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Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Re: Speaking out of ignorance... on 05/14/2011 14:38:55 MDT Print View

They weren't allowed in because they were not given a fair chance to get approved. That was the whole point of the lawsuit to begin with. SiBBG tested the ursack, it passed according to their standards, and they still failed it. That's about as arbitrary as they come as far as I'm concerned.

Ken Ross
(kross) - MLife
Re: Speaking out of ignorance... on 05/14/2011 15:16:47 MDT Print View

"But there has to be a reason why the decision was made to not allow them and that decision was upheld in the courts...there is seemingly unanimous support of Ursacks here and yet the SIBBG has deemed them unfit (but does approve canisters). That decision is clearly not arbitrary."

Yes, and everybody knows that government agencies are always rational, open-minded, and reasonable and that court decisions are always wise, impartial, and appropriate.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Speaking out of ignorance... on 05/14/2011 16:41:14 MDT Print View

If bear canisters are so unreliable then why are they approved?

I can't remember where I read it, but it suggested that a big part of the reason is that the canisters are idiot proof. That is, you simply turn something until it clicks. If it clicks, it'll work as designed. With the Ursack it's highly dependent on how much effort and skill you apply when closing and securing it.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Human error on 05/14/2011 17:09:46 MDT Print View

People being what they are, the authorities do have to factor in the ease with which careless or non-directions-reading humans can foul up something, such as the Ursack closure. Even if most of the Ursack failures (as Ursack contends) are due to human error, they still result in bears being rewarded and quickly learning that an Ursack is a goody bag! That's what happened with hanging food in the Sierra. I suspect that within a few years, we'll see bears getting into some of the canisters. Unfortunately a food container needs not only to be bear-resistant, but idiot human resistant!

Fortunately, the bears up here in the PNW haven't gotten that smart-yet. It may be due to less territory in national parks where bears completely lose their fear of humans. There is something to be said for hunting!

Bob, you're right; my dog can't throw either!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/14/2011 17:11:55 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Speaking out of ignorance... on 05/14/2011 19:13:08 MDT Print View

So the real question is, why have they not been approved for use everywhere. Yes?

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Smart bear. on 05/14/2011 19:46:44 MDT Print View

hikinggranny said, "I suspect that within a few years, we'll see bears getting into some of the canisters."
Yellow-yellow, the genius Adirondack bear can open bear vaults pretty efficiently.

In the ADK Eastern High Peaks region, hard commercial bear canisters are required so no Ursacks (or bear vaults) there.

billy goat
(billygoat) - F

Locale: West.
No James, I'm not the one who had my food "rolled off a cliff". on 05/14/2011 20:44:29 MDT Print View

I don't think that a bear canister alone is going to keep my food safe. However, I've never had a bear incident with my food and I suspect there's a good chance I've spent as much or more time camping in Yosemite Valley than anyone on this site. So, I reckon that I must be doing something right.

Let's pose this hypothetical question: If weight and size were not an issue (say you were car camping), and you weren't camped near any cliffs, and you had a canister and an Ursack at your disposal, which one would you put your food in for the night? I bet most people would pick the canister.

That doesn't mean it's a bad product... like everything, it has its plusses and minuses. You just have to weigh all the factors: Am I capable of tying the knots correctly? Am I in an area where the bears are active and proficient lock-pickers or am I in an area where I rarely encounter bears? What are the consequences of losing my food? What are the consequences of a bear getting my food? How much weight am I willing to carry - a canister, an Ursack, or nothing at all?

I still fail to see why the NPS would disallow something like the Ursack without reason. I highly doubt they're getting "campaign contributions" from all the bear canister makers out there. Their desire is to keep bears from getting food and it seems the burden of proof falls on the shoulders of Ursack or any other manufacturer of a new product to demonstrate that their product, in the hands of the average user, is sound. Maybe the Ursack IS just as good as a bear canister if the knots are tied properly or the bag is anchored properly... I don't know. Maybe the mode of failure is indeed user error - and that's frustrating for everyone out there who thinks they can use them correctly - but I listened to the recording of that court session a few months ago and even though I was rooting for Ursack, I didn't get the sense that the NPS was being unreasonable. It was clear that the lawyer and judge had no knowledge of bears or the technical nature of kevlar - they were just looking at the numbers and the bottom line - keeping food from bears. I guess I have enough faith to believe that they ruled this way for a reason. I certainly hope that Ursack can gather more evidence or redesign their product so we can get an alternative to canisters.

And remember, don't leave your canister near the edges of cliffs or the banks of raging rivers. The more you know, the better:

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: No James, I'm not the one who had my food "rolled off a cliff". on 05/14/2011 21:34:43 MDT Print View

Let's pose this hypothetical question: If weight and size were not an issue (say you were car camping), and you weren't camped near any cliffs, and you had a canister and an Ursack at your disposal, which one would you put your food in for the night? I bet most people would pick the canister.

I can easily answer that question because I've done so during my last two car camping trail projects. I have a Bearikade Expedition and 2 Ursacks (1 all-white, 1 green). In neither case did I bring the Bearikade. Now there's another trip in about two months where I may bring the Bearikade, but only because I'll probably need more food capacity than both Ursacks can provide.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
It's on 05/14/2011 23:04:34 MDT Print View

too bad bears can't read. They would get a good laugh from this thread.

Hobbes W
(Hobbesatronic) - F

Locale: SoCal
Is UL hiking possible in the high Sierra? on 05/15/2011 08:22:43 MDT Print View

Rather than debate the merits of the court decision, what 'bear'ing does this ruling have on the ability to utilize UL techniques in the high Sierra?

(My informal definition of the high Sierra is the 120 mile long eastern crest ranging from Cirque Peak in the south, before the Sierra taper off into the Kern plateau, up to Matterhorn peak just south of Twin Lakes on the NE border of Yosemite. This region has all the Sierra 14k peaks, the 12k passes, and 10-11k meadows/lakes.)

I use a BV450 (solo), and because I don't want to bother spending my mornings attempting to arrange my pack just right so that I'm not hunched over like Quasimodo, I've opted for an internal frame pack (Osprey) that keeps a few inches between me and the bag. So, right out of the box, I've added 2 lbs for the canister + at least 1 extra pound for the frame.

What are other people's experience with this conundrum? Is it best to just accept an additional 3lbs as a sort of negative handicap when calculating weight? That is, if a good UL target is 15lbs in a non-Sierra environment, then would 18lbs (with the addition of the handicap) achieve a comparable goal?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: It's on 05/15/2011 09:08:35 MDT Print View

older show but still good:

Edited by annapurna on 05/15/2011 09:09:44 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
SIBBG history on 05/15/2011 09:42:01 MDT Print View

Thanks for that link, Anna. It seemed to be a good summary of the issues and history involving food protective devices. I loved Josh Leavitt's concept of an electrified food bag.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: It's on 05/15/2011 09:44:03 MDT Print View

Looks like Sergeant got burned out with the Wildebeat interviews?

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Reasons for not allowing Ursack in Adirondacks Eastern High Peaks. on 05/15/2011 10:48:59 MDT Print View

NY State DEC: Bear Resistant Canisters FAQs
"Why not allow the use of soft-sided bear-resistant bags and home-made canisters (empty paint cans)?

"Soft-sided bear-resistant bags are commercially made and constructed of a material that purportedly cannot be torn open by bears. DEC tested these bags in the EHPZ and also documented the experience of campers who have used them in the EHPZ. In two cases bears were able to tear through the material and obtain food from the bags. In addition to failing to keep food from bears, in those instances when a bear attempts to open a soft bag, the food inside becomes pulverized and mixed with bear saliva and dirt, rendering it unsuited for human consumption. DEC determined that these bags are not a reliable or practical method of storing food in the EHPZ, and should not be specifically allowed under the regulation. Food stored in a bear-resistant canister is not compromised when a bear attempts to open the canister."

"DEC considered the use of alternative methods for keeping food away from bears such as large metal food lockers or pole hanging systems installed near concentrated camping areas and at the interior outposts to keep food away from bears. However, these systems are "non-conforming structures in wilderness areas" according to the State Land Master Plan, and can not be installed in the High Peaks Wildereness Area."

The Adirondacks and Catskills are very thoroughly protected by the NY constitution:
"... shall be forever kept as wild forest lands."

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: It's on 05/15/2011 10:53:48 MDT Print View

"Looks like Sergeant got burned out with the Wildebeat interviews?"
Bet it was lack of funding.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
I support the Parks on 05/15/2011 11:02:25 MDT Print View

I support the ability of the Parks to make a final choice and I don't appreciate the legal action that just represents waste.

I for one don't want some "standard". I want the people who deal with the problem on a day-to-day basis to make up rules based upon what they view as most effective. The entire problem with standards is that they only rarely capture the entire story. If you fall into some legalistic standard that isn't effective, you need to change the standard but the easiest and most effective solution is to let the Rangers who run the Park do their job without the need to jump through hoops when a standard proves to be insufficient.

For those of you who don't like it. Hike somewhere else.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Ursack Thumbs Down on 05/15/2011 11:26:49 MDT Print View


Who says bears can't read?

Your truly,

Yellow Momma

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Ursack Thumbs Down on 05/15/2011 12:04:24 MDT Print View

1) I have never carried a bear vault even when required
2) I have never had bear problems
3) I keep the food with me at all times
4) I have had bears come mighty close checking me out but never for food, IE run into them, literally in 1 case.
5) I if anything hang my food a few feet off the ground
6) I routinely travel through Grizzly country where my "trail" is a bear trail with bear droppings every 100 feet or more along with bear paw claw marks at nearly every step.
7) If you are really worried: Lets see even an old style(heavy) Colt 1911 is the same weight as bear vault.

8) Tell the morons in California and elsewhere to do some judicious bear hunting and make everyones life safer as its quite apparent that there are too many bears in too little territory if they are running around campgrounds as their #1/#2 food source. Note the said thread in Chaff where bear killed the kid getting to a candy bar in a camp ground. This is directly in conjunction with their moronical decision to make bears completely unafraid of people by never hunting them. A small kid will start to look like a tasty treat easily caught for said bears as they become less and less afraid of people.

In Smith & Wesson I trust when it comes down to it(hunting/keeping bears afraid of humans). I have carried a gun exactly twice. Never discharged, but saw many bears on both trips.

Mice and rodents on the other hand can NEVER be made afraid of humans. In Ursack I trust!

Enough said.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Ursack Thumbs Down on 05/15/2011 13:46:42 MDT Print View

Hi Brian, I am one of the morons from California. Hunting animals in a National Park like Yosemite and SEKI are against the law. If I remember correctly, bear hunting IS legal in the state of California. At least it was about 10 years ago when I was backpacking Stanislaus Natl. Forest (which is near Yosemite). You can sleep with your food and hang it all you want. Have fun in Griz territory.

Darwinism at its finest...............................jeesh

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: Ursack Thumbs Down on 05/15/2011 14:01:20 MDT Print View

+1 Ken on everything.

Brian, You're calling people from CA morons, when you're the one advocating that a .45ACP round (e.g. Colt 1911) is sufficient for stopping bears? WOW. You talk a mighty fine talk my friend...thanks for painting off all us with a broad brush.

In case you didn't see this graph on the forums

Us California Morons seem to be doing just fine with bear safety. The PNW on the other hand...your type seems to be losing the war on Bear-rrorism. Hmm could probably use the help of even more low-caliber pistol brandishing fools who insist on sleeping with their food at night. Gotta kill em all before they get that snickers bar in your tent! And yes, all this is coming from another fellow gun-owner, who sees no harm or foul in hunting. Do yourself a favor, and keep these nature imperialistic tendencies to're giving us all a bad name.

and my last thought on your post...why bother hanging your food if you're only hanging "a few feet off the ground." Your logic blows my mind...I can only hope to ascend to your level of enlightenment....maybe I don't understand because i'm a California Moron.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/15/2011 16:08:19 MDT.