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PostPosted: March 25th, 2014, 10:36 am 
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Joined: January 16th, 2011, 7:11 pm
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Hi All,

I am planning for the summer and I have a few backpacking trips as well as canoe trips but I have no idea what to store food in. It's mostly going to be dry food like noodles, dehydrated food packs but I will also have some fruit cups, meat sticks, juice powder and chips which if something leaks I want to stay contained.

I was going to buy a few small dry sacks because they are easy to hang from the tree but I am not sure since they are not breathable if they are good or if racoons can easily get inside a dry sack, I was looking at the small bear vault container but it seems to be very bulky. Maybe a ursack?

Anybody have any ideas? For Canoeing I know I could use a food barrel but I don't have one and I'm trying to find something that I can use both for hiking and canoeing or is getting a food barrel inevitable for portaging?


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2014, 5:29 pm 
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Joined: February 17th, 2014, 11:51 am
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For most situations I double bag my food in ziplock bags. The actual food is placed in sandwich or medium freezer bags and then I place the individual portions into a larger freezer bag. Using different freezer bags lets you organize meals by type - e.g. breakfasts, lunch, dinners etc. This all goes into a seal-all dry bag which is hung in the usual anti-critter way. I haven't had a problem with this, albeit if I ever encountered one of those trapeze flying, tight rope walking bears you occasionally see on youtube, then my food bag wouldn't likely survive the encounter.

I've handled the plastic bear vault's at REI. Seems like they are either too large (10L) or too small (5L) for backpacking and wouldn't use one unless it was mandated is required in some parks.


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 6:26 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Hanging in anything other than Ursack is no defense from usual food raiders which would be rodentia that climb easily.

One size does not fit all. You will find yourself with a wardrobe of bear canisters, small barrels and large barrels depending on the range of the size of your group and your trip duration.

I can't pull off a two week canoe trip with a bear canister. I can do five days easy.

kgd I believe you are engaged in the rodent lottery..Sooner or later they will hit the jackpot.

I am guessing you are all engaged in Alonquin type trips.. For other areas that lack trees you need to think of other ways to store food.


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 9:36 am 
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Joined: January 16th, 2011, 7:11 pm
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Ziplock bags/drybag seem like a good option to me know realistically, an animal can easily rip through them with ease. I just want something that can pack well and the ursack seems to be good, just kinda expensive so I was trying to see what some people used. In the past, I used a food barrel but since I only bring small amounts of food, even a 30L barrel is far too big for me. I think the 5L bear container would be nice but it's bulky. Maybe I will venture to Mec and have a look at the Ursack


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 10:36 am 
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Joined: December 20th, 2003, 9:27 am
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When backpacking in the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks, all the campsites have either bear poles (usually) or bear lockers. We put our food, toiletries, etc. in a waterproof back brought along for that purpose. The bag is clipped to a wire cable, pulled up the pulley system then the bottom end of the cable is clipped to an eye-bolt on the side of one of the vertical poles. We don't have raccoons but do have squirrels and mice and ravens. The only thing that I have had bother hanging food is ravens that have learned what the hanging bags mean. The bag has to be very strong material but we have not used a bear proof bag.
Where I canoe, there are bears, mice, squirrels and ravens but no raccoons. The bears are not "park bears" so they tend to be afraid of humans. Some of our group uses barrels, some use dry bags. We put them away from the campsite, off any trail. Having multiple layers of bags makes us feel that the animals can't smell what's inside but we don't know that for a fact. So far, so good.


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 3:11 pm 
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Joined: November 2nd, 2008, 11:15 pm
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Location: Collingwood Ontario
I use the ursack and like it. I have two, which is enough for a ten day solo trip.
I like that they are soft so things pack around them efficiently. The plastic liner bags seals wear out after about 50 days of tripping, but they are inexpensive to replace. however, In light of a recent thread here, I suspect that they are not really odour proof to a bear. The bag is supposed to be both bear and rodent proof, but I do not think mine have actually been field tested. I just tie them to a tree as the manufacturer suggests, quick and easy.

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PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 4:23 pm 
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Joined: January 16th, 2011, 7:11 pm
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Alright guys/gals thanks for your input. I will get a Ursack and see how it works out for me. Hopefully it's suffice for my needs.


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