Food storage

Food topics, including recipes.

Food storage

Postby jackattack » Tue 03 Jan, 2017 6:25 pm

I apologise if there is already an existing thread on this. If so please point me in the right direction.

I am going on a 2 day hike soon where there is a high chance of rats. I do not want my pack or my tent chewed through.

What is your anti "mini bear" system. Is it worth suspending a food bag, USA bear style or do rats and possums just shimmy down the string/rope and rip in. I do not use DEET but thought
of spraying my lunch box with peppermint or lavender oil and leaving outside the tent.

Are there plastic containers more rat and possum proof than others...

What system or container do you use and does it work or not work.

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Re: Food storage

Postby andrewa » Tue 03 Jan, 2017 7:19 pm

Depends a bit on where you're staying. If staying in a hut, I'd suspend my pack from a string. Rats/mice do "abseil" down such strings, so it's not perfect. Fishing line might be better. Harder to abseil down. If in a tent, just zip it up!

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Re: Food storage

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 03 Jan, 2017 10:15 pm

I wouldn't spray my gear with anything, its hard to know what an animal will find tasty. I've not had any problems as long as stuff is packed away well, if an animal is going after food, it will just as easily go for toothpaste and soap as anything else. I'd have no concern about keeping my food in my tent, or even in the vestibule, but then again, I have no idea how brave the rats will be where you are, that could play a big role.
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Re: Food storage

Postby Rosscodj » Wed 25 Jan, 2017 2:03 pm

You could try hanging your food bag, and half way up the line, suspend the top curved part of a coke bottle upright with the line running through it. Rats, etc, won't be able to grip onto it, or get to the line below, so they'll either fall off or give up.

...in theory anyway!
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Re: Food storage

Postby Suz » Fri 27 Jan, 2017 3:32 pm

andrewa wrote:If in a tent, just zip it up!
OMG No! Be careful of this one.

I recently woke up at 3am to a rat in my tent on the Light to Light walk. It had chewed a hole in my TT Stratospire (which nows needs even more repairs).

I too am now looking for a rat / ant / possum / lace monitor proof system. I'm thinking about one of those bear hanging bag systems that the Americans have.
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Re: Food storage

Postby Mark F » Fri 27 Jan, 2017 4:31 pm

I always hang my food or have it inside the tent in my pack. For hanging food I have never had a problem with sil-nylon stuff sacks. They seem a bit too slippery for the blighters to hold onto. You could also try cuben fibre bags as the cuben fibre is stronger than steel. I have not heard of anything chewing holes through cuben.

My main concern is having stuff pulled out of the vestibule so I keep it clear overnight. I have almost lost a walking pole used to hold up my shelter after it was dragged 10 metres into undergrowth by a possum. A friend also had a volley stolen by a possum a Pelion in the late afternoon. The possum disappeared 10 metres up a tree with the shoe when chased. Luckily the Volley was a bit too heavy and the possum dropped it.

Suz wrote:I too am now looking for a rat / ant / possum / lace monitor proof system.


How about a mini electric fence or spray the lower portion of the tent with quassia chip solution.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Food storage

Postby Orion » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 3:08 am

Suz wrote:I'm thinking about one of those bear hanging bag systems that the Americans have.

There was a company selling a "system" like that. But it was really just two stuff sacks and a length of cord. It's unlikely that you'd need to do a counter balance hang to defeat a rat anyway.

If I were worried about rodents or possum I'd take a kevlar bear sack (since I have one - 10 liters, 150g) and tie it off to something sturdy. The first time I went to Australia I used one. But I soon discovered that during the day animals were not really a problem and at night they didn't try to get into the tent, at least where I was walking. So I stopped worrying about it.

On a recent trip to New Zealand we had the same theory... but one night a rodent ate a few holes in our tent trying to get at the food stuff sacks adjacent to the tent walls. After that we kept the food in between us and away from the walls inside the tent. That seemed to be enough, in this case.
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Re: Food storage

Postby Neo » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 1:41 pm

Try a pail with a snap on lid, like a 2kg honey tub or a painters pail from the hardware. If that doesn't work then there is always something like this!
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Re: Food storage

Postby Suz » Mon 30 Jan, 2017 8:55 pm

Lolz Neo.

I'm thinking about getting a Grubpack.
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Re: Food storage

Postby CSpeedy » Fri 03 Feb, 2017 10:36 am

I've also had issues with rodents eating their way through tents and cuben fiber food bags. This was while hiking in south east Queensland
After two such incidents (now patched with gaffer tape) this was our solution for the Carnarvon Great Walk last year.
Five nights food for two people. Cheap plastic containers from the $2 shop, just make sure the lids fit well.

IMAG0554.jpg
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Re: Food storage

Postby Orion » Sat 04 Feb, 2017 3:37 am

Plastic boxes are kind of bulky, although I suppose you could at least nest them together and wedge other items inside when empty.


I had a mouse keep waking me up recently one night snow camping at ~2000m in Yosemite N.P. He/she didn't pose a threat to my tent but kept making noise bumping up against it, scratching a bit. In the morning I found the mouse had tunneled UNDER the tent floor. Maybe it was warmer there? Couldn't get it to leave so I went around and lifted the corner of the tent and it was just sitting there. I picked the mouse up with my shovel and tossed him 10m or so and he just sat there for about ten minutes, looking at me. I went over to check if he was sick, took his picture. Then suddenly he sprung to life, ran in circles a few times and then hopped away to a nearby tree well.

Later, as I was about to ski off, he ran from that tree well right past me toward another tree, making it to underground safety just a few centimeters ahead of a diving Steller Jay.

Image


By the way, I love those bagel crackers... wish we could get them here. I'd have brought a bunch home but they wouldn't have fared well in the duffle bags.
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Re: Food storage

Postby WalkGirl84 » Sat 11 Feb, 2017 9:29 am

Does vacuum sealing work? I have started zsealing each days food together in one vacuum pack so by the end of the day there should be no unsealed food in my pack. It certainly prevents ants and roaches but I'm not sure about rats.
Dingoes have nicked a few things from our camps even in broad daylight. Like my best cooking pot, which was empty! And my damn shoe while we were in the river. I got the shoe back but lost a sock. The pot was never found. She also pinched two of the boys matchbox monster trucks and a Hulk figurine. But not the food.
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Re: Food storage

Postby shehaal » Wed 19 Apr, 2017 5:19 pm

Mark F wrote:I have not heard of anything chewing holes through cuben.


My wife and I just attempted a weekend in Wilson's Prom; after the stove stopped working we were low on food but still would've been okay with what we had that didn't need to be cooked. I decided to lash our Z-Packs cuben fibre bear bag for food to a log, but woke up to a possum the size of a small wombat who'd chewed/clawed through the bottom corner of it and contaminated all that remaining dry food. We ended up walking back down the trail a few hundred meters at 1am to where there was a suitable branch to hang the garbage cuben bag from (worked fine). Left with almost no food, we had to turn back early! All night other parties were screaming out that rodents/possums had found their way into tents!
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Re: Food storage

Postby Mark F » Wed 19 Apr, 2017 10:13 pm

I live and learn. I have never experienced that but I always hang my food or keep it inside the tent not just the vestibule.
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Re: Food storage

Postby kitty » Wed 19 Apr, 2017 11:12 pm

Which campsite at wilsons prom?
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Re: Food storage

Postby walk2wineries » Fri 28 Apr, 2017 10:07 am

CSpeedy wrote:I've also had issues with rodents eating their way through tents and cuben fiber food bags. This was while hiking in south east Queensland
After two such incidents (now patched with gaffer tape) this was our solution for the Carnarvon Great Walk last year.
Five nights food for two people. Cheap plastic containers from the $2 shop, just make sure the lids fit well.

IMAG0554.jpg


I'm a b'n'b person... minor suggestion with the tubs. When I was packing to move I managed to get some pallet strapping. Its light, very strong and reusable if you have the plastic (or metal) buckles, easy to tighten and remove. Almost but not quite as flat as sticky. Some of the removalists commented it made it much easier to pick up the boxes. (usually after they said, I've never seen so many bookcases. Whatever.)
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Re: Food storage

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 13 Jul, 2017 9:21 pm

Thought Id return to this topic.

If you keep your pack (with food inside it) right next to you, are animals likely to be intimidated enough by the "snoring beast" to not bother with it :P

Ive always kept my food beside me in my pack (either in the tent or occasionally in the vestibule) never had anything chew on it.. but Id be very annoyed if some critter put a hole in my tent or pack.

Im considering the fishing line, silnylon food bag approach. Should be good unless they can jump to...https://youtu.be/8VT5HTNbimk?t=27s. :lol:

Perhaps there is no solution except trust to luck or hope you wake up in time.
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Re: Food storage

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 14 Jul, 2017 10:00 am

Depends on the location and the animals. I usually keep the food close beside me inside the tent. In most cases that's enough, and I don't have any trouble.

But on some occasions, I have experienced animals still snuffling and scratching about trying to get into the tent. I'm a light sleeper when out bush, so I usually punch them in the face through the tent wall before they manage to damage the tent.

(and before people start giving me a hard time... I punch them gently... I can hear them land on the ground quite close by afterwards)

(and if anybody still doesn't get it... I don't actually punch them in the face... I just give them a bit of a shove through the tent wall, so that they realise there is something alive in the tent, and hopefully enough to discourage them a bit... often doesn't work for long)
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Re: Food storage

Postby north-north-west » Fri 14 Jul, 2017 12:48 pm

Very much depends on the place and animals. I once spent a rather restless night trying to convince the High Camp Hut antechinus that my face was not a highway.

The only food item I left out that night was a small plastic bottle of soy sauce, on the principle that it wasn't something the local wildlife would eat. I was right - although that blasted antechinus wasn't going to give up easily and chewed through the base of the bottle just in case the contents were tasty.
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Re: Food storage

Postby lseries92 » Wed 27 Sep, 2017 7:23 pm

After my last walk where I had multiple items damaged (including my food bag that was hung up and then my tent after I mistakenly thought taking it inside with me would make it safer) I decided to invest in a Grubpack as mentioned in a previous post from Suz. There seemed to be a few other options out there such as Outsak but I went with the Grubpack Size B version which should be big enough for the majority of my walks.

I just gave it a trial run on a 4 day walk through the Conondales. This time I did not have any problems even though there were plenty of critters about, causing problems with other hikers camping in the vicinity (especially at Summer Falls and Tallowwood). I even watched a large possum with a joey on her back brazenly walk up to my food bag that was on the ground next to my tent and try get into it. I was no more than a foot away from it, watching it from inside the tent - I can still picture the seemingly "puzzled" expression on her face as she realised that it was covered in a steel mesh - she soon wandered off.

While I do not mind carrying an extra ~230g item to protect my food/hygene items (and therefore my tent/pack as well) it seems that some campsites without huts/shelters could well do with the simple addition of a metal locker like they do on the Thorsborne. Not only would it give hikers some piece of mind but - most importantly - it should keep the wildlife foraging more naturally (assuming people use them and do not just drop bits of rubbish around the place). The only reason our group could come up with why that this is not happening more is that people would be more likely to just leave their rubbish behind in them ...
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Re: Food storage

Postby CSpeedy » Thu 28 Sep, 2017 8:57 am

Those possums at Tallowwood are quite habituated to the people in the camp. We walked the Connondale Great Walk circuit at Easter this year and the possums were investigating the platform as I watched from my tent.
Thankfully the food was all secured, and we didn't hear that any of the other groups had issues that night.
The system has changed slightly from the cheapo shop tubs in the photo above. We are now using sistema 1.1L salad to go box. One each. This is enough to store the things that rodents seem to love, eg. Museli, for a 1-3 night trip. And doubles nicely as a bowl.

Also walked the Fraser Island Great Walk in July. The metal boxes were great for piece of mind. It was also nice to be able to leave other bits and pieces of gear in there overnight and have heaps of space in the tent.
Did see one box that had rusted out in a corner. Someone had tried a bit of DIY repair and filled the hole with a bunch of twigs. We decided not to trust it, and found a solid locker the next campsite over.
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Re: Food storage

Postby jobell » Sat 30 Sep, 2017 9:22 pm

I use allegedly odour proof plastic bags that I got from the USA, meant to be suitable for ptoofing foid from bears. I forget the brand but have used them as food bags for a good while now (150 plus nights of camping) and have yet to have any critters try for my food be it in my tent or out. Maybe I just got lucky, who knows. They are nice and light though surprisingly tough.
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Re: Food storage

Postby davidf » Mon 02 Oct, 2017 9:22 am

if worried hang with fishing line. Rats can eat through nearly anything. once had a heavy duty 20L paint barrel full of dog food covering a hole in floor boards, open up, RAT, *&%$#! had ate a hole through the base of the barrel!. Again Joshua Tree US a squirrel ate a hole through my tent, was in there eating my food when I found it. Grabbed it and got out of the tent and much to the shock of the hippies next to me sent it into orbit. Then the skunk that got into my vestuble to eat a box of potatoes, I laid there and let it eat my food, hung it all up after that.A weasel (never saw one before, rather large) in a hut. 3 agile wallabys in a simple mid woke me each took off with food. The list goes on!
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Re: Food storage

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 03 Oct, 2017 6:01 pm

sorry wrong thread
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