SGT Rock's Hiking H.Q.


SGT Rock's Stake/Rock Bag


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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links


O.K. the idea of a bag to put a rock in and throw it over a branch for bear bagging isn't new. I've read about it a number of times in various books and in Backpacker's magazine. But I always thought carrying a bag just to put a rock in was as silly as carrying a trowel just for going potty with.

Then one night I was trying to get a cord over a branch in a pitch black forest with a bad selection of rocks, using just an LED light to see with, in a thunderstorm, when the only descent sized rock disappears off my line on a throw. I cussed so loud I scared off any bears for 100 miles. I started to think that a bag might not be too much of a luxury item.

Then I remembered I had a little nylon bag for my stakes and a bit of extra cord. I pulled out the little drawstring and ran one end of my bagging cord thru the channel to act as the drawstring. Filled the bag with gravel and got it over the branch in one shot!Stake bag

Well hell, if I'm already carrying a stake bag, and my stakes and the cord for bagging fit in it as well as serve as my bagging cord, I've got a winner. And most likely you have one too.


Prepare the bag Prepare to throw Throw!
1. Pull all the stakes out, then pull out the cord that is also the drawstring. 2. Select a good strong branch that will support your bag but not a bear. 3. Fill the bag with rocks and throw it over the branch.
Catch it! Bring it in Load the bag
4. Make sure your at a good angle and have slack so the rope doesn't tangle. 5. Catch the rope and remove the rocks. 6. Put your food, pots, toiletries, etc. in the bag.
Tie it on Lift and push Now it's safe
7. Tie the bag on the rope upside down using a loop on the food bags bottom. 8. Lift the bag up and pull. If you use a trekking pole to lift it will be easier. 9. Ensure it's 10' up and 4' from the trunk of the tree. Use the smallest branch possible.

Tie it off


Tie the cord to a nearby tree above head height. William likes to help.


When choosing a bag for your food, get something big enough for all your food, pots, water, and toiletries. Any of these items can attract animals. You don't always have to use a bear bag. I use an 10" x 21" Equinox SilNylon stuff sack because it's waterproof and has a haul loop on the bottom so I can hang the bag upside down. Choose a waterproof bag for best results, and hang it upside down so it will not fill up with water in the rain.

For cord I use 550 cord (also known as parachute cord, para cord, or type III nylon cord) with all the "guts" (inner strings) removed. It only weighs .46 ounces for every 10' and has a load capacity of 80 pounds. The only draw back is it stretches a little when wet.

My food bag weighs 1.5 ounces after seam sealing, the rock bag is .2 ounces, and the cord was about 2.3 ounces for 50' (way more than you will need), so my total weight of this system 4.0 ounces. This is less than my old regular nylon stuff sack that didn't have rope or rock bag and wasn't waterproof, and didn't have a haul loop.