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  1. #11
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    The bear containers (containers to thwart bear intrusion, not contain bears) I have are not waterproof. When I store them away from camp - usually near where other campers hang their food - I put a plastic bag over the top in case it rains during the night. I suppose you could just put the plastic sack with the food inside and roll the top of the bag. But if possible, it’s nice to keep the whole thing dry. The black barrel type also makes a nice camp chair.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by nanok View Post
    i like your questions, uninjured, there ought to be a prize for best questions here. remind me to buy you a beer whenever i see you

    first thing i'd do, as you're talking 50lbs, and this is already "significant(TM)", is look up "friction saver", this is something arborists use, it's a bit magical, it's not so hard to make one, and because of the magic it's fun to use imho. this will both protect the branch you're hanging the bag from, and save you the added friction and wear on your bearbag rope. you can easily make one yourself, with a bit of webbing and two strategically sized rings. i think this is the most important part, you know my style of posting by now, so the boring overengineered stuff follows, feel free to skip

    i would make a loop of rope (of your choice, for this kind of load i think it need not be webbing or anything special), probably about 2m in length should do (or 6ft-ish?), make a fixed loop on one end (a modified bowline, or whatever you like), i'd use this as the "tree strap", wrap it around the tree, and using the end without the fixed loop, make a slipped buntline hitch, this will cinch nicely around the tree, and come untied quite easily (but if you have another quick release hitch you like better, go for that). now on the actual throwline/bearbag line, i'd use a uni-shackle rigged as a tensioner (so with the tending loop), tail tied around the bearbag line as a blake hitch, and going through the tending loop. you close the shackle part on the fixed loop of the makeshft treestrap described above, and then litterally walk away with the free end of the bearbag line, this will hoist the load (going smoothly through the friction saver), and will provide progress capture (if you let go of the line, it will just stay where it is). it's a bit more trouble to setup the unishackle at first than just tie a knot, but it's only three knots instead of one, and just once. after that, you litteraly just clip the uni-shackle into the fixed loop, and then walk away (so for repeated use, it's worth it i think). your friends will be impressed if nothing else, they'll also never want to leave that thing on the ground again, given this is so much more fun to do, but you can't have it all.

    (do i make any sense?)
    Thanks nanok. Asking questions is easy, it's the ideas and experience in the replies by the fine folks of this forum that make all the difference.

    As usual, I'll need to let your reply bake in a bit. But already there a few good pointers that I can add to my arsenal.

    EDIT: Looked up friction savers - wonder if some of the 6' dogbones I made out of 7/64" amsteel might also do the job?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uninjured View Post
    Thanks nanok. Asking questions is easy, it's the ideas and experience in the replies by the fine folks of this forum that make all the difference.
    thanks for the kind words. i do mean what i say though: don't underestimate how much of a difference asking questions "the right way" makes, to both sides. easy or hard, i don't know, but doing it right matters, is all i'm saying.

    As usual, I'll need to let your reply bake in a bit. But already there a few good pointers that I can add to my arsenal.

    EDIT: Looked up friction savers - wonder if some of the 6' dogbones I made out of 7/64" amsteel might also do the job?
    glad if it helps a bit (and sorry for the extra computing power needed; i feel sometimes i could do a better job expressing myself).

    the dogbones should do fine imho. obviously, some webbing (even some half inch or so, mule tape, whatever) will obviously distribute the load better on the branch, but even with the dogbones you'll save a _lot_ of wear, on both the branches and the rope, so definitely worth doing imo. however, it will remove most friction from the system (as that was previously on the overhead branch, which is what the friction saver fixes), which is why i suggested rigging a system that has progress capture sort of built in: without progress capture, my guess is 50lbs might be a bit of a pita to hoist on a "nearly frictionless" rig (i guess it must be obvious why).

    as usual, let us know how it goes, your insight most welcome

  4. #14
    Senior Member P-Dub's Avatar
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    I used to do an annual 2+ week wilderness canoe camping, and we carried everything needed (no resupply), which meant an extremely heavy food pack. It was inside a hard plastic box w gasketed lid, inside a pack, and with food, weighed maybe 70 lbs... We rigged up a pulley system to reduce the difficulty of lifting it. Though it took a lot of rope, and extra equipment, it made it possible to get that much weight up into the trees.

    One rope went over selected branch, and on that rope was a double pulley with a second rope through it (end tied to the pack). That second rope goes back down to the pack, through a single pulley on the pack, back up through the top through the 2nd pulley and back to the ground (upside down W). Prussik loop helped to pull this monstrosity up into the tree, and the pulleys reduce the perceived weight to half (third?) of actual poundage.

    For you, you could put a rope with a single pulley over the branch and pull the pack up with another rope through the pulley, which would greatly reduce the friction! Sort of like the "friction saver" idea, but even less friction.

    We secured it exactly as you described -- simple -- around the tree a few times, tied off with half hitches. I think that's the simplest & most foolproof. I like the description above by scouts to end up with 2 different support ropes to thwart bears who might learn to break one rope.

    (Note, these trips were with an ex who was kind of a hoarder who also liked to take everything possible "just in case" so if I were to do this again today, the kitchen/food would NOT weigh as much as that! For one, since it's being hung up at night, why take the several-pounds-heavy plastic box?...)

  5. #15
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    i considered a pulley system with mechanical advantage, but as you say it does require a lot more rope, and a bit more rigging. otoh, as they are in a group, with reduced friction and progress capture, it means that you just rig a handle using a fallen branch and a marline spike hitch, and two hikers can easily hoist a 50lbs load up a tree i'd expect. if alone on hoisting duty, some mechanical advantage and progress capture, no discussion (maybe i would consider a resettable system, to do away with the need for multiplying the length of rope by two; it would be slower, but would require a lot less rope, and a lot less rigging up in the tree). but it's probably overkill for the oriiginal purpose (id' do it anyway, just because it's fun though)

  6. #16
    Senior Member P-Dub's Avatar
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    (it was fun figuring it out and trying various combinations!)

  7. #17
    RENDAWG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom Grappler View Post
    The knots you choose are completely your personal choices. Most people use knots they already know, due to familiarity. Sometimes these choices are good and at other times-no

    I choose different knots for different applications, based on:
    Ease of Use—can I tie and untie this knot quickly and easily with no jamming. Can I remember this knot while I’m tired and or the weather is doing it’s thing—wind, rain, darkness, freezing rain and the sudden need for a Snickers candy bar!

    A big factor in Ease of Use is, can the knot be tied without having access to either end of rope. I refer to this as, tied in the bight. This is a big time saver and eliminates many errors when you tie a knot—say in the dark while rain is dripping off brim of your hat! With a long rope, it’s easy to make errors if you are having to pull rope from end of rope through incomplete knot for each step.

    Does the knot hold its place in the rope without slipping? Does the knot do the job you want it to perform?

    You might want to watch my YouTube
    David Hughes Phantom Grapplers Recommended Ties part one and part two
    Lately I’ve been using Siberian Hitch with added daisy chain or monkey braid for knot stabilization.

    Also Farrimond Friction Hitch with added daisy chain for knot stability.

    Alpine Butterfly Loop is a good midline loop (tied in the bight) that resists ringloading. Ringloading is pulling loop in opposite directions from inside the loop. Its resistant to jamming and at same time will not slip!

    Slipped Zeppelin Bend. Holds its place without slipping in spite of its name.
    Does not jam-and can be tied midline without having to find ends of rope.

    But if you forget how to tie Slipped Zeppelin Bend, tie a knot you already know, to join two ropes to hold your hammock suspension without fail——
    Marlin spike hitch will do the job!
    Hold both ropes in palm of hand, both short ends closest to you, while palm is facing up. Tie marlin spike hitch with both ropes in same motion and insert a strong smooth toggle. A toggle that won’t break-like a carabiner or a spoon handle will work.
    A sturdy stick will work-but a twig will not work in this application. Marlin spike hitch is tied midline or in the bight and does not slip and does not jam!
    Nailed it. But I am curious about why hang a bear barrel?
    HANG WELL MY FRIENDS AND HANG IN THERE!

  8. #18
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    Uninjured, I'm enjoying the heck out of this thread so thank you. You've got awesome advice about tying to a tree and I assume that you're hanging a bear barrel either because it's not bear resistant or you're taking a belt and suspenders approach.

    You might consider Lawson's 3.5mm bear bagging line. It slides over tree limbs very easily, and it's big enough to grip. My bear bag rarely weighs as much as 10 lbs, but where I camp, there's ALWAYS someone (and often a family of 5) that needs a bit of help. I've never pulled up a 50 lb bag, but I've pulled a few in the 30-40 lb range. I use a tent stake in a Marlinspike hitch for a handle.

    I hang a bear bag PCT style, which takes higher branches and longer lifts, but a bear can't cut the line from the ground, either. A tent stake makes a much better toggle when it comes to untying.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPCPAT View Post
    Uninjured, I'm enjoying the heck out of this thread so thank you. You've got awesome advice about tying to a tree and I assume that you're hanging a bear barrel either because it's not bear resistant or you're taking a belt and suspenders approach.

    You might consider Lawson's 3.5mm bear bagging line. It slides over tree limbs very easily, and it's big enough to grip. My bear bag rarely weighs as much as 10 lbs, but where I camp, there's ALWAYS someone (and often a family of 5) that needs a bit of help. I've never pulled up a 50 lb bag, but I've pulled a few in the 30-40 lb range. I use a tent stake in a Marlinspike hitch for a handle.

    I hang a bear bag PCT style, which takes higher branches and longer lifts, but a bear can't cut the line from the ground, either. A tent stake makes a much better toggle when it comes to untying.
    Hey JPCPAT, I literally got 200' of Lawson glowire in the mail a few minutes ago and I'm super impressed by it. I did see their bear bagging line but it's been out of stock for some time. I shot them an email to see when it might come back in stock but haven't gotten a reply yet. If I'm not able to get it in time for my next trip, then I have a few 50' hanks of amsteel.

    Yeah it's a bit crazy about how we were hanging that barrel but will be discussing it with my buddies this week. I think this year we're gonna try to bring more meat (to hang) and less snacks so we might even downgrade the barrel size to something smaller. I guess it wouldn't be completely far fetched to envision a large black bear playing some foot hockey with the barrel for an hour or two in the middle of the night? Also if they're able to clutch it in their jaw I guess they could also carry it quite a ways off too...

    I'm also considering PCT this year on lighter loads as well but I don't think we have locking biners and have heard that you run the risk of locking the cord inside if you pull the wrong when and it's twisted.

  10. #20
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Something to consider is a 2-pulley system that will make it a lot easier to hoist.

    It doesn't have to be actual pulleys, however, if you use some of the methods detailed in this thread (good starting point at link), where 7mm Antal rings are substituted for pulleys.

    I googled the bajeebers out of it and best I can tell "Skilman Bear Hitch" is the correct attribution for it.

    Caveat: There is a bit of a learning curve on this—both making it and using it—but once you get the kinks worked out, it actually, uh... works.

    Testimony: I use this only on longer trips with 3 or more people, once using it to hoist food for 5 people for a 4-night trip. I don't know the total weight but we all agreed it was pretty doggone heavy that first night!
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

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