After years of either leaving my food in a bag on the ground (dumb) or hanging it in trees with shitty paracord I started to look for alternatives.
Leaving food in my pack as a beginner or putting it in a tent bag and hanging it from a nail on a tree doesn’t do a damn thing to protect your food from critters large and small. This will attract animals and train them to come around other humans for food, endangering you and the animal ultimately. Alternatively, hanging it properly high in a tree is the way to go for many reasons.
Its important to hang up your food and other smelly items so animals can’t raid your stash. Once, mice chewed through a pack to get to my cashews and dried cranberries. They also took it upon themselves to defecate and urinate on the remaining food they didn’t eat. This ruined my trip and I had to hike out the next morning. Bears, mountain goats, and other large animals would also like to eat your food so its important to keep it out of reach of all animals.
However, using paracord that I seemed to always have lying around was functional albeit problematic. The paracord often shreds/snags and gets stuck, making hanging your food more of a pain in the ass than it should be. You also have to keep replacing the paracord. Cheap, but annoying and wasteful.
The solution I found is something light, functional, and strong. I came across UltraGlide Bear Line made by Lawson Equipment. This line is thin at 2.5 mm and I got the reflective kind so I can see it in the dark easily. I find that I’m usually hanging my food at night (duh). A 50′ hank weighs 1.7 oz on my scales. That length is plenty for me. I have 50′ more that will be a gift to a friend. I bought this with my own money.
Its worth noting that this costs more than paracord. It was admittedly a splurge for me, a 50′ hank costs $17, and a 100′ hank costs another $15 (shipping included). I have found it to be worth the cost and it is well worth noting that this is made in the US and you’re supporting workers here, not to mention a small business with some other cool products that I really like. E.g. the glowire line and technora shoe laces. I’m always skeptical of pricier gear and equipment, but willing to fork it over for stuff that lasts. The non-reflective kind is cheaper.
I bought the reflective version back in May and have been using ever since on maybe around a 9 trips give or take. I love it. It is very strong, doesn’t snag, doesn’t get caught, doesn’t fray and as the name implies your bear bag glides right up as you raise it up. It feels like you slathered some KY or Astroglide on a rope and it just goes right up like you have a pulley or something.
I have issues coiling the line when I’m finished using it, so I just wrap it around a stick now and tie off the end. After many uses, its just a little dirty as you can see in the pic. No snags or tears anywhere. Its also still very reflective. It glides through the trees like a hot knife through butter. Definitely worth checking out and splitting with a friend that you go on trips with!s