We are pushing through a particularly remote area if the AT right now and doing some genuine back country camping. No shelters or nice campsites for at least 4 days. Just a sorta flat area near a water source for us. We are also in bear country in the spring and hikers are seeing them everyday now. It’s time to get serious about our bear hang skills.
Let’s just say that there is a lot of room for improvement. Setting a bear hang line is the most hated camp chore there is. After I get done with dinner and work on my blog all I want to do is climb in my sleeping bag but i still have to go find a decent place to hang a line. It’s supposed to be something like 12 feet off the ground and 6 feet from the tree but in the end we are lucky if we just get if off the ground in some fashion. Also known as a “short bear hang” or even a “mouse hang”.
In my experience, my bear hangs either go perfectly on the first try or it turns into a 30 minute comedy routine for the whole camp to enjoy. There is a lot to go wrong. The rock bag swings back and hits you in the face. The line gets stuck, tangled or twisted. If you do manage to finally hoist the bag up, you can break the branch off the whole tree can come crashing down. In my short time on the trail I’ve seen it all happen and sometimes in the same hang.
We did manage to get one line hung last night and it kept our food safe. We had major storms and high winds all night and the river that we camped next to tripled in size by the time we woke up. It rained most of the morning for our 28 mile hike but the sun did manage to peek out for a few minutes before the day was over. Fortunately, we have 5 days of sunshine coming up.
We have 2 more days of big miles planned but it will be nice to be able to stop and rest during the day. When it is so cold and wet I just want to power through the day and get into camp as soon as possible. It also gives me some more time time hang a perfect bear bag. 😮