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  1. #1
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    Default Hanging a Food Bag and Rodents

    Mice, squirrels, etc can easily climb a tree and shimmy down para cord, right? And chew through a nylon bag. So, if I hang food at night, what keeps the critters from getting into it?

  2. #2
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    Look at the mouse trapeeze designs at AT shelters and bear bag hangs installed at GSMNP CS's. Yes, mice can do that but they and other crawling creatures are mainly avoided by threading a plate size metal disk on the lines much like a squirrel baffle on a bird feeder pole. When a hang is done correctly using given systems like seen in GSMNP even bears are deterred. Grey Squrrels aren't that active at night. However, there are a few flying squirrels that may have learned to glide around the disks. I've experienced and seen this first hand in GSMNP. That's why on the AT and if mandatory use of beaten down CS's in some NP's I prefer hanging food, still bear bagging it, but inside a Ursack Minor.

    I don't buy on the forested walk in in the Woods AT that's know as the Green Tunnel proper bear bagging technique can't be utilized. Those that say it's a hassle to find the proper trees are using it IMO to excuse their convenience.

  3. #3

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    Shelter mice are good at getting into food bags hung in shelters, dispite deterants. And they knew exactly where to chew to get at the nuts. Leaving candy wrappers in your pack side pockets isn't a good idea either, but easy to forget.

    Only once have I had a squirel get into a tree hung food bag, which was suspended between two trees. I probably made it easy for him by making a tight rope to scamper across. But this was in the ADK's in the high peaks area and the only effective bear bag hang was between two trees. The bears went for the easy pickings first and they got them every day. Interestingly, the food bag which the squirel attacked was bright orange. I replaced it with a gray sack and never again had a problem.

    I've never had a problem with food hung in a tree some short distance from the camping area, even if the hang wasn't 100% bear proof. At least it's small critter proof and those are more common.

    I did have a mouse get into a food bag I decide to leave outside my tent. It was raining and I was tired and I was tented some distance from the shelter, but with in sight of it. They still found me.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    When I'm not carrying a bear canister, I use a plastic pretzel jug. Keeps food dry and bugs and mice out.

  5. #5
    Leonidas
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    They can also get to food on bear cables. Mice or flying squirrels got my food bag at Whitley Gap Shelter in 2016. They only attacked the parts of the food bag that had cashews near the outer section.
    Bear canister these days for all trips.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail

  6. #6

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    There are lightweight stainless steel mesh bags that will keep the critters out, I use one and never a problem yet with the mice

  7. #7
    Registered User stilllife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouser999 View Post
    There are lightweight stainless steel mesh bags that will keep the critters out, I use one and never a problem yet with the mice
    Can you provide more info on the bag

  8. #8

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    Just keep the food in the tent with you.

  9. #9
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR Trail Guides View Post
    Just keep the food in the tent with you.
    NOT LEGAL in many places through out the country, and I've heard stories of mice chewing thru tents to get at food smells inside.

    In GSMNP, every back country campsite has bear cables (which you are required to use). But to protect my food, I now carry a mouse mobile... Some make one by simply using an empty tuna can on a string. I use an old gallon drink container, cutting the top section off to use like an upside down funnel. A string thru the cap with a knot to hold it in place.

    An alternative that isn't perfect but has helped me... If you have a water proof food bag, fill it with air to hang. I find that mice usually chew thru food bags where the food is. When filled with air, the food is at the bottom of the bag and the mouse is at the top of the bag out of reach of the food. (Trick doesn't work if you have multiple bags... they will climb between the bags).
    I've had some good practical experience with this trick as I've retrieved by food bag with mouse droppings on the top of the bag but no damage to the bag.

  10. #10

  11. #11

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    grubpack.com. I have no connection with the firm. I have used it on the AT/LT & Catskill shelters

  12. #12
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    Great info and very helpful! Thanks folks! Reeko

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Anybody carry mouse traps on their backpacking trips??
    No, I figure they have as much right to be there as I do. But I once run into a couple of guys who would set out multiple traps and then string up the nights kill for all to see. Kind of grossed some people out.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  14. #14

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    If you hike enough, mice are going to get into your food. Especially in AT shelters although we recently had the problem camping off trail on the PCT.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouser999 View Post
    There are lightweight stainless steel mesh bags that will keep the critters out, I use one and never a problem yet with the mice
    Curious as an alternative to the 650cubic inches of the Ursack Minor @ 5 ozs without Opsak. Are there any confirmed questions going through TSA if carried on for flights?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Anybody carry mouse traps on their backpacking trips??
    absolutely, last year 42 in GA 11 just at springer shelter - best bait, hot chocolate, pour a little over the paddle and it lasts for days

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilllife View Post
    Can you provide more info on the bag
    These work very well, http://grubpack.com/. For Ravens, place under rock or shelf.

  18. #18
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    I have made a number of "Ursack" equivalent bags from exploded car airbags re-purposed from junk yards (instructions were at http://blog.gossamergear.com/diy-chew-proof-bear-bag but not sure the link still works). I use Opsak liners and have never had an issue (even when others have). Just FYI you have to be careful which material you choose- the "chew resistant" material has a grid or rip-stop pattern. My local junk yard lets me take them for free.

  19. #19
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by DripDry View Post
    I have made a number of "Ursack" equivalent bags from exploded car airbags re-purposed from junk yards (instructions were at http://blog.gossamergear.com/diy-chew-proof-bear-bag but not sure the link still works)...
    Your link works... but the introduction to this DIY Ursack end with the words "Learn the instructions on the next page" but there is no obvious "Next Page".

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Your link works... but the introduction to this DIY Ursack end with the words "Learn the instructions on the next page" but there is no obvious "Next Page".
    OK- looks like the instructions are at http://blog.gossamergear.com/diy-chew-proof-bear-bag/2

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