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Low-Impact Hoists
How to hang your food packs

Hanging the food pack is not only a necessity in the backcountry, it's an art! Some folks enjoy the daily task of keeping the food away from the critters, while others struggle with their rope. Well, the experts at the U.S. Forest Service have produced an extensive, detailed report on the subject, and we've got it here for you. May your next bear pack be hung high!

"This report describes techniques backcountry campers can use to hoist food out of the reach of bears. In some areas regulations require that food be stored out of the reach of bears or in containers bears cannot open."

"The 17-page report includes many drawings and photographs showing equipment and techniques to hoist food at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet from the nearest tree. The techniques are designed to have a low impact on the environment."

Grub and Bears

Introduction to the report.

Ropes, Cables, and Knots

The fundamentals you need for a successful "bear hang."


Pulleys, blocks, winches and how to use them!

Single-Tree Techniques (32 k)
The simplest and easiest way to hang your food pack.
Many Boundary Waters visitors use this method!

Two-Tree Systems
(92 k)

Another possible method. (...although the USFS does not allow placing a brace across two trees to provide an easy hanging location)

Alternatives (16 k)
When you can't hang your food...


Boundary Waters Canoe Area Web site
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Web site
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Published from the edge of the Boundary Waters
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Updated Aug 26, 2016

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