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Bear Bags and food
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Mike bievenour
(mrbieven) - F
Bear Bags and food on 03/28/2012 04:47:32 MDT Print View

What are the size and weight of the bear bags for philmont.
or What size sil sacks would be appropriate to take.
How many per crew.

What is the recomendation for how to carry the food within the crew?
Each member? Tent Pairs?

ed dzierzak
(dzierzak) - F

Locale: SE
Bear bags and food. on 03/28/2012 05:59:44 MDT Print View

Bear bags are generally woven poly feed sacks (aka "blue poly tarp" material). Think 50 lb feed sacks. Generally 4-6 are issued with the rest of the crew gear at Philmont.

Food carry? On our last trek we had each tent pair carry their food. That way if they liked powdered crackers, it was easy to accomodate. ;) BTW, food is packed for two, eg. each food package will feed two.

Joshua Gray
(coastalhiker) - MLife
Re: Bear Bags and food on 03/28/2012 08:14:02 MDT Print View

Yep, Ed had it right, the bear bags are feed bags that weigh a couple ounces each (they really aren't that weighty) and are approx 18" wide x 3-3.5ft tall. About 4-5 per crew (depends on size of crew though), but if you brought 6 of your own you would have plenty.

I agree, spliting food into tent pairs works well, but work with the kids on going through each bag and taking out what they don't want or trading with others in the crew. Then have them raid the "swap boxes" to find other things they want. This will result in less waste, bulk, and more happiness.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
RE: Bear Bags and food on 03/28/2012 22:32:29 MDT Print View

Here is some data from last summer:

Philmont issued bear bags - as already mentioned, most of the Philmont bear bags I saw were re-used grain bags - 4.3 oz each for those that were not cut down because of the edges unraveling. All the bags issued to us were grain bags. (yes, I brought a scale to use in basecamp)

Everyone in our crew brought their own food storage bag anyway so we used those for overnight storage on the bear-bag hangs and skipped the Philmont issued bags for that purpose (because it made the Philmont bag(s) redundant ... plus, a benefit of this method is that it eliminated the "sorting out food" exercise in the morning and allowed for faster transitions).
We did use one Philmont issued bag (the only one we brought) for an "Oops" bag to store that day's lunches, dinners and misc for easy access during the day.

The boys were paired up in "food buddies" and split their food accordingly.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Food buddies on 04/24/2012 19:31:33 MDT Print View

Food buddies worked well for our crew, too. That was especially good for breakfast and lunch -- find your buddy, find the right bag, eat. No waiting around for all the food bags to be found and divvied up.

Mike bievenour
(mrbieven) - F
Nylon Bags on 05/30/2012 04:57:16 MDT Print View

do you keep the food in the bear bags to put in pack?
I was also thinking of having each scout get a nylon bag to keep the food in as well as other smellables and then for convenience just clip to a carabiener on the bear rope.
Does this make sense.
If I were to do this what size bag would the scouts need.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Bear Bags and Link on 05/30/2012 08:36:21 MDT Print View


Yes, food is stored in the pack in the bear bags you or your lads are carrying
(Bag size - 20 L is plenty big enough).
No need to carry a redundant bag - one bag per lad is fine.

Here's a link to the thread that discusses this in greater depth
(bear bags are on the 2nd page):

Edited by tr-browsing on 05/30/2012 08:37:29 MDT.

johnathan brouwer
(jbrouwer) - F
personal bear bags on 06/04/2012 12:18:43 MDT Print View

We are planning on each scout to use their own designated stuff sack (20L- 9x19 inches) to hang. Each scout will be responsible to clip on their bag on each night. The duty master will then check to make sure they have 12 bags plus the opps bag.

Thoughts on this process?

and do you think the bags are the right size?

Peter Griffith
(petergriffith) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: personal bear bags on 06/04/2012 13:36:51 MDT Print View

That's our plan too. 20L seems to be the recommended size in several threads.

Mike bievenour
(mrbieven) - F
type on 06/11/2012 08:51:28 MDT Print View

Should these bags be a plain nylon, coated nylon, sil-nylon, or the ultra sil-nylon.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: type on 06/11/2012 22:50:06 MDT Print View

We used Sea-to-Summit 20L ultra sil dry bags. But more than a particular brand
what features we found useful:

1. bag was waterproof so there was no worry of your stuff getting soaked
by an overnight shower.

2. rolling down the dry bag and clipping it around the bear rope was
more convenient and faster than tying or fiddling with a carbiner.

3. dry bag was better at keeping food smells separate
from everything else in the boy's pack when he stuffed it down
inside his pack in the morning.


Peter Griffith
(petergriffith) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: type on 06/11/2012 23:53:30 MDT Print View

We decided to go with 20L REI stuff sacks.

We considered the pluses of a dry sack that Al points out but found them to be too expensive for our budget. The Philmont food is packaged in plastic bags so even if a little water leaks in the top, it should be OK. We decided on the heavier nylon vs. silnylon because boys are not very careful with their gear and I expect their food bag to get dragged around a bit. Silnylon might get holes in it if not treated with care.

We plan on hanging each crew member's food bag plus the oops bag (same stuff sack, different color) line from a carabiner attached to a loop tied at the mid-point of the rope.

Gordon Forrest
Seal Line Bags on 06/13/2012 10:40:44 MDT Print View

For about $13 per bag on sale, we are going with the Seal Line Cirrus 20L ultralight, silicone-impregnated nylon dry bag.

2.3 ounces for a 20L bag and we got an assortment of colors.