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Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2020 01:27PM
I am considering a trip where I’m not taking enough food for my bear barrel.

If you had no meat, just dried things like oatmeal, pasta, soup… In Ziploc‘s… And then, In a dry bag… Would you hang it? I’m asking because I suck at hanging bags from trees.

Any opinions or ideas? I could bring my bear barrel and just put other things in it. But, it’s not as easy as my pack. Would rather not. However, don’t want a bear to come exploring.

I was curious of the thoughts of those who have been to BWCA many many times.
 
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andym
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05/24/2020 01:35PM
If you want the easy, safest, no hanging, version of this idea then get an Ursack.

If you want to make it safer without hanging and cheaper, get Opsaks. They are much more odor resistant than ziplocks. Use those inside your dry bag.

Or just do what you suggest. Many people have hidden food bags in the woods without losing them.

We use Ursacks with Opsaks inside them. But then I’m not at many, many times.
Portage99
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05/24/2020 01:49PM
Thanks. Never heard of them. They look interesting. Will check them out.
05/24/2020 02:19PM
I'm assuming by "bear barrel" you mean one of the big blue barrels rather than one of the smaller "approved" bear canisters like a BearVault, Backpacker's Cache, etc. since they wouldn't be too small.

I do like Andy and use Ursacks with the OPsacks. I used to use the bear canisters like the above. Ursack was having a sale - if you want one this would be a good time to buy.

I've been on probably 18 trips there and have only seen a couple of bears. None were in camp. I take dehydrated just add water foods like you are and am really not much of a "bear magnet". Keep a clean camp. Avoid sites with any sign of bear trouble.
Blatz
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05/24/2020 02:52PM
Ursack
Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2020 03:39PM
I’ve been watching some videos of the different options. I think I’ll go with the ursack. I was curious with the Bear vault and some of the other ones-I don’t see a way to secure it. It looks like there’s no handles or loops. What prevents the bear from rolling it away? Or, the theory is just zero interest because of lack of smell?
05/24/2020 03:50PM
There may still be some smell, but lack of success frustrates them and they eventually give up......or it buys you time to intervene in the robbery. If you're a super sound sleeper, I think the laws of physics dictate how far a bear can roll away a bear canister through a rocky, tree and root filled forest.
bobbernumber3
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05/24/2020 04:28PM
Our group has used 5 gallon buckets for many, many years and about 35 trips. Only once did we have to chase a bear running down the beach with our food stash!
Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2020 05:22PM
Thanks, everybody.

When I’m in a group I don’t even think about it. But when I’m by myself, I do.

I’m also thinking into the future when I have a lot more time to do things. I’ll probably pick up more backpacking, so this has been a great discussion. Thank you.
05/24/2020 05:31PM
If you use the bear canister try to put it somewhere they can't roll it into the lake ;). My food (and yours) doesn't have much smell, but I do use a liner in it too. The Ursack will have instructions for tying to a limb/tree. Just take it some where out of camp not on a trail.
Jaywalker
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05/24/2020 05:38PM
I think it was just one or two years ago that I recall a member of this forum posting that they had lost a bear vault (or garcia or one of the others) by having a bear roll it out of camp. I can't imagine that happens very often, or that they would go very far before just giving up.

I actually just got my second, larger Ursack because I liked my first one so much. Just have to know how to tie that knot and know that there is always a chance a bear could mash up your food a bit. I love the weight and that it gets smaller as the food runs out.
Portage99
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05/24/2020 11:28PM
Thanks, all. I appreciate the comments.

I've been reading about them both. They both have their merits. I eventually will try both. It seems like the Bear Vault is kind of a handy little storage (waterproof, see-through) to fill as you eat your food. Ursack seems really great for backpacking, long trips.

It still seems like a bear could roll the Bear Vault away. I mean, if I was a bear, I would roll it away. ha ha

But, all the reviews I have read....most people just stash it in the bush and do not secure it or really hide it in rocks or anything. Just stash it away from camp and that's it. Oh, and away from the water, so it can't be rolled into the lake!

Anyway, thanks. I did not know about any of these products. I was happy to read that most people suck at hanging food. I feel so much better.



Captn Tony
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05/25/2020 06:12AM
I don't hang my food anymore as it is considered cruel and unusual punishment by the supreme court!
Captn Tony
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05/25/2020 06:12AM
2X post!
Captn Tony
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05/25/2020 06:12AM
3X post, dang computer!
05/25/2020 07:12AM
The Bear Vault does make a nice seat if you don't take a chair. It's important not to get food [smells] on either. I do try to put it in rocks/logs/depressions, but I don't stress about it too much. Nothing has ever bothered mine to my knowledge.
goatroti
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05/25/2020 07:45AM
You will need one of these...
05/25/2020 09:21AM
The recommendations for ursacks and the like are spot on. I don't own any but the key concept is keep your food "critter proof" if not out of reach for a bear. I've taken food in a dry bag before and my concern has always been to keep it out of reach of squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, etc. Those options that seal and prevent odors from escaping are less likely to attract furry critters who would try to chew through the container, whatever it may be.

I usually hang my barrel but when I can't, I strap it to a tree out of sight and pile pots and lids on top.

Figure out the system that you like, modify it however you like and make it your own.
Portage99
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05/25/2020 09:58AM
Captn Tony: "I don't my food anymore as it is considered cruel and unusual punishment by the supreme court!"

I’m glad you’ve implemented a more just and humane plan!
Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2020 09:59AM
OW Goatroati, I’ve already packed that item! I’ll let you know if it works.

I like that “make it your own “ comment. I think that fits my progress the last couple weeks. I learned to canoe and camp from poor Girl Scout camps. For example, we used garbage bags for rain gear. Lol

I’ve slowly come around to investing money in the new technology. And, actually have a little money saved to spend (which hasn’t always been the case). So, this shutdown has slowed my life down and I’m finding time to make things my own and fine tune some of my gear gaps. Makes me feel youngish again!

Off topic example-I’ve had a hodgepodge kitchen kit, mostly scoured from Goodwill. I just bought the pocket rocket kit. It’s really been fun! I cooked supper with it last night. It’s very satisfying how it all fits together.

Thanks for the discussion on critter control.
ppine
distinguished member (137)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2020 10:04AM
I always hang my food. I use paracord and a couple of carabiners. I have never used to a bear barrel in 60 years of paddling. I have run into plenty of bears, but never lost any food to them.
gymcoachdon
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05/25/2020 10:49AM
My first 2 trips I used a food pack, and found a spot away from camp, and not on a trail, to stash it overnight. First trip was solo, 2nd was 2 canoes 4 campers, both I used a lot of fresh food. Since then i have been converted to boil water type meals with very little fresh, and use an Ursack with the scentlock bags. Last year was with my son, so we added a 2nd Ursack for the week, and this year I am going 2 weeks solo, so may need both Ursacks again. I have started hanging them to a stout tree on the edge of camp so I hopefully would be aware if something is trying to get into the sack. I also made sure that when using 2 packs, they were stashed in different areas, so that hopefully I wouldn't lose all my food in one shot. Ursacks are lightweight, and take less pack space as the trip goes along, and no critters have been in my food using either of these techniques, although I am always aware that it can happen. I keep as clean a camp as possible, clean fish elsewhere, etc.
Portage99
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05/25/2020 11:14AM
From the videos, it looks like you don’t hang it high on the tree. Just about eye level?
Jaywalker
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05/25/2020 12:00PM
Portage99: "From the videos, it looks like you don’t hang it high on the tree. Just about eye level?"
The Ursack? Yes, I just tie mine about head level, being sure to find a tree large or branch large enough so the bear can not pull the whole thing over. Also want to make sure there are branches large enough Above the Ursack that would prevent the bear from simply stripping it off the end. If someone were to hang the Ursack, they would run the Very small chance a bear could chew or claw the cord and make off with the Ursack. The key to the Ursack is it can anchor the food in place, and the bear will not get rewarded with food.

Like I mentioned above, there is a chance they could smash it up a bit. Ursack sells metal liners that theoretically prevent or minimize this. I did not get one so don’t know much about them. MostLy my Ursacks hold dog food anyway, and I’m sure they would not care it it was mashed a bit. I typically still bring my blue barrel too.
andym
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05/25/2020 12:14PM
Yes, we tie them at a convenient height. You aren’t really hanging them but just tying them so they can’t be carried off.

And the opsaks are waterproof. We’ve never had our food in one and an Ursack get wet.
Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2020 12:52PM
Great info.

My daughter just showed me this video. We had a great laugh about it, so thought I’d pass it on.

Not the Mercedes
Captn Tony
distinguished member(1432)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2020 06:41PM
Portage99: "Captn Tony: "I don't my food anymore as it is considered cruel and unusual punishment by the supreme court!"


I’m glad you’ve implemented a more just and humane plan! "


Yes, I put it in a small confined space in the dark!
Gear Guy
Guest Paddler
 
05/26/2020 04:49AM
Lets understand what a ursack is truly useful for.......It is truly useful for keeping the bear UNFED BY HUMAN FOOD, thus reducing (supposedly) the odds it will go near humans again in seek of food. This is especially true in areas on the west coast when you'll be hiking in heavy grizzly areas, need minimal weight, and a grizzly used to humans is a dead grizzly. So really it's to protect the bears.

If your goal is to protect your food....Do not pick a crushable/biteable/drool-on-able cloth bag that is essentially a fancy pillow case full of food that if ruined will end your trip......Idk about you but I invest a lot of time into my trips as I only get to go on a couple of them a year if that. So I'll be damned if a hungry bear is cutting my trip short.

If your goal is to protect your food. Use a rigid container designed to be physically impossible to access by a 1500lb animal. This accomplishes both protecting the bear, and protecting your food. It triples as a chair! Hanging food? Hah, just set it in the woods where it cant be rolled downhill. Goodluck bear.

Watch this youtube video. It's a bear vs a bear vault. Pretty much all the proof you need which is better. Harder to pack but impossible to crack!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn7oayAaf4k
 
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