Smokey Mountains

9:09 a.m. on July 24, 2007 (EDT)
3 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

For those of you that hike in the Smokey Mountains, when you hang your food do you use a bear sack or just a regular stuff sack?

Thanks in Advance,

11:26 a.m. on July 24, 2007 (EDT)
Bill S
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6,037 forum posts

In the Smokeys, if you stay in the shelters, you won't need any type of bear box. However, if you are like me and avoid the noisy crowded shelters, you need to use some type of protection for your food. Check with the rangers for the local area for the minimum protection needed. You might be able to get away with an Ursack, but even by the last time I was in the southern section, bear boxes like the ones required out here in the West were recommended - the Garcia, Bear Vault (most recent models), BearIKade, are the currently approved ones. I emphasize checking with the rangers because comments you get here are mostly of the "I got away with ..."

4:11 p.m. on October 1, 2007 (EDT)
70 reviewer rep
243 forum posts

BillS refers to the cables that are hung high between two trees so that you can tie any food bag even if it is just a stuff sack. There are carabiners and pulleys with attached cables to get your food well off the ground. These are found at the shelters. Even some of the tentsites have cables, but if not try to set up a double weight system, using a stick to get the bags high enouugh over your head, ie. have two bags counter-balance each other. They should hang out of your reach. With this method there are no lines for crafty bears to untie or tear down. I also used the single-line-over-the-branch technique. At one shelter bears were heard banging on the cables, so attach your food bags tightly. I heard stories and has some just miss happenings, but I never saw a bear in 10 days in the Park. (No "e" in Smoky!)
The bags are quite high up off the ground.

6:27 a.m. on October 3, 2007 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
123 forum posts

I just use a plain old stuff sack and hang it on the cables. I have only hiked on the AT section. All of the shelters along the AT have bear cables. I second the advice to check with the rangers on Off the AT routes. they will know which sites have bear cables etc.

May 25, 2020
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