View topic - To hang or not to hang??

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PostPosted: January 30th, 2019, 5:37 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 6:48 pm
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
Do they have cables in Algonquin now? I always put it down on my post visit survey.

I've only ever seen cables and boxes in Federal parks in Ontario.

It is sad to see people use the boxes as garbage bins and all the broken or just left behind rope hanging from tree's. Hopefully the UV breaks down the nylon before it starts to choke off the limb.

I usually carry a length of Kevlar string. I believe it's rated at 2000lbs breaking strength and it certainly will muck up your cheaper scissors when you try to cut it. I will either hang my food with it (when I can) or lash my barrel to a nearby tree when I can't (with the intention of defending it).


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PostPosted: January 30th, 2019, 11:48 pm 
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Petit.Conan wrote:
Do they have cables in Algonquin now?


Only at a few interior campsites I'm pretty sure. I believe on Littledoe and/or Tom Thomson, but I might be mistaken.

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PostPosted: January 31st, 2019, 1:28 am 
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Location: Kanata
Several sites on Stratton Lake (maybe all of them?) also have the cables. They had bear problems in that area a number of years ago, haven't heard much about issues now that there are cables.


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PostPosted: January 31st, 2019, 7:19 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 12:00 am
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Location: Laurentian Hills, Ontario Canada
McManus Lake


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PostPosted: February 1st, 2019, 12:08 am 
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Instead of seeking one right answer to the question---the one size fits all, Can Tire solution---it might be better to list risk factors

barrel vs bag

dist barrel can be carried from tent pads

frequency of use for campsite


etc etc

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PostPosted: February 4th, 2019, 2:05 pm 
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slipper wrote:
McManus Lake


When did they install cables on McManus? Are they on all sites? It's been a few years since I was last in there.

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PostPosted: February 4th, 2019, 6:03 pm 
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
wotrock wrote:
Instead of seeking one right answer to the question---the one size fits all, Can Tire solution---it might be better to list risk factors

barrel vs bag

dist barrel can be carried from tent pads

frequency of use for campsite


etc etc


Exactly what I was trying to say. I just try to use the safest possible method for the area I'm in with the equipment I have.

I remember going to Canoe lake and seeing the example hang barrel by the outfitters and we laughed, if that was acceptable to Ontario Parks we where certainly in the clear!


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PostPosted: February 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm 
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Location: Timmins
I used to hang. But haven't done so in years. Good luck finding a sturdy tree in the boreal. Spindly spruce and soft poplars do not make for ideal hangs. I had a rousing debate about this subject on my Explore the Backcountry Facebook page after sharing the Cliff Jacobson article regarding his decisions not to hang. Some folks crucified me and told me I was 'asking for it' by not hanging.

I'll hang when I'm in heavily traveled areas like APP or Killarney. However, critters in those parks tend to associate blue barrels and hanging bags with buffets, even if they're odor proof. The majority of our routes take us down forgotten and seldom traveled trails, where animals are not habituated to campers and free buffets at heavily used sites.

We're out for 80-100 days per year. I've never had an issue, save for a fox who got into our breakfast rounds on an island in Georgian Bay. In that case, I made the mistake of having a few to many glasses of wine before ensuring camp was fully packed away... learned my lesson from that one. Grape induced fuzziness aside, I take great lengths to ensure camp is scent free and clear of any enticing scarps and garbage.

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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 7:55 pm 
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Timbits, cherry danishes, chocolate bars... those thieves will probably die off young....


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 9:32 pm 
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Alex1 wrote:
Timbits, cherry danishes, chocolate bars... those thieves will probably die off young....

Thats the stuff used to bait bears here


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 11:40 pm 
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Location: Edmonton area
All my food and scented items go into two five gallon buckets with Gamma (screw top, rubber gasket) lids, inside large garbage bags that I twist shut before screwing the lid on.

The buckets are painted in a camouflage pattern, and at night I hide them on their sides, usually about 100 feet downwind of my tent, in the thickest bush I can find, and well off any discernable game trails.

I have a custom made pack for carrying them, and I've never had them disturbed by a bear. I've occasionally thought about tying them off to a tree, but I have never done so.

Although perhaps not 100% airtight, I think they contain the smells well enough that a bear would have to be almost on them to smell them. They are difficult to see for people and bears, and they offer some protection from rodents, although I've never seen signs of them being chewed on.

I've never hung. Given how bears can climb, and figure out that the ropes on the trees will yield food if pulled or chewed, I think hanging is a waste of my time. Bear resistant bags or hard containers are too heavy, too expensive, and don't hold enough food for me. I also think sleeping with your food is playing Russian roulette. so I don't do that. So hiding almost airtight buckets out of camp is what I will stick with.

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PostPosted: March 10th, 2019, 12:18 am 
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guyfawkes041 wrote:
Although perhaps not 100% airtight, I think they contain the smells well enough that a bear would have to be almost on them to smell them.



That's funny!

https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/bear-ser ... -smell.htm

My guess is that when you come off the river to camp any bear within a kilometre knows you and your food are there within a couple of minutes. The ones that are farther away will detect you sometime during your overnight stay as they often travel 20km or more each day.

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PostPosted: March 10th, 2019, 4:47 pm 
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Recped, no doubt bears can smell me, that is without question.

But if they can smell my food etc. with enough specificity in location that my thoughts on the effectiveness of my scent reduction/visual screening system are funny to you, what do you propose accounts for my never having had a bear touch my food over decades of paddling in bear country?

Scent spread is affected by many factors, even for bears. Type of scent, terrain, vegetation, meteorological conditions, degree of effectiveness of physical containment of the scent, etc. Of course a bear will smell a dead animal many miles away, but in my experience, as Cliff Jacobson has said many times, "If a bear can't see it, and can't smell it, he won't find your food". I have been following his advice on scented item storage on canoe trips since long before I ever heard of Cliff Jacobson, because it works.

I do believe that buckets with gamma lids combined with well twisted garbage bags used inside them, provide adequate scent containment against bears who are not within a few meters of them. On a windless day, I've watched (unseen by the bear) a bear walk down a trail that was only about 30' from my hidden buckets, with no indication that it smelled them.

Hanging food in a tree just allows the wind to carry the scent over long distances, while stashing it in heavy undergrowth on the ground at least reduces that. And so laugh away if you like, but I'm sticking with my Gamma Lidded buckets, because they work better than anything else I've found that is feasible to carry while tripping. Cheers.

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PostPosted: March 10th, 2019, 5:25 pm 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
"My guess is that when you come off the river to camp any bear within a kilometre knows you and your food are there within a couple of minutes. The ones that are farther away will detect you sometime during your overnight stay as they often travel 20km or more each day."

That's funny too. :lol:
Yes they do have incredible smell, but to say this happens every time seems a little "superfact" dependent.

I think they're looking for their familiar smells/payoffs.
-carrion or wounded animals
-filthy front country campsites that are predictably rich with "different" food sources
-smells of birthing (different times of year for different opportunities)

Education and cleanliness can go a long way in this department.

All that being said, I don't hang and keep my food in a drybag or barrel very close to my tent.
Usually with a gravity alarm to inform me of any movement. (I've never had it go off)


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2019, 7:43 pm 
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guyfawkes041 wrote:
what do you propose accounts for my never having had a bear touch my food over decades of paddling in bear country?


I propose.......

a) The bears are just not into canoe tripping food.

b) The bears associate the smells of humans with danger.

Lots of variables of course, travelling at times when the natural food supply is scarce or travel in an area where bears are habituated to humans could present different results.

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