Hanging food out of bears' reach - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, , .
Posts: 17
Default Hanging food out of bears' reach

This may seem a stupid question for you guys who regularly camp in bear country, but I live in the UK and had a practice at hanging a food bag using the PCT method. All seemed fine with it going up out of bear's reach, but with one major failing - when I released to try and get the food back down gravity didn't do its work.

The friction/resistance of a rope going over a small branch was enough to stop the bag descending – first it meant the bag didn't start dropping which meant my stick didn't rise up and catch on the carabiner, but worse still on releasing the un-bagged end of the rope, the bag side of the “pulley” didn't drop.

Hopefully if I'd had bricks or a full 20kg backpack up there it would have brought itself down, but I don't really want to be carrying that much and only want to hang a bit of food/suncream etc.

As all the various methods I've read rely on the bag dropping back down once the other end/side is released/freed, none of them would have worked as my bag would have remained stuck up out of my reach whichever method I would have tried unless it was exceptionally heavy. Even it is was heavy, I'm not sure it would have had sufficient pull to drop and get the rope sliding over the branch . (luckily I had only raised it about 10 feet so I could still hook it down with a hiking pole)
Obviously bear-hanging is a commonly used practice that's been going on for years, but does anyone have any tips as to how I can ensure that the bag that was raised by pulling a rope also drops when the rope is released? Thanks
kaniukr is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 06:34 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fraser Valley
Interest: Photography, Nature Observation, Health & Fitness, Nutrition, Shinrin-yoku
Posts: 1,667
Default

I usually use a single branch method:
solo75 is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 07:54 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: , , Canada.
Posts: 1,193
Default

Practice.
And also make sure you check release before raising it out of reach.
alexcanuck is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:56 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981
Default

Don't bother with hanging food if you're having trouble doing it. Just drop your food sack somewhere away from the tent, then pick it up in the morning. The worst that can happen is it will be gone in the morning and you'll have to starve a bit for a day (given you're out only for 1 night). Most of the branches aren't even far enough out of a bear's reach to begin with, so a bear would get that too, if he wanted to.
Arnold is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 09:24 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: , BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,463
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Arnold

Don't bother with hanging food if you're having trouble doing it. Just drop your food sack somewhere away from the tent, then pick it up in the morning. The worst that can happen is it will be gone in the morning and you'll have to starve a bit for a day (given you're out only for 1 night). Most of the branches aren't even far enough out of a bear's reach to begin with, so a bear would get that too, if he wanted to.
I think you are just trying to rile people up but I'll bite anyway. A fed bear is a dead bear. This is poor advice for you and for the bear. Even if a bear doesn't get to it, there is a very high chance that a mouse will.


Since I often camp in the alpine, I prefer the simplicity of one of the portable bear-proof containers. It's a small penalty in weight but there is no fooling around and you can sleep easy.
Ursack makes one: http://www.ursack.com/
Bearvault is another one: http://www.bearvault.com/

I've used both and they have worked well so far.

Steventy is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 09:54 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada.
Interest: general mountaineering/ hiking/ backpacking/ skiing/ kayaking
Posts: 1,704
Default

If your hanging line's friction on the branch is more than the weight of your food can pull, flick the line and send waves of line upwards. When a line wave goes over the branch, the line will slip a bit. Repeat until the food and recovered amount of line out weigh the friction on the branch.

I know there's a law of physics and mathematical formulas for all of this somewhere, but I didn't want to complicate the process any more than it seems to be.

Addition: Also you could hang a line from the BOTTOM of the hung bag. Then on retrieval, just pull the down cord.
prother is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 10:40 AM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

I usually use this technique:


(image source)

I've never had any problems using thin/smooth cords. I attach the two cords at the bag, tie off one end to an anchor, then hoist the bag up between the two trees using the other end. I usually "floss" my pulley a few times as I raise it up to make sure it doesn't find a natural ratchet. If the bag is light I would add a few rocks to it.
dav1481 is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 10:47 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
dougz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Mackenzie, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, skiing, camping, SAR, Canadian Rangers (army reserve)
Posts: 1,515
Default

Quote:
quote:I think you are just trying to rile people up but I'll bite anyway.
If you take a look at his posts, it's pretty clear he's trolling.. I've just been ignoring him.

Dav, how much of a PITA is it to get the rope over both branches?
dougz is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 11:00 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, Canada.
Posts: 393
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dav1481

I usually use this technique:


(image source)

I've never had any problems using thin/smooth cords. I attach the two cords at the bag, tie off one end to an anchor, then hoist the bag up between the two trees using the other end. I usually "floss" my pulley a few times as I raise it up to make sure it doesn't find a natural ratchet. If the bag is light I would add a few rocks to it.
Yep, I use this rope from MEC: http://www.mec.ca/product/0403-055/m...10+50001+50640 (or very similar). You can buy it bulk. I don't remember my length but longer is better. The rope is very light too.

I carry a rock that I know works for swinging it over branches, but there might be a piece of gear that works if you don't want that added weight. Depending on your destination, don't count on a rock that will work where you're going. I find most are too smooth and round or light, so when I found a perfect rock, I chose to just keep it (after losing about 6 ft of rope when I used something too light).
Cherry Pirate is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 12:38 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy
I think you are just trying to rile people up but I'll bite anyway. A fed bear is a dead bear. This is poor advice for you and for the bear. Even if a bear doesn't get to it, there is a very high chance that a mouse will.
A bear will get your food sack hung from a branch no problem. Have you seen them climb trees/branches? Obviously not. So will the mouse. If it makes you sleep better at night, then by all means do whatever you need to hang your food. To a bear or mouse it makes little difference.
Arnold is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 12:55 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: , , .
Posts: 205
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Arnold

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy
I think you are just trying to rile people up but I'll bite anyway. A fed bear is a dead bear. This is poor advice for you and for the bear. Even if a bear doesn't get to it, there is a very high chance that a mouse will.
A bear will get your food sack hung from a branch no problem. Have you seen them climb trees/branches? Obviously not. So will the mouse. If it makes you sleep better at night, then by all means do whatever you need to hang your food. To a bear or mouse it makes little difference.
A few years ago I was heading up to the helm lake camp ground and I saw a bear trying to get into a stuffsack that was suspended in a tree with little success. It was standing up but couldn't get it. It eventually waddled off in search of berries no doubt.
sixwings is offline  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:21 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Arnold

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy
I think you are just trying to rile people up but I'll bite anyway. A fed bear is a dead bear. This is poor advice for you and for the bear. Even if a bear doesn't get to it, there is a very high chance that a mouse will.
A bear will get your food sack hung from a branch no problem. Have you seen them climb trees/branches? Obviously not. So will the mouse. If it makes you sleep better at night, then by all means do whatever you need to hang your food. To a bear or mouse it makes little difference.
There's a difference between a good bear hang and a bad bear hang: a good one works (especially when suspended between two trees)!

I totally get that a lot of bear hangs are done improperly and are pointless as a result. However, I think it's bad advice to suggest not hanging your food just because it can be a bit tricky to do it properly.
dav1481 is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:54 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dav1481
I totally get that a lot of bear hangs are done improperly and are pointless as a result. However, I think it's bad advice to suggest not hanging your food just because it can be a bit tricky to do it properly.
All I'm saying is don't sweat it over, if you're having trouble hanging food. Even when it's hung well enough, a bear can get it:

https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=39401
Arnold is offline  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 03:01 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

@Arnold I definitely get where you're coming from. A determined bear (or rodent) will make short work of anything but a perfect attempt to hang. Especially if it's not in an odor-proof bag, it will be bait swinging in the wind.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dougz

Dav, how much of a PITA is it to get the rope over both branches?
It all depends on the trees you're working with. Trees with densely spaced but small branches are tougher. Like Cherry Pirate said, a properly shaped rock and good aim tend to be the key. On my last backpacking trip, we constructed the most perfect bear hang. Wonder if I have a picture at home... the thing was bloody brilliant if I do say so myself!



dav1481 is offline  
post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 03:06 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
dougz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Mackenzie, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, skiing, camping, SAR, Canadian Rangers (army reserve)
Posts: 1,515
Default

Yeah, see if you can find it. I'd like to see it.
dougz is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1