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  1. #1
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    Default Cuben fiber food bags?

    Is there a cheaper alternative to this for a food bag? I've heard conflicting advice about keeping food safe from rodents (let alone bears). Some say to hang a food bag open, so rodents won't chew thru it, while others advise rodent-proof materials, which seem extravagant (and are costly) to me. Is even a sea-to-summit style, Sil-nylon, bag necessary? Won't a water-resistant sack do?
    I know...a minor gear question...forgive my wonk.
    Nick
    All things noble are as rare as they are difficult...​Spinoza

  2. #2
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    I used a Sea to Summit bag - hung it from a tree. Never had rodent or bear problems. Never saw a bear, to tell the truth. I didn't camp or hang my bag too close to a shelter, though.

    I bought some reflective cord to hang off it next time. It was sometimes hard to find in the morning when it was darkish or foggy.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
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  3. #3

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    I use a zpacks blast foodbag.

    1) its rectangular in cross section so it fits in a pack better. Joe will also make it in a custom size if you like., for a perfect fit in your pack.

    2) its water resistant
    3) At 0.85 oz , its fairly light as well
    4) its quite strong.
    5) at about $20 or so, its not very expensive

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Don't leave your food bag open. Not a good idea at all. Learn to hang it in a way that the critters won't get to it easily, like the PCT method. It's much easier than it seems at first glance, and it will work with pretty much any bag. A roll top waterproof bag is great, since it keeps all your food dry. Lots of people use the S2S bag for food.

    I use a Zpacks Blast food bag. I own two of them -- great bags. Very well made, and as MW says they fit very well inside my Circuit pack. In theory the cuben fiber is somewhat resistant to small rodents chewing through it, and I've never found mice or droppings in mine, though of course that's not definitive proof. (The mice got into my old nylon food bags in Georgia every night, hanging from the bear cables. Ugh.) I still have a couple of Ursacks, too, which we used for many years after the 2003 mice-in-bags experience (they leaving little mouse droppings inside your gorp. Ew.) But they seem to be overkill and I like using the PCT method and hanging my bag.
    Ken B
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  5. #5
    NC_is_me rjhouser's Avatar
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    I used a sea to summit. My base weight was about 9 lbs. Never had a problem. I used a cuben fiber for my sleeping bag sack.

  6. #6
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    I use a loksack (odor reduction) inside a blast bag, but they might also do the job in a water resistant sack. Unforunately loksacks are also expensive. I have seen people using double ziplocks to reduce the odor. I have not tried that.
    Also, double check your pack and clothes pockets for food/wrappers and leave it open when you hang it, they will chew thru.

  7. #7
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    I used a Sea to summit drybag, but the cost of that is comparable to cuban fiber, it was just I could obtain the S2S bag at a outfitter right then as opposed to have to wait for the cuban fiber bag to be made and sent. I did also use a cuban fiber drysack for my sleeping gear.

    Over the thru the S2S developed minor puncture holes, the cuban fiber developed 'leaks' near the top which by folding it extra maintained watertightness. I believe I also used a piece of cuban fiber repair tape in one spot.

    That said I don't think the cuban fiber dry sack is 'superior' as a food bag takes a lot more abuse then the sleeping gear bag. Lots of more weight for the food bag, many time more access to it, emptying and repacking it far more often and odd sized materials with sometimes sharp corners, and usually the stove got in their too. I do suspect that the sil-nylon is a more durable choice, I don't think cuban fiber would have held up so well.

    I have not had a rodent/aminal issue with my food bag during my entire thru.

  8. #8

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    As a cheaper/lighter alternative to Loksack, there's these: http://litetrail.com/shop/litetrail-...odor-proof-bag

    I just got them in the mail this week and haven't tested them, but they have good reviews.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick P View Post
    Is there a cheaper alternative to this for a food bag? I've heard conflicting advice about keeping food safe from rodents (let alone bears). Some say to hang a food bag open, so rodents won't chew thru it, while others advise rodent-proof materials, which seem extravagant (and are costly) to me. Is even a sea-to-summit style, Sil-nylon, bag necessary? Won't a water-resistant sack do?
    I know...a minor gear question...forgive my wonk.
    Nick
    All I use are simple/cheap nylon bags for food (and everthing else) and I keep everything in plastic baggies to keep waterproof.

    As far as keeping safe you don't want to keep it open. That's the advice for your backpack, assuming you've removed all your food and are in a shelter, then you open all he pockets so the mice can go through and "inspect". If you don't leave the pockets open then there's a good chance that the mouse will chew his way thru -- happened to me.

    As far as keeping your food safe, that's a loaded question. My method is to keep it with me in my tent; others say that's not safe...they say to hang from a tree.

    However, if you're in a shelter/lean-to the accepted method is to hang your foodbag from the mice gurads as seen here http://sectionhiker.com/mouse-mobiles/

    Just make sure your foodbag doesn't contact a beam or any other structure. And it can't just be hanging from a simple line, must have that device on it.

  10. #10
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    I've had excellent luck with my Ursak Minor. Notice I said luck. Sooner or later, some critter will eventually get to your food. If I recall correctly, my Ursak Minor was pricy (> $40?), but worth the peace of mind.

  11. #11
    Registered User louisb's Avatar
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    Ursack for me.

    --louis

  12. #12
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    Thanks, as usual, for the advice, WB-ers.
    I went with the z-pack blast...$35 shipped, but it includes a carabiner...lol.
    nick
    All things noble are as rare as they are difficult...​Spinoza

  13. #13
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    I have an e-mail in to Joe and what we could do is figure out how we can get it tested... here's why,

    I have a personal experience with rats and mice with my customers. Rats can chew concrete and mice have an awesome bite strength. So having access to the vermin - maybe I can get Joe or myself to field test it...
    Last edited by Wise Old Owl; 01-01-2014 at 17:51.
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  14. #14
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    I used the Z-pack food bag for my thru. Worked great. Never had any rodents get in it. Supposedly, it's rodent-proof. In areas w/ bear activity and/or bear poles, I hung it up there. When camping away from the shelter, I used the PCT method of hanging the food bag. Excellent method of hanging food.

  15. #15
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Cuben doesn't hold up well. All my cuben bags from Zpack were in taters by the end of the trail.

  16. #16
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Zip locks inside Wally World roll top dry bag - 3 different size dry bags for $10. Works as well as any and still probably overkill.

  17. #17
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Cuben doesn't hold up well. All my cuben bags from Zpack were in taters by the end of the trail.
    ALL my ZPacks cuben bag were in perfect condition at the end of my thru. YMMV
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  18. #18

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    My cuben food bag broke on the second day of the hike - had to pick up another one from Mt. Crossings. The blast might be better.
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  19. #19
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    ALL my ZPacks cuben bag were in perfect condition at the end of my thru. YMMV
    My cuben fiber food bag also handled the hike perfectly. The cuben fiber stuff sack for my cook pot is another story. I bought a 1.3 L Evernew stuff sack to fit over my 0.9L Evernew pot + pot cozy. It lasted the trip but I don't think it'll last much longer. Started to fray.

  20. #20
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    I made a cuben roll top bag for my food (and one for my hiking partner) on the Colorado Trail this summer - I used the CT5K.18 (the stuff I use on the 'heavy' floors for my tents. At the end of 36 days, my bag had some holes in it where I would grab it and drag it across the ground to me, but for the most part it was intact. My hiking partner on the other hand spilled a bottle of bourbon in his bag - yes we mourned the loss of the bourbon, but, the stuff ate away at the cuben - his was in tatters soon after this! This REALLY surprised me as I've been working with the cuben for a few years now and thought the stuff was tougher than that. Now, tents don't (shouldn't?) get dragged across the ground the way I treated this food bag, but still, I have to re-think the use of cuben for this - I was all set to make and sell these for LightHeart Gear, but not now.

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