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TheBrownLeader
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12/29/2021 12:37PM  
Does anyone do this? I like one pack, one canoe, and one portage... But I haven't figured out how best to keep my food and pots and pans from putting kitchen smell on the rest of my stuff. I've seen yogi out there a bunch of times, and I'm not afraid of him, but I want to be smart about keeping him out of my camp. Looking for any tips.

TBL
 
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TipsyPaddler
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12/29/2021 10:05PM  
I do one pack solo trips so I can single portage.

My food goes into an Ursack. The Ursack is lined with an Opsack to limit odors. Plus the food is in its own packaging so effectively double wrapped. I have an additional ziplock freezer bag for trash. A quart size bag will hold a week’s garbage. The trash bag goes inside the Ursack and Opsack. The Ursack is at the top of my pack when travelling and tied to a sturdy tree outside of the camp area in the evenings. When not actively prepping food and eating, the food stays secured in the Ursack.

My dishes are just a mug, small 1 liter pot, bowl and long-handle spoon. Some trips, depending on the menu, I leave the bowl at home. I give them a good cleaning after meals.

Never had a bear issue in the BWCA. Just little bears…red squirrels, pine martens, mice, a curious mink once but no real nuisances.
 
12/29/2021 10:11PM  
I double portage, not single, but the food just goes in the main pack with other things. I don't worry about that, but I take dehydrated meals and rehydrate in the bag. All the food is packaged in bags, inside an OPSack, inside an Ursack. It doesn't have much odor and I just boil water to rehydrate it in the bag, so no cooking odors. And it's in a waterproof pack liner too.
 
Banksiana
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12/29/2021 11:37PM  
Keep the food in the main pack inside a dry bag. Serves as hang bag as well. Don't worry about the cook kit etc. Have not had issues with bears. To single portage food mass and volume is critical- especially if freeze-dried and industrial food is avoided.

I gave up the single a few years back. My body's cables and pulleys no longer have the snap to recover from unexpected disruption of balance while burdened. Have also gotten soft with addition of chair and other treats.
 
TheBrownLeader
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12/30/2021 07:48AM  
Thank you all. I have an Ursack but I probably need to upgrade to a bigger one for longer trips. Probably going to invest in a dehydrator too, and then sealing my own meals should also keep smells down.

I really appreciate your thoughts on this, and I might be spending all of January dehydrating my favorite meals for my next solo!

TBL
 
12/30/2021 09:24AM  
TheBrownLeader: "Thank you all. I have an Ursack but I probably need to upgrade to a bigger one for longer trips. Probably going to invest in a dehydrator too, and then sealing my own meals should also keep smells down….."

I think you will love having a dehydrator. I’ve only done it for a couple years but love it and do most of my own meals.

I’m also not a single carry-er, but agree with others about the Ursack and Opsak. The only thing different that I do is add a second, close with a clip type “scent proof” bag outside of the Opsak. I do this in part for added scent protection, but also because I have had 2-3 Opsaks fail so the other bag is a back-up.
 
12/30/2021 12:43PM  
I also keep it simple to single-portage when soloing.
All food (nothing fresh, all dry goods other than Ghee) in a food bag in my pack - same bag I hang.
I carry one cooking pot/mug - can boil water, drink coffee or do a small fish fry in that.
Utensils: one sharp knife, one eating spoon and a tiny bamboo spoon for flipping fish chunks.
Clean-up: 1x2" piece of scrungie-sponge and a tiny vial of campsuds.
Bearhang: My UL hanging setup is 1.5oz.

110g canister, a BRS3000 stove + a mini-bic and I am good for a week if there's no fire ban.
If there's a fire ban I would take a 230g canister as the fish frys chew up more fuel.
 
EddyTurn
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12/30/2021 04:46PM  
TipsyPaddler: "My food goes into an Ursack. The Ursack is lined with an Opsack to limit odors. Plus the food is in its own packaging ..."
I use arrangements identical to TipsyPaddler's. On trips lasting 8-15 days, I carry 3 Ursacks: two of them with aluminum liners to keep non-dry items from being crashed by the gear (e.g. wraps, tomatoes, cheese, mayo - the supply lasting the whole trip). The third Ursack, without a liner, is filled with freeze-dried dinners and ProBars.
 
EddyTurn
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12/30/2021 04:56PM  
Jaywalker: "The only thing different that I do is add a second, close with a clip type “scent proof” bag outside of the Opsak. I do this in part for added scent protection, but also because I have had 2-3 Opsaks fail so the other bag is a back-up. "
Opsaks are prone to zipper failures after being used for more than few days. I wonder, Jaywalker, what bags you use for backup and how scent-proof they are.
 
jillpine
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12/30/2021 08:04PM  
Hi TBL,

I packed the lightest kit I've managed to pack to date for an 8 or 9-day trip in high summer. Although I traveled with a tandem, I used my solo and took all my own gear. I did share the gravity filter because it was easiest (left mine at home), and I shared their fry pan.

The trip was cut to five days due to park closure. We made our own decision to depart Friday due to smoke, and the park closed Saturday, or something like that. Anyway, this kit would have worked for nine-days, but we would have gotten a bit lean on food without fish meals. The only reason I packed the REI backpack was to carry a last-minute decision of unboxed wine bag for three happy campers. I don't bring -OH on solo trips. Also, as much as I like CCS gear, I'm going to part ways with the thwart bag - just isn't my style, but I can see how others really love it.

I'll post a link to the pictures of the kit, and my thoughts on what I was glad I brought, and what I wouldn't bring next time. The biggest thing is to bear in mind that the pack size / weight was definitely geared for high summer. I took a solo in October with more weight and equipment.

So, in a nutshell, very doable. I have both an ursack and a bear vault. Used the vault on this particular trip because it held more food. If shorter trips, I do what Boonie and others said, and just use an OPsack inside the Ursack, and virtually no fresh food for dinners. I really liked the vault - was kind of grumbly about buying it, ended up really liking it for increased volume and a happy hour table. :)

have fun!


nine-day hybrid solo, self-contained
 
12/31/2021 09:05AM  
EddyTurn: "Jaywalker: "The only thing different that I do is add a second, close with a clip type “scent proof” bag outside of the Opsak. I do this in part for added scent protection, but also because I have had 2-3 Opsaks fail so the other bag is a back-up. "
Opsaks are prone to zipper failures after being used for more than few days. I wonder, Jaywalker, what bags you use for backup and how scent-proof they are."

I started using Opsaks about 4 years ago, and I’ve had at least 3 fail; two at home as I was first sealing up the bags (they were not over-stuffed), and one on the 2nd or 3rd day of a a trip. I now check every one once or twice before filling it, and I’m extremely slow and careful when sealing them up. I have not had a failure since I started doing this, including one that was opened and closed twice a day for 20 days this fall. Still, I pack a spare Opsak and pack them in the auxiliary bags.

The auxiliary bags I used are called Basecamp Odor Barriers, and I don’t think they are available on Amazon any more but they may be elsewhere. They are green plastic with a yellow clip that locks around the top of the tightly twisted bag. It seemed to me that they locked up the bags very tight with no air getting out. I always suspected they were not quite as good as a working Opsak, but I’m 100% certain they are better that an Opsak with a torn zipper. They are more durable too. I got them at the same time as my Opsaks. I’ve only used 3 of the original 5 so far, but those three have developed no tears or pin holes, and get washed out thoroughly and reused every trip.
 
straighthairedcurly
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12/31/2021 11:12AM  
Last year, I finally got my solo gear weight down to the point that I felt comfortable single portaging. For food, I use a setup like Tipsy and Eddy: Ursack with Opsack liner. The freeze dried meals are vacuum sealed at home. Since my garbage isn't wet or nasty, I just wrap it tightly and place in another Opsack in the Ursack.

I only carry a 750 mL pot which is just used for heating water. I use a soaking jar as my "mug" since I can clean it with just a bit of water, a good shake, and then slurp down the dregs. So I never even have a wash up area.

I don't fish, I only carry freeze-dried meals, and I only soak food in a closed jar so my scent radius is pretty small compared to a typical camp with fresh meat, food being cooked in open pans, etc.
 
TheBrownLeader
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01/05/2022 08:43AM  
Jill that's a great set up! I'm going to get to work over the weekend getting myself organized. Thanks for your comments!
 
Loony_canoe
distinguished member (384)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2022 11:11AM  
My food, personal hygiene, and empty packaging are kept in odor proof bags in my bear bag. My cooking equipment is kept in a separate sil-nylon bag.

In the past, I did not keep all of my stuff with my food bag. Until we had a bear rifle through the canoe packs and tent while fishing. The bear was very interested in anything in a package. The bear determined if the contents were eatable by biting into the packaging. So in the end, the toothpaste, liquid soap, bug spray, water bladder, toilet paper, flashlight, and whisky seemed to not be a bear favorite.
So now I do what I can to limit food availability, but I found not all bears limit its search to food items and the food bags.

Oddly enough the bear did not disturb the fire grate area with the pots and pans.
 
GopherAdventure
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01/05/2022 07:03PM  


TipsyPaddler: "I do one pack solo trips so I can single portage.


My food goes into an Ursack. The Ursack is lined with an Opsack to limit odors. Plus the food is in its own packaging so effectively double wrapped. I have an additional ziplock freezer bag for trash. A quart size bag will hold a week’s garbage. The trash bag goes inside the Ursack and Opsack. The Ursack is at the top of my pack when travelling and tied to a sturdy tree outside of the camp area in the evenings. When not actively prepping food and eating, the food stays secured in the Ursack.


My dishes are just a mug, small 1 liter pot, bowl and long-handle spoon. Some trips, depending on the menu, I leave the bowl at home. I give them a good cleaning after meals.


Never had a bear issue in the BWCA. Just little bears…red squirrels, pine martens, mice, a curious mink once but no real nuisances."


+1. It looks like I could be Tipsy’s twin. I have almost the exact same setup for single pack, single portaging. I bring some fishing gear that is lashed inside the canoe when traveling and I carry my bait bucket with my free hand on portages. Simple, safe, contained.
 
01/06/2022 09:09AM  
I need to agree with most opinions here and use an Ursack. But will depart on the topic of odor proof Opsacks. Bears have a very good sense of smell, far better than a dogs. I do not consider any method as odor proof, and you certainly cannot account for the folks who camped on the site before you got there. Nor control the cooking odors of a meal you just prepared. Simply keep a clean camp and store food away from the camp is all I have concerned myself with.
I will attest to the failure of Opsack closures. And switched to waterproof sil-nylon roll-top bags
On the other hand I never considered the loss of my food as a trip disaster. There is no place in Quetico or BWCA that would take much more than 2 days to paddle out of. If a bear wants my food pack the bear can have it, it just means leaving the park early, not the end of a trip.

butthead
 
EddyTurn
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01/08/2022 04:34PM  
butthead: " And switched to waterproof sil-nylon roll-top bags ..."

I was under impression that sil-nylon can accommodate and aggregate smells - can it not? I think that Opsak's safer in this respect - might be mistaken...

As long as I keep my bags hidden in the bush away from my site and any trails, based on my experience I feel reasonably comfortable that they will not be discovered. Nothing is 100% smell proof, but I have never had any form of wildlife to interfere with my Ursack/Opsak bagging, even though my travels included such populated areas as Algonquin, ADK and BW.

 
jdddl8
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01/08/2022 06:57PM  
The one time we were attacked by a pack bear in Q (many years ago) I was able to find the remains of the pack in the bush. Fortunately the bear only enjoyed fresh food so we were able to finish the whole trip on freeze dried and fish.
 
Banksiana
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01/08/2022 07:05PM  
Again, not terribly scent-defeat obsessed. Self-prepared dried meals in zip locks. All food carried in 20 liter Sealline dry bag(s). A nylon stuff sack contains day food. All is folded into dry bag which is hung. Never had an issue and have been tripping with great frequency since the 80's.
 
MossBack
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01/08/2022 08:45PM  
I am very much enjoying this discussion. Much of it centers around minimal gear weight and minimizing odors, neither of which I have been very conscious of until now, but need to be. Everyone’s post have been very helpful. So how far do you go for a lightweight First-Aid kit?

Secondly, I think everyone has had some amount of failures with OPsak’s. I purchased some gallon mylar bags from “A”, which should be completely odor-proof unless the seal leaks. They measure 10 X 14” and weigh only 18 grams. Cost was $0.60 each. I am currently torturing the mylar bags seals to see what they will stand before leaking Opsak’s measure 12 X 20” and weigh 44 grams with the cost being a whopping $8.00 each in comparison. I also have numbers on Hefty Jumbo ziplocs if anybody wants them. If you are wondering what kind of nutball bothers with this level of minutiae? It is born out of need for a real trip on the water up north for the last two years, which I have been missing.

Thanks for listening. MB
 
straighthairedcurly
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01/09/2022 12:07AM  
As mentioned by others, it is impossible to scent-proof food. However, my goal is always to decrease the scent radius. A large scent radius increases the chance of discovery.
 
01/09/2022 07:46AM  
MossBack - I'd be interested in a link to the mylar bags and the results of your testing.
 
01/09/2022 07:48AM  
straighthairedcurly: "As mentioned by others, it is impossible to scent-proof food. However, my goal is always to decrease the scent radius. A large scent radius increases the chance of discovery."

I also believe minimizing scent is the main goal.
 
01/09/2022 08:28AM  
"I was under impression that sil-nylon can accommodate and aggregate smells - can it not? I think that Opsak's safer in this respect - might be mistaken..."

The food is already in plastic sealed bags, the roll top sil-nylon bag is to hold it together with added water resistance inside the Ursak. After experiencing the zip closures on Opsaks fail I went back to more well tried methods.
I have spent time hunting black bears and in the company of hunters who spent a lifetime hunting bears. They most all will comment on what a waste it is to try and control scent, bears will smell you and anything you have handled and the secret to baiting bear is regular placement of food stuff to attract habitual visitation. With the decades of use the many canoe area campsites are well known to bears and camp activity may well be more of an attractant than food smell. But all that is just my personal take on bear behavior.

butthead
 
MossBack
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01/09/2022 08:56AM  
Mylar bag link as requested.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KXFBJWN?ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details&th=1

I am not great at posting links, so bear with me.
 
MossBack
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01/09/2022 09:00AM  
They also come with desiccant pouches and labels for each bag as they are intended to be used for long term food storage . That may also have uses for tripping. The mylar should be non-permeable by food odors except at the weak link of the seal. Using a heat sealer should correct that as well. There are also tear notches on top of the bag , just below the heat seal area. One negative is that the bags are a bit stiff. MB
 
01/09/2022 10:30AM  
Thanks MossBack-

Link
 
MossBack
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01/09/2022 12:16PM  
Boonie, you showed some interest, so how about me sending you a few of the mylar bags and you can report back to the group if you think they have any merit? I do not always trust my own opinions, and I am also the new kid on the block. MB
 
01/09/2022 12:36PM  
boonie: "Thanks MossBack-


Link "


These would be great for dog food in the ursack. Thanks MB
 
01/09/2022 02:06PM  
MossBack: " Boonie, you showed some interest, so how about me sending you a few of the mylar bags and you can report back to the group if you think they have any merit? I do not always trust my own opinions, and I am also the new kid on the block. MB"

I think the idea has merit, MossBack, and was considering getting some. I would use them like the OPsacks as an additional scent minimizing layer so would like to find some a little bigger. I would just be putting individually bagged meals in them, so no need to heat seal. It looks like they are only a single zipper seal as opposed to double zipper, which was an improvement to the OPsack. I may not have had as much trouble with the OPSack as some others. I'm also hoping the mylar would be less susceptible to small punctures/pinholes.

Email me if you want to send 1-2 to me for another opinion.
 
01/09/2022 02:38PM  
Mylar bag on Amazon

Easy to find in variety.

butthead
 
01/09/2022 06:20PM  
butthead: " Mylar bag on Amazon


Easy to find in variety.


butthead"


Yeah, Amazon always has 100's to wade through and everything except exactly what I want ;) But there are some that will work.
 
MossBack
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01/09/2022 08:21PM  
boonie: "MossBack: " Boonie, you showed some interest, so how about me sending you a few of the mylar bags and you can report back to the group if you think they have any merit? I do not always trust my own opinions, and I am also the new kid on the block. MB"


I think the idea has merit, MossBack, and was considering getting some. I would use them like the OPsacks as an additional scent minimizing layer so would like to find some a little bigger. I would just be putting individually bagged meals in them, so no need to heat seal. It looks like they are only a single zipper seal as opposed to double zipper, which was an improvement to the OPsack. I may not have had as much trouble with the OPSack as some others. I'm also hoping the mylar would be less susceptible to small punctures/pinholes.


Email me if you want to send 1-2 to me for another opinion.
"


Boonie, I'm sure my ignorance is showing once again....I need a mailing address to send the bags to. MB
 
01/10/2022 06:59AM  
I'll email it to you, MossBack. It'll probably end up in your junk mail folder, so look for it there. I'll put my screen name and BW in the subject.
 
TacoOverland
senior member (68)senior membersenior member
 
02/21/2022 02:12PM  
Great idea and thanks for the tip. Wondering if you have tried rehydrating meals if these bags as well? Can you pour boiling water in one? Thinking of using these for homemade dehydrated meals.
 
MossBack
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02/25/2022 03:23PM  
Taco, I had not tried boiling water until you asked. Yes, they withstood 2 liters of water at a hard boil with zero softening. My thumb that was holding the mouth of the bag open was less inclined to hang around to greet the rising steam out of the bag. If you were using the bag to re-hydrate, you will still have the problem of odors escaping if you are opening and re-opening the bags, which is where this thread started. Zippers still being the weak link. Maybe it was just an answer for a non-problem?

MB
 
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