sinking your food

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Tom_H
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Re: sinking your food

Post by Tom_H » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:39 pm

We used to use dry bags when running whitewater camping trips. The dry bags always kept things dry if a canoe capsized, but there is a big difference between floating on top of the water for a couple of minutes in an upside down canoe and in sitting underwater all night in a weighted bag. And the deeper you go, the greater the pressure trying to force the water in. I would be weary of using a whitewater runner's dry bag and I don't know anything about waterproof bags that scuba divers might use.

I also am of the opinion that a bear may still be able to smell the food and simply fish it right out of the water.








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bobby49
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Re: sinking your food

Post by bobby49 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:06 pm

Some friends of mine were out doing one section of the JMT, and I knew where they would spend the first night away from their resupply point. So, I hiked in there ahead of them with my own stuff including twenty pounds of wine and beer. I got to the spot early, but then I wanted to backtrack on the trail to keep an eye out for them. I needed to do something with the wine and beer, so I sank it in the river. It was all sealed and in plastic bags, but there was enough residual air inside that it was very difficult to keep it sunken. However, I solved that by placing one end of a log on top.
The friends showed up an hour later, and they were quite amazed to see the wine and beer, already chilled. They were going to continue on the trail, so I packed out the empty containers.

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John Harper
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Re: sinking your food

Post by John Harper » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:33 am

bobby49 wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:06 pm
I hiked in there ahead of them with my own stuff including twenty pounds of wine and beer. The friends showed up an hour later, and they were quite amazed to see the wine and beer, already chilled. They were going to continue on the trail, so I packed out the empty containers.
I want to be one of your friends. What a great thing to do!

John

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bobby49
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Re: sinking your food

Post by bobby49 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:06 pm

That was back in 1979. Back in those days lots of backpackers were carrying extremely heavy loads. The strong men were carrying 60-70 pounds, and even the petite women were carrying 45 pounds. So, I knew that they were not going to have any extra carrying capacity for alcohol. As I recall, it was one wine-in-a-box thing plus a twelve-pack of beer. I heard no complaints.

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Re: sinking your food

Post by SSSdave » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:46 am

I've done it with small amounts of food, but would not recommend others do so because I don't expect the average person would do so intelligently. Like might just use Ziplock type plastic bags and end up with wet food. Or would not understand how some seemingly sealed bags like Ziplock's are far from truly sealed so bears would smell whatever out. Or would place the bag in locations easily visible from shore that critters would find. Or the food bag would float up loose due to daily variations in stream flows versus the time of day someone plunked it into water. Do I think I can do so effectively. Yes but don't plan to do so because a canister etc is easier.

Do I think a bear can smell what is inside a sealed plastic bag or can? Of course not. (: But a bear might smell the outside of such containers if handled and are obviously visually aware of human packaged products. That is why some have bitten into fuel bottles only to experience unpleasant contents. I also expect authorities and advocates to roundly condemn any method of keeping human food away from bears except by use of authorized hard bear canisters. And that includes continuing to block use of Ursack's that I often use in areas hard canisters are not required. Note I own 4 hard canisters.

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Re: sinking your food

Post by Troutdog 59 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:40 am

On some of my shorter trips (overnighters or 3 days), I've sunk perishables (bacon, eggs, steaks, cheese, veggies, etc.) in a mesh bag weighted down with a rock or two. But the reason was to keep them cool, not keep them away from a bear. Never had any issues except my brother not securing the bag to something on the shore one time. Don't worry, it was retrieved.
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Re: sinking your food

Post by TahoeJeff » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:22 pm

Troutdog 59 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:40 am
On some of my shorter trips, I've sunk perishables (bacon, eggs, steaks, cheese, veggies, etc.) in a mesh bag weighted down with a rock or two.
For me its (beer, beer, beer, etc.).
“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have either one.”

Benjamin Franklin

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bobby49
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Re: sinking your food

Post by bobby49 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:27 pm

I was going to surprise a backpacking group one time, so I had carried in a twelve-pack of beer. When I reached the camp spot, I had two hours before they got there. So, I put the beer in a big plastic bag, and then I sank it in the river with some big rocks on top. That worked. The beer was cold. I got no complaints from the group.

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Re: sinking your food

Post by acorad » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:37 am

AlmostThere wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:40 am
Bears that broke into kitchens in the Boy Scout camps ate the canned food. Explain to me how they know there is food in cans....
They've previously eaten from opened cans, probably from raiding garbage, so they learned what's inside them?

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Re: sinking your food

Post by dave54 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:57 am

You have food odors on your hands, or just normal people smells. When you handle the plastic bag or container you transfer those odors to the outside of the bag. That is what the bear is smelling, and he recognizes the smell as 'food inside'.
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