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Old 08-30-2018, 01:27 PM   #1
adirondackcamper
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Question What do you use as a bear bag?

Hey guys!
Thank you all for the advice yesterday on the guide book in my previous thread. I'm curious as to what others choose to use for a bear bag. I have about a 2 week period of time off coming up in mid September. So I decided, what a better way to spend two weeks off then to spend some serious time in the Adirondacks. I'm planning on starting the 46 on this trip, but since I'll have my dog whose never hiked in mountains before along with me, I only plan to hit only one maybe two high peaks than spend a night. As bear canisters are required in the Eastern High Peaks region, I'll be renting one from the HPIC. But since I'll have so much time for this trip, the plan is to drive to another area of the park to spend the remainder of my two weeks. Undecided on the location yet. Possibly the Five Ponds Wilderness, or the West Canada Lakes. So for this part of my trip outside the high peaks I'll be hanging my food. This brings me back to my original inquiry of what do you all use? I'm highly considering a Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil dry sack, as I'll be out for so long I figure the chance of seeing rain is pretty high, so waterproofness is important to me. And yes I'll be stopping to resupply after the high peaks if necessary to ensure the pup and I have enough food.

take care ya'll
Steve

and maybe we'll see ya out in the woods!
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:58 PM   #2
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I think you're right on target with the Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Dry Sack. That is what I used this summer when I hiked half the NPT. It rained every night so I can definitely attest to it's water resistance. Nothing inside ever got wet and it repels water pretty well (as in, the fabric doesn't absorb water). I keep pretty much everything inside in ziploc bags anyways which is good for backup water resistance. I used the 13 liter size and it fit about 5 days of food and snacks along with my 0.9 liter pot.

For line I use Dynaglide I purchased online. It has a coating which makes it slip over branches easier and it's less likely to tangle (although don't get me wrong, it can definitely still tangle!). I found it much easier to deal with, and lighter, than paracord.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:32 PM   #3
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Rocky's method will work well, but I just use an ordinary stuff sack (save money) that one would use for a sleeping bag out tent. Everything inside is in bags so when it rains, the bag gets wet, but food inside does not.

For line, I just go to the hardware store and get 1/8" nylon line. Some folks get white, some get black and some get came thinking it may get by the bears' vision. I'm not sure about any of that. If a bear knows it's there, he knows it's there no matter what color the line is. In other words, bears know their territory and where people hang food. They know where people tie off their bags on certain trees. Fortunately, most places in the park too not have a bear problem.

Just be sure to do a proper hang; 10 feet off the ground and 8' away from the trunk of the tree. The PCT method works well---see youtube for this.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:40 PM   #4
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There are many methods for hanging a bear bag. Different methods use more or less rope and skill and hardware (pulleys, for example). I prefer the Marrison method, using two caribiners as low friction pulleys. The big advantages are 1) you don't have to drag a heavily weighted rope over a tree branch that generates lots of friction, and 2) you have a 2:1 mechanical advantage if you need to heft a large load (think Boy Scout food). The disadvantage is you begin with 4 lengths of rope up and down. I use 75 feet of smallish nylon line to put a dry bag up 20 feet high.
https://www.princeton.edu/~oa/training/bearbag.html
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
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I'll give you another option if you're so inclined...check out an Ursack. I've been using one for years without any issues; although one person I was with had a problem one night. The beauty is my sack is made from Kevlar so while a bear, or other critter, can chew on it, they can't get into it. The sack itself isn't waterproof so anything inside is in a zip loc of some kind. The real advantage to using an Ursack is you can just tie it off to a tree instead of having to go through the process of hanging the bag. Here's their link if you'd like to check it out: https://www.ursack.com/

That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

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Old 08-31-2018, 02:24 PM   #6
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In a recent study, 9 out 10 bears preferred Ursack over all other chew-toys.


"I like it because it's soft on the outside and crunchy on the inside!" - Eartag J096X6

"I especially like when something bursts inside and all that rich flavor comes oozing out. Makes me want to chew on it for hours!" - Yogi

"It delivers genuine chewing satisfaction. Not for the flavor, because you rarely get at the contents, but the satisfaction of grinding some camper's food into dust. Into paste, if you're lucky!" - Son of Yellow-Yellow


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Old 08-31-2018, 05:46 PM   #7
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In a recent study, 9 out 10 bears preferred Ursack over all other chew-toys.
Citation please...
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:14 PM   #8
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Stuff sack or Ursack, with an Opsak on the inside, using a PCT method of hanging (I hang the Ursak). I use a dyna something line I bought at a local marine store. I have a tiny stuff sack on one end to hold a good sized rock for tossing...
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:56 PM   #9
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I have an old nylon stuff sack, but it's getting pretty worn out. I've used it for 10 years now and it was far from new when I started. I use a 50' piece of camo colored paracord with a metal jar lid with a hole punched in the center on a knot about 1 foot from the end. The lid prevents mice or other small things from crawling down the rope. I started using it after the only incident I've had with my food, when something like a mouse chewed through my bag overnight at the old summer camp site on Cascade Lake and ate part of a couple of slices of bread and some green beans. That was in 2011 or so and since I put the lid on the line I have had no more chewing attacks. I've never seen or heard any sign of a bear near any of the places I've camped, I've just been lucky so far, I guess.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:57 PM   #10
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If you want to buy a chew toy for the bears, go ahead. But know that they are not a legal substitute for a hard side canister where they are required by regulation. If you plan to spend time in the EHP, you must have a hard side canister. The Ursack will earn you a citation from a ranger and a smashed dinner dripping with bear drool.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:01 PM   #11
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I have always used my dogís backpack as a bear bag, never ever had any issues.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:39 PM   #12
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I've always used cheap dry bags from Walmart hung over a suitable tree branch. Never had an issue. Maybe I got lucky but I do put my garbage and anything else odorous (except me) in big ziplock bags and hang it with the food.

High Peaks require the use of my huge-n-heavy Garcia canister. Thank God I don't go there much.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:06 AM   #13
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Zach's mention of "the old summer camp site" would place him on another Cascade Lake, far west of the EHP (but certainly right about in the center of bad bear territory, although they are really busy with cottages and camps around there.) And the original poster also indicated he'd be using a canister in EHP but was wondering about other areas.

Justin, do you leave the backpack on the dog(LOL!)?
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:17 AM   #14
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Zach's mention of "the old summer camp site" would place him on another Cascade Lake, far west of the EHP (but certainly right about in the center of bad bear territory, although they are really busy with cottages and camps around there.) And the original poster also indicated he'd be using a canister in EHP but was wondering about other areas.

Justin, do you leave the backpack on the dog(LOL!)?
I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. You're right, I meant the Cascade Lake near the hamlet of Eagle Bay, in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness Area. I've never set foot in the EHP, though I'm sure it's very nice. I just don't get around much.
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Old 09-01-2018, 11:20 AM   #15
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Justin, do you leave the backpack on the dog(LOL!)?
Ha... no I usually just clip it to a my clothes line, or hang it like a regular bear hang. Sadly though, Jenny is no longer with us, we had to say goodbye to her yesterday as a matter of fact.
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Old 09-01-2018, 11:58 AM   #16
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Ha... no I usually just clip it to a my clothes line, or hang it like a regular bear hang. Sadly though, Jenny is no longer with us, we had to say goodbye to her yesterday as a matter of fact.


Oh no! So sorry Justin. Pups really are humankindís best friend.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:04 PM   #17
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Ha... no I usually just clip it to a my clothes line, or hang it like a regular bear hang. Sadly though, Jenny is no longer with us, we had to say goodbye to her yesterday as a matter of fact.
So sorry to hear that, Justin. A dog truly is man's best friend.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:45 PM   #18
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Thanks guys.
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:23 PM   #19
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Oh Justin please accept my condolences. I loved seeing your dog in your videos. She was awesome.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:03 PM   #20
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Thanks Pauly.
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