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How to Make a Bear Hang: Keeping Your Food Safe from Hungry Bears

How to Make a Bear Hang: Keeping Your Food Safe from Hungry Bears

Ah, the great outdoors – where adventure and nature meet. And guess what? Sometimes bears decide to join the party. But fear not, we've got your back with the ultimate guide on how to make a bear hang. This isn't just about keeping your snacks out of reach; it's a vital way to ensure everyone's safety and preserve the wilderness we all love. Let's dive in and learn the art of bear bag hanging!


  • Goals of a bear hang
  • What should be inside a bear hang
  • Tools needed to make a bear hang
  • Where to put a bear hang
  • How to make a bear hang
  • Bear hang tips



Main Goals Of A Bear Hang

  1. Self-Preservation: First and foremost, you want to stay safe from those curious (and sometimes hungry) bears.
  2. Bear Buddy System: We're also looking out for our furry friends. By keeping them away from human food, we prevent them from becoming dependent on it.
  3. No More Hangry Hikes: Last but not least, keeping your food supply safe means you won't be stuck in the wild, starving and dreaming of a cheeseburger.


What's On The Bear Hang List?

Time to channel your inner squirrel and hang up those scented items to protect them from prying paws:

  • Food (whether it's wrapped or not)
  • Empty wrappers and containers
  • Cookware (pots and pans)
  • Utensils
  • Scented toiletries (yes, even that designer shampoo)
  • Sunscreen (yep, bears might be sun-conscious)
  • Deodorant (because bears appreciate fresh scents, too)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Lip balm (because chapped bear lips aren't a good look)


Gearing Up For A Successful Bear Bag Hanging

Before you go all Tarzan, make sure you're equipped with the right gear:

  • A dry bag or waterproof stuff sack (we're talking sealable and water-resistant)
  • About 25 meters of 3-4mm accessory cord (remember, thinner ropes are lighter but more prone to damage)
  • A trusty rock (for that perfect throw over a branch) or a tent stake bag
  • Optional but nifty: a carabiner for added convenience


Location, Location, Bear Hang Location

If your campsite is blessed with bear hang structures or bearproof lockers, rejoice! Use them whenever possible. In the wild, follow the 50-meter triangle rule:

  • 50 meters between your bear hang, tent, and cooking area
  • Cook and eat downwind from your tent (because sharing your sleeping space with food-scented breath isn't fun)


Choosing The Perfect Trees For Bear Bag Hanging

When it comes to trees, you're not looking for just any tree. Keep these measurements in mind:

  • 2 meters away from the trunk
  • 2 meters below the hanging branch
  • 4 meters above the ground


Mastering The Art Of Bear Bag Hanging

Here's where the magic happens – there are multiple ways to get your bear bag off the ground:

  1. Standard Method: Find an overhanging branch, toss the rope over, and hoist your bag like a champ. Secure the rope's end to the tree trunk.
  2. PCT Method: Similar to the standard, but use a stick to prevent bears from cutting the rope.
  3. Two Tree Method: Ideal for coniferous-rich areas. Tie a rope between two trees, attach the bag, and tension it to raise the bag. Check out the video here
  4. Diagonal Method: Throw your rope around a tree trunk, about 10 meters up. Attach your bear bag and use the carabiner to lift it diagonally. Fasten the other end to a nearby tree. Check out the video here


A Few Tips For Bear Hang Masters

  • Use a rock or a sack of rocks to toss the rope over the branch – beats a game of fetch with the bears.
  • When tossing the rope, step on the end for better control.
  • Knots to know: clove hitch, figure of 8 (on a bite), and half hitch.

Mastering the art of bear bag hanging goes beyond just safeguarding your trail mix. It's a gesture of respect towards the wilderness, a commitment to coexisting harmoniously with wildlife, and a promise to preserve the beauty of the outdoors for generations to come. So, arm yourself with knowledge, practice the techniques, and embark on your next outdoor escapade fully prepared to conquer the wild while keeping your food – and the bears – safe and sound! 🏞️🐻

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