I am going on a week-long backpacking trip with some friends. We are going to be in "bear country" but it is populated by black bears and very few, if any, brown bears. I have a Bear Vault and informed my friends that they also need a bear bag or a bear-resistant container. They do not want to spend $70-120 on Bear Vault or Ursack and they asked me why they were so expensive. I told them it was because they had to be bear-resistant material and not allow scent to travel outside of the bag. They brought up a good point that, if we are suspending the bag from a tree or bear pole, why does it have to be bear-resistant or scent locked if they bear cannot get to it?
So my question is: Can they buy 50' of paracord and a cheap waterproof dry bag and hang it from a tree out of reach? Or does it have to be sent free or made from a tough, bear-resistant material?
I do not see any issue with it, however, I want to make sure that I am not missing or overlooking something.
From my experience, some areas do not even allow you to throw a bear bag over a tree. It has to be in a bear canister to protect the scent. Although I don't completely see "eye to eye" with this concept, you are better off safe than sorry. Especially if you want to avoid receiving a fine for not following the guidelines. I'd rather spend the money to rent a bear canister than suffer the monetary consequences of receiving the fine. I still place my canister far away from camp after all the food is put inside it. Hope this helps the emotional side of things!