Hanging a bear bag

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

This week, my Venture column looked at the return of black bears to Ohio. Biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimate that about 100 or so live throughout the eastern part of the state, a population growing slowly but surely.

As these fascinating creatures come back to Ohio in greater numbers, backpackers should know how to hang a bear bag, which keeps food and other things with a smell out of reach. Even if you don't see a bear, it will thwart attacks on food from other critters. You could call it a raccoon bag in Ohio.

You might have used a counter-balance method or another way in which you anchor one end of the rope to a tree. Those work fine, except they're more difficult to set up and can drop if something breaks the long length of rope between the bag and tree trunk.

The Pacific Coast Trail method, shown in the video above, is the easiest technique I've found. It also requires little equipment: stuff sack, carabiner, 50 feet of rope.