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  1. #1
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Default Sleep with food?

    I've been watching Quicksand's Youtube hiking videos...he does a great job...
    I asked him does he hang his food....his reply is he always sleeps with it. And he is currently working on his third thru hike of the AT...I believe...
    I can see possibly sleeping with your food if you're stealth camping away from a shelter...but sleeping with your food at or near a shelter would probably make others around you uncomfortable, IMO.
    Am interested on what others think about sleeping with their food...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  2. #2
    Registered User Creature Feature's Avatar
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    He's just looking for trouble. He's only lucky trouble hasn't found him yet.

  3. #3

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    If the comparison is between the average mediocre hanging of a bear bag to sleeping with the food next to you, I'd endorse sleeping with it. Properly hung or a canister is a different story altogether.

  4. #4

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    The bears that live near heavily traveled trails do not fear people. I sleep over my food frequently in real wilderness, but never on the AT except Winter. Wild bear figures its too dangerous to try to take your food, but the ones that aren't afraid of you will eat your lunch. I've decided to take the weight hit and switch to a canister because with more folks out on even deep remote trails these days those wild bears may not stay wild long.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

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  5. #5
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    To each their own, but if he's sleeping in a shelter and everyone else has taken the effort to hang their food but 1 person that's just straight up rude , inappropriate, and wrong on alot of levels.
    Even for a YouTube star.

  6. #6

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    One evening I set up my tent in the general shelter area. Since it was raining and I was lazy, I put my food bag on the ground just outside my tent. Sure enough, mice got into it. Had I put it in my tent, no doubt I'd have a hole in both my food bag and my tent. Those mice know exactly where the peanuts are.
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  7. #7
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Default

    I sleep with my food unless I'm with a group who is hanging their food and then I do the socially correct thing and hang mine too using the PCT method. The only place I was super-careful with food was in Grizzly Bear country in Montana/Wyoming.

  8. #8
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Default

    I always hung my food on the AT. Last year, I hiked the Colorado Trail where there are often no trees or no suitable trees, so I slept with my food. One night I left a bag of garbage out and this is what happened (pic below).

    This year I'm going to do the Arizona Trail where, again, there can be a lack of trees. I've got odor proof bags to go inside my Ursack and they will both be outside and away from my tent if I can't find a suitable tree.
    Tarptent Rainbox Damage - 2.jpg
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    "One step at a time."
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  9. #9

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    I think that going as odor-proof as possible and sleeping with it is the best option unless there is a known bear issue at that location, then use a bear canister. 50+ years experience talking, plus many trips in Grizzly country in MT and Alaska.But you can't reason with inexperienced twits in shelters who will goad you for sleeping with your food. They say it endangers them, and that since the majority of sleepers in the shelter (a group of high school kids from Florida in my case) are voting against you, you have to hand over the food. Well, for one thing we don't live in a democracy, we live in a republic where individuals have rights that cannot be infringed. But in this case in the Roan Highlands we did produce our food, and a kid took it in back of the shelter "to hang". So there were no incidents with bears and I got up first in the morning and went to get my food, and found a huge bundle of food bags just hanging three feet from the ground where any animal could have had a feast. That was my bad experience with guilting from idiots from Florida. Never again going to give in to such pressure.

  10. #10
    Registered User GolfHiker's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    To each their own, but if he's sleeping in a shelter and everyone else has taken the effort to hang their food but 1 person that's just straight up rude , inappropriate, and wrong on alot of levels.
    Even for a YouTube star.
    Bubblehead didn’t say if he was sleeping in shelters with his food, but if he is, then I’m 100% in agreement with JNI64. You simply don’t do that & a 2 time AT Thru should know that. As for the oft debated question of good vs. bad hanging, bears, mice, sleeping with food in tent, that’s been debated for years, and based on what you choose to believe, proceed with your own best judgement.
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

  11. #11

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    Talking about another guy's drinking problem on youtube, sleeping with food bag in shelter, and shoving a camera into other hiker's faces? What could go wrong.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    Well, for one thing we don't live in a democracy, we live in a republic where individuals have rights that cannot be infringed



    i didnt realize that sleeping with one's food while in the great outdoors was a right.......

    must be amendment 28......

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i didnt realize that sleeping with one's food while in the great outdoors was a right . . .
    I think that's something that varies depending on who's jurisdiction the land you are in is under:

    Some places it's illegal.
    Some places it's not a problem and the most reasonable thing to do.
    Some places it's a pretty sketchy if not downright stupid thing to do.
    Some places, without legal precedent, it is probably considered or at least treated as a right.
    Some places you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that gave a rip one way or the other.

    Alas, I don't think this is a big enough concern to most of the country be a constitutional issue.

    In the end, it all depends on where you are and who, if anyone is in charge.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  14. #14
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    Default

    i always sleep with my food in my tent. 35+ years now

  15. #15

    Default

    Not a thru-hiker here. I have only done one LASH (352 miles north from Springer) on the AT (and getting ready to do the next 378 miles in a month...).

    My LASH was late Sept-Oct 2020. What I did:
    1) I decided not to carry a bear can. I have a can, and I would absolutely carry it out west and where required, but I am old and trying really hard to keep the weight of my pack managable so that I could be successful. It really did not seem like a necessity to me on the AT.

    2) I purchased an Ursack in lieu of the can. I have an Opsak odor-reducing bag inside it. I knew that I would likely not be good at hanging a food bag even if I could find the perfect branch, and I knew that after a long day of hiking (I prefer to use the day's light to hike and limit time in camp) I would not want to deal with it. I gather from what I've read that most people don't manage to get proper hangs anyway. And I hate seeing the cut remnants of brightly-colored tangled lines littering the trees around shelters and campsites without cables.

    3) Many shelter areas have bear cables or boxes. If they were present I absolutely used them.

    4) when I was 'stealth' camping - which was fairly frequent - I mostly kept my food in my tent. It is all dry food, sealed in packaging or ziplocs, inside an Opsak and then in a drybag (used for cable hanging). I am a cold soaker and try to avoid opening fragrant foods in camp (I don't carry tuna packets or pepperoni; I eat my nut butter on the trail, etc). I think cooking spreads food smells more than my cold mocha or cold-soaked couscous & broccoli.

    I think if hikers prepared food at locations other than shelters/campsites, those sleeping areas would be safer (and have fewer mice). Make your dinner on trail an hour before you get to camp; make your breakfast an hour after you leave.

    5) I only deployed my Ursack a few times. Those times included any nights when there were other hikers camping nearby, as I would not want to be responsible for putting anyone else at risk. I also deployed my Ursack in locations where there were recent bear warnings or where I saw bear sign, or an actual bear that day. (and that bear took a dump about 50 yds up the trail from my campsite, but never bothered me or my Ursack...even though I ate peanut butter protein cookies for dinner that night in my tent and I was sure that the smell would cause bad things to happen....it was late, dark, and I was exhausted.....)

  16. #16

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    I am trying to figure out if claims that making food "odor proof" for animals works, or is just campfire myth. Mice have olfactory bulbs 200 times larger than humans that are able to find specific scents among masking odors, coyotes have a sense of smell some 400 times better than humans (better than most domestic dogs), bears have a sense of smell that is 2,100 times more sensitive. This makes it highly improbable masking food odors works. Like Slo-Go'en I have had my tent gnawed through by mice, literally in a matter of minutes of getting it set up, to reach a partially eaten granola bar in it. I was amazed how fast that occurred.

    Hanging food (as pointed out above properly) protects ones food and tent fabric. Trying to mask food odors may work with human olfactory sense, but animals with sense of smell hundreds of times more sensitive can sort them out much like human eyesight can find pine trees in a standing forest when looking at vistas. Trouble found me a few times as rodents chewed their way into my tent or pack, I decided to get good hanging food before the bear showed up to create mischief.

  17. #17
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Default

    I've never slept with my food just to let everyone know. Just wanted to see what others thought on the subject. Thanks to everyone for their discussion...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  18. #18
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Default

    I also took a bear cannister with me in 2019 on my LASH from NY to NH...this year I'm going to lighten my load and take my Zpacks food bag with me, and I am going to learn the PCT hang method before I head out...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  19. #19
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Here's how effective "odor proof" sacks are....

    (~2am in the Sierra, a medium sized bear ripped open my wife's pack; she had inadvertently left a baggie of Gatorade powder, red, the baggie inside an OP sack inside her pack laying just outside our tent overnight; this pic is her pack repacked the next morning, the straps on the bottom held the whole thing together for the rest of the trip).

    I had a similar thing happen to me a few decades ago in CO, sorry no pic to share, it was pre-digital era.

    Ancient, tired argument, hanging or sleeping with food. We hang, unless we can't (no trees). Easy peasy.
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  20. #20
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    Looks like a blood bath!

    I got off the Opsak train really quick when I first started backpacking. For one, their durability is horrendous. They kept breaking at the zip lock. I remember being excited seeing a stack of them in the kitchen of a hostel and thinking I found a replacement for my latest broken one, only to find that every.single.one was broken in some fashion.
    Two, the claims of them being odor-proof just never rang true to me. I guess I could fill one up with a brick of week and speed through a place where it's illegal. But knowing what I know of animal senses, I doubt they help much.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

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