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Bear Bags
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Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Bear Bags on 12/10/2010 12:14:26 MST Print View

hey all
Wondering what you use for bear bags to hang your food...(in areas where bear canisters arent required of course). for short hikes that are only a few days I usually use a stuff sack from my sleeping bag. But what about longer trips that are a weeek, two weeks or longer? I have a mesh bag I use but it weighs 4.7oz. Wondering if there are any other bags you would recommend that are large enough for a substantial amount of food and lightweight?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
MLD on 12/10/2010 12:39:43 MST Print View

I've been using Ron's spinnaker stuff sacks (of varying size depending on trip length)- more hardy than I first expected, given how light they are. I add 50' 170# dyneema cord w/ a small nite-ize biner to complete the "system".

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
spinaker stuff sacks on 12/10/2010 12:53:34 MST Print View

Where do yo get those stuff sacks?

Dylan Snodgrass

Locale: San Francisco, CA
Bear Bags on 12/10/2010 13:18:39 MST Print View


Check this out.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
hanging technique on 12/10/2010 13:54:00 MST Print View

Thanks for the that technique they describe pretty much a counter balance method? How does the biener/ stick thing work?

Forbes Belk
(ForbesB) - F

Locale: Bay Area
PCT Hang on 12/10/2010 14:11:19 MST Print View

The stick jams into the biner as you lower the bag after tying the stick in. It's hard to visualize, so check out this youtube video.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Bear Bags on 12/10/2010 14:16:47 MST Print View

The bear bagging gear I use is:

- 50' of pure spectra/dyneema 1/16" cord (0.45oz)
- Nite-Ize #1 Biner (0.15oz)
- Zpacks Blast Food Bag (0.8oz)

The Zpacks Blast food bag is great. It's made from 1.5oz cuben which is bomber stuff. Rodents can hardly chew through this and it's far strong enough to hold whatever you can put in it. The Nite-Ize biner isn't essential, but it saves a little time for very little weight. The Nite-Ize ones are quite strong. I've hung 30 lbs of food with these and I've had other small biners fail with much lower loads. The pure spectra/dyneema cord is super strong and extremely light. It's the best stuff for bear bagging.

Regarding technique, I keep it simple with the basic throw and yank up technique. I clip one end of the cord to the food bag using the biner and then I just hastily tie the other end to a stick or rock (stick = easier) and throw that over a branch. Then I yank the food up and tie off the end. Usually if I have large food loads then I'm with another person and we usually have one person throw the food up into the air while the other person takes in the slack in the rope, so you don't need to actually drag it up and harm the branch. With smaller solo food loads (ie. sub 10 lbs) it's a non-issue. If food loads get really heavy (ie. 30 lbs) then it's best to use a thicker cord mostly to avoid damaging the tree. I have used this cord with no troubles up to 30 lbs, but I'm sure it cuts into the tree branch so it's not an ideal technique. At 30 lbs I need to use a stick to help me pull the food up into the tree because the thin cord cuts into my hands.

MountainFitter recently introduced a sweet bear bag kit with 1/16" (2.2mm) spectra cord, a roll-top heavy duty cuben food bag, Nite-Ize biner and a cuben rock sack. $46 is a sweet price for all of this. Get the 'pro' one.

Edited by dandydan on 12/10/2010 14:23:19 MST.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Bear Bags on 12/10/2010 15:13:35 MST Print View

I use the blast food bag, although I do wish it had a roll-top.

I recommend 1.8mm New England Dyna-glide. It's specifically designed for tree use, it's stiffer, tangles less, and about as light as you're going to get for a line that wont cut into bark.

Edited by jdempsey on 12/10/2010 15:14:07 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: hanging technique on 12/10/2010 15:21:10 MST Print View

"is that technique they describe pretty much a counter balance method?"

No. Everything discussed here is a single bag hang.

A counter balance hang has two bags of food that counter balance each other. Also, if you use the two-rope technique, there is no rope hanging down to be tied off.


Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
. on 12/12/2010 03:30:13 MST Print View

Joe V. from ZPacks or Lawson from Mountainfitter both make great cuben food bags.

In fact, one of them has their own food bag hanging set-up which is prime.

When I first got Joe's Zpacks Blast bag, I was impressed right off. Tough, thick, light, rodent proof, it's my food bag of choice I'm using on the PCT this year.


Edited by Pittsburgh on 12/12/2010 08:12:32 MST.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: . on 12/12/2010 07:33:38 MST Print View

Just want to clarify that unless Joe at Zpacks has a secret, there's no Tom there. ;)

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
depends ... on 12/12/2010 11:12:09 MST Print View

I think this depends on more than just "are bear cannisters required or not". Are bears much of a concern where you're going? How about rodents? I.e., what exactly are you most concerned about getting at your food?

For me the answer varies between cannister, ursack, ursack minor, occasionally hanging just a silnylon bag, and sleeping with my food, all depending on the situation and in some cases based on the fears, rules, or normal process of others that I'm hiking with.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
cuben and smell on 12/12/2010 12:48:18 MST Print View

do yall think a roll top cuben bag is odorproof?

Edited by JasonG on 12/12/2010 12:49:08 MST.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: cuben and smell on 12/12/2010 13:21:58 MST Print View

I doubt it. Completely waterproof ziplocs often aren't.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
food smell on 12/12/2010 13:27:33 MST Print View

I have some tall gas-proof plastic bags that termite fumigation companies provide for food storage. Nothing gets through that plastic "Nylofume."


Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
zpacks Blast food bag on 12/16/2010 13:47:35 MST Print View

Would you go for the cylinder or rectangular shape?

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: zpacks Blast food bag on 12/16/2010 13:59:22 MST Print View

I like how the rectangular one opens up nice and wide, and the big 12.5" x 20" OP Sacks fit in it with some room to spare. Also, it slides into my 35" circumference pack like a custom fit. Surprisingly durable and rainproof so far too.