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Nashville Backpacker Meetup Message Board › Beginner back country pack question

Beginner back country pack question

Nashville, TN
Post #: 53
As a beginner back country backpacking/camping person, I have what I am sure is a beginner question to ask so hope you don't mind as I would like the more seasoned opinions.

When back country backpacking and camping, is it preferable to hang the entire backpack or just the food store leaving the backpack near your tent?
Rob C.
user 12927516
Nashville, TN
Post #: 7
Hey Ira,
As long as your pack is organized (a food bag) it's very easy to separate the "smelly stuff". I like having my pack in my tent, it stays dry and gives me access to items if I need them at night. In fact, I save weight by using a 3/4 length sleeping pad + my empty pack.

Out west in major bear country this might not be the best idea.
A former member
Post #: 1
keep in mind Ira, your toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant also need to be included with your food bag. I have a scent suppressant ditty bag I use to hang my bear bait in. In heavy bear country it is recommended to use a bear vault. This doesn't have to be hung but should be placed away from camp.
Nashville, TN
Post #: 54
For the bear vault, in placing it away fom camp should it be buried or perhaps covered/weighted down with rocks or something along those lines at some distance from camp?

I ask about that as I have thought about getting the vault because I currently day hike a lot in areas like the Smoky Mountains and Big South Fork both of which have bears and I would like to begin backpack camping in the backcountry of those areas.

Appreciate the input from everyone as this is great information you are providing me with.
Al B.
user 8245284
Brookfield, WI
Post #: 18
Hi Ira -

FYI: I'll be hosting a class in "Lightweight Backpacking" in March through the Nashville Community Education Commission. 4-weeks starting Monday, March 5th, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM, at the Cohn Adult Learning Center, 48th & Charlotte. $49.00. The course will cover sleep and shelter systems, cooking systems and other topics geared to getting more enjoyment out of the back country experience.

For more information on the class and registration go to http://www.nashville....­

Happy Trails!

Al "FishBone" Baran

A former member
Post #: 2
You dont have to do any of those things, ira. Bears have poor eyesight, some people still hang a vault but you can just set it in the brush, next to a tree or where ever, you'll just not want it in camp. I used to tether mine to a tree just for piece of mind but I never had problems. Keep in mind, a vault will add extra weight to your pack and is not compressable. When I moved to Tn I changed to the scent suppressant ditty bag. They are used by hunters to keep their smelly stuff from alerting deerof their presence. It works.
Nashville, TN
Post #: 55
Thank you for the great information about the vault and how it can be stored. It does sound like the ideal thing for me as my backpack has plenty of room and I do not consider the weight it would add to be in excess of the benefits it brings. I will certainly be looking at acquiring one for sure.

As with all things that I do in the outdoors, I always view it as the animals habitat that I am in not the other way around and so anything I do is with that in mind to keep me and others safe while intruding the least possible amount upon the animals and the environment.
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