Bear Bagging System

Now that I have replaced my bigger items with lighter, more “appropriate” gear, I started looking to the little things to lighten up. Immediately, my bear bagging system jumped out at me. My old system (OR dry sack, 50′ of 3 mm PMI cord and a #4 Nite Ize S-Carabiner) weighed a whopping 7.5 oz, without a rock sack. So, I looked around for a suitable replacement. What I decided on was a MYOG Silnylon rock sack, a ZPacks Large “Blast” Food Bag, a ZPacks Mini-D Carabiner and 50′ of 1.4mm Z-Line Slick Dyneema Cord. So, check out my video detailing these items and let me know what you think…

6 Responses to Bear Bagging System

  1. George says:

    Stick
    I have upgraded to a similar Bear Bag setup. I went with the 1.75 slick Zline, easier to handle, and a Cuben roll top Zpack bag. I bought an OpSak from AGG to try to reduce the food odors..
    The problem I had last summer, on the AT, was with mice chewing a hole in my bear bag. I was using a silnylon drysack. One time I hung the bag in the shelter and one time about 200yards from the shelter. The bag was hung from a limb and free end tied off to a tree. Both times the mouse found the trail mix(nuts) and chewed a hole through the dry sack and ziploc bag.
    I never had a problem using the bear cables. If you remember the cables have a floating disc or square on the cable above your hook. I think this keeps the mice from crawling down the cable to your bag.
    A thru hiker told me to run your string thru a hole in an upside down tuna can on the string to stop the mice.
    Some of the hang strings in the shelters have DVDs on them and it may be to stop the mice.
    Every shelter I have been to was overrun with mice.
    What has been your experience?
    Anybody else have any ideas to stop the mice?

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    • Stick says:

      George,

      When I pull my bag up I usually grab the end and wrap it around my hands a few times and then walk back with the rope rather than trying to stand under the bag and hoist it up. I have found that this method works much better and even with the tiny diameter rope it does not hurt my hands. Then when letting it down I do the same, well in reverse. 🙂

      I have never had issues with mice actually getting into my food. Although I have heard them running around beside me, and even over me in the middle of the night, and not just at shelters! Those tiny critters can be the most frightening!

      I too have the OpSak and have used them just about every time I have been out. There has been a few times that I just used Ziplocs but I guess I was lucky not to have anything stolen while using them.

      You are correct about the disc/cds/tuna cans/etc… keeping the rodents from climbing down to get your food. However, I do not use one unless I happen to be somewhere with bear cables already present.

      If you keep having bad luck, you could give the Ursack Minor a look. One of my buddies has one and loves it. It is definitely heavier than the cuben dry sack, nor is it waterproof like the cuben dry sack but it will keep the small rodents out, and even some of the bigger ones.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by again and commenting!

      ~Stick~

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  2. Sorry but apparently that was posted under my sons twitter account. Mine is geekalope,

    Mike M.

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    • Stick says:

      Mike,

      That is cool. Sometiimes my wife will like Youtube videos while I am logged in, so then on all the social networking sites some really girly videos are sometimes posted as my “likes”…haha…

      ~Stick~

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  3. Chad I have really enjoyed your blog and videos. I am just starting out and your videos have been a tremendous help in understanding the different types of gear available. Living in Georgia and looking at doing most of my backpacking on the AT in North Georgia I know bears will be an issue. I have looked at videos on you tube of the PCT method of hanging a bag. How do you hang your bear bag?

    thanks,

    Mike

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    • Stick says:

      Mason/Mike,

      I am glad that you found my site and that it has proved to be useful. Thanks for the kind words!

      As far as bear bagging, more times than not, I am somewhere that has bear cables, or just not in bear country. (We don’t have bears in MS… 🙂 ) However, the times that I do have to hang without the cables I typicaly throw the line and haul my food (and usually pack too) up and then simply tie the other end of the rope to another tree. I like this system I have now because it is uberlight and it is effective, but I will admit that with rope/cord this thin, you do have to be careful so it doesn’t get away from you and cut your hand. I take care to handle the cord carefully. When I haul the items up I usually stand under them and push with my hands or a stick to get them as high as I can. Then when I can’t reach it anymore, I wrap the cord around my hands a few time and then simply walk backwards. Then just tie the rope off to another tree as high as I can, and as far away as I can. So far I have had no issues doing this.

      Although, just to be able to do it, I wouldn’t mind trying the PCT method more. I don’t know if you have seen this video, but here is a nice video on using a knotless method for the PCT hang:



      Hope this helps.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting,

      ~Stick~

      Like

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