Sep 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm #1239218
Companion forum thread to:Sep 10, 2009 at 5:13 am #1526478
Video won't play for me. Says it's private.Sep 10, 2009 at 5:32 am #1526480
@powell1njLocale: North Carolina
Really great article. Not just informative but well written and enjoyable to read. Good pictures as well. Looking forward to working on my 'cowboy' toss. Keep up the good work!Sep 10, 2009 at 5:41 am #1526481
I can't watch the attached you tube video as it claims to be "private".Sep 10, 2009 at 5:55 am #1526487
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
Same with me- no functional video.Sep 10, 2009 at 8:43 am #1526528
My fault. It's fixed. Thanks guys!Sep 10, 2009 at 10:48 am #1526564
@florigenLocale: South East
Great article Kevin,
Very well done and most helpfulSep 10, 2009 at 11:09 am #1526571
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Great article, but some diagrams would help. Hard to understand some things from the photos, and word descriptions are not clear in some cases.Sep 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm #1526587
What questions did you have Elliott? I'll do my best to answer.Sep 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm #1526654
Kathy A HandysideParticipant
@earlymusicusLocale: Southeastern Michigan
Really well-written and comprehensive article; nice video, too! However, since I'm only a 5-foot-tall woman, I really think I'll work on lightening my pack weight as much as possible so I can use a bear canister. I think it would be much easier for me.Sep 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm #1526674
@dbthalLocale: Mid-Coast Maine
Like Elliot, I was a bit confused in parts of the text. However, the video was a great demonstration and cleared up any confusion I had.
A picture IS worth a 1000 words.
DanSep 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm #1526678
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Top knotch, and entertaining.
Bravo.Sep 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm #1526684
How many times have I been in the woods, hanging bear bags with friends, when we've said "This is more entertaining than TV!" And now someone's gone and put the entertainment on "TV!" Good stuff.Sep 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm #1526690
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Watched the video at home and my questions were cleared up. Picked up a few new ideas, thanks.
Now where will my family hide when I attempt a "cowboy" rock throw?
Finally, I just bring a small mesh sack to hold the rock so I don't have to tie the rope to the rock. I've been in forests where rocks are scarce and mostly rounded, so the sack has been a lifesaver.Sep 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm #1526698
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
Interesting, but if the author is still bear bagging in Yosemite or the JMT corridor, he is risking a fine and being escorted out of the wilderness by a ranger. Bear canisters on the SIBBG approved list are mandatory, even if you turbo hang.
A friend took an Ursack and was caught somewhere on Red Peak Pass. Long walk with a ranger.Sep 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm #1526709
This is a helpful article, but Kevin should have noted that in hanging his food in Tuolumne Meadows, he violated Park Service policy. In all of Yosemite, the use of bear canisters (or food storage lockers) is mandatory.
A map of Sierra areas that require bear canisters may be found at http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/map041609.pdfSep 11, 2009 at 12:59 am #1526790
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I've never been able to hit the side of a barn when throwing anything. The jerky motions required for throwing also start up painful arthritis in my shoulders. I therefore cannot hang my food. It's also almost impossible to find appropriate trees near or above timberline where I prefer to backpack. I therefore use an Ursack with an OP Sack liner. The Ursack also keeps squirrels and birds out of my food, which a lightweight stuff sack does not. If legally required, I use a canister. In the Pacific Northwest, that's in Olympic National Park.Sep 11, 2009 at 10:21 am #1526891
In reply to Lori's and Karl's concerns:
"Interesting, but if the author is still bear bagging in Yosemite or the JMT corridor, he is risking a fine and being escorted out of the wilderness by a ranger. Bear canisters on the SIBBG approved list are mandatory, even if you turbo hang.
This is a helpful article, but Kevin should have noted that in hanging his food in Tuolumne Meadows, he violated Park Service policy. In all of Yosemite, the use of bear canisters (or food storage lockers) is mandatory"
I filmed the video in Yosemite but am well aware of the regulations throughout the Sierra. I carry and use a bear canister where required–including canistering all of my food after filming the video. I don't believe I mentioned where the video was shot–specifically so as not to imply that I'd hang in an illegal area. If you recognized the area (Murphy Creek not Tuolumne Meadows) or if I did say something about Yosemite I'm sorry.
The important point is that there are clearly many areas where hanging is still an option: nearly everywhere outside of the Sierra, Sierra north of Yosemite including Tahoe region, much of SEKI–at least for 2009. If backpackers hang their food well it is very likely that bears won't get their food and rangers won't push for further restrictions on hanging food.Sep 11, 2009 at 10:32 am #1526894
"Now where will my family hide when I attempt a "cowboy" rock throw?"
They should hide a looooooong way away and perpendicular to the rope spin.
I've also used a small sack where appropriate sized/shaped rocks aren't available. If you pad it with a small piece of insulite it's less likely to rupture.Sep 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm #1527007
Thanks for your elaboration, but you did write this near the begging of your article: "I typically split my hangs in high bear traffic areas such as Tuolumne Meadows."
In Tuolumne Meadows, bear bag hanging is prohibited and bear canisters are mandatory.
If you meant to say that you split your hangs in places that are like Tuolumne Meadows but are not themselves Tuolumne Meadows, then your phrasing was unclear.Sep 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm #1527063
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"The important point is that there are clearly many areas where hanging is still an option: nearly everywhere outside of the Sierra, Sierra north of Yosemite including Tahoe region, much of SEKI–at least for 2009."
This is true, Kevin, but with one caveat: The frontcountry types, at least in the Owens Valley Ranger Stations, who actually issue the permits go through a spiel about proper hanging technique, which holds that there is only one permissible way to hang your food, i.e. the old fashioned counter balance method. They even give you a sheet demonstrating same and require you to initial a line on your permit stating that you have read it. I guess this is so you cannot plead ignorance if they catch you using another method. They insist that you follow it if you are not carrying a canister. I tried to reason with one of them about the weaknesses of the old counter balance method and she really got in my face about it. I got the distinct impression she was about to hold up my permit if I didn't back off. A typical front country bureaucrat, but they are the ones issuing the permits. My point is to be discreet if you use another method in SEKI or the wilderness areas on its eastern border, especially where you are likely to encounter a ranger. That said, I use the PCT method anyway, but I frequent areas where running into a ranger is not high on my list of concerns, nor bears for that matter. However, you have just given me a very interesting alternative to the PCT method, which I find problematic because I am only 5" 8" and often find it difficult to tie off the clove hitch high enough to keep the food bag 10' off the ground. I take comfort by telling myself that 99.9% of Sierra bears can't reach 9' off the ground, which is about the max that I can usually achieve. I'm already thinking of switching to your method, though, as it seems easier and more effective. Thanks for putting this article on BPL.Sep 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm #1527072
"If you meant to say that you split your hangs in places that are like Tuolumne Meadows but are not themselves Tuolumne Meadows, then your phrasing was unclear."
You are correct: my comment was misleading and dates to memories from a more distant time. I've backpacked and camped in Tuolumne Meadows for over 35 years. Bear canisters have been required there only since 2004 or 2005. I used to split my hangs in Tuolumne Meadows–last in 2003 when hanging food was still legal. I still split my food into two hangs in other high bear traffic areas where hanging is allowed but have used a canister since it was required–including my son's and my trip through there earlier this summer.Sep 12, 2009 at 3:37 am #1527116
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
Nice article with video. Now come East and try that cowboy toss in a dense forest. : ) Good thing to know. As someone else mentioned, being short and female, I too have lightened my load enough to carry a small bear canister and not deal with all that, especially when I'm tired. And while all my other hiking friends are busy finding a suitable tree, I sit on the canister and watch the entertainment.Sep 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm #1527215
@romandialLocale: packrafting NZ
Instead of throwing a single rock, a small silnylon stuff sack filled with gravel and tied to p-cord works really well, too, and is less dangerous when coming down. About 8-10 ounces is plenty.
Also you get throws to 50 feet if you flake your p-cord on clear ground or your tarp/tent fabric and throw underhand with about a foot of slack or so. Even better is if you have a plastic or metal ring that you can put a loop of cord through and pinch then throw that. Practice makes perfect.
This is standard tree climbing stuff that arborists, recreational tree climbers, and canopy scientists use to get into short trees or inside crowns of tall trees: first they throw p-cord with a throw bag.Sep 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm #1527662
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
Kevin- great video and some new techniques for me. Thank you!
I've used the PCT method for years- I'm curious why you prefer the tie to the side method?
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