Apr 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm #1301774
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
This weekend our scout troop was invaded by raccoons… due to bears all food was hung in bags – some hangs better than others but I suspect that the crafty guys managed to jump onto bags not positioned far enough from the tree trunk… but even a few that seemeed to be far enough away got hit.
I've read the bear threads but is there anything you can really do against a determined raccoon other than a canister?Apr 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm #1976947
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
They make great winter hats!Apr 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm #1976954
Check out the Outsak, from simpleoutdoorstore.com. They're pretty light, and they certainly work. A bear can probably trash them, and the mega ravens in the Grand Canyon area have figured out how to breech them, but they will work against all other animals (except maybe a chimpanzee, with their opposable thumbs…).
Edit–It's called Outsak, not OutsackApr 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm #1976960
Gary, there is no point in trying to shop at simpleoutdoorstore.com since they don't list the weights of their products.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm #1976964
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
This is why I use my food bag as a pillow.Apr 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm #1976966
I just looked and they list weights to within 0.1 oz.
Outsak® UL 3.75 ounces 10.5×19.5 inches 630+ cubic inches
Outsak® UL micro 2.85 ounces 10.5×13.5 inches 425+ cubic inches
*Weights for each Outsak® Animal Resistant Storage Bag are ± 0.1 ounces due to variations in the interlocking stainless steel wire mesh and webbingApr 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm #1976968
David, yes, I found the approximate weights also, but I had no idea that I had to scroll down that far. Three or four ounces for a food bag?
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm #1976979
@sparky52804Locale: Eastern Iowa
I'd be willing to carry 3 or 4 ounces more, heck even a pound if it meant not losing the weight of my food to maurading raccoons.Apr 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm #1977016
This is why I just take my can (bearikade). Determined marmots and raccoons are just as good at getting food as bears.Apr 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm #1977020
I live with them, and I backpack in places where they are dense. Get an Ursack and tie it to a tree with your food. Then you can laugh at them derisively when you wake up and see that a corner of your Ursack has been chewed, possibly with a few raccoon teeth in the Kevlar.
But seriously, racoons (not to mention squirrels) laugh at your bear bagging. I have seen a squirrel take a 15 foot dive from a nearby oak limb onto my bird feeder, and I get racoons footprints on my roof. How they got up there I don't know. I have no doubt they can find a way down your bear bagging rope like Tom cruse in an episode of mission impossible. Either of them will make short work of your ultralight silnylon. My worry about keeping stuff in the tent is that they might try chewing their way in.
Ursack = useless for bears (unless you are happy with having all you food crushed into a powder), but great for smaller varmints. Mine has room for about a weeks worth of food for one, and weighs about 5 oz.
PS learn to tie it right as well, I'm thinking raccoons probably have some knot lore.Apr 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm #1977023
– -K.T.- –Participant
I'm picking up my permit at Point Reyes while the ranger is on the phone with someone asking about food storage. The ranger says, "Oh no. Don't forget that racoons have opposable thumbs, and nothing but free time."
They are the most problamatic creature we run into here when camping, They are everywhere. I too have just started to take my canister more for them than bears.Apr 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm #1977024
For raccoons, I think your best defense would be a scaled-down Claymore Mine.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm #1977026
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
One of my first backpacking trips was to Point Reyes. We got there in the dark and I didn't see the metal food box. I set my food on the picnic table. My food disappeared.Apr 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm #1977027
LOL, so true about time on their hands. I live in the Santa Cruz area just south of there. They used to come to raid my garbage cans every night. Then I bungie corded the lids, but every night after that at about 3 am they would still be out there – "snap, snap, snap" for like a hour straight trying to pry the lids open, until I ran out a yelled at them so I could get back to sleep. Still I kinda love em. About once a month one of then comes up to my lit-up living room window and puts is paws up with its nose pressed to the glass and looks in with a kind of "please sir, some more gruel!" look on its mug.Apr 16, 2013 at 7:08 am #1977224
I usually use the PCT bear bag method. Is this more or less racoon proof? I use very thin spectra line, which i can't imagine even a squirrel climbing down ~10' without slipping to the ground.Apr 16, 2013 at 7:21 am #1977228
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Raccoons don't have to climb line, they grab it and haul the food up hand over hand.Apr 16, 2013 at 7:21 am #1977229
@vintagegentLocale: Galveston TX
To protect my food from the non-ursine critters, I got one of the Ursack Minor bags:Apr 16, 2013 at 7:36 am #1977230
"Raccoons don't have to climb line, they grab it and haul the food up hand over hand."
This! I haven't seen it, but would not be surprised. Pretty much figure if a 5 year old could do it so could they. Plus they can do the climb and chew on pretty much any branch that could hold your food, and they are a lot more deductive than bears. Once they get your bag or anything that can't be snarfed in one gulp they will the will often immediately abscond with the whole stash (if they can carry it) to somewhere where they can deal with the goodies at their leisure so you will not generally be able to easily get your food back if you miss the actual theft.Apr 16, 2013 at 8:15 am #1977243
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
First time we've had raccoon problems – but they are plentiful where we normally camp…
I'll have to rethink the strategy across the board. Maybe get one of the chew proof bags. Ugh.
Or spectra line maybe?
Any other bag options that are perhaps less expensive than the ursack? Still may be worth it if the option is losing your food!Apr 16, 2013 at 8:32 am #1977252
Ah! Right! I had forgotten the price. It is ridiculous for a food bag. I've had mine for forever. I think there are a few alternatives now for plain old varmints – you don't need the full kevlar treatment of the ursack, which was supposed to be bear-proof.
Ugh, not much better: http://www.simpleoutdoorstore.com/outsakul_paypal.html
If you are going with a scout troop could you designate one person to pack in a light plastic ice chest. Put some shoulder straps on it. The lockable ones would be perfect to load in everyone's food when at camp. Come to think of it a small plastic garbage can with a bungies for the lid might work – get one just big enough for the hole troop's food, or if necessary take two. Tie them on to your pack/s – crazy looking and bulky but pretty light. Not much bigger than one of those old-school sleeping bags.
Also Mountain Lion urine. OK just kidding, but you can buy it to keep varmints and deer away from your prized garden plants. Supposedly is scares the bejeezus out of most other mammals. Thinking I'm making this up? Want to buy some Bobcat pee? http://www.predatorpee.com/
Every once in a while I hear lists of the least desirable jobs. I've never heard this one on the list, but personally I have to put mountain lion pee collector high up there. "Here kitty kitty …"Apr 16, 2013 at 10:59 am #1977302
Using the PCT method…
if you tied a second line from the bag to the ground and tied it off, the bag would not be able to be retrieved from the top, nor pulled down from the ground. You'd need an extra ~12' of line though.Apr 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm #1977360
@barrypLocale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
A lot of interesting ideas here. I sure would like to see the raccoon pull up a food bag. Or if you throw another 5 lbs of rocks in with your 5 lbs of food, I’d be surprised he/she could pull up 10lbs. I use Lawson’s iron wire and I can’t imagine any rodent scurrying up/down that.
-BarryApr 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm #1977468
@pecosLocale: baba yaga's porch
On the coast in the pnw you need something for the raccoons. A simple 2 gallon bucket will work and costs 2 dollars. just my two cents.Apr 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm #1977492
"I use Lawson’s iron wire and I can’t imagine any rodent scurrying up/down that."
Marmots and raccoons use an extremely small Gibbs Ascender.
–B.G.–Apr 17, 2013 at 9:18 am #1977630
"On the coast in the pnw you need something for the raccoons. A simple 2 gallon bucket will work and costs 2 dollars. just my two cents."
Nice – that could even fit in many packs. You can claim it as a "frame" for your frameless and get bonus multi-use points. With a DIY closing system you would be gtg!
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