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Picking a bear hang starts with finding a tree with an appropriate branch. Fifteen feet up and five feet from the base of the tree is the minimum required, but with ursine acrobats, the higher the hang, the better. If you can hang your food from a limb thirty to fifty feet high, it's much more risky for a bear to attempt a grab. It also gives you the option of placing your food bag ten to fifteen feet below your hanging branch, which further confuses bears. If possible, pick a limb that really sticks out, one that is six inches in diameter at the attachment to the tree and has multiple branches - preferably that obstruct a bear's progress. It's best if your branch stands somewhat alone - it's easier to keep the food away from other branches the bear could use, and helps keep your food from getting stuck when retrieving it. It's important to pick a branch too thick for a bear to break off but to hang your rope far enough out on this branch that it won't support a bear's weight - even a cub's. Ponderosa pines and ancient lodgepoles most frequently have branches that meet these criteria. Pick a live tree and branch for your hang, because dead wood, even when very thick, is much more brittle and easy for a bear to break. The rope is less likely to slip off of your branch if the branch tip turns up or if there are perpendicular side branches to catch the rope. You don't want your rope to slide off of the branch should your adversary bend it while walking part way out.


  • The Branch
  • The Rope
  • The Weight
  • The Throw
  • The Hang
  • Summary

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