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April 2001

Guarding Your Grub

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

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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