Going up in three weeks at Sawbill-Polly-Mesaba and realizing how lucky I have been in my past several trips where I have not put up my food pack. So this time I will put the pack in the air again. I was wondering what handy ideas people have for making hanging it as easy as possible. Once went with a guy who drilled a hole in a puck and used that for throwing the rope up into the tree. Appreciate any ideas. Thank you in advance.
Definitely be careful in the POlly area. It is known for its bear problems.
A Friend was in the Polly area in mid-July and talked to some campers who had their food taken by bears on Polly Lake the first day of a week long trip. It was hung in a tree and the bear climbed the tree and broke the branch it was hanging on.
Be sure to hang your food from a real stout branch that won't break under a bears weight. Hang it down 6 feet from that branch and 6 feet from any tree trunk and at least 10 feet off the ground.
If you follow these thoughts you should be fine.
BTW-the people whose food was stolen were experienced campers, careful with food odors as they often camp in Grizzley areas and had taken precautions with double bagging the contents. The theft occured on July 16th.
"When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."
Sigurd F. Olson
I wouldn't be surprised if that group was my co-worker, his niece and her friend. They had a very aggressive bear the first night they were there. Nothing could scare it off, after it finished the food it returned several times, approached their tent,and in the end it basically chased them out of camp. The actually spent from about 3am to 5am huddled up on a rock by shore. Right after they pushed off in the morning it came out on the rocks on shore a few feet from their canoe and was huffing and grunting at them. I'm glad I never had to deal with anything like that. The rangers apparently know of the bear as a problem bear. I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually "goes away".
edit: I didn't read the last line of your post. I doubt it was the same group, but may have been the same bear at roughly the same time...
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children
Instead of buying a pack hanging kit, I bought some pulleys from Home Depot and devised my own. The pulleys worked very well. What didn't work so well was overloading the food pack. The handle snapped once we got it about 7'-8' off the ground and it body slammed me into a rock wall. Many lessons were learned:
1. Thread rope through shoulder straps not the handle
2. Don't stand under the food pack when hanging it
3. Use another pack and hang two instead of overloading one
4. Pack plenty of ibuprofen for such accidents
5. Make sure you can laugh at your stupidity
I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me if I rejoice
Sort of curious if you know where on Polly they were. Will be passing through there in a few weeks although with enough speed we hope to make it to Malberg. Depends on how the newcomers do but they are young and energetic.
A few years ago we talked to a group that lost a food pack to a bear on Polly. A teenage girl in the group followed it for a bit but then backed off when it growled. The next day they all went in that direction and found a cache of food packs that the bear was storing. They retrieved their pack (empty) and their frying pan. The pack had been opened with an impressive paw swipe as evidence of what had happened. Pretty crafty bear to actually be caching food.
Personally, we don't hang our food and use Ursack's instead (see www.ursack.com, just a happy customer). But this year we have a nine person group and the food won't all fit. So, we're still deciding between hanging a pack or just sticking a few smaller bags of food out of camp on the ground as Cliff Jacobsen suggests. If we do hang, I bought some pulleys as I have bad memories of hanging packs when going with people who do it that way but without pulleys.