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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Default last minute concerns

    Looks like my start date is April 3rd, heres the last two things haunting me.

    Everyone says just sleep with your food, is this legitimately safe and not just a care free whatever kind of move?

    Should I have after market soles? If so what kind?

    How do I learn to tie up my food bag?

  2. #2
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    Do not sleep with your food unless the Bears are deep in hibernation. Use a waterproof bag to carry your food and hang the bag with a length of paracord and a carabiner. Lob the cord over a tree limb a distance from your camp site or shelter. Hook the bag and hoist at least 10 feet off the ground and 6-8 feet away from the tree trunk. Its easy and have never had a bear problem. Some areas in North GA require Bear Canisters. Bear cables and poles are common at shelters in the south…not brain surgery to use. Other hikers will be happy to show you.

  3. #3
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Default

    Google PCT hang method. That is what I use to hang my bear bag (although I do sleep with it on occasion).

  4. #4
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Default

    and good luck.

  5. #5

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    Pretty much all the shelter/ designated tent sites from Georgia and into North Carolina will have bear cables. What you do is clip your food bag to a steel cable and host it up into the air, then latch it to the tree. It will be self evident how to use it once you see it.

    If one of these cable is not available (from about the middle of NC north) you have several options.
    1) if staying at a shelter, hag it off the rafters in the front of the shelter. Nearly all shelters are equipped with a "mouse proof" food hanging device.
    2) Use some rope to hang your food from a tree limb. Min 10 feet off the ground and 10 feet from the tree trunk. Good luck with that!
    3) If off in the woods someplace and not too near a shelter, sleeping with your food is an option with minimal risk.

    Considering how expensive hiking boots or shoes are, you'd think they would at least give you a decent insole. However, that is rarely the case. I guess they figure you can just go spend another 50 bucks. Super Feet are probably the most widely used brand, but there are others. Probably worth getting.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #6
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Default

    If you're at a shelter just ask any of the other 20-50 hikers there....
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  7. #7

  8. #8

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    I like, and use these.
    https://www.powersteps.com/


    Many use and swear by these, I didn't care for them, but again, they are very popular among hikers.
    http://www.superfeet.com/en-us/insoles-and-sandals

  9. #9
    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    If you are at a shelter hang it on the mouse hangers or use the bear box/cables/pole as provided. Sleeping with it is effective and safe IF you do not stay in established camp sites and shelter areas (also I suggest having dinner an hour or two before making camp no smells). A proper wild black bear is not not gonna **** with you, they run. But a habituated bear that knows there is food down at that campsite and smells your cooking might.

  10. #10

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    Habituated bear issues are generally well documented at shelter sites and the maintaining clubs will generally respond quickly with bear cables and or bear boxes. As you head north there are some areas (new Jersey, Mass ) where habituated bears are not just at shelters, if you are following the rules in those areas and staying at designated sites there should be either boxes or cables. What may be to consider is a "rat sack" which deals with mice and smaller critters (like flying squirrels) which can be an issue even if you hang. The mouse hangers usually work at shelters but the mice get pretty good at bypassing them at heavily used shelters.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkCevoli View Post

    Everyone says just sleep with your food, is this legitimately safe and not just a care free whatever kind of move?


    it's safe for me. most folks don't hang their food correctly. it gets stolen. a lot. most folks that sleep with food never get it stolen

  12. #12
    Garlic
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    It's not just bears. I've never had a bear problem. Though I've seen plenty of bear problems on the AT with improperly hung food. Some "hanging" jobs I've seen actually make it easier for a bear--it wouldn't have to bend over to eat.

    Several times I've left my food unattended and have been very sorry. Once a mink, once a raven, mice a couple of times...I hang my food whenever I'm out of sight of it. I don't always hang around my campsite after I pitch camp. The only time I sleep with my food is when I'm above treeline, and then I don't let it out of my sight. It's worth defending.

    Hanging is a two-minute chore if you have rudimentary line-handling skills and a decent throwing arm, both of which can be learned.

    After-market insoles are a personal decision. I tried Superfeet when they first came out and they felt like logs under my almost flat feet. Then I found a thinner version, and now I like the blue flavor. But they sure don't work for everyone. I've heard there are tricks for fitting not-normal feet, as in cutting and splicing two pairs to make a custom pair. Sometimes I carry a cushioned pair if I'm going to be doing lots of road walking, but that won't be a concern on the AT. Many people are perfectly happy with the stock insoles.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  13. #13
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Ue the bear cables in Georgia. Easy and fast.

    PCT Method for hanging. I like the OP Sack odorproof ziplocs for inside my food bag - I've never had anything taken when all the food was inside an OP Sack. I have had mice get in my food bag (even hung properly) on the one recent night when I couldn't fit everything inside the OP Sack.

    You can practice the PCT method at home before you go.

    Sleeping with your food is usually fine if you're in a tent, but not a shelter, as the shelter mice will just dive right in.

    Insoles: maybe. This really depends on what shoes you have and how they fit your feet. My wife never used aftermarket insoles -- hated them -- but last summer on the LT her feet were getting torn up, lots of toe blisters, and the folks at the outfitter in Manchester recommended the Sole insoles. They completely fixed the issue and her feet were fine after that. You can fix feet issues after 3-4 days on the trail when you reach Neels Gap.

    Have a great hike.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  14. #14
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkCevoli View Post
    How do I learn to tie up my food bag?
    I found it very helpful to learn to tie a few proper knots. Youtube is a wonderful source for this. Some basic knots that come in handy on the AT are the half hitch, clove hitch, bowline and square knot. Also, get your food bag out in the yard and practice, it won't take you long to get the hang of it.
    Section hiker on the 20 year plan - 1,480 miles and counting!

  15. #15
    Registered User q-tip's Avatar
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    I never have heard a single person say their food was stolen??????

  16. #16
    Registered User Walkintom's Avatar
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    Default

    1. Hanging food isn't hard. General etiquette is to hang if you are in an area and others hang. Hang if you have an inkling that some critter might be around that would try for your food, dangerous or not. If neither of these conditions exist, I sleep with it.

    2. Aftermarket insoles may or may not be necessary. You'll go by plenty of places to buy them or have them shipped to you if you find that you need them.

  17. #17
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by q-tip View Post
    I never have heard a single person say their food was stolen??????
    You mean by bear? I have, at AT shelters. Two or three at one shelter as I walked by one morning, one a couple of days later. I'm glad I don't sleep at shelters--everyone there had a sleepless night (and some hungry days). One guy I met on the PCT in So Cal who used his food bag as a pillow while cowboy-camping, was awoken by a bear pulling the food bag out from under his head. This was not hearsay--I talked to the guy. He also lost a night's sleep along with his food supply and helping create a problem bear for others. I hang my food in bear country, period.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  18. #18
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    Hanging your food at the shelter opening will reduce mouse access, but still will not protect you from a bear…especially a habituated bear.
    "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
    but I have promises to keep,
    and miles to go before I sleep,
    and miles to go before I sleep." (Frost)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    ...and helping create a problem bear for others. I hang my food in bear country, period.
    Good point Garlic...don't be lazy - be considerate for other hikers and for the animal and secure your food however possible. We don't want to take the chance or feel we had in some part, had a part, in creating a problem bear that at some point could end up injuring someone which would then end up having to be put down. Be responsible - take responsibility.

  20. #20

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    Hang your food folks. It's easy, takes 5 minutes, and it's safe from all sorts of critters.

    Ryan

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