Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Hang a Bear Bag

I first learned to hang a bear bag at Boy Scout camp, where every single tiny bit of food needed to be hung in order to avoid a raccoon problem at night. While we were still in bear country area, they weren't have as much of a problem as the raccoons and skunks were.

I literally had two raccoons pick up my half packed backpack and drag it off into the woods howling. Luckily back then I could run faster than a raccoon- now days I think I need to I hang things right.

The bear hang

Here is the skinny on keeping your camp bear or raccoon proof:

  • Cook away from camp (200 ft)
  • Don't cook your smelliest meal out in the woods (i.e., fish, etc.)
  • Pour out things like pasta water into a sump hole (more to come on this later)
  • Put all your food- even wrapped granola bars into your bear bag

How to Hang the Bear Bag

  • Food and cooking utensils/dishes etc (I hang my dishes too)
  • 75 foot parachute cord or rope
  • Food sack (I really like my bright yellow Sea to Summit bag- It helps me find the bag again)

How to:
  • Find a tree at least 200 ft from camp
  • Find a branch on a tree that is at least 15-20 feet off the ground with no other branches below it
  • Tie a rock or other weighted item to one end
  • Toss the item over the branch
  • Retie your food bag to the end
  • Raise the food bag
  • Tie off the rope as high as you can to the tree
The bear hang

I'm using a permanent bear hang here, but the principle is the same.

The bear hang

I swear I just randomly invented this knot. I just started twisting and tieing things and voila! It's probably like a half hitch or something...

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