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  1. #21

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    I slept with my food one night in 600 miles, when I was stealth camping miles away from the nearest shelter or hardened tentsite, and it was pouring out. Nothing bad happened.

    Another night, in the Smokies. I was tenting in the area of a full shelter and I was woken to yelling at 1 or 2 in the morning, then I went back to sleep. A bear went right into the shelter with 15 people sleeping. It tore open two hanging packs with near surgical precision. It got a candy bar wrapper from one pack, and the peppermint soap from another. Someone got a picture of the bear walking within two feet of my tent after I'd fallen back asleep. (Blurry/grainy from the lack of light, I didn't even bother requesting a copy of the pic.) I might have had a bad night had I chosen to have food in my tent on that specific night. A few hikers were previously complaining that the Ridge Runner was being overly militant about telling people not to bring food into the shelter... no doubt they apologized to him in the morning.

    So, be aware of your surroundings and and decide when/where you'll risk food in your tent.

  2. #22
    Registered User tagg's Avatar
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    I generally sleep with my food in my hammock, and then lay my empty pack on the ground underneath with all of the pockets open. I've never had anything get to my food in my hammock or chew holes in my pack, however I once had a mouse (or something) chew the mouthpiece off of my water bladder hose one night when I had it laying on top of my pack. I've had a mouse get inside my tent one time on Max Patch, but I've never heard of one finding it's way into a hammock.
    -tagg

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagg View Post
    ...but I've never heard of one finding it's way into a hammock.
    I had one come down my suspension and tightrope the ridgeline before falling off and landing on me. It was a few miles north of Damascus at a very well used site.

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  4. #24
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I slept with my food one night in 600 miles, when I was stealth camping miles away from the nearest shelter or hardened tentsite, and it was pouring out. Nothing bad happened.

    Another night, in the Smokies. I was tenting in the area of a full shelter and I was woken to yelling at 1 or 2 in the morning, then I went back to sleep. A bear went right into the shelter with 15 people sleeping. It tore open two hanging packs with near surgical precision. It got a candy bar wrapper from one pack, and the peppermint soap from another. Someone got a picture of the bear walking within two feet of my tent after I'd fallen back asleep. (Blurry/grainy from the lack of light, I didn't even bother requesting a copy of the pic.) I might have had a bad night had I chosen to have food in my tent on that specific night. A few hikers were previously complaining that the Ridge Runner was being overly militant about telling people not to bring food into the shelter... no doubt they apologized to him in the morning.

    So, be aware of your surroundings and and decide when/where you'll risk food in your tent.
    Nothing personal, but could it have your stench masking the odor of your food?
    Blackheart

  5. #25
    Registered User tagg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed View Post
    I had one come down my suspension and tightrope the ridgeline before falling off and landing on me. It was a few miles north of Damascus at a very well used site.
    Well, I guess I can't say I've never heard of that anymore. I'll probably think about you the next time I'm in a heavily used spot and am debating whether or not I want to zip up the bug net haha.
    -tagg

  6. #26

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    Here's a pic of a raw-tailed interloper at CS 29 in GSMNP. This lil bugger was hiding in the fire ring rocks and darting out to claim any of my granola bar crumbs. I don't recommend leaving your pack on the ground in GSMNP. Get it on the wires ASAP.

    29mouse.JPG

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Nothing personal, but could it have your stench masking the odor of your food?
    I considered myself one of the the cleaner hikers on the trail, taking quick sponge (bandana?) baths most nights, and finding a real shower/laundry at least once a week... and I still reeked after a month on the trail!

  8. #28
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I considered myself one of the the cleaner hikers on the trail, taking quick sponge (bandana?) baths most nights, and finding a real shower/laundry at least once a week... and I still reeked after a month on the trail!
    I would never tell anyone on the trail of stinking. I'm much like you with the sponge down daily and finding a shower that never runs out of hot water.
    Blackheart

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by QiWiz View Post
    When I have forgotten to remove snacks from pack pockets have had rodents (probably mice) chew through the pocket to get to the food. At least two personal experiences of this. Same with (once) forgetting a snack in tent to find a hole chewed in netting to get to it. Have also watched a marmot climb into my pack looking for food. All food in this case was in my bear canister. No luck for marmot, nothing chewed, he/she climbed out with no damage. If varmints are around, and they can smell food, they will go for it IMO.
    Let me guess where....Whitney trail junction? I watched those bastards go in and out of several packs...luckily as you, I had all my pockets and pack open! All I had were paw prints...


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  10. #30

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    I was on a trip in Colorado 2 years ago where we were setting up base camp at Chicago Basin and upon reaching the basin I spoke with a group that were on their last night there. One guy told me to be aware of marmots. One had chewed into hes tent to get his food, he was using a metal mesh food bag. He was woken to the sound of it chewing on the mesh, it scampered out.
    The next morning he found that they had also chewed the cork grip off his hiking poles to get the salt he had sweated.


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  11. #31
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    I tented almost every night, slept with my food almost every night. Had a mouse run across my face one night near the beginning of the trail. Tent wasn't quite zipped all the way.

  12. #32

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    I hung my food bag about 1/2 to 3/4 of the time I thru-hiked the A.T. Sometimes, there just was not a good tree nearby to hang a bag. If there was a bear pole, or if the area was known for bears, I hung my bag, or even tied it to a short bush to get it away from my tent. (I would rather it eat my food, than eat me!)

    I loved sleeping in my tent. I never had to sleep in a shelter, (even in the Smokies since the shelters were full). I did, however, pitch my tent at or near the shelters most of the time I was on the trail. Critters are horrendous around the shelters, because they know there is a steady source of food. I heard mice (and bears) at night around the shelters many times. The times I stealth camped, I rarely heard critters moving about outside my tent.

    There was one time at a shelter in Vermont where I pitched my tent right behind the shelter. I had accidentally left a snack bar in my hip belt pocket in my backpack. My backpack was in my tent at my feet. My food bag was hung on a tree away from my tent. A couple of mice chewed a hole through my tent and through my hip belt pocket of my backpack. It's a terrible feeling not only to wake up in the dark with a mouse jumping onto your belly, but also, knowing that your expensive, lightweight tent now has a hole in it. ...not to mention your expensive backpack.

    The mice at the shelters are brazen and aggressive. It's almost as if they hyped up on sugar-crack and need their fix at all costs! There was one time I was talking to another hiker sitting in a shelter in the Smokies. Her backpack was at her feet, and there was a mouse there crawling on her backpack right by her feet. She had to kick it away two or three times while we were sitting there. It kept coming back.

    My advice is hang your bag if there is a good tree available to do so. If you pitch your tent at a shelter, try to pitch your tent as far away from the shelter as you can. There is so much food and trash left in the fire ring, or even thrown on the ground around the shelter. The critters know that area near the shelters is a fast and easy buffet!

  13. #33

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    Food in a tent is asking for trouble. Mice, ground squirrels and rats will knaw holes through a tent in heart beat. Also, my nephew left food in his pack on a BP in SEKI. Bears visited, stole the pack and ripped it open. We talked with a ranger later and were told of a guy who kept a candy bar in his sleeping bag due to his diabetes. A bear cut through his tent, grabbed the candy bar that was still in the sleeping bag and dragged the candy bar, sleeping bag and the guy in it a good ways down a trail before giving up and running away. I have had mice climb trees and down ropes to get to my foood. Do as you want, but the best is a bear canister or ursack unless you are just willing to "bear" the damage. Unfortunately for the bears, they will more likely be a problem bear after a couple of successful rip offs like this and are more likely to be destroyed. Protecting food properly protects your gear and the bears. Mice.....? take a cat.......

  14. #34
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
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    When I hiked the AT, I generally hung my food bag on cords with mouse protection (cord strung thru empty can, open end facing up) in shelters. Where camp location had bear poles, etc. always hung food and smellies. On other trails I usually slept with my food next to me. Only time I had a problem was sleeping under the stars at a well used campsite just short of Stehekin on the PCT.
    Handlebar
    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16; GET 17-18

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    I am this |<->| close to going this route - it also makes a great chair...
    that makes a good point - something that is 2 lbs but only 1 function is tough to justify for me

    thinking of other possible uses:

    large water container for occasional use like a far source/ dry camp
    bathing/ washing clothes
    extra protection for electronics for long periods of rain

    any other side uses come to mind??

  16. #36
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    Stool for around the fire, drum for the drum circle, ice bucket for a party. I have over 2000 miles carrying a bearcan and sleep much better at night then when I hang a bag. Have not hit myself on the head with a rock since I got it!

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    that makes a good point - something that is 2 lbs but only 1 function is tough to justify for me

    thinking of other possible uses:

    large water container for occasional use like a far source/ dry camp
    bathing/ washing clothes
    extra protection for electronics for long periods of rain

    any other side uses come to mind??
    Beer keg. Tent privy


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  18. #38

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    I use Loksak Opsaks (odorproof ziploc type bag) - doubled for garbage - and haven't had any issues. Surprised that I haven't seen any mention of them above.

  19. #39

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    I use an Opsack inside an Ursack AllWhite. Tie it to a tree away from campsite. Never had any problems. www.ursack.com

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliotrope View Post
    Tent privy


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    yeah, in a raging blizzard I could see that happening

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