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While bears are located all along the Appalachian trail, in most sections they are rarely seen. During prime season there is enough use of the trail that hikers are often aware of problematic areas. This is especially true at shelters. Mice, raccoons, and other smaller animals are much more bothersome. My understanding is that the PCT bear hang method is designed to keep bears from getting your food.

Are there modifications that should be made to a PCT hang to prevent rodents and small animals from getting the food?

If you are not worried about bears, but are worried about small animals, how should you hang your food?

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When at a shelter, there're usually short strings with a tuna-type can to prevent the rodent from accessing your food bag. One can use those instead of hanging the food. See picture from 'Marks AT walk' journal:

anti-mice hanging rope

When tenting, rodents are less of an issue and the PCT hang with enough distance between the branch and your food bad seems to be sufficient.

A cuben fiber food bag also seems to hold against rodents even at ground level in my experience and others (the quote used to be about the non hybrid cuben fiber originally if I recall correctly).

The material is even rodent resistant- "On several occasions I've seen mice check out my DCF food bag and eventually give up. I let one persistent mouse chew on it for the entire night- by morning he had done some minor damage but did not get into my food."

Don't forget to empty your side pockets from food if you prefer not having holes in your backpack.

  • This is probably a dumb question ppl, but I don't know what iirc is! Would you mind spelling it out in your question and then I'll delete this? Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jun 1 '18 at 3:15
  • @PeteBecker, thanks for the help, and thanks for the edit ppl! That's a cool answer. I like the combination of text, quotes and pictures. – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jun 2 '18 at 3:51

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