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#193944 - 02/28/16 02:39 PM Hanging Food
hikingdoe Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Illinois
Should I hang my food on every trip I take? Even if there is no danger of bears?

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#193946 - 02/28/16 03:03 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: hikingdoe]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I generally do something to protect my food even though I know that bears are not likely to be a problem. Mice can be a real problem as can raccoons and even skunks. In my area pack rats, ringtail cats and ravens can try to get at your food. So, yes, it is a good idea to protect it. You don't need to hang it but it needs to be in something that mice can't chew through and that raccoons can't haul off. I use an ursack or I hang, sometimes both.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#193953 - 02/28/16 05:55 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: hikingdoe]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 142
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
Squirrels, mice, coons and possums all like a free meal and can be pretty persistent, especially when they become habituated to humans. I have never hung food in the Midwest, but don't see any harm in it. Just make certain that climbing animals can't get it. Squirrels can empty a bird feeder pretty quickly. As was mentioned, an Ursack or similar might be the best idea. It's a good idea to get in the habit of separating your camp and kitchen, even though the critters are no real threat to you.

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#193954 - 02/28/16 05:57 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: Pika]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
I've had skunks, possums, racoons, mice, squirrels, marmots,coyotes,kit fox, ringtails, ravens,canada jays, seagulls, porcupines, and last , but not least bear, visit my campsites and have never had a real problem, as food was always hung, in a bear can or a metal can.
It'll give you peace of mind when things go scrath, scratch in the middle of the night. The Ursack that Pika mentioned is worth looking into.
_________________________
Charlie

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#193974 - 02/29/16 08:39 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: wgiles]
hikingdoe Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Illinois
IF I decide to hang should I follow the same bear bagging protocol? Branch 20ft high, 4ft out?

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#193980 - 03/01/16 09:12 AM Re: Hanging Food [Re: hikingdoe]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
Not the worst practice, but probably don't need to go so high for smaller critters. I also don't bother to counter- balance, as they are very unlikely to chew through a cord wrapped around a tree. I just make sure it's hung down enough where little paws can't reach. In areas with habituated bears, all bets are off. I use a bear can and either hang it, or put it where it can't roll off. I've had a bear play a little soccer with my Garcia. It got bored after a few minutes and moved on. It did leave me some scat as a comment . Not that many areas require bear can use; I've used them in the Eastern High Peaks of the Adirondacks (required) , in the Sierra (required in some areas) and the Great Smoky National Park. I also use them in some areas close to me on backwoods ponds and ridge tops carpeted in blueberries where the bear population is high. Of course, this is just what I have done, and my experience. If it makes you feel better to go the further step, DO IT! Good for the animals, good for your peace of mind.
_________________________
Charlie

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#193991 - 03/01/16 09:05 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: bluefish]
hikingdoe Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Illinois
Thanks alot! I probably will hang just because I am not ready to invest in a can (and dont want to carry it). I like the peace of mind if nothing else.

Cheers

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#194261 - 03/15/16 09:54 AM Re: Hanging Food [Re: hikingdoe]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
If I am not in bear country, I just keep my food in my pack in my tent.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#194267 - 03/15/16 05:48 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: finallyME]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I don't hang my food, because I am the world's worst thrower (plus having shoulder arthritis which is exacerbated by throwing motions). Besides, finding the right tree (if any are around) can take forever. I use an Ursack which is tied to the trunk of a tree. In the rare cases in which a canister is required (such as the Olympic NP coast, where a hard sided canister is required, not for bears but for voracious rogue raccoons), I use a canister.

You really don't want food in your tent. First of all, it might attract a passing bear that normally would just go on by. You don't want to be responsible for a bear's learning that tents can have food inside! Second, there are mice and other rodents which can do considerable damage while you sleep. I remember (from many yeats ago) the time I inadvertently pitched my tent over a mouse hole…. Then there are insects, such as ants!

Do note that in some areas, a hard-sided canister is required. In many cases, you can rent canisters in those areas.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#194359 - 03/19/16 04:32 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: hikingdoe]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 385
I just want to add the warning that it isn't just food you have to worry about being securing from critters. Several times I have had sweaty clothing items stolen or chewed up at night by deer seeking them for the salt. Once, I had my socks stolen, my belt chewed in half, and my brothers backpack and boots chewed on, all at night while we slept (and my dog, who was in the tent with us, growled). We had left them around camp. Now, at a minimum, I keep my boots and socks in the tent at night. It's tough to get everything into the tent,though, so I take my chances somewhat with my backpack. I at least try to keep it in a garbage bag.


Edited by bobito9 (03/19/16 04:32 PM)

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#194492 - 03/24/16 12:43 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: OregonMouse]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 654
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I've had a tent destroyed by fire ants after eating cookies in it when I was young and didn't know any better. Luckily, we'd left the tent by the time it was overwhelmed.

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#194498 - 03/24/16 03:16 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I once camped in an area which turned out to be about 100 yards from a head-high ant nest. Not fire ants, but eastern Oregon red-and-black ants. Fortunately there was nothing to attract them in the tent, but I was very happy that we were in a closed, carefully zipped up but netting tent and not sleeping in the open under a tarp!

I suspect that if there had been any food in the tent, they'd have chewed it up pretty thoroughly.

One argument for scouting the neighborhood before setting up camp….


Edited by OregonMouse (03/24/16 03:18 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#194499 - 03/24/16 03:21 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: OregonMouse]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 654
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Will they smell food and travel 100yards overnight? That's amazing!

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#194500 - 03/24/16 03:31 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
They were all over the place by the time we finished dinner. I had to put the dog in the car because they were biting him!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#195042 - 04/22/16 08:53 PM Re: Hanging Food [Re: hikingdoe]
ndwoods Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
I've given up hanging. I figure it's like hanging bait, calling to the bears. The last time I hung the bear went up and down the tree for 3 hrs breaking off every single branch until she got the one my food was on. I use a bear can in bear country and an ursack in other critter country ...
_________________________
http://ndeewoods.com/ and http://wilderstatepark.com/

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