- Oct 23, 2017 at 2:50 am #3497953
If you get your bear bag line stuck in a tree, what did you do wrong? Or does that just happen sometimes. Asking for a friend, who threw a small stone in a sack that was clipped to fifty feet of 5/32 paracord with small carabiner. The tree was a nice tall hemlock with a mostly bare, thick branch about fifteen feet up. The rock sack somehow wrapped the cord around the branch and it would not come off by force or repeated jiggling.Oct 23, 2017 at 2:58 am #3497957
There was that time that mine got stuck. Four trekking poles a Swiss Army knife and our shoe laces and we were able to cut our food down.
Bought an Ursack soon after.Oct 23, 2017 at 3:52 am #3497962
I would think it harder to get the sack stuck with food than just the little sack with the rock.Oct 23, 2017 at 4:48 am #3497966
If it was the sack and rock it would still be hanging there. The lined sawed its way into the wet branch. Line was too thin :(
The wrap around is a bit easier to avoid by not stopping the toss too close or too far from the branch. Want to avoid swinging.
if it looks like the sack is swinging back towards the branch, give more slack.Oct 23, 2017 at 5:06 am #3497967
Christopher *BPL Member
@cfrey-0Locale: US East Coast
Hehe. About a year ago while on a group trip I hung several separate food and ditty bags from their drawstrings off of a single carabiner on one line using the PCT method. Limbs to hang were scarce and a late arrival at camp lead to the poor decision. At some point the individual bags drawstrings each twisted themselves around the restraining stick that makes the PCT method work … no amount of heaving or pulling in the morning would lift the bags to lower said stick for removal. I had to painstakingly manipulate each bag with the tippy-tip of a trekking pole, all the while barely able to see what I was working on overhead, to eventually untwist and free the ungodly mass. Hard lesson learned on that one. Im still surprised I managed to free it up.Oct 23, 2017 at 5:29 am #3497969
Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
if it looks like the sack is swinging back towards the branch, give more slack.
Yep, if the line does not have several feet of slack as the rock travels over the branch, it’s easy for it to swing back and around the throw line and get stuck. It’s important to make sure you have enough slack line before throwing so that the rock clears the branch and has no resistance to falling fast and far from the branch. Before throwing I clear branches and debris from a small area of the ground and neatly flack all the line out on the ground prior to throwing, with the throw end on top. Using a bigger rock helps a lot. A half to full fist sized rock is ideal so the rock has lots of momentum to pull the line down and well away from the branch before it has a chance to swing back toward the throw line.
If the rock does swing back and around the line and get stuck, be gentle, at least at first, to avoid the line sawing into the branch as Ken mentioned. If the rock’s heavy enough, and with a little luck, you can usually jiggle the line for a while and the rock will slowly slip down to hand height where you can fix the problem. Another trick is tie the line to the rock with a 3 or 4 tight wraps and then a double or triple overhand knot. If the line gets stuck and gentle jiggles don’t work, then yanking repeatedly on the line can more easily loosen this knot and drop the rock (watch your head).
Oct 23, 2017 at 11:00 am #3497985
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Lester Moore.
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
That happened to me a couple times. Once I just took a good long stick and untangled it. One time I had to tie off my knife and cut it down. Lester has it right, ‘cept I use a ditty bag as a rock sack. Sometimes, letting go, will drop the sack, ha, hey…
Yeah, as has been said, more slack. Never use a pine unless you have no choice. The bark is rather soft and will wedge a line in the bark scales, besides sap bleeding if you happen to damage the wood. Maple, Ash, Elm, Cherry are better choices. Avoid crotches unless they are horizontal. Perfect would be a large 3″ dead limb with the bark peeled off about 15’ high. No sap, no bark…Oct 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm #3497994
Bigger rock might have helped. The rock sack was small because it was the stuff sack for a pack cover. The paracord should have been at least very slow to dig into the wood, but I suppose the texture of the covering fabric is very grippy.Oct 24, 2017 at 5:39 am #3498140
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
All the above and paracord sucks. Spectra arborists line is slippery and tough. Zing It is the good stuff. https://dutchwaregear.com/zing-it-or-lash-it.html
Oct 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm #3498161
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Dale Wambaugh.
Zing-it is wonderfully light and tough but I find it to be a hassle because of tangles. I prefer Lawson’s bear line. It’s a little heavier but stiff enough to not tangle and has an extremely slick finish. It’s also a little thicker which means it doesn’t cut into your hands when pulling up a heavy food bags.Oct 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm #3498162
Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
I also like the Lawson stuff because it is white (easy to find in daylight) and is also woven with reflective fibers (easy to find at night).Oct 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm #3498165
^agreed although the latest version seems to be much less reflective than the old version.Oct 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm #3498169
Agree. Paracord is the worst, but oh so popular. Absorbs water, heavy, stretches. Try untying it when frozen solid. I like to use the sheath as drawcords sometimes. And it is cheap.
+2 for Lawson’sOct 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm #3498173
I am happy with the dark grey 2.0mm Z-line Slick Cord that comes with the Z-Packs bear bag kit. Easy on the hands (relatively), slippery and very stealthy…there is evidence that Bears can see those brightly colored lines and know that they mean food is hanging on the other end.Oct 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm #3498174
Thanks for the tip about a better cord. I’ll look into that (or maybe just buy an Ursack).
But if I get new line, I’m still getting something I can see. There’s no way I’d be able to get breakfast down before the sun is fully up if I used a grey cord.
Oct 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm #3498190
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by MJ H.
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I believe that reflective lines are more visible than UV or florescent lines. Generally, I use a 1.75mm TAC line or a 2.0mm TAC line in brown, or other camo color. I don’t worry about my bear-bag so much because it is 1) up in a tree, 2) located by scent more than visual by critters, 3) bears especially tend to ignore most squirrel nests and other lumps/bulges hanging from trees.
Anyway, I agree. A slippery line is easier to haul with 9-20 pounds of food/gear going up…Oct 31, 2017 at 10:58 am #3499444
Erica RBPL Member
There is nothing quite so dumb feeling as seeing your food secured way up in a tree and being unable to get it down. This almost happened once. Now, when the food sack is light weight I add a rock to it, so as to overcome friction.
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