Counter Balance Food Hang
How to hang food using the counter balance with retrieval cord method.
Pick appropriate tree and branch. In bad bear areas a proper tree may dictate where you camp. As you near timber line there may not be tall enough trees, so you must plan ahead. The limb should be about 20+ feet from the ground. Higher is better as bears are less likely to jump off a limb onto the bags if they know they will take a long fall. The bags should hang about 10′ out from the tree. Where the rope goes over the limb, the diameter of the limb should be about the size of your wrist or smaller. Larger and they can climb out the limb, smaller and they can break or chew through the limb. Some bears can get any food hang too. Check with local authorities about food storage methods. Food hangs work best with wild bears that have some fear of humans.
Camping with groups, we had to hang as much as 200 lbs of food each evening. It can take several hours, and several trees, to do it right for that much food. A bear resistant canister may be a safer and easier choice for some folks.
Hear are some custom food hang bags by Oware. Ultralight silnylon and noseeum net made for BackpackingLight.com, and heavy Cordura ones made for various Outdoor Schools.
Note the bright orange throw sacks for holding a rock when setting up, and the cord when not in use. Orange is easier to find if you have a bad throw.
The heavy bags use a reflective loop on the bottom (for a retrieval cord) that can be quickly seen at night with a flashlight when checking for suspicious bear like sounds.
Large stuffsacks to hang your food out of reach of varmints. Custom made for school or troop. Photo shows the extra large version made of 1000 denier Cordura . Holds about two weeks worth of dried food. Comes with webbing and double pass nylon buckle so only one bag need be detached at a time from your hang. Retro-reflective web on bottom so you can easily find your hang in the night to check for critters. Various fabrics available including 30d, 210d, 420d and 1000d coated nylon. Even Cuben Fiber if you have to have the lightest. Quantity pricing.
These four ultralight sacks with orange throw bags were made for Backpackinglight. Silnylon and Nanoseeum.
Oware custom bivy 3.5 oz!
Fully waterproof with breathable top.
Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber top (thanks to Joe @ Zpacks for the material)
Cuben Fiber Bottom
Sewn then taped.
An old favorite returns with some new improvements. Used by Utah river runners when the bugs come out.
A flat tarp with noseeum netting around the edges and ends.Floorless makes it lighter and more compact. Less issues with spills while dining underneath too. No zippers to break or fill with sand or salt, just leave one corner un-pegged and lift it to enter.
Two sizes available, sewn to order with several fabric choices. NetTarp5 (10×14′) and theNetTarp2 (8×10′). These now come with a cat curve cut into the hems for tighter set up and line loc3 cord tighteners on the 4 center tie outs to adjust headroom.
Poles available too, but many use hiking poles, trees, or paddles for the uprights.
Purchase stock one here
bivysack.com or call for custom fabrics and prices.
“Beaks”? We don’t need no stinkin’ beaks!
(or tent stakes or poles for that matter)
The lightest and most versatile of shelters, and can be used for a place for teaching out of the sun or rain. Their set up can inspire craftsmanship among students. They are used by many major outdoor schools and savvy go light backpackers everywhere. Our tarps are available in various weights of nylon with a thick waterproof coat of urethane or an ultralight silicone coating. To add strength, sewn on webbing loops are used instead of grommets for tying the tarp out and are also reinforced with an extra layer of fabric at high stress points. Custom size tarps also available.
- Flat Tarps TM
- We coined the term “Flat Tarp” to distinguish our rectangular and square tarps from the
- tarps with curves (catenary “Cat Tarps”) cut into the seams. A Flat Tarp allows for more pitching
- options in many shapes, while a Cat Tarp allows a taunt set up with fewer ties out, but is limited
- to a specific shape of shelter. Reinforced center tie outs allow a flat tarp to be set up sealed close to the ground on the sides and one end like the photo. This without the limiting shape of “beaks”. For those who want to go light (pun intended) but enjoy tarp
craft while using natural features to set up camp, a square or rectangular tarp can
be set up in many ways (see bottom of page).