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  1. #1
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
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    Default Anyone hang whole pack on bear pulleys?

    just got back from come camping in the smokies where the mice got into my food sack again. I had been just hanging my silnylon food stuff sack from the pulleys. lately i started to use a baffle made from a cd to get in their way between the bag and the pulley, attached to a rope, but this has failed as well. I talked to some other guys camping at the same site who hung their entire pack up, and just covered it with a garbage bag. they said that they have never had mice get their food, and they definitely didn't last night. I'm wondering if maybe the mice can't smell the food thru a backpack? I hate to try this though, and wind up with holes in my pack because of it.

  2. #2
    Registered User Ewker's Avatar
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    unless I take my bear canister to the Smokies I hang my pack. I was there 2 weeks ago and the Ranger told us over and over to hang everything since the bears have been very active
    Conquest: It is not the Mountain we conquer but Ourselves

  3. #3
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    I personally don't think it's such a hot idea.

    One, you pack is exposed to the elements, and the best pack cover in the world won't do the job on a really bad night if you're pack's swinging in mid-air.

    Plus, in bear country, if your pack should somehow fall of the cable (and I've seen it happen) it leaves your pack open to all sorts of critters, and this includes the very real possibility of it being dragged off by a bear, never to be seen again.

    In places like the Smokies or Shenandoah Park (and probably New Jersey, too), the best place for your pack is probably in a shelter, which bears tend to avoid if there are more than a few people in evidence.

  4. #4

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    In "bear country" I hang my entire pack. My bear line has a permanent knoted loop on one end and I just hook a `biner attatched to my pack to that and hoist. I cover my pack with 2 high quality, intact garbage bags (one upside down then the outer reight side up tyed in a not at the `biner) and it stays dry in all but the foulest gail. When not in areas with high bear activity, I just hang my pack and fod bag from my hammock.
    My only problem with animals was at Sassafrass gap Shelter. We had freezing rain that night and I hung my pack in the shelter and actually set my hammock up in the overhang area. The mice kept climbing up my rainfly and then sliding down it like a great big water slide. I started plucking them off when I heard them near the top. Well, the next day, I noticed they got even with me by crawling in my pack and chewing holes in EVERYTHING! except my food bag which was hung from a mouse trapeeze. Mice 1 Freefall 0.


  5. #5
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I finally got tired of finding little holes and mouse poop in my food bag in the morning, and got an Ursack a few years ago. I don't know if they are still available -- the military was getting all the bulletproof fabric there for a while . I haven't had any critters in my food in three years, and I know it has defeated a raccoon on occasion.

    Never tried it on bears -- that's not why I got it in the first place. But I sleep a lot better not having to worry about my food.
    Ken B
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  6. #6
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
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    i should reiterate that this isn't really worry about bears getting my food. when camping at the campsites in the smokies, every site has those handy pulley setups to hang your food. I always hang anything that is scented, including toothpaste and cookware, but am just worried about hanging the whole pack and having it eaten. Does anyone know what kind of sense-of-smell mice/squirrel have?

  7. #7
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    I only was in the smokies backpacking once, when I was there I hung my whole pack. If I remember right the cables had a circular piece of steel on the cables to stop animals from crawling out on the cables.

    Someone else might be able to say for sure.

  8. #8
    Registered User Whiskyjo's Avatar
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    I live in the Smokies and always hang my pack with a garbage bag over it on bad weather nights. I also leave all my pockets half unzipped so that the little suckers don't chew holes in my pack .That's happened twice.

  9. #9

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    When we're in the Smokies, we hang our packs. Haven't had any issues.

  10. #10

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    I used bear cables where available to hang just my food bag. Some had the "anti mouse" plate on the cable to prevent them from geting to the bags, some didn't. I carried 20' of nylon for bear bagging, but never have on the AT anytime over the last 10 years or so. In fact, I've never bear bagged anywhere. At shelters, I used mouse hangers where available. When camping, I usually sleep under the stars, use my pack as a pillow and keep the food bag inside. No problems. The worst that ever happened was the mesh bag that holds my pots got a hole chewed in it one night when I left it on the floor in a shelter. I've mostly been lucky, I guess.
    I hate Nike but Just Do It anyway!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritual Pillgrim View Post
    I used bear cables where available to hang just my food bag. Some had the "anti mouse" plate on the cable to prevent them from geting to the bags, some didn't. I carried 20' of nylon for bear bagging, but never have on the AT anytime over the last 10 years or so. In fact, I've never bear bagged anywhere. At shelters, I used mouse hangers where available. When camping, I usually sleep under the stars, use my pack as a pillow and keep the food bag inside. No problems. The worst that ever happened was the mesh bag that holds my pots got a hole chewed in it one night when I left it on the floor in a shelter. I've mostly been lucky, I guess.
    I thought about taking a can of empty cat food, put a hole through it and put it at the end of the hanging bag line. Would this be big enough to keep critters out?

  12. #12
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    I personally don't think it's such a hot idea.

    One, you pack is exposed to the elements, and the best pack cover in the world won't do the job on a really bad night if you're pack's swinging in mid-air.

    Plus, in bear country, if your pack should somehow fall of the cable (and I've seen it happen) it leaves your pack open to all sorts of critters, and this includes the very real possibility of it being dragged off by a bear, never to be seen again.

    In places like the Smokies or Shenandoah Park (and probably New Jersey, too), the best place for your pack is probably in a shelter, which bears tend to avoid if there are more than a few people in evidence.
    To each his/her own I guess.
    My backpack is my foodbag....scented items "toothpaste" cooking utensils,pots, garbage and everything else that I won't need while I'm sleeping is hung...unless I am using my Clark hammock (everything except food and scented items goes in pockets)

    I haven't had a problem with animals or weather..

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmath View Post
    I thought about taking a can of empty cat food, put a hole through it and put it at the end of the hanging bag line. Would this be big enough to keep critters out?
    I'm no engineer, but think you would have a tuff time getting a cat food can on a cable, if thats what you mean. Otherwise, the cat food can (or tuna or other similar sized cans) are used a lot on mouse hangers in shelters. Some of the best food bag hangers were installed by RATC (I think) in some shelters. They were 3 or 4 pronged grappling hooks covered by a sturdy pie plate size of metal at the top of the hook.
    I hate Nike but Just Do It anyway!

  14. #14
    Section hikers, 900+ miles, donating members anneandbenhike's Avatar
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    Angry

    We have dutifully hung our food bag on the cables in the Smokies every time we have camped there. Imagine our surprise with a group of Scouts when we got up in the morning to find some holes in the food bags (sil nylon). They were victims of flying squirrels. Oh well...they were here first.

  15. #15

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    I believe food storage devices (cables, poles, boxes) are for food bags only and if they're not available (or mandatory) I sleep with my food and have never had a problem.

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