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05/21/2012 11:46AM  
Picked one up yesterday at Midwest Mountaineering using their 20% off coupon. Very happy with it. Great construction and material and can double as a pack for other stuff if not being used with a barrel - unlike the Granite Gear barrel pack which can only be used for a barrel. But now I have to return it. I was looking at one in the store, the 60l pack, It had been screwed around with, played with, a bit of dirt on it from the floor I suppose so I took the next one on the rack and put this one back. You know, take the product from the back of the shelf because the box is nicer so it probably hasn't been dropped. I got home and then learned that the next one on the rack was a 30l. Back to Midwest I go today to get the correct size.

Anyway, I contacted Dan at CCS this morning about hanging. I need this info as I am new to the barrel world. He gave me a couple ideas on hanging with or without the pack.
My question to you all is this: If you use a barrel and hang it, do you hang it from the barrel or from the pack? Am I making sense? Do you attached your hanging rope to the barrel or to the pack might be a better way to ask it.

Thanks
 
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05/21/2012 12:41PM  
I have the GG Vapor Harness for my 60L barrel but will still hang it by the barrel using a sling type arrangement. I just don't like the extra stress of the barrel and contents, or pack and contents for that matter, hanging by straps or handles in the wind. You don't have to remove the barrel from the pack or harness if you sling it. The ability to run the ropes throught the handles or pack straps is still there but the weight is borne by the ropes/straps under the pack.
 
mwd1976
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05/21/2012 12:52PM  
If you're going to hang I think I'd just hang the barrel. If a bear tries to get it out of the tree, there will be less to grab on to.

 
05/21/2012 08:23PM  
I don't hang it. I just find me a tree, and snap the sternum strap together around the tree. so far, so good. However, I realize that it's not a bear proof barrel, it's a rodent proof barrel. It would take a large rope, large branch and more a$$ then I have to hang my 60L.

If I was to hang, I might remove the two CCS barrel bags that contain food from the barrel, and hang them, but I'm not hangin the barrel.
 
05/22/2012 08:30PM  
Thank-you all. Great information. I am going to hang by the barrel and not the pack. Dan C stated there is no issue hanging by the pack but when wind was mentioned my decision was made. No need to stress the pack any more than needed.
Thanks again and happy paddling.
 
05/22/2012 08:45PM  
My first trip with a barrel was a couple of weeks ago. My experience with the barrel was very positive. My experience with the barrel pack was also very positive. Hope your experience is as rewarding as mine.


Someone posted a do-it-yourself project for a barrel. Cut a piece of 1/4" plywood in a circle. Size it to fit just inside the barrel lid rim. Makes a good trivet, cutting board, table, hot pad, etc. when in camp. It weighs little and takes up hardly any weight.
 
wifishncanoe
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05/22/2012 09:00PM  

My first trip into the BW we figured out how to hang a cooler, so as long you can rig up the barrel you should be able to hang it.

I will never take a cooler again and learned many lessons on what not to do on that first trip for all of us.

Now we take a barrel but just hide it back in the woods and tie it to a tree.

 
05/22/2012 09:41PM  
The plywood idea is a darn good idea awbrown.
That's an ingenious way to hang a cooler wifishcanoe. for the last several years I have been using a cooler as well. My cooler was a round five gallon igloo drink cooler. It slid right down inside a navy sea bag and worked great with dry food stuff packed above it. I just figured it was time to upgrade and turn the sea bag into a goose decoy bag.
 
05/22/2012 09:44PM  
quote wifishncanoe: "
My first trip into the BW we figured out how to hang a cooler, so as long you can rig up the barrel you should be able to hang it.

I will never take a cooler again and learned many lessons on what not to do on that first trip for all of us.

Now we take a barrel but just hide it back in the woods and tie it to a tree."


Impressive, but where in that kayak did you put your COOLER?! LOL I assume you had a canoe in your group.

 
jb in the wild
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05/22/2012 09:53PM  
Jeff I bring in an ratcheting strap and tighten the barrel to a tree through the handles. If anything is going to try to get into into it they are going to have a hell of a time.

JB
 
Cedarboy
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05/22/2012 11:44PM  
I dont hang my barrels. Thats the point of using a barrel, they control the scent. I hide them back in the woods or down shore.
Barrels were first used in areas where there were no trees to hang them from.
CB
 
05/23/2012 06:36AM  
I tripped with a barrel last year for the first time. I bought a $5 bicycle cable at Wally World and used it to secure it to a tree. Had a bear come by the camp one night and he did his paper work ten feet from the barrel and did not touch a thing. Almost stepped in the pile on the way to get the barrel that morning. Spent two more nights at that site with no more signs of him.
 
05/24/2012 08:05AM  
Alright. Thanks to the last three comments, I will try stashing instead of hanging. Time to change my ways.
 
05/24/2012 12:34PM  
I personally think hanging is a bit over rated. Makes us feel better, but I don't think most things are hung in a manner that will really deter a bear. For example, do you really think that the cooler in the picture wouldn't be snatched by any semi-agile bear? It's on too thick a branch, too close to the branch and too close to the tree. Climb up the tree, scoot out on the branch and enjoy your picnic.
 
9th Bearded Infantry
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01/07/2013 08:42AM  
Hi folks,

Decided to resurrect an old thread vs. starting a new one. I'm 99% sure I'm going to pull the trigger on a 30L barrel and CCS barrel pack before my trip this June with the intent to stash away from camp instead of hanging. I still have a couple questions as I think through this:

- I've seen a few different types of barrels posted here. Sounds like the best one is the one with attached/external handles vs. the molded/recessed ones. Is there a specific brand I should keep an eye out for?

- With the CCS barrel pack, what do you do with it once at camp? Keep the barrel in it and strap to a tree or take out and keep in camp with the rest of your gear/under tent vestibule? I have concerns for both. Keeping in the pack and strapped to a tree seems like it could attract rodents (or larger guests) and taunt them to try to gnaw their way through the fabric. Bringing to camp, it could still contain odors and attract the same guests to my tent, which is no good.

Thanks!

 
01/07/2013 09:17AM  
I have always just hung it all as one. I am new with the barrel and CCS pack and have two trips "under the belt" with this set-up. I hung the barrel in the pack. Previously with my drink cooler and food bags, I hung them in a navy sea bag, all as one unit.

I do intend to try the stashing now and I will leave the barrel out of the pack when doing this. I think that the likelihood of something chewing through the pack while hanging is so low that I was never concerned with it. With the barrel on the ground though, I see it as a huge potential problem so the barrel will sit on the ground while the pack hangs by itself on a tree some distance from camp and the barrel.

I have recently learned that I have apparently been using too big of line for hanging, 3/8 & 1/2" lines. If I do continue to hang after trying the stashing, I will definitely change to smaller line but I think it would be easier for a rodent or larger animal to get a pack down with smaller line.
 
yellowcanoe
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01/07/2013 09:35AM  
I used to hang, with a pack. As Awbrown cites, its often hard to do it properly.

And I have lost most of my food by hanging, and that was one time I did get it right. A cavalcade of red squirrels played tightrope.

Since then I have blue barreled and stashed.. Coons have tried to play with it even hidden but not been able to make off with the beast.

Sometimes the barrel has to be in camp..Some places in Woodland Caribou have found me perched on a one tent rock...And also in the Everglades..your food has to be with you. If you stash in the woods, I suggest flagging tape so that you can find your barrel..(this from experience!)

Seems the old bear raid thread is getting ready to go again..And I have never had one in camp..had several literal run ins on the trail though which makes me think about unattended food at the end of the portage (I solo)

 
aholmgren
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01/07/2013 10:59AM  
put some jingle/sleigh bells on your barrel/barrel pack and keep within earshot on the ground.
 
rockinrod12
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01/07/2013 11:04AM  
I've always worried more about my food pack unattended when double portaging then when in camp. I've never had a problem but always find myself picking up the pace to get back to it.
 
01/07/2013 11:26AM  
I remove the barrel from the barrel harness and cable it to a tree back in the woods or down the shore. The harness, to me, seems like an extra handle to bite into and tug...and ruin.
Like others, I've been thinking of hanging a small bell on it as a little warning device. Not sure what I'll do if I hear it clanging in the night just yet....;o
 
pearl62
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01/07/2013 11:37AM  
We've always left the barrel in the pack and stashed it in the woods under a blowdown or in a low spot. Have never had a problem. When in camp we leave it closed but near the cooking area and put it away before going to bed at night.
 
01/07/2013 08:54PM  
I just stash the barrel.

WHen the barrels originally came out the only people who seemed to get broken into were the hangers. I don't know if that is true anymore since fewer people hang now a days....maybe bears aren't habituated to look into trees as much to get food?

Some people bungee or cable to a tree. I knew a guy who rigged up a cheap alarm. SO if something moved the barrel a very load alarm went off. Can't remember how he did it, it was on another forum.

I don't know that one idea is better than the other, whatever you feel better about and follow through with is the best plan.

T
 
01/07/2013 09:44PM  
I've been putting jingle bells on my food packs for a few years. Someone, JB (?) I think, sometime last summer suggested an alarm on the food pack and there was a lot of anti-alarm slack from many people on the board as they thought it would wake up the neighbors across the lake. Might want to stay away from the loud audible alarms.
 
yellowcanoe
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01/07/2013 10:31PM  
The rangers out West just look amused at hikers wearing jingle bells.

the little tinkles apparently are not noticed by bears. If you can hear them for a food alarm when the wind is up or you are camped out by a waterfall, fine.. But their sound does not travel well.

I suppose someone could rig up a motion sensor light...now that might be interesting.

Now you have to weigh the conumdrum..would you rather risk the ire of your neighbors or the something going bump in the night.

Just a little debbils advocate here.
 
schweady
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01/08/2013 08:22AM  
quote yellowcanoe: "The rangers out West just look amused at hikers wearing jingle bells..."

Lots of bear scat containing little bells and a hint of pepper out there. :)
 
TuscaroraBorealis
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01/08/2013 08:56AM  
I've been using a barrel for many years now.

I have never hung or stashed it. I've just left it in camp. I do however leave some pots/pans on top of the lid once sealed up. I figure that way if something does start messing with the barrel they'll eventually knock those off which will likely serve 2 purposes. First, it will awake me alerting me that somethings going on. Second it will likely scare whatever off.

BTW: Not saying there can't be a first time but, I've never had a problem with anything seriously messing with my barrel. And, I know of at least one occasion where there was a bear in my camp. (Disappointment lake)Never even went for the barrel.
 
LuvMyBell
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01/08/2013 10:23AM  
In addition to hanging and stashing, there is another method that works well with food barrels. I'll call it 'bobbing'. We tie a rope around our barrels with an anchor rock, paddle offshore to 6' or deeper water and let the barrel float.
 
Chicagored
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01/08/2013 11:19AM  
quote TuscaroraBorealis: "I've been using a barrel for many years now.

I have never hung or stashed it. I've just left it in camp. I do however leave some pots/pans on top of the lid once sealed up. I figure that way if something does start messing with the barrel they'll eventually knock those off which will likely serve 2 purposes. First, it will awake me alerting me that somethings going on. Second it will likely scare whatever off. "


I've been using barrels for 10 years now. I recycle 5 gallon olive barrels I get from a local restaurant. My experience has been identical, leave a pot on top of each barrel and just move them away from the tents if necessary.
 
yellowcanoe
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01/08/2013 11:32AM  
quote LuvMyBell: "In addition to hanging and stashing, there is another method that works well with food barrels. I'll call it 'bobbing'. We tie a rope around our barrels with an anchor rock, paddle offshore to 6' or deeper water and let the barrel float. "


Not sure what you are accomplishing with that other than to get some interesting exercise.

 
01/08/2013 05:30PM  
quote fitgers1: "I've been putting jingle bells on my food packs for a few years. Someone, JB (?) I think, sometime last summer suggested an alarm on the food pack and there was a lot of anti-alarm slack from many people on the board as they thought it would wake up the neighbors across the lake. Might want to stay away from the loud audible alarms."


Really people gave ya a hard time? It is an alarm to warn you a bear is taking your food. How can anyone argue with that? It might wake up the neighbors but so would you yellign and screaming at a bear to leave your food alone or bangin pots and pans. I don't hassle with one but I wouldn't be annoyed by one either if I knew it was helping to save someones food and keeping a bear form becoming a problem.

Now if it was going off all night becuase you are mechanically challenged that is another issue--also why I don't use one myself :)


T
 
luft
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01/08/2013 10:58PM  
I use my smaller bear vaults more often than the 30L blue barrel, but when we do use the "big blue" we just strap it to a tree in camp that is just slightly away from the cooking area and slightly away from the tents.

The barrel is out of the pack we use to carry it as I don't want the pack to get ruined if some rodent or bear tries to get into the barrel. We keep the barrel very clean... no food prep on it and foods are all bagged in zip locks. Haven't had a problem yet.
 
9th Bearded Infantry
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01/09/2013 08:08AM  
quote luft: "I use my smaller bear vaults more often than the 30L blue barrel, but when we do use the "big blue" we just strap it to a tree in camp that is just slightly away from the cooking area and slightly away from the tents.


The barrel is out of the pack we use to carry it as I don't want the pack to get ruined if some rodent or bear tries to get into the barrel. We keep the barrel very clean... no food prep on it and foods are all bagged in zip locks. Haven't had a problem yet."

So do you just keep the barrel pack in camp? I'm thinking of just stuffing it in my empty portage pack and throwing under my tent vestibule.
 
01/09/2013 09:25AM  
quote 9th Bearded Infantry: "
quote luft: "I use my smaller bear vaults more often than the 30L blue barrel, but when we do use the "big blue" we just strap it to a tree in camp that is just slightly away from the cooking area and slightly away from the tents.



The barrel is out of the pack we use to carry it as I don't want the pack to get ruined if some rodent or bear tries to get into the barrel. We keep the barrel very clean... no food prep on it and foods are all bagged in zip locks. Haven't had a problem yet."

So do you just keep the barrel pack in camp? I'm thinking of just stuffing it in my empty portage pack and throwing under my tent vestibule. "


I wouldn't put the barrel pack in the vesti. The chance of it having food odors on it may be slim but it is a possibility. I don't even put my portage packs in the vestibule. I hang them on a tree 2 - 4 feet above the ground.

@timatkn People didn't give me a hard time about the audible alarm. People gave JBinthewild a hard time. I think it was him that started a thread about an audible alarm.

Concerning the jingle bells. No, I don't put them on the food pack to deter the bears or other animals, I put them on to alert me. May not always be loud enough but in the still quiet of the night, if I am awake, I will hear it.
 
luft
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01/09/2013 07:59PM  
quote 9th Bearded Infantry: "
quote luft: "I use my smaller bear vaults more often than the 30L blue barrel, but when we do use the "big blue" we just strap it to a tree in camp that is just slightly away from the cooking area and slightly away from the tents.



The barrel is out of the pack we use to carry it as I don't want the pack to get ruined if some rodent or bear tries to get into the barrel. We keep the barrel very clean... no food prep on it and foods are all bagged in zip locks. Haven't had a problem yet."

So do you just keep the barrel pack in camp? I'm thinking of just stuffing it in my empty portage pack and throwing under my tent vestibule. "


I do keep the pack in camp but I do not put anything in my vestibule except our boots/shoes because of the possibility of food smells so I would say hang your food pack and not have it in your vestibule with your portage packs.

We leave all our packs out under the tarp so the food barrel pack is there too. My theory is a bear may find the barrel or may find the pack but won't likely go for both if they aren't together. So far we haven't had a bear find either!

I like your jingle bell idea. Might have to tell the kids to dig out their bear bells that they bought at Glacier Park to put on the blue barrel strap next time we use it!
 
yellowcanoe
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01/09/2013 08:25PM  
Curiously I learned last summer at Glacier that tinkle bells are not heard well and to bears mean nothing.
I wonder, short of leaving food around with attractive scents, are we just appeasing ourselves by hanging and not bringing packs into tent or is there some smell threshold at which its OK to bring in vs "throw way out there".

I don't fish or clean fish nor hunt with animal odors on me so that might have an effect. I bring my tent pack into the vestibule. The food barrel is somewhere in camp but not in the tent. But there are no steaks or fresh fish odors on it.

I kinda wonder how much we do with food storage that is truly effective vs how much it makes us feel better.

In any case its FAR better than campsite practices of "feed the bear" prevalent in the 1960's. We are training the bears after all.

 
schweady
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01/10/2013 07:49AM  
quote yellowcanoe: "...are we just appeasing ourselves by hanging...
"

Yeah, there have been a few nights when members of our men's group have been lazy about hanging and left the food pack on the ground right in camp. Just a standard canvas pack for our dry goods - not the insulated meat pack - lined with a plastic bag, nothing special. Heck, once or twice the flap wasn't even closed.

Inviting disaster? Yes. Just lucky? Maybe. Tired of 'just appeasing ourselves'? Sometimes it seems that way.

I always thought that going the barrel route, carrying that extra weight, was all about no longer needing to hang.
 
01/10/2013 10:21AM  
Appeasing ourselves? Seriously?
There are best practices, then there are worst practices and evertything in between. There is nothing wrong with going the extra step or two to hang something - a pack or a barrel. I have seen photos of chewed up, ripped apart barrels. All it takes is that one time. Leave the pack on the ground, flap open or that barrel sitting next to the fire. No worries. Do it for years. Bring the pack/barrel into the tent with you. What the hell, why not? Then one that one trip, during that one summer, when the berries are non-existent, when the campsite occupiers previous to you threw food at the bear...many variables can contribute...but that one trip. That's all it will take. No longer after that trip will you be simply appeasing yourself.
There is nothing wrong with taking some proper precautions.

I'll most likely be leaving my barrel on the ground strapped to a tree but it will not be near my campsite. Heck, maybe I'll continue to hang. It doesn't hurt to hang. It doesn't take much time or effort to go the extra step. I will not be doing it simply to appease myself either.
 
schweady
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01/10/2013 11:05AM  
My point was:
We use a standard pack, so our common practice is to hang.
Others use a barrel, and my perception was that they did that so they could just stash.

Sorry I steered us into 'why hang?' commentary when the OP was asking 'how to hang,' but I still wonder why one would carry a barrel's weight if you're going to hang it anyway. And if a barrel is vulnerable to bears ripping it open, why purchase it?
 
9th Bearded Infantry
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01/10/2013 11:56AM  
Keeping with the blue barrel topic, anyone have the dimensions of a 30L barrel handy? I'm curious about the diameter of the opening. My old frying pan is pretty well beat to hell and I'm thinking of getting a new one. Won't be buying a barrel until March but I may stumble into an REI sometime between now and then. Would prefer to get a pan that will fit inside the barrel vs. carrying it separately.
 
01/10/2013 12:40PM  
the opening on my 30L is 10 3/8", it looks like the one in the picture below not the type with the extra black handles.



 
jb in the wild
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01/10/2013 01:06PM  
quote fitgers1: "I've been putting jingle bells on my food packs for a few years. Someone, JB (?) I think, sometime last summer suggested an alarm on the food pack and there was a lot of anti-alarm slack from many people on the board as they thought it would wake up the neighbors across the lake. Might want to stay away from the loud audible alarms."


It was me and I'll stick by the vibration activated alarm, BUT the one I have is not adjustable. I wouldn't bring one in attached to a barrel unless I could adjust the sensitivity. I don't want false alarms going off. 99% of us will not be bothered by a bear in our travels. You have a much better chance of being DISTURBED by the laughing drunks across the lake a barking dog, crying baby or music then my bear alarm. Enough said about that.

Now as for this thread has anyone ever thought of roughing up the barrel with some sand paper and using camouflaged paint on it. Then securing it to a tree or stump. Remember bear have decent eye sight and are particularly sensitive to (Of all colors) blue and green wavelengths, yes, they see in color. That's according to The American Bear Association. Remember a bear is more likely to smell your barrel then see it.

JB
 
yellowcanoe
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01/10/2013 02:10PM  
quote 9th Bearded Infantry: "Keeping with the blue barrel topic, anyone have the dimensions of a 30L barrel handy? I'm curious about the diameter of the opening. My old frying pan is pretty well beat to hell and I'm thinking of getting a new one. Won't be buying a barrel until March but I may stumble into an REI sometime between now and then. Would prefer to get a pan that will fit inside the barrel vs. carrying it separately."


Mine is with the black handles. 9 1/2 inches. (there is a lip inside)
 
01/10/2013 02:36PM  
quote schweady: "My point was:
We use a standard pack, so our common practice is to hang.
Others use a barrel, and my perception was that they did that so they could just stash.


Sorry I steered us into 'why hang?' commentary when the OP was asking 'how to hang,' but I still wonder why one would carry a barrel's weight if you're going to hang it anyway. And if a barrel is vulnerable to bears ripping it open, why purchase it?
"


I was commenting on YC's "appeasing" comment. Not yours. Sorry for the confusion.
 
yellowcanoe
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01/10/2013 02:53PM  
quote fitgers1: "
quote schweady: "My point was:
We use a standard pack, so our common practice is to hang.
Others use a barrel, and my perception was that they did that so they could just stash.



Sorry I steered us into 'why hang?' commentary when the OP was asking 'how to hang,' but I still wonder why one would carry a barrel's weight if you're going to hang it anyway. And if a barrel is vulnerable to bears ripping it open, why purchase it?
"



I was commenting on YC's "appeasing" comment. Not yours. Sorry for the confusion."


Personally I don't find hanging much of a deterrent. Bears where I used to live were good at clotheslines. Hanging is illegal in some parts out West. But so are barrels..!

I usually do a lot of canoe tripping in willow country above treeline and also black spruce. The true boreal forest is the land of little sticks and hangable trees are hard to find. Ergo you have to think of some other food -stealing-avoidance strategies.

Nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes we cannot figure out why bears do what they do, but I have seen so many in trees! (Moosonee is a great place to watch them). And my neighbor had a bruin that was just doggedly insistent on breaking into a garage. No food in it.

I don't agree with Cliff on everything or even half, but I do agree with

this

The ADK's are one of my canoe stomping grounds.
 
01/10/2013 04:10PM  
quote yellowcanoe: "
quote fitgers1: "
quote schweady: "My point was:
We use a standard pack, so our common practice is to hang.
Others use a barrel, and my perception was that they did that so they could just stash.



Sorry I steered us into 'why hang?' commentary when the OP was asking 'how to hang,' but I still wonder why one would carry a barrel's weight if you're going to hang it anyway. And if a barrel is vulnerable to bears ripping it open, why purchase it?
"



I was commenting on YC's "appeasing" comment. Not yours. Sorry for the confusion."


Personally I don't find hanging much of a deterrent. Bears where I used to live were good at clotheslines. Hanging is illegal in some parts out West. But so are barrels..!

I usually do a lot of canoe tripping in willow country above treeline and also black spruce. The true boreal forest is the land of little sticks and hangable trees are hard to find. Ergo you have to think of some other food -stealing-avoidance strategies.

Nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes we cannot figure out why bears do what they do, but I have seen so many in trees! (Moosonee is a great place to watch them). And my neighbor had a bruin that was just doggedly insistent on breaking into a garage. No food in it.

I don't agree with Cliff on everything or even half, but I do agree with

this

The ADK's are one of my canoe stomping grounds."


But that's all it is, a deterrent and that's exactly what it does. So true, bears climb trees. We all know this. They don't climb every tree though. I am not an expert, in fact call me dumb and stupid but from what I have read and seen, I think bears spend more time on the ground walking around looking for food than they do in the trees. So, if odors are containded and the bear doesn't look up, then something has been deterred. As stated in another comment, they apparently see colors quite well so I am willing to bet that a bear will see a barrel or pack on the ground quicker and easier than they will if hanging high. Call me dumb or ignorant, it's just my opinion. Now I do think that stashing is fine if away from my tent and as I said above somewhere, I'll probably start doing it. Mainly becuase there aren't bears running rampant all over the place up there and because they aren't grizzlies or polars. In the past, I have not hung food only to keep bears out of it. I like to think that it is helping to keep lots of different animals out of the stuff. That was pre-barrel for me though. Now that I have a barrel, I see it as a safer container than a drink cooler or dry sacks when it comes to 'coons, mice and other creatures.

It's a good thing that this website it semi-dedicated to the BWCAW then where there are trees to hang from and not this "true boreal forest" that you speak of. By the way, I have learned in my life that a boreal forest has trees. What boreal forest is it that you are talking about that has little sticks and hangeable trees that are hard to find?
Boreal biome
More boreal
some icing
I agree bears are smart and will most likely get what they are after, no arguement from me.
 
01/15/2013 01:19AM  

For your viewing pleasure.

Bears grab barrel

 
OldieMoldy
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01/15/2013 06:44AM  
I don't hang my food barrel, if the feds want you to do it that's enough reason for me not to.
For some time I've been looking for a good way to prop my canoe upside down so I can use the bottom as a work surface. Sticks and what not don't seem stable enough. Last time I stuck one of my blue barrels, on it's side and set the canoe seat on it. Seemed to work pretty good. Of course everyone's canoe is different so you might want to check it out at home.
As far as alarms and what not: that's what my dog is for, along with interesting conversation.
I suppose you could use mouse traps bated with peanut butter as a sort of early warning that something was out there.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
01/15/2013 07:22AM  
quote HansSolo: "
For your viewing pleasure.


Bears grab barrel


"


Thnaks for the video. I wonder what would have happened if they did 't hang the barrel, would the bears have just bypassed the camp? We will never know, but good evidence for bears being conditioned to hanging packs.

T
 
yellowcanoe
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01/15/2013 07:23AM  
For you that go to Wabakimi.. which isnt so far from the BWCA but a world apart Hanging does not work well. Black Spruce is the predominant tree. It does not have thick side branches that will support a hang, and its got shallow roots. While this site is dedicated to the BWCAW but some of you might go there and some might find themselves in other areas.

Its good to find alternatives to hanging your food, which is pretty much a tactic to separate you from your food and hence in the feds eyes less apt to be hurt.

The logic of that escapes me too, as in other federal areas(out West), hanging is prohibited.

I have been pretty happy with stash. My food is boring, does not involve fresh fish, and I have stashed for 20 years at 70 days a year. I have had severe problems with mice getting in my barrel while I get food out Oldie Moldy! Just once in the Everglades. I wished for a mouse gun.
 
schweady
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01/15/2013 08:35AM  
quote HansSolo: "
For your viewing pleasure.


Bears grab barrel


"

I seem to recall this video being posted here previously, and I'm sure it may serve to strike a bit of fear in some or trigger a change in the hang/stash method for others. However, it mainly bugs me (and there may be a back story that I don't remember) that photography/videography was of greater import to the individual than scaring off the bears and helping reinforce a healthy fear of human activity.
 
01/15/2013 09:49AM  
Actually, I just posted the Link to the barrel grabbing bears because I thought it was entertaining. The post was not intended to support or discourage either the "hang" or "stash" method.

I would agree though, the video "director" should have been more concerned about discouraging the bear's behavior than producing his short film. Then again, we wouldn't have his entertaining video to watch if he had done so.

I think any of us that camp in bear country are more than aware of the threat bruins pose to our food supply, regardless of how we try to secure it. So a video wasn't really necessary to illustrate this behavior.

Personally, I subscribe to the "stash" method, which is also the method that Author Cliff Jacobson suggests, for what it's worth. I just string-up a small hammock back away from my camp and throw my barrel(s) in there at the end of the day. As of this point in time, I have never lost one crumb of food to any bears, although I've had several walk into my camp.

I stopped hanging my food cache in bear country years ago. Not because the "hang" method seemed ineffective, but there wasn't always the proper tree conditions to do so, as "yellowcanoe" has mentioned.

There were also times at the end of a long day of paddling and portaging,(especially when going solo), I just said to myself, "screw it", and starting using the "stash" method because it was more convenient than hanging. This was long before I read Cliff Jacobson's recommendations that "stashing" was preferred because of how bears have been conditioned to "target" hanging food caches.

Hans

 
OldieMoldy
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01/15/2013 10:31AM  
Yeah, everything time I see that video I wonder what those people could be thinking. A few marbles from a sling-shot would send those bears on their way. What's mine is mine and you'd better keep your paws off it!

Y.C. Those little campsite bums are cute but awful pushy. This last summer gone by, we were camped and one of the local chipmunks came roaring down from his tree, bold as brass, to check us out and got to within about four feet of Rose, she raised her head up and just looked at him. If she could talk she'd be saying "You've got to be kidding!" He thought better of doing a raid just then, scooted back up the tree.
My fondness for them evaporates pretty quick when I find a hole they've chewed in something.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
schweady
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01/15/2013 11:30AM  
quote HansSolo: "Then again, we wouldn't have his entertaining video to watch if he had done so.
"

Agreed. Crafty little buggers...
 
luft
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01/15/2013 08:43PM  
quote HansSolo: " I just string-up a small hammock back away from my camp and throw my barrel(s) in there at the end of the day. As of this point in time, I have never lost one crumb of food to any bears, although I've had several walk into my camp.

This was long before I read Cliff Jacobson's recommendations that "stashing" was preferred because of how bears have been conditioned to "target" hanging food caches.


Hans


"


I hope you don't end up conditioning bears to go after loaded hammocks with your set up :-)

Brings a whole new meaning to the bear taco joke!




 
puckster
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01/15/2013 09:11PM  
quote Cedarboy: "I dont hang my barrels. Thats the point of using a barrel, they control the scent. I hide them back in the woods or down shore.
Barrels were first used in areas where there were no trees to hang them from.
CB"


+1

puckster
 
01/15/2013 09:38PM  
Two years ago on Hustler at the last camp site before heading to Oyster, we had our barrel stashed and it was a wonderful night. Strong winds, rain, then sleet. Was 28 deg in the morning when we got up. To top it all off I guess we had beavers that dropped a tree some ways back of our camp site. I slept through it all. My son went back the next morning and found the tree that they dropped.

On the way back about looking for the tree that caused all the noise, five feet from the barrel location we had a bear that had done their business and I almost stepped in it, but nothing was disturbed with the barrel.

That year I had purchased a $5 bicycle locking cable from Walley World and have used it the last two years. Don’t know if it makes any difference, but don’t think they are going to haul the barrel off unless the barrel is completely destroyed. Hope they can’t read as I have the combination on the side of the barrel.

One thing with my barrel, I put some of the reflective tape on it and it really shines when looking for it now especially if you are not the one that hid the barrel.

I made a score at work late last fall, 2 30L barrels. Keep looking to see if anymore show up. If they do, I will put them up for sale.

When it’s just me, I have an Urasack.
 
01/15/2013 11:06PM  

Quote from luft: "I hope you don't end up conditioning bears to go after loaded hammocks with your set up" :-) "Brings a whole new meaning to the bear taco joke!"


Reply from Hans Solo: That's why I no longer use my Hennessy Hammock in Bear Country. Too many bite marks! :-)




 
01/16/2013 01:35AM  
I have been reading all the posts, and intersting subject, which has been debated since Yogi was a cub! I have 30L blue barrels with the black handles (by the way those handles are not plastic, although they feel like it, they are carbon) I have a Kondo's Harness. I do not hang the barrel. I take the barrel a little bit outside of camp in the evening. Not real far, but not directly "in camp". Never have tied to tree or anything.
My feeling about bears. In the BWCA, where there are TONS of People, and the campsites are established and set, the bears "patterned" over time the fact that people/food use these places. They are knowledgable of this fact. So the Risk/chances of a bear in BWCA are greater of finding a pack in/near a campsite then say the Q, or WCPP or Wabakimi in my opinion. Because much less traveled and they have not "Patterned the campsites" as a target area because many less folks travel those area's.
It is really about RISK tolerance. If you don't hang a blue barrel, you are taking a calculated risk. The chances of a bear, are slim to none, but it CAN and DOES happen. So to me you are saying, I am willing to take that risk. If you hide/stash it outside of camp, further in the woods, I think you are outsmarting the bear somewhat, as they are patterned to the CAMP to find the food and hanging packs.
I for the most part, when smaller groups, and solo take Bear Vaults. I do not take them very far from camp at all. I do not lash them to the trees. I just set them out away from camp, so they are not right in camp. I feel NO RISK at ALL with a Bear Vault. -0-
I see know way a bear can get in em, however, I do know that Bears/critters could smell them and/or find them, and roll them around, or mess with em. Placement needs to be where they can't roll em down a hill or into the water! That I think is critical, as they can move em and bat em around, but not get in em.
My $.02 cents, interesting how this subject gets discussed seems like a zillion times a year :).
SunCatcher
 
markaroberts
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01/16/2013 09:23AM  
I used to use a Blue Barrell. It was so heavy when packed with food that no one wanted to carry it. Also didn't like rumaging through it to find things.

Now I take one bear vault for each days food. Not only are they bear proof, but I can see what's in them without opening them up.

The only problem we had this last trip was one of the men (and the two kids) kept feeding the chipmunks and squirrels. Often while sitting in the food area. Put a stop to that.
 
Diego
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01/16/2013 02:59PM  
quote markaroberts: "I used to use a Blue Barrell. It was so heavy when packed with food that no one wanted to carry it. Also didn't like rumaging through it to find things.


Now I take one bear vault for each days food. Not only are they bear proof, but I can see what's in them without opening them up.


The only problem we had this last trip was one of the men (and the two kids) kept feeding the chipmunks and squirrels. Often while sitting in the food area. Put a stop to that."


What do seven bear vaults full of food weight? I guess you just divide up the vaults amongst the group? That's also got to be expensive. But an interesting idea.
 
LuvMyBell
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01/16/2013 05:44PM  
quote yellowcanoe: "
quote LuvMyBell: "In addition to hanging and stashing, there is another method that works well with food barrels. I'll call it 'bobbing'. We tie a rope around our barrels with an anchor rock, paddle offshore to 6' or deeper water and let the barrel float. "



Not sure what you are accomplishing with that other than to get some interesting exercise.


"


Never had a bear or other critter mess with our floating barrels of food. In the am we pull the tag line from shore and the barrels are on shore in under 30 seconds. Much less work than hanging in the trees and easier and faster to access.
 
markaroberts
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01/16/2013 05:44PM  
We take all fresh food. . .no freeze dried stuff. Breakfasts are pancakes and sausage, biscuits and gravy etc. Diners involve steaks, brats, casseroles, pizza. This last time we had a group of 9. One of the bear vaults was about right for breakfast and dinner for one day. Although we go for 7 days, two days are just the drive up and back. So we are really on the water for 5 days.

And yes, we divide the bear vaults up between the canoes. Two per canoe.

To take the same amount of food in the blue barrells took one large 60 litre barrel and one small barrell 30 ltire. I can tell you everyone hated that big barrell.
 
Crashdavis
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01/25/2023 02:32PM  
I spent too much time in the Sierras, all their bears went to Stanford. Great engineers, they even figured out how to get the Bearvaults open and single limb hangs were were kindergarten work, I have never seen a clothesline hang fail if you get it high enough.
 
01/25/2023 04:12PM  
I use a 30L blue barrel. I don't bother to hang it. I just carry it a ways into the brush and find a spot to stash it. I think it works great because I can get it out of the campsite where bears are conditioned to look for food. If we need have too much food and it won't all fit in the barrel, we use my buddy's Urksack. It's nice as a spare. We've also hung a secondary food pack before he got the Urksack, and that was so much easier than hanging everything in one foodpack.

I'm a fan of having two different methods to keep your food safe. If one fails, you should still be fine to get out without starving for a couple days.
 
01/26/2023 05:46AM  
Crashdavis: "I spent too much time in the Sierras, all their bears went to Stanford. Great engineers, they even figured out how to get the Bearvaults open and single limb hangs were were kindergarten work, I have never seen a clothesline hang fail if you get it high enough."


Did you purposefully search out a 10-year-old post to reply to?
 
Crashdavis
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01/26/2023 04:52PM  
Nope
 
Sparkeh
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01/28/2023 07:58AM  
Has anyone here had a barrel broken into? I don't understand the point of hanging a barrel.
 
mschi772
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01/28/2023 08:09AM  
Sparkeh: "Has anyone here had a barrel broken into? I don't understand the point of hanging a barrel. "





Bear Encounters and Babies in Algonquin Park - Chris Prouse
 
Lawnchair107
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01/28/2023 08:14AM  
Sparkeh: "Has anyone here had a barrel broken into? I don't understand the point of hanging a barrel. "


It’s not bear proof.. if left on the ground, a bear has the possibility of biting thru/ clawing and receiving an award of food. Thus creating a problem bear. The idea of hanging sounds more safe, as the bear has to 1. Find the barrel & 2. Get it down.

One extra step a bear has to accomplish vs. stashing it away down an unidentified trail because Bears only use trails in the Bdub like people….
 
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