keeping food safe

Sorry but I tried a search and no matches found.

How do you keep your food safe from animals when paddle camping?

I usually hang food in a nylon bag from a tree to keep it away from small mammals. I was thinking about using an old bear cannister for canoe camping, thx for the tips.

Kayak or Canoe?
I carry a 30 or 60 liter blue barrel but that is impractical for kayaking.

Bear canister would possibly fit through a hatch. I have a bear canister and it is fine for a two or three day trip. But my particular Counter Assault is not waterproof…Barresls are. However barrels are not bear proof though they contain odors, so bears are less likely to visit.

When not in bear country
I use wooden wanigans or food barrels. They work fine. Wanigans make nice seats. The only bear country I have traveled in has been areas where the bears are not habituated and so we tend to use barrels and if we are being careful we don’t make camp where we eat. I have not had problems - not to say I never will.

my fault
I should have said both kayak and canoe camping usually in the Adirondacks and hopefully soon in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. I just found a Ursack post here, will read up on it…thx for your input also.

The messages I just read about the Ursack were really about surviving in bear country and shotguns.

So back to original question. What do you use to protect your food from small to medium mammals? No bears around. Thx

look up the Pacific Outdoor Pinata, it’s a dry bag and bear bag in one, with a purge valve to push the air out. will hold a week’s worth of food if you pack smart, and easily slides into a kayak hatch. its throw rope is too thin (like paracord) but I figure I can upgrade it if it ever wears out. so far so good. you can find it for $20-30. I use it for both kayaking and backpacking.

In the Adks I hung it from a tree slightly overhanging the water.

Northern New England
I have paddled in the same areas you do great deal - mostly Maine for me - but my tripping has been via canoe, not Kayak. As I said, I use wannigans or blue barrels or 5 gallon buckets with screw tops. All have worked well - no troubles with animals in 35 years. But, I’m sure one day it will happen!

My experience
I canoe camp in the ADKs mostly. I used to hang all my food in the stratisphere after a frustrating chore of stringing lines. Never had a problem,but hated doing it at the end of the day. Then I bought a legally required approved bear canister for a backpacking trip and used it for canoe camping with relife. It was heavy and bulky so I got a Ratsack and was given a Ursac-both great. I have seen many more problems with small animals like mics and red squirrels and chipmonks,but have faith in a properly secured sack aginst bears. I did wittness another campers Ursack standing up to 2 determined Pit Bulls. One thing I have always done and had no problem even when others in my same campsite did,is I carfully dubble seal my food in 2 heavy plastic bags to eleminate odors getting out. I also don’t bring my bag into the cooking area where it can get spilled on or smelly.


check appalacian trail hikers
They hike from Georgia to maine. A rope hung from a tree in an upside down can is used. Or the adk hikers can tell you

Thx folks, I’m going to look at getting a Ursack which I can also use for both paddling and hiking trips. Did have one experience with a red squirrel in New Hampshire, little guy just kept coming back and trying to chew through my gear to get food. I like the idea of the double ziplock bags.

Bear Bag
I make a bear bag out of a dry sack or two. I use the opsack to cut down on the odors. An opsack is a heavy duty ziplock type bag that is supposed to be odor proof.

ADK requirements
Coldfeet, after seeing the damage done to a food vault (2x3x3 ft)on the appalachian, trail by a leanto, near Lions Head mountain in western Ct. I’ve become a believer in taking the maximum protection. The claw marks on the top of that vault convinced me that bear was one nasty animal.

The NY DEC has requirements for bear containers in the eastern region of the ADK’s

PS: Lions Head near Sharon Ct would be a good winter hike for you and your nephew.

Only applies to the Eastern High Peaks
unless you are walking your boat 6 miles to Avalanche Lake does not apply.

A canister and a Valley type hatch are a problem . Also canisters do not have grab points and unless in a sack can be difficult to extract from a hatch.

Turtl travels extensively in the ADKs… probably more than I do (2 weeks a year) and his Ursack recommendation is a good idea for those using kayak and canoe. I use canoe extensively and the barrels work fine.

Its not the equipment as much as using the equipment wisely. Dont put a raw steak in a bear canister. You might save your food. But believe me you will have an unwanted campmate.

There was a thread over on CCR recently that echoes the same thought. Most of us that trip two or three months a year( like 70 days or more) haven’t ever had a bear problem. All it calls for is common sense and camping at a clean campsite and keeping it clean…

Hunt, fish and forage ?

the pinata
looks like a standard dry-bag with a valve.

If so, why not just use a dry-bag?

if you double zip…
isn’t the oder still there?

Would a cloth baggie of crushed charcoal help absord oders and help out?

Ratsack, stainless steel mesh sack
is what I use for raccoons and such, they have sharp teeth that can cut through an Ursack.

They climb
Bears, coons, et al can climb and tear apart a bag. Best thing you can do is locate your food (and the clothing you cooked and ate in) away from your tent.

Other strategies
like eating at one location and then moving to sleep help too if you are in bear country. But I agree, I have never had a problem. On the other hand it seems most years at least one party gets in trouble with a Grizzly up north. Often they have done everything right. Sometimes its just the luck of the draw. I envy you getting that much time. You are a lucky lady.

in the boat
i live in NE and when i am not making dinner, gnoshing at camp…whatever, the food goes back into it’s respective carry sack and then gets put back into whatever hatch it came out of and the hatch gets closed.

never had a problem.