The Myth Of The Bear Bag

A bear bag hang in Big Bend National Park

My first week-long trip was in Big Bend National Park as part of a guided trip. I was always the slowest.

I averaged maybe a half-mile per hour while walking on loose gravel up and down the mountains.

I learned that you never really see the scenery while you are hiking it is just about making the miles.

However, on flat land, I’m like a cheetah. Even with a fully-loaded 50-pound pack (I backpack in areas where you have to carry lots of water), I can get to 3 miles per hour.

When you are backpacking, you must pay more attention to how you store your food. In a front-country campground, you can always put the food in your vehicle.

Or if you are camping in bear territory they will provide lockers for food and toiletry storage.

While most campers know not to store food in their tent, that doesn’t tell you enough about how to actually store your food.

A common method is to hang your food using a bear hang.

But that means you have to find a tree, throw the bag over the tree branch, and hope you tie it off properly.

Another option to consider (assuming the rules don’t require you to use a bear canister) is to invest in an Ursasck.

An Ursasack is a bag made from kevlar and other materials that a bear (or my nemesis the raccoon) can’t get into.

Thus you don’t need to worry about hanging as high as a traditional bear bag.

I talk more about this in my course about camping in bear territory.

I’m Mark Wilcox and I once backpacked 100 miles in 90 days. After 25 years in IT, I wanted more adventure in my life. I want to inspire you to add more adventure too.

Thank you for subscribing to my content. I share content about camping, backpacking, and outdoor survival.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mark Wilcox

Mark Wilcox

18 Followers

I once backpacked 100 miles in 90 days. After 25 years in IT, I wanted more adventure in my life. I want to inspire you to add more adventure too.