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Bear Bagging

Seeing a bear on a camping trip is a thrill, but this doesn’t mean that you want to encourage one to visit your campsite. Being able to properly rig a bear bag is a valuable skill to master to keep you (and your food!) safe from bears and other animals.

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Plan

  • Who has set up a bear bag before? What technique was used?
  • If nobody knows how to rig a bear bag, how can you learn this skill?
  • Find a location to practise this skill (preferably a place with some mature trees)
  • Who will gather the needed equipment?

Do

  • Bear bagging isn’t a skill you want to learn on the fly, so it’s a good idea to practice doing it before you leave on a trip.
  • Divide into teams and practise rigging bear bags. 
  • Experiment with different methods of rigging the food bag so that it is at least three metres off the ground and three metres from the any tree trunks. If a food bag can be rigged higher up and farther out, all the better. If not, what is the best you can do with the resources you have on hand?
  • Try rigging between two trees. Are there rock features that can be used to rig your bear bag?
  • After every team has successfully stowed its food packs high off the ground, compare experiences. What technique did each team find worked best?

Review

  • Were you successful? Why or why not?
  • What do you know now that you did not know before?
  • Did the group work as a team? How so?
  • Did you have fun? What were some highlights?
  • How did you feel before, during, and after this activity?
  • What would you do differently in the future?

Keep it Simple

  • Break down the process of bear bagging into steps, rather than trying to do everything at once. Practice hanging your bear bag on a soccer goal or something similar to learn techniques for raising and lowering the bag. You can also try using a tree for target practice to practice throwing the rope over a branch.

Take it Further

  • Find a creative way to teach bear bagging to another Section! Create a comic, make a video or put on a skit to share your best bear bagging tips!