The caretaker was pretty firm about using it. Like this one at Whitney Portal?

http://newmud.comm.uottawa.ca/~pete/whit1.jpg

It's a car camping area, and it isn't even safe to leave stuff in your car:

http://newmud.comm.uottawa.ca/~pete/whit/mw3.jpg

DougPaul
06-21-2006, 10:49 PM
It's a car camping area, and it isn't even safe to leave stuff in your car:
Bears in some areas (eg Yosemite) will rip your car open or break windows if they think that there is food inside.

Doug

lattinhill
06-22-2006, 05:35 AM
I guess it's tough being one step ahead of the bears. We were talking to the caretaker at 13 Falls last weekend and she mentioned that a bear had taken one of the bearboxes and dragged it down to the brook, a couple of hundred rocky feet. I would loved to have seen that in progress. They're now cabled to a tree, so if you spot a bear with bolt cutters you'll know what's up ! :)

Dave

Jeff-B
06-22-2006, 09:38 AM
I guess it's tough being one step ahead of the bears. We were talking to the caretaker at 13 Falls last weekend and she mentioned that a bear had taken one of the bearboxes and dragged it down to the brook, a couple of hundred rocky feet. I would loved to have seen that in progress. They're now cabled to a tree, so if you spot a bear with bolt cutters you'll know what's up ! :)

Dave


Out in Yosemite popular backcountry designated camping areas, the bear boxes are mounted/bolted to a concrete slab for this very reason.
2 snap shakles are used to latch the hinged face closed, but I wonder how long it will be before these are replaced by locking caribeeners!
Scary to see up to 12" wide claw marks on these boxes too!
Rangers tell you to place your food in the box as soon as you take your pack off! And NEVER leave the box open for even more than a minute or so. :eek:

The trailhead parking lot signs are even more intimidating about leaving food, lotion, spent chewing gum, ect. in your car.
Huge fines and warnings to impound your vehicle for a period of time.

Steve-o
06-22-2006, 09:16 PM
Safety,being the main issue,
Get a canister.It's almost idiot-proof.
Worth the weight for the hassel of trying to find that perfect hanging spot.
+ it makes a handy camp seat!
I bet, 9 out of 10 hangs, you're lucky there were no bear around.

Pete_Hickey
06-22-2006, 09:50 PM
I'll tell you another use for them. Cooler/fridge/freezer.

Last year, when a bunch of us were at Peggy O's, I brought all kinds of fresh and frozen food. While most people had their dried/noodles/rice etc in the house, I kept my dried foods in the house, the fresh vegetables, spices, and beer, which needed refridgeration, near the wall. Things which needed to be kept frozen were kept in the bear canister, and left on the front porch. It was perfect for that.

Woody
06-22-2006, 10:25 PM
The bear box at Imp was like a very large steel box similar is size the the ones that Pete has posted a picture of. It was a couple of years ago when I was there.

Woody

KMartman
06-23-2006, 06:51 AM
I did just have a thought regarding BearVaults and canisters like it.

If the bears are becoming aware that we (humans) store food in these things, and they are beginning to figure out how to open them, doesn't it stand to reason that even if you utilize them that the bears would still enter your campsite if they think food will be in there?

Might we have to start hanging the canister? Seems that with a canister the food is still "in camp" with you...if they smell it..even if they can't get it, they're coming and if they don't get food, they may get mean.

Just a thought.???

M

lumberzac
06-23-2006, 07:05 AM
I did just have a thought regarding BearVaults and canisters like it.

If the bears are becoming aware that we (humans) store food in these things, and they are beginning to figure out how to open them, doesn't it stand to reason that even if you utilize them that the bears would still enter your campsite if they think food will be in there?

Might we have to start hanging the canister? Seems that with a canister the food is still "in camp" with you...if they smell it..even if they can't get it, they're coming and if they don't get food, they may get mean.

Just a thought.???

M

Don't hang a canister! Doing so compromises the design it two ways. One, by tying a rope to the canister it gives the bear something to grab. Two, the canister could break open if it's hung and dropped on a rock or hard ground.

Canisters should be stashed 150 feet or so away from camp away from water or any large drop offs. If possible leave the canister in a small depression, so if a bear does start kicking it around it won’t travel far. The canister should never be left in camp.

teejay
06-23-2006, 07:07 AM
From the NYS DEC.

Canisters should be stored at least 100 feet away the campsite. Wedge the canister between rocks, under logs or just lay in a shallow depression. Do NOT hang canisters - bears can still carry off your food. Do NOT store canisters in carrying case - as bears will be able to carry it away. Do NOT store canisters near water - canisters are not watertight but they may float long enough to move a considerable distance from your camp.

teejay

KMartman
06-23-2006, 07:14 AM
I knew that wouldnt take long ;-)

Thanks...I knew there had to be something I was too lazy this morning to search...

M

Pete_Hickey
06-23-2006, 07:57 AM
If the bears are becoming aware that we (humans) store food in these things, and they are beginning to figure out how to open them, doesn't it stand to reason ....."Stand to reason", isn't necessary. Cannisters are nothing new. They have been in use for well over 10 years in other areas. We "know" what will happen.

Jeff-B
06-23-2006, 09:01 AM
Safety,being the main issue,
Get a canister.It's almost idiot-proof.
Worth the weight for the hassel of trying to find that perfect hanging spot.
+ it makes a handy camp seat!
I bet, 9 out of 10 hangs, you're lucky there were no bear around.

Not true.
Way back BC (before canisters) I stayed at many popular backcountry campsites during an entire summer for 7 straight weeks while hiking the John Muir Trail in the Sierras. Hanging food was a daily routine, except above treeline, where bears don't go anyway (11,000'+).
At least someone each night had thier food taken. One incident occured at the very next tent due to poor food hang.

If we had cooked fish during dinner, even after cleaning everything, we saw bear tracks in camp next morning. :eek:
This was one time I heard the pots rattle on our hang.

Agreed, a canister is safer and hassle free.
But the rope'in brings me back to a pioneering era! :)

sleeping bear
06-23-2006, 09:07 AM
I just heard that NOLS now makes use of an electric bear fence. I guess you put all your stuff in a pile, put up the few strands of fence, pop in a couple AA batteries and turn it on.... very interesting...


I have certainly been guitly of poor bear bags in the past (on a few occasions, not often!). It's getting dark, my arm is getting sore from tossing the stupid rope, ah screw it! Just cross your fingers and go to bed. Obviously, this is not good to do, and most probably are lucky no bears are around.

I'd like to get a canister, there are just so many other things I'd rather spend a hundred bucks on! :eek: :D

KMartman
06-23-2006, 09:19 AM
I'd like to get a canister, there are just so many other things I'd rather spend a hundred bucks on! :eek: :D


Mee too.....and I have soo many "stuff sacks" and a rope...I dont travel too often in bear territory..

M

Chip
06-23-2006, 09:50 AM
Mee too.....and I have soo many "stuff sacks" and a rope...I dont travel too often in bear territory..

M
Proper food handling through out your trip accounts for a lot. Keeping everything clean in closed zip locks, not cooking next to your tent, not cleaning your pots next to your tent, not letting the chocolate and cheese melt in your hands and onto your shorts. I use MRE's or Mountainhouse with the boil in, eat in bags, so there's no dirty pots, just empty pouches and boiled water. I usually re-use one of those pouches for my oatmeal the next morning. No mess, no cleaning.
The "Big Picture" is teaching bear that humans don't equal food, but your sleepy time concern is that the bear raids someone elses sight. Just like "you don't have to out run the bear, just your hiking partner", yours doesn't have to be a perfect hang, just a cleaner campsite and a better hang than the next set of campers.

KMartman
06-23-2006, 10:11 AM
Proper food handling through out your trip accounts for a lot. Keeping everything clean in closed zip locks, not cooking next to your tent, not cleaning your pots next to your tent, not letting the chocolate and cheese melt in your hands and onto your shorts. I use MRE's or Mountainhouse with the boil in, eat in bags, so there's no dirty pots, just empty pouches and boiled water. I usually re-use one of those pouches for my oatmeal the next morning. No mess, no cleaning.
The "Big Picture" is teaching bear that humans don't equal food, but your sleepy time concern is that the bear raids someone elses sight. Just like "you don't have to out run the bear, just your hiking partner", yours doesn't have to be a perfect hang, just a cleaner campsite and a better hang than the next set of campers.

Ziplocks are a huge part of my camping gear...not only do they keep everything in one place...they keep things neater...I also am VERY aware and don't cook and/or clean anywhere near the tent itself...and avoid using my clothes as napkins as much as possible. I dont like MRE's, but mountain house is pretty good...never thought of using one the next day for oatmeal..good idea...

M

Chip
06-23-2006, 10:25 AM
I dont like MRE's,
:eek: WHAT ??? I LOVE THEM !!! My boys ask for them WHEN WE ARE HOME !!! ;) They like the BBQ pork over Raman and the Vegetable Biscuits.
My boss, an active duty reservist captain just gave me one with Chocolate Cappucino :eek: and Chicken Fajitas, complete with the burrito wraps !
I often mix the Chicken and Salsa MRE with some Spanish Rice !

Seriously, if you had no water and no stove you could still eat the MRE's, that Mountainhouse Chicken Teriyaki would be a might DRY. ;)

KMartman
06-23-2006, 10:36 AM
:eek: WHAT ??? I LOVE THEM !!! My boys ask for them WHEN WE ARE HOME !!! ;) They like the BBQ pork over Raman and the Vegetable Biscuits.
My boss, an active duty reservist captain just gave me one with Chocolate Cappucino :eek: and Chicken Fajitas, complete with the burrito wraps !
I often mix the Chicken and Salsa MRE with some Spanish Rice !

Seriously, if you had no water and no stove you could still eat the MRE's, that Mountainhouse Chicken Teriyaki would be a might DRY. ;)


That last part is very true..

It has been a while since I ate an MRE so maybe that have improved over the years...those weren't the "menu" selections last I had an MRE..maybe its time to revisit it...? Hmmm

M

lumberzac
06-23-2006, 10:52 AM
Ziplocks are a big part of my hiking gear as well. I also reuse Mountainhouse bags to hold any of my wet garbage.

One thing to note is that bears have a very good sense of smell (7x's greater than a bloodhound’s about 1000x's greater than humans) and it is not likely that a ziplock will completely prevent them from smelling the food that is inside. Still it probably helps reduce the range that bears can smell it from.

KMartman
06-23-2006, 11:08 AM
Ziplocks are a big part of my hiking gear as well. I also reuse Mountainhouse bags to hold any of my wet garbage.

One thing to note is that bears have a very good sense of smell (7x's greater than a bloodhound’s about 1000x's greater than humans) and it is not likely that a ziplock will completely prevent them from smelling the food that is inside. Still it probably helps reduce the range that bears can smell it from.

Agreed...I would never use a ziplock thinking it was "airtight" enough to foil a bears sense of smell...not happening....but they are great for keeping food stuffs in..

M

HAMTERO
06-23-2006, 06:29 PM
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ursalite_bear_bag_system.html

jrichard
06-23-2006, 08:47 PM
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ursalite_bear_bag_system.html

Yeah, I use the PCT Method as described in that article, although I didn't buy the material from that website. All you need is some parachute cord, a "toy" carabiner, a stuff sack, and a stick. Oh, and you need to be able to tie a quick release knot, like the clove hitch.

It's really pretty simple.

But it does require a branch of the proper length and at the proper height. Just finding that might take you 1/4 mile from your campsite.

jrichard
06-23-2006, 08:59 PM
A couple years back while camping at an AMC shelter, I was asked the caretaker what he does about bears.

Nothing.

Food was in non-bearproof tins. I asked about where to hang food, he said bears weren't a problem. He said keep a clean campsite and watch out for the mice. (There's a lot to this mice business too.)

I strolled around one of these sites last year and found people cooking right next to their tent, kids leaving scraps of food around, and various oatmeal packet wrappers in various stages of decomposition around the tent platforms.

Apparently bears aren't a big enough problem in the whites yet, at least not at the higher elevation campsites.

I've encountered quite a few bears while hiking, and I'm kinda puzzled why NH doesn't have the same problem that NY and CA have. But I expect that we'll all be required to use canisters within 10 years. So much for ultra-light. :)

Zer0-G
06-24-2006, 01:12 AM
I've hung my food like that before. I don't see what's dangerous about it. If a bear shows up, he gets an easy meal and I get hungry the next day. It's better than storing food in a tent.

AAARRRGGGHHHH !!!!!! :mad:

I hope you are kidding too.
I tried not to chime in, but the more I read, the less I could contain myself for this matter is close to my heart.

The big reason why we all have to carry bear canisters in the Daks is because people do things with their food just like the picture that started this thread.

I don't know why people would want to do that, really.

(Uh oh- my soapbox is creaking again)

It not only puts the bears in danger, changes their natural lives, but it also puts us humans in danger of possibly facing a usually very shy and beautiful creature face to face which can turn ugly for both parties.

Hanging/protecting your food is not a novelty it is a necessity.

Funny stories about critters in your food? In the long run they are only sad recounts of carelessness and inconsideration.

Assuming you were kidding, I've seen some sad accounts of hanging food. One image I just can't shake is the food bag hanging 4 feet over the top of the individuals tent....drives me batty.

I am sure everyone knows the rules of thumb for bear country, eat 100 feet away from your bed, hang your food 100 feet away from your bed. That nice little triangle?

I'll never forget the "one who shall remain nameless", Nameless because I have blocked every possible memory of them out of my mind, except for this one - thankfully. WHO brought cans of tuna and noodles, with the can opener, from the kitchen drawer, y'know, the big one with the big handle?
Anyway, they were hungry, and I guess really tired, and ....... fill in your own phrase here. Ate in the tent, washed the pot out in the stream, left it out to dry next to the empty tuna can and empty noodle bags right out side the front door of the tent but very carefully placed right on top of the food bag.

Not to continue to beat the dead horse, but I have seen no mention of a very effective method of hanging food.

Requires one 40 foot length of cord, with a small sack at one end. The sack is to put a small rock in to enable you to toss the sack over a branch. The branch need be only 15 or twenty feet above your head. But the higher the better.
At the other end of the rope attach a small carabiner.
Toss the sack over the branch. (Making sure it is at least 6 feet away from the trunk of the tree.)
Run your cord through the 'biner.
Hook your foodbag onto the 'biner.
Hoist the food bag all the way up to the limb.
Reach up the cord as high as you can and make the two requisite opposite facing loops in your cord. (You will become familiar with the clove hitch)
Slip a stick or a tent stake into the two loops and let go of the loops.
You should have a perfect clove hitch around the stick or stake.
let the cord out. When the stake or stick comes in contact with the biner, the food bag should have dropped about 20 percent down from the limb.

You don't need to tie off what is hanging. If you tie it off and a bear gets the cord off the tie off point, it will only hang down anyway. They can't do much with a rope hanging straight down.

You need one tree with one branch.
It's called the Pacific Crest Trail Method.

I'm sure you can look it up somewhere.

I use very lightweight , thin thin parachute cord. "AirCore 2" I believe.

Without being fanatical there are other things you can do to protect all interested parties.

Even if you use a canister, be careful of dropping food on your clothes while eating, When you are snacking on the trail, be careful to clean your hands before fussing with your clothes or pack. Be careful not to expose the inside of your pack or external pack pockets to loose food. The common mistake I see people make all the time is, taking food out of a baggie, chomping away, wiping their hands on their clothes and stuffing the empty baggie in an external pack pocket. Even baggies with food in them, left in a pack all day can transfer odors through the baggie into your pack.

The pack usually then lives in the tent vestibule overnight, or hung on a tree right outside the tent door. with your clothes subbing as a pillow.

You might as well slobber yourself up with peanuT butter and tie yourself to a tree! :rolleyes:

Don't forget those water bottles, with gatorade in them...I always keep one clean for plain water. I stick the other 1 liter platy bottles empty at the end of the day in the food bag up in the air or canistered.
I could go on ...but it's late, thankfully. My soapbox just broke and as usual I'm concerned that I've peed some people off. :(

Pete_Hickey
06-24-2006, 06:16 AM
I'd like to get a canister, there are just so many other things I'd rather spend a hundred bucks on! :eek: :D
First of all, I think the price is dropping, but you have to thing differently.

Plan on a big trip, where they are required and/or where grizzlies are a problem. Now, a trip like this has a lot of expenses: airfare, permits, hotels-en-route, shipping of stove, etc. Simply add the cost of the canister to the trip cost, and it doesn't seem as bad. After the trip, you are left with a free canister!

Spending money is just a perception.

Zer0-G
06-24-2006, 07:16 AM
Ziplocks are a big part of my hiking gear as well. I also reuse Mountainhouse bags to hold any of my wet garbage.

One thing to note is that bears have a very good sense of smell (7x's greater than a bloodhound’s about 1000x's greater than humans) and it is not likely that a ziplock will completely prevent them from smelling the food that is inside. Still it probably helps reduce the range that bears can smell it from.

Zip locks that are found in supermarkets etc ARE NOT ODOR PROOF.
However, Odor Proof Ziplocks are available from various sources.

You can find them on line ....Google - odor proof ziplock

sleeping bear
06-25-2006, 04:38 PM
First of all, I think the price is dropping, but you have to thing differently.

Plan on a big trip, where they are required and/or where grizzlies are a problem. Now, a trip like this has a lot of expenses: airfare, permits, hotels-en-route, shipping of stove, etc. Simply add the cost of the canister to the trip cost, and it doesn't seem as bad. After the trip, you are left with a free canister!

Spending money is just a perception.

Sheesh, I could use that to justify buying a lot of stuff! :D
For the record, I've rented canisters in NY, always hang a bear bag, and those few times they were poor I wasn't at a designated campsite. I've never (knock on wood) had any animal get my food. Oops I lied! A racoon lifted the metal box lid on an island near Acadia. We then secured it with a carbiner, but that sure didn't stop him from trying! :eek:


As far as the nice traingle (tent- cooking- bear bag) goes, most designated campsites that I've seen aren't set up to make that happen. Although, at Ethan Pond they did have a "cooking area", but we searched and searched and could not find the bear box (hung the food instead).

Zer0-G
06-25-2006, 05:08 PM
As far as the nice traingle (tent- cooking- bear bag) goes, most designated campsites that I've seen aren't set up to make that happen. Although, at Ethan Pond they did have a "cooking area", but we searched and searched and could not find the bear box (hung the food instead).

Which leads me to the next gripe about this bear bag hanging needing a silly Canister issue.

The problem is made a lot worse by the fact that we let bears become habituated to finding food. That happens largely as a result of the "designated campsites" that most of us all know and love. Personally, I avoid these campsites in areas where people have become a problem. Y'know the people who like to get roused from a well deserved rest by our burly bruin buddies by bungling the bear bag branch bundling.

Hello, 2 plus two and all that....the more these campsites get used, the more the bruins bump up against those pesky problem humans and try to do them a big favor by lightening their loads. Then, of all the absurd things that could happen, those problematic members of the species known as "beerbellius beerswiggerus", aka humans, are ingratious enough to complain about it.

:rolleyes:

If the bruins like you so much as to enjoy your company and invite themselves into your dining room, and you don't like it, MOVE. ;)

There are no regulations that say you MUST ONLY SLEEP IN DESIGNATED AREAS, At least not in the Cats and Daks. (I don't know much about other places being an east coaster and all that.)

I practice Stealth Camping Techniques, where the site I choose is as far away from designated areas as I can make it. At least 50 percent of the time, I eat dinner about an hour before I find a campsite. Except in Winter. I am much less likely to have an interspecies social call under those circumstances. :D

rhihn
06-25-2006, 06:42 PM
Which leads me to the next gripe about this bear bag hanging needing a silly Canister issue.
It's not a silly issue.


The problem is made a lot worse by the fact that we let bears become habituated to finding food. That happens largely as a result of the "designated campsites" that most of us all know and love...
If the bruins like you so much as to enjoy your company and invite themselves into your dining room, and you don't like it, MOVE. ;)...There are no regulations that say you MUST ONLY SLEEP IN DESIGNATED AREAS, At least not in the Cats and Daks...I practice Stealth Camping Techniques, where the site I choose is as far away from designated areas as I can make it. At least 50 percent of the time, I eat dinner about an hour before I find a campsite. Except in Winter. I am much less likely to have an interspecies social call under those circumstances. :D

I don't disagree with you that people's carelessness have let bears become habituated, but I think it is unrealistic to expect the majority (all?) hikers to move 150 ft. from roads, trails, water, AND from established campsites (as if 150 feet would solve the problem anyway). Appropriate trees are not always available. Most people are going to have an itinerary, and are going to follow guide books and maps that show campsite locations. That includes places such as Marcy Dam, Colden, etc. Most are not going to eat an hour before they find a campsite. It's easy to say "Don't like the bears? Move!" but new people discover this the hard way EACH DAY. The next day is another person who didn't realize, then another person the next day, and so on. They're not all reading internet bulletin boards, and perhaps nothing more than a guidebook, if that. A ranger once told me to go 1/4 mi. from the campsite to hang food. I did. No bear got it, (though a rodent attacked the bag). I know I was the only person that night who hung food that far away. Bears ransacked the area, including "properly" hung bags.

I think canisters are at least a fair, partial remedy to the issue.

Zer0-G
06-25-2006, 08:32 PM
:eek:


It's not a silly issue.


I never said the issue was a silly issue. It's a very serious issue.
If you examine my statement, you will see that I referred to Canisters as silly. Yes, now they are necessary, but it doesn't stop them from being silly.
Canisters are not the issue, it is what transpired that made them a requirement. That is the issue.

Oh , and I also didn't say if you don't like the bears MOVE!

I said and allow me to be more exacting - If you are uncomfortable or find the fact that bears eating your Fritos in the midnight a problem and they are disturbing your midnight dreamfests, please do yourself a favor (and the bear) and find another campsite. (MOVE) :D


I don't disagree with you that people's carelessness have let bears become habituated,

This is the point.

There have been guidelines in place for many many years to protect the wilderness and wildlife. Leave No Trace and regulations for Bear Country, etc.

If people choose to be careless and take the attitude of "How can you expect me to follow the regulations, they are really an inconvenience" then what we end up with is having to use silly canisters.


but I think it is unrealistic to expect the majority (all?) hikers to move 150 ft. from roads, trails, water, AND from established campsites (as if 150 feet would solve the problem anyway). Appropriate trees are not always available. Most people are going to have an itinerary, and are going to follow guide books and maps that show campsite locations. That includes places such as Marcy Dam, Colden, etc. Most are not going to eat an hour before they find a campsite. It's easy to say "Don't like the bears? Move!" but new people discover this the hard way EACH DAY. The next day is another person who didn't realize, then another person the next day, and so on. They're not all reading internet bulletin boards, and perhaps nothing more than a guidebook, if that. A ranger once told me to go 1/4 mi. from the campsite to hang food. I did. No bear got it, (though a rodent attacked the bag). I know I was the only person that night who hung food that far away. Bears ransacked the area, including "properly" hung bags.

Certainly, my friend and with all due respect, which I am sure you have earned, I Disagree with what you think is unrealistic. I have no problems moving 150 feet in any direction at any time and have always managed a good secure bag hang.

If people are going to choose to be careless and we all just don't care, and the bears are so determined to get their midnight munchies and people as a result of their carelessness continue to put themselves in harms way, well then, how long will it be before they close off Marcy Dam, Colden etc, to public access?

And since when is ignorance a good excuse? When was the last time you told a cop that you didn't know the speed limit was 30 MPH that resulted in you not getting a ticket.
When was the last time you told a bear when he was sniffing your twinkie aroma'd pinky that you didn't know you weren't supposed eat in your tent and have that bear say, oh, so sorry, I'll go away now. :confused:

I don't believe this is an easily reversible problem, if it is reversible at all. Whether or not I feel canisters are silly or not, it was carelessness and lack of awareness and peoples choices to disregard the integrity of the wilderness and the fragile pysche of our furry friends whose homes we visit frequently that led up to the dramatic decision to REQUIRE canisters.

And believe me, it was a dramatic decision with many passionate opinions and debates among the powers that be. Pros and Cons.

The issue speaks not about canisters but to our ability to respect the great outdoors.

This is the point, my friend, which I was attempting to make in a very lighthearted way. :)

I don't expect anyone (or you) to follow my methods, I do what I do to keep away from the popular areas so that I don't become part of the problem, so that I don't contribute my morning oatmeal to the Jones of Mr. Smokey. So, that by sharing my experience, well, you know, someone might like it. Or, obviously not. :)

And I am not so altruistic. Believe me I have my selfishness guiding me to a degree as I do enjoy the peace and quite of a secluded site as opposed to a high traffic designated campsite. Alas, to each their own. ;)

Oh, and by the way, I do apologize for offending you and getting your hairs up. :)
I mean no disrespect, absolutely to anyone.
There is nothing wrong with a good debate.

Zer0-G :D

Steve-o
06-25-2006, 08:36 PM
I prefer stealth camping also, where allowed.
It's kind of nice to get the "wilderness" experience,away from other campers.
I still question how good my hanging techniques are, though.Sometimes you just have to find the best thing you can, and hope it's still there in the morning. Trying to find a good hang spot, sometimes,becomes much more of a project than it's worth.
A few years ago, in the adk's, I had my first "visual" bear encounter, and if we were'nt near the site this bear would of snagged our food easy,as it knew EXACTLY what it was doing.
The following year, they enforced the cannisters in the eastern high peaks.
So I bought one. And I'll never go back to hanging anywhere.
I guess for piece of mind, if nothing else. I think $80 and 2.6 lbs. is a small price to pay for the hassel that hanging has become.And if they can work out the "bugs" in the cannister construction, it could benefit the safety of everyone.
Or not...

Mark
06-26-2006, 07:11 AM
One of the risks with a bear bag is that bears are not the only bandits. I put up a bear bag while camping in the 'daks once that I was sure no bear could get. Sure enough, no bear got it, but in the morning I woke to a real mess after a red squirrel had ripped my bag apart. He either jumped onto the bag or shimmied down the line. Unless you hang an Ursack, you still run the risk of losing some or all of your food to rodents.

DougPaul
06-26-2006, 09:06 AM
Sure enough, no bear got it, but in the morning I woke to a real mess after a red squirrel had ripped my bag apart. He either jumped onto the bag or shimmied down the line. Unless you hang an Ursack, you still run the risk of losing some or all of your food to rodents.
Also check out the ratsack cache bag: http://www.mountaingearnow.com/home.php?type=product&id=50500. Haven't tried one myself, but it looks like it could hold off the smaller critters.

Doug

dvbl
06-26-2006, 12:12 PM
One of the risks with a bear bag is that bears are not the only bandits. I put up a bear bag while camping in the 'daks once that I was sure no bear could get. Sure enough, no bear got it, but in the morning I woke to a real mess after a red squirrel had ripped my bag apart. He either jumped onto the bag or shimmied down the line. Unless you hang an Ursack, you still run the risk of losing some or all of your food to rodents.

I carry a CD with me for two purposes...first, as a signal mirror...secondly, I use the CD as a way to prevent rodents from shimmying down the line to my food bag. Slide the rope through the CD and secure the CD (knots, carabiner, etc) a few feet above the food bag. May not be perfect, but the CD weighs nothing and it's one more obstacle that they have to overcome. Just thought of something else...it must be wild as they're shimmying down the line and they see their look-alike in the "mirror" coming up at them :eek: .

Jeff-B
06-26-2006, 01:22 PM
One of the risks with a bear bag is that bears are not the only bandits. I put up a bear bag while camping in the 'daks once that I was sure no bear could get. Sure enough, no bear got it, but in the morning I woke to a real mess after a red squirrel had ripped my bag apart. He either jumped onto the bag or shimmied down the line. Unless you hang an Ursack, you still run the risk of losing some or all of your food to rodents.


Don't count on Ursacks to keep bears at bay, maybe OK for small rodents.
Bears will carry off Ursacks to the river, sink them and drink the juice, according to Yosemite Ranger eyewitnesses. ;)
Ursacks are NOT allowed in High Sierra canister regions as a result.

lumberzac
06-26-2006, 01:54 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Ursacks supposed to be tied to the tree trunk and not hung? BTW I see Ursack now has a metal insert that has given it conditional approval in the Sierras.

Jeff-B
06-26-2006, 03:09 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Ursacks supposed to be tied to the tree trunk and not hung? BTW I see Ursack now has a metal insert that has given it conditional approval in the Sierras.

I had posted this website in prior post:

Sierra Approved Bear Canisters (http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/approvedcontainers.htm)



As noted:
"Note: Conditional approval is given to any container that has passed visual inspection, an impact test and a zoo test. Full approval is given to any container that has done the above and has been successful during three months of field-trials in the summer. Either type of approval may be revoked due to unexpected problems in the field that either lead to failures, injuries, or resource damage."

Not ALL areas in the Sierras allow the "Conditionally Approved" decives, in particular, all Yosemite Park areas must use "Approved" canisters ONLY.

Tieing your bag direct to a tree is about as safe as a bear can chew through the line! Maybe a spectra core line could prove worthy enough of a challenge to discourage a bear. I guess that's a chance any Ursack owner could take....
I might try a bike cable lock instead!

But, I would prefer to hang correctly, out of bears reach, regardless of the bag design.
Bottom line, if a bear can get its jaws around the bag, its gone.

Solid shell canisters, however, should not be hung or tied, as the rope used would prove to aid the bear in carrying off the can.

rhihn
06-26-2006, 08:11 PM
Also check out the ratsack cache bag: http://www.mountaingearnow.com/home.php?type=product&id=50500. Haven't tried one myself, but it looks like it could hold off the smaller critters.

Doug

We used these in a recent trip to the Grand Canyon, where we understand they are becoming increasingly popular. They come in various sizes or can be ordered to a specific size. We had no food problems, but five days in the G.C. is not really enough of a test. As you say, it's for the smaller critters, not bears.

Zer0-G
06-26-2006, 09:05 PM
Also check out the ratsack cache bag: http://www.mountaingearnow.com/home.php?type=product&id=50500. Haven't tried one myself, but it looks like it could hold off the smaller critters.

Doug

I routinely use my Ursack (Hanging) when rodents may be a problem. Could you offer a comparison between the Ursack and the Ratsack when used for rodent proofing?

Since , so far in my experience, the ursack seems to do the job (for rodents), what could a possible advantage that would be offered by the ratsack?

Any Rodent Horror stories when an Ursack is concerned?