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Backpacker Magazine – April 2001

Guarding Your Grub

Above treeline, there's no easy way to hoist your vittles.

by: Steve Howe


Above treeline, there's no easy way to hoist your vittles out of the reach of bears, wolverines, and foxes. Here are a few tips to avoid attracting scavengers:

  • Carry odorless foods, not odoriferous comestibles like smoked oysters or sardines.
  • Package your grub in sealed zipper-lock bags.
  • Eat dinner and wash dishes miles before making camp.
  • Stash your garbage in multiple zipper-lock bags.

Bearproof containers work against all four-legged marauders, but they're bulky and heavy. One alternative is to pile your supplies in a visible spot 100 yards downwind from your tent entrance. Some Arctic veterans use mothballs and roll-top river drybags to mask food and garbage odors. Pile pots on the cache to alert you, then prepare to defend your food with pepper spray.



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