My throw was perfect, and the rock sailed right over the tree branch I wanted-and kept on sailing. For the umpteenth time, the rock had slipped out of my knot as it cleared the branch, leaving my food bag's rope dangling 15 feet in the air.
If you're still mastering the fine art of hanging a bear bag, here's the solution: a homemade rock sack. Just drop in a rock, tie the sack shut, and let 'er fly. Not only does it keep your rock from going AWOL, you can also store your bear rope and any extra camp cord in it for easy finding when you need it. For a mere $5, even less if you cannibalize an old pair of gaiters or a tattered duffel bag, you can have perfect pitch every time.
- Trace a 5 1/2-by-16-inch rectangle on a scrap of material or piece of packcloth (1/6 yard costs about $1.50). Cut the fabric and sear any frayed edges with a lighter.
- With the side of the fabric that's more worn facing you, fold 1 1/4 inches of material at each short end. Using a medium-weight synthetic thread, stitch across the folds to create hems.
- Bring the two hems together (worn sides facing out) and pin them. Stitch the sides perpendicular to the fold, and then double-stitch for reinforcement. The seams should be about 1/4 inch from the edges of the material.
- Turn the bag right side out, then cut holes for the grommets just below the center of the hem on each side. Sear the holes with a lighter and install the grommets (for tips on installing grommets, see Gear Works, June 1996). Run bear cord through the grommets to close the sack.