Where do you find the gear to hang your food

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Rodnak Kayak, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    Last trip we took, actually our first solo camping trip, we had to heft our food up a tree, no bears, just the smaller varmints, holy cow! all that stuff weighed a ton! (and it did not include the beer) It was a tough pull on me and the tree!!
    Where would I find and what do most use as a pullley to heft food into the trees? How high is needed for black bears?
    Thx All
    Rodnak Kayak
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Paddler

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    Couple of carabiners, one at the top and one at the bottom with rope looped up and down a few times make a great impromptu snatch block system. Much easier to pull it up. If you pull the works towards the tie off tree you can gain a few more feet and the animals have a harder time climbing down the steeply angled rope to get at your food.

    If you're in Bear country, cook and store your food far away from your campsite. Never bring materials and objects that might have picked up smells back to your tent. Don't sleep in the clothes you cook in! ;)

    Lots more great info on this subject available through backpacker's sites.

    daniels
     
  3. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    Thanks much for the info, I assume you need 12-18 feet for black bears in height? Didn' think about my cooking clothes.
    Rodnak Kayak :)
     
  4. oldsailor

    oldsailor Paddler

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    Yet another good reason for a mutha... er, mother ship. :wink:

    Craig
     
  5. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    I use a small pulley similar to this stubai pulley from MEC, a carabiner, and two lengths of 3/16" by 50 feet polypropylene clothesline from Canadian Tire.
     
  6. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    Thanks Nootka,
    that is more help than I ever actually got at MEC!?!?
    :wink:
    Rodnak K
     
  7. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    You're welcome. Here is my method:
    I have a small packcloth bag (mesh bags get stuck in branches). Find an apple sized rock and put it into the bag. Tie rope 1 to the bag. Throw over a HIGH tree branch (this may take some time). If needed, I twirl the bag on a couple feet of rope & let fly. If there is too much friction over the branch for the rock to pull the bag down, I flip a foot of slack up to the branch and the bagged rock drops a foot. Repeat. Once I can grab the bag (I'll use a stick to extend my reach if I tire of flipping rope), I replace the bag with the carabiner (an alpine butterfly is easy to untie later). Tie the ends of rope 2 together, put rope 2 through the pulley, and clip pulley to biner. Pull rope 1 up and tie the free end to something. Separate the ends of rope 2, make a loop (alpine butterfly again), and snap drybag buckle through the loop. Pull rope 2 until the drybag is high enough and tie the free end of rope 2 to something. If I am at a camp for a few days, I use a second biner and set it so the lower end of rope 2 can be clipped in to the lower end of rope 1, thus I don't have to tie a knot in rope 2 each time I raise food.
    If the only branch available results in the drybag being too close to the trunk, I let the pulley down extra and use rope 2 to pull the pulley and drybag away from the trunk. See picture.
    [​IMG]
    Note that I keep a few days food in a bear barrel. So if bruin or raccoon happen to chop a rope, I still have some food. I'll keep food in my kayak if there are no suitable trees IF I am at a remote campsite. My working assumption is that hikers and novices often do a poor job of hoisting their food, so campsites they frequent may have animals that are interested in your food.
     
  8. oldsailor

    oldsailor Paddler

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    Best explanation and illustration of this technique I've ever read. Plus a good explanation of the rationale behind your methods.

    Thanks!

    Craig
     
  9. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for your kind words.
     
  10. WGalbraith

    WGalbraith Paddler

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    After many hikes and paddle trips I have a couple of things to pass along.
    1. Once the rope is in position, give it a good pull. Sometimes the branch is not strong enough. It is hard to rehang in the dark, in the rain when it snaps off in the night.

    2. Little rodents can follow all but a really steep rope up to your dinner and will have no respect for your drybag.

    3. Reserve the same bag for containing food. Use indelible markers to write FOOD all over it and include a name. I have almost got the wrong bag when another hiker had picked mine instead ( Better menu)

    4. If bears are around, Do not keep food in your kayak. They can easily pulverize your boat. Its hard to paddle without your stern.
     
  11. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    I'm guilty of keeping my food in the 'Day Hatch' of my Explorer HV.
    And will probably continue to do so...though there have been some cases of bears 'pulverizing' boats, I take notice to where that happens, and if in an area where it has happened, I will take different measures.
    But for now, I'll stick to storing in the boat...I've heard of way more cases of mice and racoons where I've paddled, and the boat is the best place to avoid them getting into it.
    If my boat becomes a statistic...I guess I'll be radio'ing for a water taxi. :wink:
     
  12. Doug

    Doug Paddler

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    I've never used one, but why not use one of those bear barrels that nootka mentions? Do they typically not fit very well inside a kayak hatch? I must admit, they are kind of expensive.

    cheers
     
  13. Doug

    Doug Paddler

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  14. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    I've paddled with nootka...he paddles a Nimbus Telkwa (for expeditions)...otherwise known as the 'Buick' of kayaks.
    I paddle a NDK Explorer HV...close to, if not less than half the cargo space.
    I've seen his barrel...it just doesn't fit in my boat!
     
  15. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    I usually keep it in my kayak. Its rodent proof and it would take a pretty determined bear to get in.

    I have found on the net but one instance of a kayak being bashed to pieces by a bear. No indication if the kayak was glass or fabric.

    I carry a line that I can throw over a branch should one present itself. I weigh one end with a handy rock, hurl it up over the branch, and try to avoid being struck when the meteor comes down. The main risk is getting the line tangled. A caribiner attached to the bitter end is useful for connecting to the food bag. The line is then used to haul the bag up and the free end is tied to a tree. You should not be able to touch the bag when you jump up and reach for it.

    When I hike in the alpine I keep it in my tent. Here on Vancouver Island the branches point straight down to shed the snow load so there is no way to hang it up.

    I have used a bear barrel in Kluane where the Park lends out barrels and makes it a requirement on some trails. On one hike I had more food than I could stuff into the barrel and lost it to a maurading bear. It tried kicking around the bear barrel too and fortunately stopped before it kicked it into the nearby ravine.I didn't see it and there were no prints so I thought it was goats. I have a photo of the mess though and it shows a muddy bear paw print on the bear barrel. Now I think it was a bear. So I like bear barrels but I don't see it how I would get one into a kayak.

    Nootka's barrel is relatively small and is tapered on both ends. It won't hold enough to protect all of his food but it is a good idea in that he won't starve should a bear try to rob him.

    In other places such as on the tundra the main threat is mice. The bears are somewhat more aggressive than the passive island blacks so keeping in a tent is less wise. All you can do there is try to hang it a foot or so off the ground from a shrub a couple hundred yards away from the tent. There isn't much smell from expedition food wrapped in ziploc bags. So unless a bear is accustomed to food there should not be a problem.
     
  16. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Reviving this thread after many years!
    I try to use bear barrels when I can but on a recent trip my paddling partner used (my) 'Pack-A-Pull' pulleys/blocks.
    They work really well. The price seems high until you check prices on small dinghy blocks.
    https://packapull.com/

    Zing-It for throwing line.
    Low stretch line for lifting the top block and hauling.
     
  17. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I tried to impart the advice I read here and told one camper she shouldn't cook in her clothes, but that didn't turn out so well. It's too bad those bear canisters are not waterproof but it would be easy enough to line them with a plastic bag you can twist shut. You really have to measure your hatches if your kayak uses them (see my For Sale post for a Mariner "station wagon").

    I had some pulleys left over from crevasse rescue days - they fit on a carabiner. The line with carabiner/pulley is thrown over a branch and lowered. The line attached to the food bag is fed through the pulley. The line attached to the carabiner is pulled, raising the pulley to desired height. Then the food is hauled up via the line though the pulley. It seems there is always something left over after the food has been put away - dental floss, after dinner snack, etc. I found a plastic container, like the kind for health powders, works as a "oops, I forgot this" holder - so far has been critter proof. I can put it by the tree that holds the food. All hardware found at REI.

    I don't plan to go anywhere where I am not at the top of the food chain. But still, I endeavor to maintain best practices. You never know.
     
  18. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Paul,

    I had some issues with those old carabiner pulleys. Not sure, though, we are talking about the same type. Yours may be an improved type over mine. With mine, the climbing rope would sometimes jam if tension was taken off the system. Anathema when a week's food is 30 feet up. Solid marine grade pulleys, sized to fit the line in use, are a good investment and cost less than a week's grub.
     
  19. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Dave - Back in the day, a "carabiner pulley" mechanism was just a plastic spool that would fit on the biner. What I have is a pulley unit complete that is just held by a carabiner.
    https://www.rei.com/product/855700/smc-crx-crevasse-rescue-pulley

    My line isn't as thick as expected rope you use on a snow field, but its thick enough not to jam on the side of the spinner.

    When I have an opportunity to visit TCWM (The Church of West Marine - if you don't make your weekly tithing of $5 .00+, something that costs $25.00+ will go overboard), I make sure I spin one of those marine grade pulleys - just for the luxury of it. Life presents simple pleasures.