where in California is Ursack allowed?
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Renee Fritze
(Dancer51) - F
where in California is Ursack allowed? on 11/04/2009 10:36:03 MST Print View

Ursack is no longer allowed on the JMT, or the King Range. They follow the rules of the Sierra Interagency Blah blah blah.

I am wondering is anyone knows where in California it is still OK to use?

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
"where in California is Ursack allowed?" on 11/04/2009 10:43:49 MST Print View

Go here: http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/index.htm

Scroll down to where it says "download map..." and do that, then open it.

Anywhere other than the "canister from the approved list required" marked areas is fair game.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: "where in California is Ursack allowed?" on 11/04/2009 11:08:56 MST Print View

Right. I still a use for mine in the northern stretches of the range, where tying an Ursack off is quicker and less fussy than finding the right tree branch and doing the rope and rock thing, especially after dark(!).

That said, I am sick and tired of cramming a canister into what would otherwise be a light and compact backpack where they're required.

Cheers,

Rick

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
where in California is Ursack allowed? on 11/04/2009 12:22:16 MST Print View

You could always come a little farther north! The only place in the Pacific Northwest that requires bear canisters is Olympic National Park. Canisters are required there above timberline and at the coast (the latter because of aggressive raccoons). The park is talking about requiring canisters everywhere, mostly because so many people have no idea how to hang their food! Outside the Olympics, Ursacks are fine.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Bear Can + Ursack for overflow? on 11/04/2009 12:28:25 MST Print View

My Christmas list includes a way to carry more food. Currently we have two Garcia cans. That limits me to 6 nights solo with lots of cramming into one can or 4 nights when my wife and kids come along with both cans(kids are too small to carry their own can). We want to take family trips over 4 nights next summer.

First thought is just buy one or two Bearikade Expeditions. All good except the price and big volume. Financially there's no way I could buy two, maybe one.

Second thought is buy one or two Ursacks. Depending on where we hike they might or might not be illegal. My thought was to use the Garcias for the most vulnerable items and the Ursacks for overflow.

Other than questions of legality, what think you all?

Edited by jimqpublic on 11/04/2009 12:29:22 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Ursack in Inyo on 11/04/2009 12:33:31 MST Print View

Note that SIBBG doesn't really want to be the national standard-setter when they only get a little local funding.

According to the Ursack news page updated 9/29/09:
"...It appears that Inyo has changed its policy with regard to regulated canisters, and now requires that "visitors must use containers designed to prevent access to bears." This is different than past years where only specified canisters could be used. We do not have official confirmation of this change, but the Inyo website and reports from campers indicate that it is accurate."

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Ursacks on 11/04/2009 12:37:35 MST Print View

Well, I must confess, I was a Ursack user on the JMT. Our trip this year (14 day thru hike) the four of us each used Bearicade Weekenders. We also had 2 Ursacks between us for "overflow". We did use them on a few nights along with the cans. We used Weekenders because they were smaller and lighter and since I ordered late I could not get an Expedition model. The bags worked fine with no bear or other animal problems. We also use Aloksak's inside.

Scott

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
"where in California is Ursack allowed?" on 11/04/2009 14:34:16 MST Print View

Well, if you used Ursacks in Yosemite, hats off to you - every single time I've been out in Yosemite, on JMT or other trails, I've met a ranger on the trail. A friend of mine was escorted all the way out from Red Peak Pass by a ranger when caught with an Ursack/Garcia combo. Since the max fine is upwards of $2,000 depending on how things went down, I tend to err on the side of caution.

I'd love to buy a Bearikade in every size, as I much prefer the wide opening and the locks to those of the Garcia or the Bear Vault, but will settle for renting it for longer trips.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: where in California is Ursack allowed? on 11/04/2009 15:57:12 MST Print View

"I am wondering is anyone knows where in California it is still OK to use?"

Going in over the following East side passes is OK: Paiute Pass, Lamarck Col, Taboose Pass, Shepherd Pass. I went in over Lamarck and Shepherd this year and carried no canister at all. It was not required when obtaining my permit.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: "where in California is Ursack allowed?" on 11/04/2009 16:22:45 MST Print View

"Well, if you used Ursacks in Yosemite, hats off to you - every single time I've been out in Yosemite, on JMT or other trails, I've met a ranger on the trail. A friend of mine was escorted all the way out from Red Peak Pass by a ranger when caught with an Ursack/Garcia combo."

How was he caught? My last two summers I did about 275 miles in the Sierra and saw many rangers. Not a one asked for either permit or to see our bear cans. My thought was if they asked we would show the Garcias. I guess it's more of an issue if the ranger stops by the campsite at dusk and sees the Ursack tied to a tree.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Ursacks in Yosemite on 11/04/2009 16:41:01 MST Print View

Lori,

I only spent 2 nights in Yosemite (Sunrise and up near Lyell Canyon) and did not have to use our Ursacks. Yosemite scares men nonetheless, we only saw 2 Rangers and none of them were interested in us. We used them after our resupply at Muir Ranch and only needed them for 2 nights. We used a technique we can call "stealth Ursacking". We made sure our canisters were in plain sight but found a place for the Ursacks that was not that visible. They are white so you have to hide them well.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ursacks in Yosemite on 11/04/2009 16:43:04 MST Print View

"They are white so you have to hide them well."

Maybe dye them??

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
White Ursack on 11/04/2009 16:54:28 MST Print View

"Maybe dye them??"

Actually, when you get them dirty they do lose their "shine".

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: White Ursack on 11/04/2009 17:01:35 MST Print View

Mine's yellow. It's practically invisible in a large vat of butter. Otherwise, only a field of flowers will mask it.

Cheers,

Rick

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: White Ursack on 11/04/2009 17:40:51 MST Print View

"Mine's yellow. It's practically invisible in a large vat of butter"

Maybe dye it??

Easy for me to say; Mine's one of the old green ones. ;-)

Actually, if one feels they have to conceal it, they're probably breaking what is generally considered to be a pretty good law. Maybe just obey the law? Or backpack in other areas, which is my preferred option. Who wants to hang out in areas where there are lots of people and, therefore, habituated bears? My 2 cents

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
Ursacks and bear canisters on 11/04/2009 18:45:53 MST Print View

You know, I don't know how he was caught, only that he was. Sometimes I am asked for the bear can and permit, sometimes not. Sometimes I pick up the permit and they don't even recite the litany for me - perhaps they look at the computer at all the previous permits I've been issued and figure I've heard the speech at least 200 times over the past few years. I just know the backcountry rangers carry the taser and gun because of obnoxious people and try not to even appear to be one. Rangers show up at midnight in Little Yosemite Valley to do permit checks, I wouldn't be surprised if they are also hiking in other localities at night.

Another friend told me the story (we tell lots on the trail) about the time he saw a ranger chasing a problem bear. He ran after and watched the ranger dart the bear, put it to sleep with an injection, and then a team of people showed up to skin it and remove the bear's entrails to send to a university for study. Evidently this was a bear that was becoming more aggressive and resistant to relocation from Little Yosemite Valley.

It's sad that we are still dealing with the fallout of generations of fed bears. I found a video on Youtube from the 40's of lines of people standing there feeding bears of all sizes - very short sighted mistake to encourage "friendly" bears.

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Ranger visits and canister territory on 11/04/2009 19:29:13 MST Print View

I've had a ranger show up at my campsite around 9:00 or 9:30 at night in a fairly remote part of Yosemite, then move on to finish off a 30 mile day. He was definitely an ultralite aficionado, and was interested in my tarptent as a more acceptable shelter to take out when with his girlfriend than the minimalist setup he usually used.

I've also been in a canister-required part of SEKI and not seen a soul for almost four days.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Ursacks and bear canisters on 11/05/2009 14:07:27 MST Print View

Rangers show up at midnight in Little Yosemite Valley to do permit checks...
What?! Midnight? Are they rousting people out of bed?

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
re: permit checks on 11/05/2009 14:19:28 MST Print View

Little Yosemite Valley is close enough to the trailhead and on the way to Half Dome so it's very easy for people to abuse it by showing up in the dark sans permit and leaving before dawn. The permits are really hard to come by and everyone seems to think Half Dome is an accomplishment. Yes, they do night checks. I would guess that they make it to Half Dome to enforce the no camping/no fire rule on a regular basis as well.

Doesn't seem to stop the dawn drinking parties up there, tho. Saw a guy coming down with a Metolius haul bag - think I know who brought the keg....

Edited by lori999 on 11/05/2009 14:20:31 MST.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Ursacks and canisters. on 11/05/2009 17:41:28 MST Print View

Jim.You have hit on the reason for guns in the back country. Wake some people up and they will want to shoot