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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
How to Set Up a Food Cache on 08/22/2010 06:20:39 MDT Print View

In another thread Samuel wrote:

Food has got be be by far the heaviest item we carry. If you really want to stay UL, consider placing a wilderness cache as I did this summer. But you can't always hit civilization every 5 days, so the cache has to be in the wild, and in my case, at a location below timberline. Could give you the link, but it is easier just to go to page 2 of this forum and look at the thread entitled, "Hanging bear canisters." It is all on there, except the Opsac clips that are available from Amazon, and noted on yet another recent thread. I only clipped the outer Opsacs.

It was fun locating a good site to hang the Ursack where I could readily find it but nobody would run across it. And it was a good pretrek warmup to spend a day packing in and hanging just 5 days of food and the cache stuff. Your back will thank you.


This is something that has always intrigued me, but I know next to nothing about. Could someone give some pointers on how caching should be done? I'd love to read an article about this.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: How to Set Up a Food Cache on 08/22/2010 08:36:43 MDT Print View

I've heard caching is not allowed in some areas, so that is one thing to consider.

My only personal experience is earlier this year when I was feeling sick enough to only be doing 6-9 miles a day and then hit some disagreeable snow. I backtracked to an access trail, stuffed all but 1 day of food into my Ursack and tied it to a tree. I left it up there for over a week. It worked out well, although I wish I had had an Opsak because that probably would have prevented critters from chewing tiny little holes in the Ursack.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
How to Set Up a Food Cache on 08/22/2010 09:26:19 MDT Print View

OK - rebel speaking here.

Caching not allowed? So what? You want to position your cache where only you can find it again. Properly done, your only concerns come from local wildlife. That's what OP sacks are for...........use them; they're cheap insurance. A pox on the cache police and the horses they rode in on!

Remember to pack out whatever container you use for your cache. Failure to do so only encourages the cache police to issue tighter regulations for those who follow you. I don't want the extra bulk and weight of another bear canister, paint bucket, or whatever in my pack. For that reason, I use only OP sacks for my cache. They weigh almost nothing, and I or someone else can always use another trash bag or waterproof cover for something. Worst case scenario - I carry 2 extra ounces (that takes up virtually no space) for another 5 days - a fair price for the resupply.


I've buried a few off- or near-trail caches with none of them ever disturbed by man or beast. Buried one so well even I almost never found it (lesson learned). Be sure you make excellent notes, photos, GPS reading, compass bearing and distance whatever. Just because you piled two big branches on top of or against a fallen tree next to the cache does not mean they'll still be there when you return.

I never tried a hanging cache but I suspect that would require a spot quite some distance from an easily recognized on-trail reference point. You don't want it to draw the eye of passing hiker trash or rangers.

Metabolism has blessed me with a rather adequate cache of adipose tissue about my middle. When all else fails, I can run for several days on that, which does improve my appearance temporarily. Unfortunately, once back to the land of beer and pizza (aka civilization), that same metabolism unrelentingly seeks to refill said cache in anticipation of my next adventure. Go figure.

Edited by wandering_bob on 08/22/2010 09:34:50 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: How to Set Up a Food Cache on 08/22/2010 19:29:37 MDT Print View

A guy who thru-rode the whole PCT with his horse would cache food and horse food by burying it. He used the opsacks and he also used mothballs.

Caching sounds like a lot more work and a lot less fun than going into town, picking up your package, having a good meal and shower and returning to the trail.