hanging food in the trees

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by dave123, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. dave123

    dave123 freedom is not just another word

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    with bears; do you people seriously hang ice chests in the trees?? i take about 5 ice chests, two daughters, grandkids , wife ect so not joking... so do boondockers really hang ice chest food in trees.. thanks. dave

    i don't want to put food in the tv or aliner thanks
     
  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Hanging food in a tree is usually done by backpackers who are not carrying much. When I camp in bear country (most of the time) my ice chest stays in the back of the truck 100% of the time. I cover it at night so bears that may be familiar with food containers in a CG can't see it. If bear boxes are not available, keeping your food and cooking equipment out of sight in your TV is probably the only option.
     
  3. CaliforniaPoppy

    CaliforniaPoppy California and beyond!

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    It's really hard to do an effective bag hang method with a cooler. Finding a strong enough tree with the right branch configuration and then hanging 5 coolers? Umm... good luck! Some areas don't even allow hanging anymore because people were doing it wrong.

    Most wildlife management people say to leave coolers behind. If you must bring a cooler into bear country and bear boxes aren't available, keep your cooler in your trunk. If you must put it inside the vehicle, you should cover it, because many bears have learned to recognize coolers.

    Yeti makes some "bear-resistant" coolers.

    Some hard-core outdoors people use portable electric fences. Rarely worth the effort, unless you're setting up a big camp for a long time.

    But basically, you can't expect to boondock in bear country without making a few concessions.
     
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Hanging food in trees is a backpacking technique. We use a bear canister, as much for rodents, porcupines and the like, as for bears when we're backpacking; added bonus, it makes a good camp stool.

    In camp, we keep the food boxes and ice chest in the TV, no matter where we are. We had a mouse get in and snack on an apple and a bag of chips in a previous vehicle, I'm sure not going to make it any easier by stacking food supplies outside in the campsite. As UT said, we make sure we keep the ice chest out of sight, and the windows closed. Even if we wanted to do so, many of the campgrounds we use do not have trees ideal for hanging ice chests (the whole idea actually boggles my mind). We've encountered a couple of campgrounds that provide bear boxes, but in most we just keep things as locked up as we can.


    [BTW, we've seen what ravens can do with food supplies left in a campsite - not ours - which just served to reinforce our habits.]
     
  5. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

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    I have hung a cooler in a tree when canoe camping. It was a soft cooler with some ice pacs, not really a solution for long trips. But it was fine for a couple of days, when you plan to use any raw meat the first day.

    When camping in bear country, we put the coolers in the TV. Cover them with a spare sleeping bag, it also adds insulation.
     
  6. dave123

    dave123 freedom is not just another word

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    thanks all!!!
     
  7. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Racoons are good climbers.
     
  8. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    So are black bears
     
  9. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    They are definitely good climbers and smart also. There was a picture online of a bird feeder hanging between two trees on a steel cable. A black bear looped his front and rear legs over the cable to get to the bird seed obstacle course style.
     
  10. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    I'm with these guys^.

    No food in the camper, no dirty dishes on the picnic table, no trash in the trashcan at night, no burnt wrappers or scraps in the firepit, no dumping dishwater in the campsite.

    Even beer/cider bottles (where legal, of course [;)]) and snack bags generated during cribbage games are removed before bed.

    Thinking about it, most of the bears, coons, and skunks I have seen in developed campgrounds were eating dog food from a bowl left out for Fido in neighboring sites.
     
  11. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

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    If I recall correctly the instructions from the wilderness guide, the food should be 12 feet from the ground and 4 feet from any branch. Yes, some racoons might climb down, but at 4 feet, their weight would make the thing sway like a pendulum, and that might save the food.

    I did see a video a few weeks back of a surburban racoon going between houses on power lines like a tight rope walker.
     
  12. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    JamesRL,
    I'm not too confident it would stop a raccoon. [;)]

    One evening, I went to "war" with the raccoons over my bird feeders. I put cayenne pepper in the troughs and the raccoons ate it. I made a devil's brew of jalapeno and habenaro sauces, cayenne pepper and red flake pepper; the raccoons ate it. In a fit of anger or despair, I put a splash of ammonia in each trough. It wasn't 10 minutes and a raccoon was hanging upside down eating it. At this point I capitulated and brought the feeders inside and stored them overnight. I purchased some plastic storage containers and in a few days the squirrels ate holes in them.

    Raccoons are the most dedicated of thieves and the squirrels are their allies. I now lock them up under roof.
     
  13. Jeepguy93

    Jeepguy93 Member

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    Nope at night my drink coolers stay where ever, food coolers go in car if no bear box. NO eating regularly inside my popup or tents!!!!!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Our coolers either go into a bear box or a TV at night. If we plan on being away all day the cooler goes with us along with the smellables.

    Bear bags are for backpacking. When I backpack with the scouts that's what we do.
     
  15. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    This video demonstrates that a determined bear will not be stopped by food hanging on a rope. Change up how it is hanging and you might have a chance but never underestimate the determination of a hungry critter.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UucHtYr29cE
     
  16. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    I would not say that bear rope was done correctly!!

    Looks like it was hooked on a tree where the bear had easy access to the rope. We have backpacked in many bear areas in the northeast and New Mexico and never had a problem. If the bear bags are hung correctly you should not have a problem. Remember that the bear bags are hung away from where you are sleeping. This is to keep them away from you! We hang the bear bags about 80-100 yards away from our tents.
     

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