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  1. #21
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    If you are really concerned about food, cook and sleep in two different areas. Cook dinner, eat and then hike on a mile or so.

    FWIW, I never hang my food in all my CO backpacking unless regulations state otherwise (e.g. RMNP now requires you to use a bear canister)
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  2. #22
    Garlic
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    I agree that on the CT, sleeping with your food above treeline is your best option, and that's the only time I sleep with my food. When a tree is convenient, I hang it because I don't always want to keep that close an eye on it. Once in Colorado a particularly nasty ermine raided my food bag, chewing right through my pack to get to it, when I was getting water at a stream about 20' away from my pack. Another time ravens got to it when I was less than 100' away. It's good advice to never leave your food unattended.

    To disprove the "unattended food only" theory: I talked with one PCT hiker who had a bear literally reach over her shoulder and steal food out of her bear cannister which was sitting open right in front of her. This was at Tuolumne Meadows. This was not hearsay or second-hand--I heard it from the hiker herself and she's a very experienced hiker and very credible.
    "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

  3. #23
    Registered User mcskinney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post

    To disprove the "unattended food only" theory: I talked with one PCT hiker who had a bear literally reach over her shoulder and steal food out of her bear cannister which was sitting open right in front of her. This was at Tuolumne Meadows. This was not hearsay or second-hand--I heard it from the hiker herself and she's a very experienced hiker and very credible.

    I would have loved to have seen that!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    This was not hearsay or second-hand--I heard it from the hiker herself and she's a very experienced hiker and very credible.
    If wasn't hearsay then, it's hearsay now.

    Above treeline, unless you have a bear canister, you really can't do anything with your food but sleep with it.

  5. #25
    Registered User LoneRidgeRunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the goat View Post
    you can sleep with your food pretty much anywhere on the AT.
    I read a post somewhere here just a few days ago about a bear stealing some one's food at a shelter....on the AT .......sleep with your food if you want ..hopefully the marauding bear won't chew your head off to get to your food bag "pillow"

  6. #26
    Registered User mcskinney's Avatar
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    I've had mice above tree line in CO. Woke to a mouse eating a macadamia nut in my tent this summer at 12,000 ft.

  7. #27

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    For those of us who don't sleep with food in the tent, the options are extra hiking (to get below the treeline) or bear canisters?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcskinney View Post
    I've had mice above tree line in CO. Woke to a mouse eating a macadamia nut in my tent this summer at 12,000 ft.
    Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai 'Ngaje Ngai', the House of God. Close to the western summit there is a dried and frozen carcas of a common field mouse. No one has explained what the mouse was seeking at that altitude.

  9. #29

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    Sleep with it? Why? Just put the food out of your tent. If you lose it, it's not the end of the world. I can't imagine why you would sleep with it. (A little common sense goes a long ways)

    I have spent a lot of time on the CT. I have seen bears above timberline a couple of times, but it is not common. When they are above timberline is usually in the late season - September being the main month. They forage on berries and follow the ripening crop upwards. When you run out of food you will run out of bears.

    Forgetting about bears, the big issue is weather. The part of the CT where there just aren't any trees for more than a day (Cataract Ridge) has lots of ups and downs, but it's all high (12-13K). Best to try to sleep in one of the lower spots if you can. After leaving Spring Creek, there are good sheltered campsites at the south end of Carson Saddle, by Cataract Lake, and in Cuba Gulch. From Cuba Gulch you can easily make it down into Elk Creek in a day. This is the most spectacular part of the CT so enjoy!

  10. #30
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    Sleep with it. I only personally know one hiker that got woken up by a bear schreading open his tent in search of his food. His screams scared the bear away though & saved his $20 worth of food.

  11. #31
    Registered User Edwardo Rodriguez's Avatar
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    I will taking this on the AT next year http://www.ursack.com/

  12. #32
    Colorado Trail '07 / JMT '12
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    I think an odor-proof bag could be a good alternative to hanging food when on the Colorado Trail. http://www.rei.com/product/758707/loksak-opsak-odor-proof-barrier-bags-20-x-125

    This is what Andrew Skurka used for his 4,700-mile Alaska-Yukon Expedition 2010...

  13. #33

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    I had an interesting night sleeping above treeline.
    I wrote it up in my blog here


    It was my last night of my NOBO CDT hike in '98.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  14. #34

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    OK, I don't mean to keep flogging a dead horse here, but I've got to ask. If one is planning on thru-hiking the CT (like I am), would it be safe to:
    1) not plan on hanging one's food bag, ever, but instead
    2) carefully pack all your "smellables" into OPSacks, which should be
    3) placed near to one's quarters in order to "shoo away" the varmints?

    Have I understood this thread correctly? Should I leave the food-hanging cord at home?

    I can sort of see that strategy working, if black bears are indeed as rare as I think they are above treeline. It might be because I've a very thick head, but I don't like the idea of "sleeping with it;" if that means placing the food as close to you as possible, then your tent's vestibule (or your tarp's outer edge) seem like the best options.
    "We can no longer live as rats. We know too much." -- Nicodemus

  15. #35

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    Personally, I like to raise my feet a bit when I'm sleeping.
    So, I use the foodbag to do this.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  16. #36
    Colorado Trail '07 / JMT '12
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    When I did the CT, I hung my food almost every night. But it's a bit of a joke, really... it almost always ends up a little too low, or a little too close to the trunk of the tree. I only saw fresh sign of bear once in the month I was out there - and I haven't talked to anyone on the CT who has had bear trouble.

    I've since bought an Opsak bag, and on my future trips in the Colorado Rockies I will use it. Like RodentWhisperer, I don't like the idea of sleeping with it - but I will keep it near my shelter so I have a chance to defend it if a bear or other animal shows interest.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai 'Ngaje Ngai', the House of God. Close to the western summit there is a dried and frozen carcas of a common field mouse. No one has explained what the mouse was seeking at that altitude.
    In 38 minutes it will be midnight where I am. I might have gone all day without learning my 'one thing' for the day if I had not read your post... thanks.

    ... of course now I will lay awake wondering what he was doing up there.... did he have a small rusty o2 tank strapped to his back?
    Want a 'Hike Your Own Hike' sticker?... => Click Here <=


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    Quote Originally Posted by sailsET View Post
    My guess is that you are terribly lost, and have no idea how to the use the internet.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hole-In-The-Hat View Post
    When I did the CT, I hung my food almost every night. But it's a bit of a joke, really... it almost always ends up a little too low, or a little too close to the trunk of the tree. I only saw fresh sign of bear once in the month I was out there - and I haven't talked to anyone on the CT who has had bear trouble.
    Thinking last night, I thought it seemed rather pointless, too-- unless you can do the between-two-trees method, there seems to be little hope of distancing the bag from a tree trunk. You'd be dealing with Englemann spruce, lodgepole pines, and aspens when below treeline, and they just don't have wide branches. There would likely be some ponderosa pines below 9K, but you'd be above that 90% of the time.
    "We can no longer live as rats. We know too much." -- Nicodemus

  19. #39
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    Can't forget getting woken up in the middle of the night by a porcupine pulling on my bootlace and therefore pulling my boot from under my head in a shelter in NJ. Leather and sweat was much more interesting than food.

  20. #40

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    Slept with my food on last year's thruhike - no bears, not even signs of them.

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