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  1. #1
    Registered User NewHeart's Avatar
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    Question For the AT, Bear Canister or Food Sack?

    Starting to put finishing touches on my gear for my late April Nobo start. I've read multiple threads about food protection. There seems to be a vast variety of ideas and from what I have read it also seems mice are more of a problem. I've heard recommendations on a Ursack Minor. It is my understanding that canisters are required on some sections. What recommendations on bear canisters?
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  2. #2

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    There is only a 5 mile section over Blood Mountain in GA that requires a bear can. That is only if you are camping, not just walking through. You will not need a canister. I like the food stuff sacks offered by Z-Packs. They are made of cuben fiber and are strong and light. If you hang your food, you won't have mice getting into it. I don't know if this is urban legend or really true, but I have heard that mice do not like knowing through cuben fiber. I heard it hurts their teeth. Maybe the guys at Zpacks can answer that for you. http://www.zpacks.com
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  3. #3
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    Mice and squirrels, especially flying squirrels at night, can get into properly hung food bags. This is why I use an Ursak Minor and have had zero problems with critters getting into my food.

  4. #4
    Registered User daveiniowa's Avatar
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    Got an Ursack last Fall and zero problems. I hang it well away from camp. I like it. It will be what I use from now on.

  5. #5
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I carried a small nylon sack for food on my attempt. You won't need to worry about canisters (there's not many places that require them), plus the added weight was a deterrent for me.

  6. #6
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Regular nylon foodbag
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  7. #7
    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    I had a raccoon climb the bear pole and get my food sack. He ruined 5 lbs of food. I am considering a Ursak. Has only happened once, still didn't like loosing all that grub.

  8. #8
    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    Quick add on.... Food was in LokSak bags.

  9. #9

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    No need for canister IMO; +1 on Ursack Minor for varmint protection.
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  10. #10
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Canister is "suggested" from GA to Damascus but only required around the Blood Mtn, GA area which can be easily hiked through.







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  11. #11
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    I just keep my food in my pack in my tent.

    Wouldn't carry a canister unless it was required, e.g. on the PCT.

  12. #12
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    ZPacks cuben food bag in my hammock as a pillow.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  13. #13
    Registered User xrayextra's Avatar
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    If you keep your food in your tent, mice will eat through the tent to get to the food.

    You don't need a bear canister as was previously stated if you don't camp in the five mile wide, bear canister required zone.

    I highly recommend the LokSaks. When used properly, they're smell proof, so even mice and other rodents won't chew through it to get at the food b/c they can't smell it (unless you have food on your fingers when you zip it shut).
    Flatfoot, Ga->Me 2013

  14. #14
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    I had "something" eat a quarter sized hole in the bottom of my Ursak in 2012. I always hung it on bear cables.

  15. #15
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    I don't like how quickly the LokSaks wear out for their cost.

  16. #16

    Default Ursack Major vs. Minor on the AT

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder940 View Post
    I had "something" eat a quarter sized hole in the bottom of my Ursak in 2012. I always hung it on bear cables.
    Was that an Ursack Major or Minor? I've heard that rodents can chew through Ursack Major if given enough time. Rodents tend to chew persistently in one little spot, while bears tend to chomp randomly and give up after a while. The Ursack minor has failed under vigorous bear chomping on the PCT (leaving pulverized drool-soaked gruel inside a Loksak in the torn-up Ursack Minor.) I have both a Minor and a Major, and would like to just take one on the AT. My preference on the PCT has been to just tie it to the base of a tree. Wondering if anyone has done that consistently on the AT?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dys-feng shui-nal View Post
    Was that an Ursack Major or Minor? I've heard that rodents can chew through Ursack Major if given enough time. Rodents tend to chew persistently in one little spot, while bears tend to chomp randomly and give up after a while. The Ursack minor has failed under vigorous bear chomping on the PCT (leaving pulverized drool-soaked gruel inside a Loksak in the torn-up Ursack Minor.) I have both a Minor and a Major, and would like to just take one on the AT. My preference on the PCT has been to just tie it to the base of a tree. Wondering if anyone has done that consistently on the AT?
    It was an Ursack Minor.

  18. #18

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    +1 for hanging UrSack Minor.

  19. #19
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    Default For the AT, Bear Canister or Food Sack?

    I had a flying squirrel eat a whole in my hanging bear bag, Ursack for me since then

  20. #20
    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    I once tried hanging a mesh food bag. BAD IDEA!! The raccoons climbed the metal bear pole and were able flail out and grab the mesh easily.

    Yes, I sat and watched for a minute. Next day, switched to sil nylon; was too slick for the sneaks!

    From what I understand, the ursak is slick like sil nylon and chew proof as long as you catch the critter in time. They warranty if the hole is bigger than 1/4 inch I believe.

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