Although the title of this tip may sound like some weird phrasing for bear or critter hunting, it is more about being able to keep your distance from wildlife while overnighting in the great outdoors. Bear and critter bagging is an important practice as outdoorsman and stewards of our environment. Well, what is bear bagging or critter bagging you may ask? (for the sake of this tip we’ll just stick to calling it critter bagging)
Critter bagging, in simple terms, is consolidating any food or liquids (besides water) or other smelly supplies into a bag and suspending it in the air, away from one’s campsite, at night. “But how can I suspend it in air if anti-gravity machines don’t exist yet,” you’re probably thinking. You’re right, you can’t just throw it up in the air and hope it stays up there.
Here’s how to do it:
First, get your bag (preferably weather durable), about 60-80 ft of paracord, a carabiner, and a stick about 7 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Next, find a tree with a sturdy limb about 20-25ft in the air that juts out at least 5-6 feet. Here, tie one end of your rope to the carabiner and huck it right over that limb, allowing it hang over and drop back down to you.
Clip your bag of food to the carabiner and hoist it to the limb of the tree. Then, take your stick and tie it to the rope using a clove hitch (not the only knot to use, but easy and effective), and let the bag drop back down until it is stopped with the stick. Make sure you allow the bag to be suspended at least 12 ft from the ground and 4 ft from the branch, and let it hang.
To get the bag down, just pull the rope and take the stick out, the bag will slide right back down to you.
Bears that have been around the block once or twice can still figure out how to get into them, many areas recommend and require measures like bear canisters or kevlar bags. These are more efficient and safe for those recreating outdoors, especially in bear country.
While they seem all cuddly and fun to hang out with, KEEP YOUR DISTANCE PEOPLE, they are members of the wildlife family for a reason. Respect their habitats, practice Leave No Trace principles, and explore safely!
For more visuals and tips on bear bagging hit the links!