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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Gear Forum :: Bear Hang Rope
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12/30/2012 11:22AM
quote Longpaddler: "Depends on how heavy the bear is......"

Nice! Another one who no longer hangs.
12/29/2012 12:36PM
I use two 40ft 6mm ropes, 3 carabiners, 1 pulley, 1 "wall Hauler" pulley with one-way cam, a 10' pole (a cleaned-up 1.5" diameter dead spruce with a small notch in the skinny end works great, and two trees that are about 20ft or more apart. (I could get by with a lot less rope but can't bring myself to cut them.)

1)Pre-rig the end of one rope with a carabiner clipped to a pulley, and the other rope with only a carabiner.

2)Fold the rope about 12' up the from the pulley and place in the notched end of the pole and lift the rope over a little stub of a branch right next to the tree trunk as high as you can reach. (You only need a small stub to support the weight of the pack when the rope is against the trunk.) You will be pulling the pack away from the tree so it works best if the branch is on the opposite side of the tree than you intend to pull the pack.

3)Now thread the rope with carabiner through the pulley and adjust ropes so the pulley hangs about 10' from the branch and tie off the pulley rope.

4)Use a short piece of rope to tie the Wall Hauler to a tree a little above head high and route the loose end of the 'carabiner rope' through the Wall Hauler. (the carabiner on other end should be hanging from the pulley and just touching the ground.
5)Attache food pack to carabiner.
6)Pull pack off the ground until it is stopped by the pulley and pull as far away from 'hanging tree'as possible and so it is at least 10 off the ground. (you might have to go back to step '3' and readjust until you get the hang of it, NPI)

While I may not have done a great job of writing the instructions, it works great, especially for base camping. The benefits are: 1)Using the stick to hang the rope works EVERY TIME - no repeated tossing of a weight,
2)Nearly every tree has a stub branch that will support the pack. 3)One guy can raise the pack very easily,
4)With the Wall Hauler, you just pull. When the pack is lifted to where you want it you just stop pulling and let go - no strain to keep pressure on the rope while tying it off.
5) comes down as easily as it goes up.
In this pic you can see the the red rope with the Wall Hauler at the upper right edge of photo. Also, just visible through the spruce branches, are the carabiner and pulley against the pack. The jack pine tree at the left edge of the photo is the 'hanging tree' and the tree with the Wall Hauler tied to it is just off the frame.

12/29/2012 05:42PM
a buddy gifted me a bear rope set up after he saw the mess i had before,hardware store pulley and rope.what he gave me was the left overs from rigging his sail boat,some sort of thin,pencil size,cord and a very small but super strong boat gear would be a good place to start.
by the way the only time i have taken a fall in camp was walking backward while getting ready to heave the line!!!
12/29/2012 06:08PM
In addition to the good feedback you've already gotten, I'd like to add that I've always used a two-pulley system, ...but this year I'm trying out a two, double-pulley configuration (total of 4 pulley loop throughs) which should make pulling up the food bag a real treat, instead of task. I picked them up at Fleet Farm for a minimal price. I'm looking forward to see how they will work.
12/29/2012 07:07PM
Looks like I'm packing too much rope. I use a 3/8", 100' long rope for pulling up our food packs. Our food packs are usually pretty heavy though. That equates to about a 9.3 mm rope. Whoa! I'll have to relook at my rope situation.

I put the 3/8" rope through a carabineer to pull the pack up. I use a slightly larger rope to hold the caribineer up. I have no idea what it is made out of. Poly, nylon, something like that.

It is the rope that Mills Fleet Farm sells in their farm section - a bunch of different sizes and colors, made in USA stuff.

I use the same type of rope only 1/4" for tarps and everything else.

Yep, time to re-look at my rope! I might be able to save some weight or bring more steaks!

In the past, we would bring a 5 gallon igloo water cooler to keep a lot of fresh food. Over the last couple years, I have downsized to a 2.5 maybe 3 gallon cooler in a 60 l blue barrel.

This coming summer I want to go more dehydrated so I think I will be able to downsize the rope.
12/29/2012 10:15PM
Now how do you get 'em to hold still long enough to get it around their necks and then even a small one would be tough to hoist up.
Just wondering...
01/15/2013 06:30PM
Kevlar cord 750 lb break point, difficult to cut, can't be chewed thru

12/28/2012 01:02PM
What does everyone use for rope for their bear hangs? We have one we use but I'm not happy with the rope (it has too much give and has a nylon coating so it is hard to get a good grip). Looking for better options this year to reduce weight and still have an effective bear rope.
12/28/2012 03:58PM
I use a 5mm cord made by New England, rated for over 1000 lbs, not too thick not to thin, I also use a small and lightweight Petzl Pulley
12/28/2012 04:27PM
quote tnthekids: "Thanks so much for the input! How many feet of rope do you usually bring?"
Well I have been bringing 3 of those 30ft bundles, one or two to run the pulley up and the third for the pack. I've been good so far but I'm sure I'll have to compromise my hang one of these times. This stuff is a little on the stiff side, not super soft like those cheaper poly ropes, but like Kanoes said it has almost no stretch, packs pretty small.

This stuff is crazy strong, 5mm - 5000+ lbs

12/28/2012 05:43PM
another hand saver would be wrapping the rope around a short but stout stick and walk away while pulling the bag up.
Savage Voyageur
12/28/2012 04:32PM
Rope This is what I like for hanging the food pack. I bought a 100 feet as I remember. Cut as needed for other things, never have too much rope with.
12/28/2012 04:40PM
quote Savage Voyageur: " Rope This is what I like for hanging the food pack. I bought a 100 feet as I remember. Cut as needed for other things, never have too much rope with. "
Nice stuff, if the OP likes a little thicker rope this would be a great choice, a little more bulk, little more weight, little more cost but can be had in whatever length you want and thats nice, also a little stronger.

12/28/2012 04:47PM
I use braided nylon for the pulley, regular nylon basically sucks IMO. I use Mule Tape to go between trees. Sometimes I wonder if I even CARE if a bear gets my food, then I have a drink and sit for a few minutes and I'm OK.
12/28/2012 05:05PM
5mm bluewater accessory cord.
100' and 30' pieces. Sometimes have to attach in some paracord, seems to be just a hair short once in awhile.

Wrap rope around axe handle to get a good grip if needed/

12/28/2012 05:37PM
Go to and do a search for the following part numbers to see a good set of pulley for a lift kit. I use parachute cord and always wear leather gloves when raising the bag. I have tested it to over 150 LB. and use it to 100 lbs.
Part numbers 615273 615268

12/28/2012 05:53PM
Amsteel (7/64) is essentially zero stretch and is very strong. You can get it at marine stores. It is made by Samson.
12/28/2012 04:16PM
quote Ragged: "I use a 5mm cord made by New England, rated for over 1000 lbs, not too thick not to thin, I also use a small and lightweight Petzl Pulley "
Thanks so much for the input! How many feet of rope do you usually bring?
12/28/2012 04:18PM
We don't hang our food anymore but when we did we used military paracord for all our rope needs.
01/02/2013 09:05AM

As you see, various ways to hang. But IMO, if you have a bigger group, real food, say 5 day trip or more, use some pulleys. Two pulleys, (one on food bag, one on main line) makes hauling up a snap with heavy loads. The main line needs to be non nylon rope, and long, around 100 feet, or capable of that length with additions. Hauling up rope can be nylon, and shorter, say 25 feet. Haul rope is better thicker, easier on hands. Use a stick as noted is a good tip as well. Marine stores sell really nice pulleys in general.
01/15/2013 01:08PM
I used to get all fancy with my hangs, but then I taught myself a trick that made life easier. I find a likely tree in a depression and pull the pack (no pulleys) about 3/4 of the height I want it to be. but before I raise it, I attach a second rope to the pack. after the pack is up where I want it, it's still too close to the tree, so I grab the end of the other rope... and I walk uphill away from the tree! it pulls the pack away from the first tree, and elevates it further.

This is by far the simplest, easiest way to get a comforting hang.
01/07/2013 01:27PM
Never ends does it....pulleys, hanging kits...? Just 100 feet of rope and a branch, or 2 pieces of rope in case you have to use the two tree method. Pulleys are just a waste of time and weight....seriously, how many times do you have to lift a food pack in the air each day to actually need a dedicated kit for it? Raise it when you go to bed, lower it when you get up, and take it with you when you go......
01/06/2013 05:31AM
I like the set-up.
01/06/2013 12:13PM
"Give a man enough rope and it will be 6 inches too short."

Patrick F Mcmanus
12/30/2012 10:48AM
Two Pulley System

I have always used the two pulley system. I hang it from a rope hung between two trees. With 3/8 in rope from Mills Fleet Farm, it is easy to pull up a pretty heavy pack.
The pulleys are also available from Fleet Farm.

12/30/2012 10:26AM
Depends on how heavy the bear is......
12/29/2012 06:55PM
Bear rope and hardware discarded. One or two of these and No Worries
12/30/2012 12:52AM
I use a 50' piece of black 3/8" climbing rope with a couple of sets of pulleys. The black rope tends to blend in a bit better and the 3/8" size is easier on my hands when pulling the pack up.
01/06/2013 08:56AM
I also use a double pulley system like Magicpaddler. I find 80 foot length of rope to be more than sufficient.
01/06/2013 09:21AM
I always use a large 1/2" or 5/8" for my hanging rope. Yes, it's a little more weight and bulk....but I always figured it would be harder for critters to chew through and it's a lot easier on the hands to pull. I don't use a pulley system as I have plenty of "counterbalance" to lift the food pack. I also like having plenty of large diameter rope along just in case I REALLY need a rope. Rescuing a person or hauling them out with skinny rope ain't no good!

For the record...this is the year I go to the other side and will no longer hang my food!

01/06/2013 09:33AM
quote kanoes: "another hand saver would be wrapping the rope around a short but stout stick and walk away while pulling the bag up." I do this with a small diameter kevlar cord! But the small stuff tangles a little easily.
01/05/2013 06:07PM
My new lift kit
PhotobucketIt weighs 1 Lb 2.7 oz
The yellow string is my zingit kit. Put a rock in the bag and throw it over a lim and pull the other ropes over.
The line on the pullies is 80Ft of 2mm braded nylon.
The support line is parachute cord.
The pullies are form Ronstan series 20 double blocks
Mostly off the top of the picture is the stuff sack it all fits in.
Everything pictured here but the rug weighs 1 LB 2.7 oz.
I have load tested the block and tackle by lifting myself. That put 150 LB on the block and tackle and an additional 38LB on the line I was pulling on. All the food bags for the groups I go with have weighed under 100LB.
YOU MUST WARE LEATHER GLOVES to handle these lines.

12/28/2012 04:21PM
quote tnthekids: "quote Ragged: "I use a 5mm cord made by New England, rated for over 1000 lbs, not too thick not to thin, I also use a small and lightweight Petzl Pulley "
Thanks so much for the input! How many feet of rope do you usually bring?"

the cord ragged linked is very nice. stiff with minimal stretch.
01/02/2013 01:47PM
Food inside OPSak's (Odor barrier bags) and inside a Ursack tied to the base of a tree. When we hang it we use the PCT method with some light paracord.