|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – November 2008
Find water anywhere, make a fire in five minutes, learn secrets for battling mosquitoes, and more.
HANG A BEAR BAG
Show us a hiker who's never had a tragicomic episode with a bear bag, and we'll show you a hiker who's never tried one. Use the counterbalance method for an effective–and easy!–fix.
1) Pack everything that smells–food, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, smokes–into a stuff sack.
2) Find a living tree with a sturdy, horizontal branch at least 15 feet above the ground.
3) Put a rock in a small stuff sack and attach it to one end of a 25-foot rope (try reflective Trip Tease; $15, kelty.com). Tie your food bag to the other end. (Leave a small 'biner tied to your bear-bag rope and you won't have to fuss with knots for either task.)
4) Toss the rock over the branch and pull the free end down so that the food bag is suspended midair. Make a counterbalance by attaching a second food bag (or weighted stuff sack) to the other end of the rope. Tie a loop on this end for easier retrieval. 5) Use a stick to push the counterbalance 10 feet above the ground. The food bag should be at least 10 feet above the ground, five feet below the branch, and 10 feet from the trunk. Retrieve by hooking a stick through the loop and pulling down.
Video Tutorial: Learn how to get the job of hanging a bear bag done with our step by step tutorial.
DEAL WITH HELLISH MOSQUITOES