When camping in areas that are home to bears or even other animals such as foxes, rodents, raccoons, and rabbits, it is important to keep your food safe and out of reach of these critters. You have two options in this situation- a bear canister or a bear bag. While a bear canister is sturdy and a good choice if you are driving in and don’t have far to walk, it is a larger piece of equipment that may be hard to carry with you in your pack. A bear bag may be the best option to keep animals out of your supplies.
Your bear bag should be sturdy and easily sealed. A heavy-duty drawstring bag with a strap on the bottom is the best choice, but even a strong and durable shopping bag could work if that happens to be your only option.
Any scented items, including soap, deodorants, food-soiled-clothing, dirty dishes, and trash, must be placed in the bear bag. It is important to hang the bear bag at least 12 feet off the ground and 6 feet from the tree trunk, and a good distance away from camp because animals will come looking for the source of the smells!
Mom Goes Camping lists 5 meathods to hanging a bear bag:
- Simplest Method – not most recommended because bears can cut through the rope to drop the food bag.
- The Marrison Haul Method – a bit more secure, but a bear could still cut the rope.
Images: Mom Goes Camping
- The PCT Method – considered as one of the best methods for hanging a bear bag.
- Double Rope or Counterbalance Method – this method works well when you have a large amount of food or scented items.
- Two Tree Method – a good alternative to the PCT Method as it is still secure and easier to hang.