View Full Version : What do you carry / hang your food in?

03-27-2003, 05:32
I ordered an Ursack bear bag from the US but it never arrived in England so I don't have anything to store / hang my food in. As we don't have bears in England its an area I don't have a clue about.

What do you use to store / hang your food in?

I'm in Atlanta next week for a couple of days before starting my hike. Would outdoors / camping stores in Atlanta have useful bags / containers?

How much room do you find 5 days worth of food takes up in your rucksack?


03-27-2003, 06:27
I am surprised ursack didnt get your order out to you. Perhaps someone can forward it to you when it arrives.

for standard hanging you can use a nylon stuff sack and 50 foot of cord. You need to keep the sack about 10 foot from any branches and 12 to 15 foot off the ground. Any sturdy nylon sack will do the job so long as it can handle the weight of your food. Line it with a trash bag if water leakage might be a problem.

some shelters have pole contraptions but the bears know them and frequent them for pinata practice. East coast bears may not be the brightest bears but they are learning :eek:

03-27-2003, 07:29
Along the AT, a nylon stuff sack, the size of a sleeping bag, works well. That is wat most, if not almost hikers use.

If you don't know how much room your food is going to take up then you have not done good preparation. But, in any event, it's roughly the size of another sleeping bag, but certainly heavier.

03-27-2003, 08:29
I think there is another thread baout this subject, but we used a Sil Nylon stuff sack that was 8 X15 inches. It held 4-5 days of food for two people with no problems the whole trip (of course, we never got the ravenous hiker appetite) but to start out with, a stuff sack would serve you quite well.

03-27-2003, 09:46
I used a silnylon stuff sack which measures about 8 by 15 inches. It is enough to hold food for up to 8 or 9 days. In camp, tie the end of a length (30-50 ft) of cord to a rock, toss the rock over a tree branch (too small for a bear to climb out on, large enough to suppor the food). Untie the rock and tie the cord to the bag. Haul the food at least 10 ft. off the ground and 10 feet from anyother branches. Tie the cord to another tree, if possible. To be honest, probably the greatest threat to your food will come from mice. Most shelters have "mouse hangers" in them. You'll see them when you get there. In the Smokys, definitely hang your food. There are a significant number of trained bears, particularly in western end of the park. Note that some shelters have cables for hanging food, which makes life easy at the end of a day.

03-28-2003, 13:04
some shelters have pole contraptions but the bears know them and frequent them for pinata practice.
When I was in Guatemala, I met a guy from England who had never heard of a pinata. One of the funniest things I heard from him: "What's pinata in English?" :rolleyes:

Don't worry, though, I took him out across the street to a pinata shop (una pinateria) where he could see a hundred or so pinatas as I explained what one did with them. He knows better now. :D

In the United States, I'd have been hard pressed to actually say where one could aquire a pinata, but in Guatemala, that's NOT a problem!!!!

-- Ryan

03-28-2003, 15:44
Well I didn't want to say anything but I haven't a clue what a pinata is? I'm sure I'm gonna learn a lot of stuff over the next 6 months.

Papa Bear
03-28-2003, 16:17
A pinata is a thing made of paper mache that gets filled with toys and candy and hung in the midle of a room. Kids (I think blindfolded) whack at it with sticks. When well hit, the whole thing breaks apart amid much merriment for all.

The key similarities are that it's full of goodies and is hung in such a way that the "attacker" can just reach it. And of course the fact that it comes apart is a great attraction.

03-28-2003, 16:49
Originally posted by ianmorris
Well I didn't want to say anything but I haven't a clue what a pinata is? I'm sure I'm gonna learn a lot of stuff over the next 6 months.

If it's any consolation, I'm sure you'll learn a whole heck of a lot about Mexican food and customs if you spend six months in the United States. Granted, the Appalachian Trail doesn't run through California or Texas or those other traditional "high Mexican influnence" states bordering Mexico, but I can't imagine making it through six months without encountering burritos, enchilladas, and so on.

The guy I met in Guatemala that didn't know what a pinata was--he said until he visited the United States and went to Taco Bell, he didn't even know what a burrito was. (How is that possible?!)

I can't vouch for the rest of the country, but on the west coast, Cinco de Mayo is a pretty wild holiday as well. Maybe you can get a taste of that as well if you're in the right area on the fifth of May.

-- Ryan

03-28-2003, 18:58
For those of you who have not lived in the South, I think you'd be suprised at how many Hispanics live there. While not as dense as in, say, Miami or the southwest, the Hispanic population in Tennessee is actually fairly large.

03-29-2003, 06:21
Most mexican food wouldnt get recognised or eaten here in the US.
Sorry about the pinata referance, cant think of anything more universal at the moment tho.

03-29-2003, 08:09
You won't need anything fancy to hang your food in. A nylon stuff sack lined with a plastic bag is fine. I don't believe I bothered with hanging my food anyplace outside the Smokies. Five days worth of food for me might take up an area about the size of a football (soccer ball.)

03-29-2003, 13:19
I'm gonna use a stuff sac with a plastic bag inside - cheap & chearful.

I guessed the size of 5 days worth of food would be around the size of a football or sleeping bag and that is how much room I have left in my rucksack!

As for Mexican food - I had chicken burrito on Friday night when I went out with friends for a leaving meal / party. I've also had a work leaving party and a family leaving party. I'm hoping that the bigger the send off, the more chance I'll stay on the trail because I'll look pretty silly if I go home 2 weeks later.

03-29-2003, 13:41
Iuse a silnylon stuff sack, which in itself is waterproof, so no trash bag needed. In some areas where i KNOW there are no bears or when it is very late, i simply hang the bag from my Hennessy Hammock- no mice problems.