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  1. #1
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    Default Properly storing food at Maryland shelters

    Myself and 3 others will be doing our first section hike of the AT - half of the Maryland section. We will be staying in tents - planning on the Crampton Gap shelter.

    I have done a good bit of research on how we should handle our food at camp but keep finding conflicting opinions. Do the shelters in Maryland have food/bear boxes? Do we need to bear bag our food? Should we be worried about mice/rodents getting into our food? I've seen metal mesh bags you can buy to prevent mice from chewing through bags to get to your food - is this necessary?

    We would prefer not to have to buy canisters or ursacks if it isn't necessary.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I don't recall any bear boxes and my memory of those nice metal food hanging poles is fuzzy. I'd suggest that canisters aren't necessary (from a bear perspective) but would certainly work. You'll find the typical "hang from the rafters" hooks like most AT shelters. I generally just hang my food with a bear bag/line. There are plenty of trees near all of the MD shelters.

  3. #3
    Registered User ggreaves's Avatar
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    Always hang your food. Lots of trees. The PCT method (lots of online information and videos about this method) is dead simple, doesn't require the perfect tree and its very effective. And, despite its name, works quite well on the AT. You don't need an ursack or a container, just some basic bear bagging skills. Walk to the park and practice with a drysack weighing 10lbs and you'll be confident and quick when you camp.

  4. #4
    Registered User Kaptainkriz's Avatar
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    Most of the shelters have metal bear poles or hoist lines to hang food on...no boxes. The mice are bothersome little buggers, hang your food and there is no issue. Any roll top bag is fine for a proper hang, you don't need a special bag or canister. If you can, I'd suggest staying at a different shelter. Crampton has intermittent water and the water at the park is a little far away down the hill. The shelter and surrounding tent sites are not all that nice.
    Ed Garvey - Last time I was there a couple years ago, the line was broken and you needed to hang your own food - bring a line. Water way down hill. Privy.
    Crampton Gap - I think it had a pole but can't remember. Bad water. Privy. OK tent sites.
    Rocky Run - Awesome shelter (actually two) with good water and bear pole. Privy.
    Dahlgren Backpacker Campground - Excellent!! Nice tent sites, indoor bathrooms with showers, piped water. (no shelter)
    Pine Knob - Ok shelter, good water, great tenting. I think it has a pole. Sad Privy.
    Annapolis Rocks - Great tent sites, bear pole, great water, Privy. (no shelter)
    Pogo Camp - lots of tent sites, no pole (need to hang own), privy, good water.
    Ensign Cowall Shelter - OK shelter, good tent sites, poor water, pole, sad privy.
    Raven Rock Shelter - Great shelter, Great tent sites, bear lines, OK water, privy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amyliz View Post
    Myself and 3 others will be doing our first section hike of the AT - half of the Maryland section. We will be staying in tents - planning on the Crampton Gap shelter.

    I have done a good bit of research on how we should handle our food at camp but keep finding conflicting opinions. Do the shelters in Maryland have food/bear boxes? Do we need to bear bag our food? Should we be worried about mice/rodents getting into our food? I've seen metal mesh bags you can buy to prevent mice from chewing through bags to get to your food - is this necessary?

    We would prefer not to have to buy canisters or ursacks if it isn't necessary.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptainkriz View Post
    Most of the shelters have metal bear poles or hoist lines to hang food on...no boxes. The mice are bothersome little buggers, hang your food and there is no issue. Any roll top bag is fine for a proper hang, you don't need a special bag or canister. If you can, I'd suggest staying at a different shelter. Crampton has intermittent water and the water at the park is a little far away down the hill. The shelter and surrounding tent sites are not all that nice.
    Ed Garvey - Last time I was there a couple years ago, the line was broken and you needed to hang your own food - bring a line. Water way down hill. Privy.
    Crampton Gap - I think it had a pole but can't remember. Bad water. Privy. OK tent sites.
    Rocky Run - Awesome shelter (actually two) with good water and bear pole. Privy.
    Dahlgren Backpacker Campground - Excellent!! Nice tent sites, indoor bathrooms with showers, piped water. (no shelter)
    Pine Knob - Ok shelter, good water, great tenting. I think it has a pole. Sad Privy.
    Annapolis Rocks - Great tent sites, bear pole, great water, Privy. (no shelter)
    Pogo Camp - lots of tent sites, no pole (need to hang own), privy, good water.
    Ensign Cowall Shelter - OK shelter, good tent sites, poor water, pole, sad privy.
    Raven Rock Shelter - Great shelter, Great tent sites, bear lines, OK water, privy.
    Thanks for the info on all the shelters/sites in Maryland - we are only doing 1/2 of the Maryland section but are planning on doing the second half later on so this is really helpful.

    For this go we are planning on hiking SOBO from the 70 footbridge to Harper's Ferry. So we may be able to consider staying at Rocky Run instead of Crampton depending on how to first day goes. We are all avid day hikers but completely new at backpacking and carrying weight while hiking so hard to say how far we will make it the first day.

  6. #6
    Registered User Kaptainkriz's Avatar
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    I think you will find this a nice section.

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