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Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 16:57:29 MST Print View

Don't know if you guys saw the update last week:

http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

Is there a comprehensive list of where the Ursack is and isn't allowed? Or is just the King Range etc.. where it's not allowed? Or Yellowstone as well?

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Good News! on 02/27/2012 17:48:32 MST Print View

Hopefully this tesing will be completed and the Ursack approved by the start of the summer hiking season. This whole affair has been foolish.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: "Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite?" on 02/27/2012 18:08:07 MST Print View

+1 that the testing and approval is quick. I'm glad I haven't bought a canister yet -- I'd much rather carry one of these.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: "Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite?" on 02/27/2012 18:11:16 MST Print View

I'd really like to buy one as well. This might be the one time I abuse the REI return policy--buy a Bearvault and return it if/when the Ursack is approved again. There's got to be a lot of pent-up demand for these. They're a clearly superior product in terms of weight, and no worse it seems in terms of failing.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 18:25:58 MST Print View

Wasn't there hope of this last year, too?

I'm cautiously NOT going and selling my BearVault quite yet.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 18:32:34 MST Print View

I own an Ursack. And I would certainly be delighted if the thing gets approved at Yosemite, etc. -- but only if that approval comes without the need for the stupid aluminum liner! While sack + liner together is still lighter than many hard plastic bear vaults, the difference isn't all that much. And it's a nuisance wrestling that liner in (or out) of the ursack.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Ursack S29 on 02/27/2012 18:33:56 MST Print View

Let's see.. should I carry my 3 lb BearVault 500 through the Sierra or my 8 ounce Ursack?
I SO hope they approve the Ursack!
I agree GG Man, the whole thing has been ridiculously mis-handled.
If an Ursack passes the same test as a hard sided container then it should be approved. Pretty simple really.
Now that as of tomorrow morning I am back in the Plumbing/construction trade again I might actually be able to afford an Ursack.
Oh yes.. Yes I did! :)

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
lighter than that on 02/27/2012 18:51:58 MST Print View

Matt, seems my old green, original Ursack weighs 5 oz, the insert is around 11 oz. I'm away from home, so can't check my sheet or reweigh it.
Duane

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 18:59:01 MST Print View

Redwood National Park does not allow them either.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 18:59:38 MST Print View

Duane:

My green ursack plus line is weighs 22oz.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Ursack Specifications from their site on 02/27/2012 19:09:57 MST Print View

Ursack S29 All White 7.3 ounces
Aluminum liner 10.8 ounces
Odor Proof sack 12X20 inches 1 ounce
There is also a .25 ounce tube of seam grip to be applied to the seam of the ursack.
So total weight of 19.35 ounces in the "maximum" protection mode.

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
Bear Vault 500 Specifications - from their home page on 02/27/2012 19:45:52 MST Print View

2 lbs 9 oz. I have a season pass and hike in Yosemite as often as I can, but the worst part is lugging my BV 500. I've considered bearikade, bareboxer, BV450, etc., but this Ursack would be great.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
+1 on 02/27/2012 20:57:39 MST Print View

+1 on the excited and optimistic this will be approved by summer. It would be a bummer if the liner was required because I hate the bulkyness of bear cans and that would remain with the liner. I wonder if ursack will raise their prices if it gets approved.. they are surly gunna get a flood of orders

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 21:00:00 MST Print View

Need to get me some seamgrip.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
re on 02/27/2012 21:16:08 MST Print View

Anyone know if the Ursack is approved for the Winds? If it is, I'll just buy one now.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Wind River Range on 02/27/2012 21:36:29 MST Print View

I am not aware of any restrictions on food storage in the Wind River Range. If I recall correctly there was just a wooden post near the southern entrance where i filled out a permit. Personally i just slept on top of my food through there but i do not recommend you do the same.
However here is a trick i did use in the Winds above treeline. I found a pile of boulders and using my trekking pole I stuffed my food sack deep into a crevice between the boulders. An adult bear would not be able to fit inside there or reach the sack with it's paw. Of course a marmot or mouse could still get the food in there.
I did this once in the Winds near Shannon pass.
Everywhere else i just slept right on top of my food sack which was wrapped up in a large garbage compactor bag and covered in my stinky shirt.
You could of course be mauled using this approach to food storage so YMMV.
Here is what the terrain looks like in the Winds:
.I stuffed my food sack deep into those boulders behind my shelter since their were no trees to hang
.
There aren't too many suitable trees to hang from. The Ursack would be better than my silly approach of sleeping on the food. Assuming you can find something to tie the Ursack off to. Otherwise stuff it into a crevice beyond the reach of a bear.

Edited by Ice-axe on 02/27/2012 21:44:03 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
That's about right for weight on 02/27/2012 22:17:04 MST Print View

Thanks Ben, that's about what I recall for my set, 20-21 oz. Fortunately when I last used my Ursack legally out of Mammoth, the Backcountry Ranger had no ideer how it was to be deployed. I gave her my email addy but never heard from her as I only had my sack tied to a tree and she thought it had to be tied in a tree like a bear hang. She was working with a small crew, redoing fire pits, making the Ranger fire pit, using three rocks, I thought they were neat and would cut back on large campfires.

Matt, I took my Bearicade when I visited the Winds two summers back, gotta go back. Your pic is some of what I saw too. I brought my canister because of ole man grizz.
Duane

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/27/2012 22:54:28 MST Print View

Man! That would be cool if the Ursack were finally approved. I hate bear canisters, particularly the Garcia ones.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Ursack on 02/28/2012 00:47:52 MST Print View

Has it really been that mis-handled, though? When you look in detail, there are a pretty incredible number of reports of the Ursack being breached. I own one, but would never tie it at ground-level like they recommend, or bring it into regions that require canisters. At the very least your food is pulverized and inedible after an attack, which ends your trip. At worst it developed a hole (heard a few reports of this) under attack and the bear squeezed and ate out of the hole.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Seam Grip??? on 02/28/2012 07:24:42 MST Print View

What is the deal with seam grip and the Ursack? I bought one 2 years ago (all white one) and have not heard that you need to use seam grip at all.

Can someone explain this to me? Is it recommended or is there a specific reason it is needed?

Thanks

Ben

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Seam Grip??? on 02/28/2012 07:32:36 MST Print View

Improves tear resistance along the seam. Upgrade. I have to do mine too.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Ursack on 02/28/2012 07:40:29 MST Print View

Well, they detail the known cases of failure:


Even when the S29 AllWhite has been used without the aluminum liner (which is how most campers prefer it), the number of bears that have gotten food rewards in the last three years is miniscule. In 2011 a bear tore a seam at 1000 Island Lake. There was one instance of seam failure in Colorado and another at South Lake Tahoe. In 2010, there was a seam torn by a bear in the Desolation Wilderness, and a minor tear at Mammoth. In 2009, a bear tore a seam at Lake Ediza in Inyo and another bear ripped into an Ursack at Kearsarge Lake. In short, other than the seam failures, even unlined Ursacks have performed well over the last three years. As you know, no bear canisters are perfect. All have failed on occasion.

And then they go on to say that even that small amount can be reduced using a new method


The seam issue has now been resolved. This fall, while testing the S29 AllWhite Hybrid at the Grizzly Discovery Center in West Yellowstone (where the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee tests bear canisters), we discovered that coating the seams with SeamGrip was highly effective. A very large grizzly worked on Ursack for 2 hours without success, which contrasted with an earlier test of a bag with an uncoated seam. As a result, since October, all new Ursacks come with SeamGrip.



Doesn't seem like a huge issue to me, unless there are tons of cases not listed here.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Ursack on 02/28/2012 07:56:33 MST Print View

"Has it really been that mis-handled, though? When you look in detail, there are a pretty incredible number of reports of the Ursack being breached. I own one, but would never tie it at ground-level like they recommend, or bring it into regions that require canisters. At the very least your food is pulverized and inedible after an attack, which ends your trip. At worst it developed a hole (heard a few reports of this) under attack and the bear squeezed and ate out of the hole."

All Ursack has ever asked for is to establish a clear set of standards so they know what the requirements for approval are. The mishandling refers to this lack of clear objective standards of approval.

The aluminum liner prevents crushing of any contents if used. Although the last I checked crushed dehydrated food does not make it inedible and does not end your trip.

Edited by randalmartin on 02/28/2012 07:58:41 MST.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
OK Dumb Question now on 02/28/2012 08:13:01 MST Print View

Ok, what is everyone doing to "store" their Ursack when out overnight? In the Winds, I had to hang it from boulders or rock walls. While in areas with trees, I have tried to hang it in trees. Assuming that there are no canister laws in the area, if I am always going to hang it, what is the benefit of using the 8oz Ursack vs a 2oz food bag. I can see that a benefit could be small critter control such as marmots during day trips where I would leave the food back at camp. The Ursack is also not waterproof, where certain food bags are.

On my last trip I said the heck with it and just tied it off to the base of a tree. Is this a common tactic? I have heard tying it off at the base of a tree is better than trying it off a few feet above the ground so the bear cannot use his weight to try to tear into it.

Thoughts??

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
Tie it to a tree on 02/28/2012 08:38:11 MST Print View

I always just tied it off to a tree, I'm pretty sure you are not supposed to hang it traditionally because that adds risk of injury to the bears.

this is from ursack's website
http://www.ursack.com/propper-hang.htm

I will add the "above treeline" image is ridiculous, a bear would simply pick up the small log and walk off with it and your food.

Edited by cvcass on 02/28/2012 08:41:24 MST.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Ursack with Opsak on 02/28/2012 09:25:34 MST Print View

I'm a big believer in using the OP bags along with the Ursack. Granted, I don't hike in grizzly habitat, but there are a lot of black bears, skunks and raccoons here in MN and I've never had any of the above find my food when in an Opsak inside my Ursack - that's a lot of sacks . . .

I know many will be critical of this, but when hiking with my German Shepherd, I don't have enough room in the Ursack for his food and just leave it on the ground, away from the tent, in a large Opsak, nothing has ever nibbled at the bag and I've stayed in plenty of established sites. I think the Opsak does exactly what they claim, very few animals are visual, most all rely on smell and if they never smell it . . .

I love the convenience of just tying the Ursack to a nearby tree.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Ursack with Opsak on 02/28/2012 10:02:00 MST Print View

+1 on Opsak inside the Ursack. That should be standard practice and is how Ursack recommends using their product.

Ben the reason the Ursack is better than a 2oz bag is the the Kevlar in the Ursack prevents small critters from accessing the contents. Above treeline your unlikely to find bears. Above treeline is mostly Marmot/Pika territory where the great risk is chewing through your 2oz bag which would take no time.

You don't need to hang the Ursack, simply tie to a tree trunk off the ground. If I was above treeline and doing a day hike with a return to camp and had little to no options for securing the Ursack I would probably just bring the Ursack with me during the hike. But honestly, that is such a rare scenario for most, camp above treeline with a day hike returning to above treeline camp.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/28/2012 11:06:26 MST Print View

My dog has his own Ursack for when we're out longer than a week (up to a week, his food fits in my Ursack or canister at night). The dog food is also inside smaller OP sacks at all times when in his pack. If I can smell my dog's kibble through a freezer bag, certainly a bear can and that means my dog's pack would also smell of dog food without the OP sack protection. I've always used an OP sack in addition to the freezer bags holding his individual servings. At least the dog can't detect the smell through the OP sack!

I strongly suspect that a bear would go to unprotected dog food before going to people food, simply because the dog food odor is stronger!

I wouldn't hold my breath about the Ursack's being approved by the IGBC any time soon. The Ursack website admits that the IGBC currently is not testing "fabric" bags.

Re the Wind Rivers question: They require either hanging or an IGBC approved bear canister. Please note that the Bearikade is not IGBC approved. Per Wild Ideas, that's because they never bothered to submit it for approval--they claim the now-defunct Sierra Bear Group used the same tests. In other words, whether I use my Ursack or my Bearikade Weekender, I'm illegal in the Winds (I can't hang food because I can't throw due to shoulder issues). I figure if I'm going to be illegal, I will be illegal with the lighter option!

Here's the Food Storage Order for the Bridger-Teton NF (also effective in Shoshone NF):
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/btnf/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_063588
Those familiar with Sierra bears will be ROTFL at the hanging method suggested!

Edited by hikinggranny on 02/28/2012 15:42:44 MST.

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
use a rock sack on 02/28/2012 19:30:37 MST Print View

"I'm illegal in the Winds (I can't hang food because I can't throw due to shoulder issue"

Mary D, I had a ripped rotator cuff on my last big trip, and I used a rock sack, that's a tiny stuff sack you attach to the bear bag hanging line, you whirl it around a few times then let it fly, it works. z packs was selling those, not sure if he still does, easy to make too, any nylon, it's just a 2x3" stuff sack basically.

I had no problem getting it over high up branches, took a few attempts, but I never had to use any extension at all on my shoulder, which was a good thing, since I didn't have any.

The idea is simple, you spin the bag with rock in with a few feet of cord, then once it reaches the right angle/speed, you let it fly, sort of like a sling shot in some ways, it really works. Still in my opinion the greatest backpacking innovation I've ever seen.

Ursack needs to fix their website, it's too hard to find all the knot diagrams, they have them scattered around, and users of the bags not knowing how to do the knots was I believe one of the issues, that is, you can miss-tie the knots, but you cannot really mis screw on a bearvault lid.

To me this is pretty valid, ursack needs to improve and simplify their website and bag documentation for knot tying, I have the green one, and it doesn't show how to do the figure 8 knot you use to attach it. I have no idea why they still have not rectified such a trivial thing to fix, one more knot diagram, and all knot instructions on one page always accessible from one click on their main menu, not cut in half as it is now, where you have to know the other one is there to find it. I should have emailed them about that issue, it's kind of hard to take them seriously about usability when they can't fix that simple thing on their website and bag.

I also hope they get approved, but I don't think it will happen as long as they depend on such a non robust knotting system that can fail if users dont' do it right. I guess the white bag makes t easier now from what I read, less stiff so it's easier to close, but that's the third try now, easy to see why parks who don't want problems chose not to allow it. At least easy for me to see. And they actually admit that without seam grip the bear could get into the bag, so you really can't consider skepticism about this product as unwarranted. How do you test for user ability to tie a knot? And to always tie it right and tight enough? And to have applied the now included seam grip? Compared to all cannisters, which work and are sealed as soon as you close them, I have no trouble seeing why they aren't allowed. Too bad you can't get a license that proves you know how to use it, since it appears that when used correctly it's quite effective. ie, ranger stops you, sees ursack, asks for your permit/license showing proficiency, then says, ok, thanks have a nice trip.

Edited by hhope on 02/28/2012 19:51:31 MST.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Re: +1 on 02/28/2012 20:28:14 MST Print View

Jason noted: "I hate the bulkyness of bear cans and that would remain with the liner."

The liner is just a sheet of aluminum and I guess it could be flattened and maybe placed against the back pad of your pack, or wrapped around some other round object like your sleeping bag or pad while hiking; re-rolled (if flattened) and placed back in the sack in camp for safe storage. Anyway it is not fixed in the sack and thus there should be all sorts of potential packing alternatives that would make the ursack much more easily pack-able than a rigid canister.

Anybody want to guess what a similar sized sheet of titanium or maybe carbon would weigh? / Cost?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: use a rock sack on 02/28/2012 20:29:07 MST Print View

Tried the rock sack; the motion still jerks my shoulder joints which causes a lot of pain. Mostly arthritis in my case. I can extend just fine; it's anything that causes a sudden jerk or pull, even a mild one, that kills me. It's a little better than throwing, but not much. I never was any good at either throwing or roping; couldn't hit the side of a barn when inside it!

I wouldn't want to use an Ursack where there are acclimated bears who are trained that anything in a bag is a pinata. They're going to keep after a bag until they get in. Most places outside national parks, though, bears are shy of people (they are hunted, after all) and the Ursack works just fine. No need to hang (just tie to tree) and keeps out other varmints (mice, marmots, camp robbers, crows). If I'm where there are acclimated bears, I use my Bearikade Weekender (also illegal in the Wind Rivers because it hasn't been submitted for IGBC testing).

Both my Ursacks have tags inside which clearly show how to tie the Figure 8 knot. It's not that hard to tie; I learned when I was 9 years old!

I still remember the time (many years ago) that I was out with a group. We spotted a bear just past the trailhead and another one a couple miles before we hit the campsite. The trip leader insisted it was the same bear (although he never saw the first one) and that it was following us. He insisted we immediately hang our food. So all 8 of us handed over our food bags, and a couple of stout fellows tied them to a rope, got it over a branch and started hauling. Halfway up, the rope broke and the bags came down. It's just lucky the fellows dodged really fast and weren't hurt! After that, most of us abstracted our own food bags and did our own thing. Of course no bears ever showed up!

Edited by hikinggranny on 02/28/2012 20:33:32 MST.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F - M

Locale: SoCAL
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/28/2012 20:44:18 MST Print View

The problem Ursack had in the Yosemite was people are told to leave it on the ground rather then tying it to a tree trunk where the bear has a more awkward pearch to get to it. The rangers once even told me to not even tie it to a log on the ground. Whats with that since the bear can just walk off with it. And the fact that users treat it like a hardsided bear can and let a bear work on it for hours. For me, it is a barrier (far better then hanging that I've seen bears get too easily even when properly done) that delays the bears for quite awhile until you can chase it off.
The alumunium liner helped in that regards but I still wouldn't want to leave a bear alone all night like someone people have.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/28/2012 20:48:30 MST Print View

I think the problem with putting the bear in an awkward perch is they might injure themselves.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/28/2012 20:52:20 MST Print View

"I think the problem with putting the bear in an awkward perch is they might injure themselves."

And sue the Park Service? LOL

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/28/2012 20:56:19 MST Print View

It is America, after all!

No but seriously, I do seem to remember reading something on ursack's site about potential bear injury!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 02/28/2012 21:27:42 MST Print View

My understanding is that the aluminum liner is mostly to protect the contents of the bag, rather than as a preventative measure. Even if a persistent bear doesn't get inside, it can still crush food (probably not such a big deal with most backpacking foods) and pop ziploc storage bags (maybe a bigger problem if measured food gets mixed up).

Not to say that that is any different than a bear swatting but somehow not getting into a hanging food bag.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Insert is not easy to install on 02/28/2012 21:53:00 MST Print View

I only had to use the insert in my older Ursack a few times, not easy to install or remove as it wants to uncoil. If I remember correctly too, the authorities did not want any resource damage, so you had to just leave it laying on the ground. My thoughts too about the liner and some canisters, is it gives you time to scare off the bear. I have never had any issues with bears, either when my dog was alive or since he passed away.

I did not know the Bearicade wasn't approved for the Winds, I used mine a few years ago there, luckily then that I was not stopped.
Duane

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: +1 on 02/29/2012 18:28:47 MST Print View

"I guess it could be flattened and maybe placed against the back pad of your pack, or wrapped around some other round object like your sleeping bag or pad while hiking; re-rolled (if flattened) and placed back in the sack in camp for safe storage. Anyway it is not fixed in the sack and thus there should be all sorts of potential packing alternatives that would make the ursack much more easily pack-able than a rigid canister."

Not really, that piece of aluminum is stiff and pretty big. Best packed in the sack.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 00:02:40 MST Print View

If this happens, I would buy one the day I find out about it.
They stand to make a TON of money if this goes through, and I have a feeling, the other companies stand to lose a lot of business. I hope they are developing there own bag systems in the event this does go through.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F - M

Locale: SoCAL
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 09:58:40 MST Print View

I doubt the other bearcan companies are shaking in fear. Yosemite and Ursack have had an on and off relationship over the yeras. They allow it in for awhile, then ban it and then allow it in for awhile, repeating as necessary. The only reason that I still own a Garcia Can that I bought in the late 90's rather then a newer BearVault or a Bearikade is because I know I'll be able to use my Ursack again evenutally so its a waste of money to buy a better hardsided can then the hated Garcia. I'd only rush out an buy a Ursack if you are planning a long trip after Ursack is allowed in. For a 2-3 day trip once a year, its probably not worth it over renting the heavier cans.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 10:38:18 MST Print View

The ursack is a joke. I don't care how many "tests" they want to run. The method for securing the top is a knotted string. Yea, I don't know any bears strong enough to cut a string, do you?

From Ursack themselves: The problem, which had never occurred in our bear tests at the zoo, was that thearamid fiber fabric would fray and unravel under stress."

See? Their tests are not valid whatsoever as far as I'm concerned. Don't allow this BS product to help kill bears.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: re on 03/01/2012 10:42:03 MST Print View

You're being totally disingenuous, if not mendacious.

Here's the WHOLE statement.

After shipping the first few hundred URSACKs, we received reports of seam
failure and unraveling. We immediately sent out a recall notice. The
problem, which had never occurred in our bear tests at the zoo, was that the
aramid fiber fabric would fray and unravel under stress. We then began to
double stitch all seams with aramid fiber thread, and to use seam tape on
the bottom and side seams of URSACK. This has alleviated much of the
problem. We think our next generation bags, which will start shipping in
mid to late September, will do even better.



Also, this statement, as best as I can tell, if from 2000. 12 years ago. Are they still selling they same product they sold 12 years ago?
No.

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: Ursack on 03/01/2012 10:44:44 MST Print View

I really hope the Ursack gets approved in California everywhere, black bears are more of a pest than a threat, they are kind of like a big marmot, the Ursack has worked great for me. I think an Ursack is like a wind shirt, and a Garcia/BV is like a Gore-tex shell, you need both options. If you are heading into a storm, leave the wind shirt behind. If you are going to Denali, leave the Ursack behind.

bear

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: re on 03/01/2012 11:14:36 MST Print View

"The method for securing the top is a knotted string. Yea, I don't know any bears strong enough to cut a string, do you?"

That knotted "string" is 2500 pound tensile strength. Matter of fact, I don't know any bears that can cut a small knot in a 2500 pound tensile strength "string".

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
New lids for BV's? How many times now? on 03/01/2012 11:20:39 MST Print View

So I guess the BV's are better? How many lids and times have they recalled their lids? Hmmm? 3, 4?
Duane

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 11:38:09 MST Print View

I own both an Ursack and a Bearikade Scout.
even if the Ursack becomes fully approved, the only time I would use it is for fastpacking speed trips.
the Bearikade, in my opinion, is a much superior product and worth the slight extra weight on a "normal" trip.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
No smashed food on 03/01/2012 12:15:36 MST Print View

I also own a Bearikade and an older (Vectran version) Ursack. If there are bears in the area, I use the Bearikade. Just gnawing critters, the Ursack. I don't like my food smashed. Not at all. I spend a lot of time packaging food, and like my soy milk powder separate from my orza pasta. Having it all mixed/smashed up and slobbered on just doesn't work for me.

My Vectran Ursack is 10.9oz, thinking of getting an newer (available at the end of this month per email communication) Ursack Minor for critters, about 3oz.

Steve

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 12:45:51 MST Print View

"Also, this statement, as best as I can tell, if from 2000. 12 years ago. Are they still selling they same product they sold 12 years ago?"

When it comes to something as important as food storage (you're three days from a trailhead and a bear eats your food, have fun walking back on an empty stomach, and if you get lost, forget it, you're a goner), I don't mess around. If you can't make a product that works from the get go, I don't wanna hear it.

"So I guess the BV's are better? How many lids and times have they recalled their lids? Hmmm? 3, 4?
Duane"

Yea, same as above. I wouldn't trust the bear vault. I made that mistake my first time out in the Dacks when I rented a BV from the EMS in Lake Placid. This was August of 07, and I believe I was one of the first in the nation to learn of the faulty lid (the hard way).

I trust Garcia and Berikade because as far as I know, there has never been an issue with either one in the field or in the lab.

EDIT FOR BEN F: If you can't make a (FOOD STORAGE) product that works from the get go, I don't wanna hear it.

Edited by gregpphoto on 03/01/2012 13:01:21 MST.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: re on 03/01/2012 12:55:02 MST Print View

Hope you don't fly, Gregory.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 13:00:08 MST Print View

Was I speaking about the difficulties of overcoming the laws of gravity or was I speaking about a simple object with almost no moving parts? Oh, the internet. Whats next, you gonna compare me to Hitler?

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: re on 03/01/2012 13:01:19 MST Print View

You said "If you can't make a product that works from the get go, I don't wanna hear it."

That's 99% of the things we use. It's inane argument.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 13:01:57 MST Print View

I made an edit just for you, since you took my thoughts about bear cans to the extreme. To be fair, I should have defined "from the get go" as when the product becomes available to the consumer. Of course theres gonna be trial and error for almost everything, but when it comes time to package it all up and go to market, it darn well better work, no ifs ands or buts. Can we agree upon that?

Edited by gregpphoto on 03/01/2012 13:05:08 MST.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
failure on 03/01/2012 13:14:49 MST Print View

As far as I know EVERY bear canister has had at least one failure.

These products are listed as bear resistant for a reason. Given enough time and motivation a determined bear can break into ALL of the current backpackable bear protection containers.

And, lack of food shouldn't be fatal. Most of us should be able to survive for something close to 30 days (2 weeks at least).

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 13:24:58 MST Print View

"As far as I know EVERY bear canister has had at least one failure.

These products are listed as bear resistant for a reason. Given enough time and motivation a determined bear can break into ALL of the current backpackable bear protection containers.

And, lack of food shouldn't be fatal. Most of us should be able to survive for something close to 30 days (2 weeks at least)."

I have not read any reports of any field failures of any Garcia or Backpackers Cache models. I could care less what happens in a lab or a zoo, its real life that counts. "Survive" for two weeks, yes. Hike out under your own power after not eating for days, you might not be able to do that depending on the terrain. Fatigue can set in quite rapidly in such circumstances.

Look, the point is this: do you think its justified to put your food, yourself, and most importantly, a bears life at risk so you can save a pound? UL is great, I love it, but it can be taken too far. Ive heard people say its a quasi-conspiracy and that the other bear can manufacturers are in on it.. please. The Ursack is denied eligibility in Yosemite because someone somewhere rightly thought that maybe a soft woven fabric is not the best deterrent against half-ton masses of muscle (cuz yea, aren't bear cans supposed to be approved for Grizzlys too? Wanna bet a Ursack keeps a hungry Grizz out for more than ten seconds? Do ya?)

Edited by gregpphoto on 03/01/2012 13:29:29 MST.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: re on 03/01/2012 13:34:53 MST Print View

Yeah, I do wanna bet.

"Spectra fiber is one of the world's strongest and lightest fibers. A bright white polyethylene, it is, pound-for-pound, ten times stronger than steel, more durable than polyester and has a specific strength that is 40 percent greater than aramid fiber.

Edit: for a list of Spectra body armor. http://www.bodyarmornews.com/bullet-proof-vest.htm

Edited by tekhna on 03/01/2012 13:37:02 MST.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 13:48:13 MST Print View

Thatd be great, if bears were shooting at you. My flossers are also made out "the same material as bulletproof vests" as it says on the package, but they still break pretty easily. You said it, spectra is stronger than steel "pound for pound." How strong is six ounces of paper thin steel? Hahaha, yea, a grizzly bear cant punch those six ing long claws through that!! When even a black bear, let alone a grizz, can rip a car door off, I'm betting a few ounces of spectra are no problem. Even if the bears cant get a hole started, rodents definitely can (to use your vest example, rodents teeth are like .22s, which can pierce kevlar easier than the 'larger caliber" claw of a bear). And then its bye bye to your fancy bag and all the food inside of it, and perhaps one day, bye bye to the bear as well, thanks in part to you just NEEDING to save sixteen ounces ya know?

Also, I believe spectra is stronger than steel in tensile strength, but which one will be more puncture resistant, at the thickness of the spectra used in the Ursack? A bulletproof vest is very thick compared to an ursack.

Edited by gregpphoto on 03/01/2012 13:52:01 MST.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: re on 03/01/2012 13:54:16 MST Print View

I'm not a materials engineer (far from it), but my best friend is, and he uses an Ursack. I'll see if I can get him to chime in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf67hadozA8&feature=player_embedded#!

This guy doesn't seem to be doing a great job. In fact, he seems to be having a pretty rough go of it.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/01/2012 14:03:24 MST Print View

Like I said, I dont put much stock in zoo tests. A wild, hungry bear in its natural setting is the true test. And the ursack has had more reported failures in the field than either the Garcia or the Bearikade (I also spoke lowly of the Bear Vault so im not playing favorites to hard sided cans). That to me, more than the crushed food even, is the reason I would urge anyone to stay away from the Ursacks and just carry the godforsaken extra pound and be thankful you don't need to carry a 15-pound rifle to keep the short faced cave bears away from your food! In all seriousness, it really is just one pound more (the bearikade weekender is), one pound for the convenience, peace of mind, and most important of all, the protection of the bears. I proudly carry that one pound. You'll spend $300 or more on a tarp or a backpack or boots but not a canister that protects the second most important item you need for life?

Edited by gregpphoto on 03/01/2012 14:05:57 MST.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: re on 03/01/2012 14:13:06 MST Print View

You said a bear should be able to rip the flimsy material (not sure if it's the rope or the spectra, you seem to change which material whenever it's shown to be fine). It shouldn't matter if it's hungry or not, it's equally strong. And it's not ripping that flimsy material. It's putting it's body weight on the rope, it's not ripping. He's tearing and biting, it's not ripping.
I'm just going to go ahead and guess he's not half-assing it.

But I'm also done with this conversation. I'll buy one if/when they're park-approved

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Ursacks on 03/01/2012 14:28:33 MST Print View

Gregory,
First are you really going to lay there as a bear goes after your food bag or would you scare him off? I haven't had a bear visit in the middle of the night but I certainly wouldn't give him even ten minutes to destroy my food.
Second, the issue with the canisters is much more than the weight. It is the size and the shape. To carry a BV500 for example I would be changing packs into a heavier less comfortable Jam. 1lb is the least of my worries with respect to canisters.
Finally, it sounds like you should stay with your canister and I will continue hanging wherever legal. Now we are all happy.

Diana Nevins
(artemis) - MLife

Locale: Great Plains
The makers of Ursack DO have a valid point on 03/01/2012 14:29:51 MST Print View

I don't think I'd ever trust an Ursack to keep a bear (especially a grizzly) away from food (sorry, Ursack!), but the manufacturer does have a point. Right now there's apparently no procedure in place to get any new bear resistant containers approved. That gives the makers of the currently approved canisters a monopoly, and could prevent development of superior technology down the road. Suppose someone invents a new miracle canister next year which is just as tough as the Garcia can but is only one-fourth the weight. Who wouldn't want to use that? But right now, the manufacturer of my hypothetical miracle bear can would have no way to get his new product approved for use. There does need to be some sort of standardized testing and approval process in place (along with monitoring of an already-approved product's actual performance in the field, since we know that a product which works in one area may not in another - thanks, Yellow Yellow!)

C Ronald Yurinak
(ryurinak) - F
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 14:35:08 MST Print View

Its just not tne weight of the cannister, the cannister also requires me to carry a bigger/heavier backpack. Also the cannister has worn holes in my backpack from rubbing against rocks/trees/ground while in the backpack. I think any serious/experienced backpacker can protect/store his food without having a cannister. I know i can

flume

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
note. on 03/01/2012 14:46:32 MST Print View

note to self re: gregs: go backpacking with gressel, not with petliski.

Edited by DaveT on 03/01/2012 14:47:08 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 14:51:52 MST Print View

"I think any serious/experienced backpacker can protect/store his food without having a cannister."

There are some black, furry things in Yosemite National Park that would like to extend their invitation to you and your party. Don't worry about the regulations. They will take care of you.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 14:58:22 MST Print View

"I think any serious/experienced backpacker can protect/store his food without having a cannister."

Yosemite is an overused area with humanized animals. Canisters make sense there. For some other parts of the Sierras the statement would be correct.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Not smelling is a MUCH bigger priority...Loksak on 03/01/2012 15:01:42 MST Print View

The debate can rage back and forth about containers to prevent a Bear/Critter from accessing it's contents. My personal view is that a Loksak to seal out the smell is of FAR greater importance. I am sure many folks using hardsided containers like the BearVault don't bother with storing items inside a smell proof bag like a Loksak. So what happens is the Bear smells the contents (Easily) and comes to the area. Depending on the Bear, if they start hanging around then you are in trouble because there is no telling what else they will get into, tear up (your camp, tent, sleeping bag etc...). So in my book the number one rule is to eliminate food smell

1] Use a Loksak to store ALL contents that smell, Food, toiletries etc...
2] Store the Loksak inside a container that makes it difficult/impossible compromise the contents.
3] Eat away from camp and wash hands before returning to camp

I happen to use an Ursack but the Loksak inside it is equally vital to it's success. I would just about guarantee that most cases of compromised containers (whatever they are) was due to folks not smell proofing their contents.

Edited by randalmartin on 03/01/2012 15:47:35 MST.

C Ronald Yurinak
(ryurinak) - F
Re: Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 03/01/2012 15:17:17 MST Print View

The problem is that the bears are smarter than most inexperienced sierra backpackers. There are manys mays to bear proof your food, you can start with selecting a out of the way seldom/never used campsite above timberline. Try storing you food in a rock crevice, hanging it over a rock cliff/face, store it underwater to name a few. If you plan to camp where everyone else camps in yosemite you can expect a lot of bears, so maybe you better take your cannister!!

flume

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Not smelling is a MUCH bigger priority...Lopsak on 03/01/2012 15:19:46 MST Print View

I thought that was standard operating procedure in high impact areas.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Not smelling is a MUCH bigger priority...Loksak on 03/01/2012 15:39:32 MST Print View

It should be standard operating procedure in ANY area but I think sometimes people are focused soley on the storage container thinking they have done their job as long they put their stuff inside the Ursack, BearVault etc...

Edited by randalmartin on 03/01/2012 15:48:35 MST.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Not smelling is a MUCH bigger priority...Lopsak on 03/01/2012 15:41:32 MST Print View

Aloksak not Lopsak

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
sak on 03/01/2012 15:47:39 MST Print View

(a)LokSak OpSak?

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
smells on 03/01/2012 15:49:09 MST Print View

A bear can smell your food even when it is in a smell proof container. There are plenty of lingering smells for a bear.

Conditioning the bears to not consider your food container as a source of food is the most important thing. Even though they can smell food in/on it, they will leave it alone if they don't consider it a source of food.

When in Yosemite I used a garcia (rental) without an order proof bag. I camped two nights in LYV (high concentration of habitatuated bears) and had no bears even tip over our canisters. And a bear definitly went through very close to our canisters while we slept. I kept them close to where we cooked and ate. Plenty of smells. However, the bears in Yosemite have learned that garcias are not good food sources.

Edited by Hitech on 03/01/2012 17:58:01 MST.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: sak on 03/01/2012 15:49:23 MST Print View

Sorry for the confusion. Loksak is the company www.loksak.com. The Opsak is their product that is fully odor proof http://www.loksak.com/purchase/opsak-3.html

Edited by randalmartin on 03/01/2012 15:55:28 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: re on 03/01/2012 17:49:48 MST Print View

"Of course theres gonna be trial and error for almost everything, but when it comes time to package it all up and go to market, it darn well better work, no ifs ands or buts. Can we agree upon that?"

Nope. There's a reason ALL of the canisters are called "bear resistant" and not "bear proof".

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: re on 03/01/2012 18:05:52 MST Print View

"There's a reason ALL of the canisters are called "bear resistant" and not "bear proof"."

There is a fool who can overcome any foolproof scheme.

--B.G.--

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Protect your food? Where's the trees? on 03/01/2012 18:09:35 MST Print View

I've been a few places without a decent hang tree in sight. I'd hate to have to hike all over the hillside, looking for a limb after a hard day and all I want to do is relax, fish or whatever. I don't like having to carry a canister, but that's the way it is to protect wildlife. Besides, my luck, I'd forget something and have to go retrieve it.
Duane

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 03/02/2012 17:56:19 MST Print View

"Its just not tne weight of the cannister, the cannister also requires me to carry a bigger/heavier backpack."

So you made the decision to buy something so small that you can't fit anything else in it in the event of the unforeseen. Thats on you. I carry a normal persons backpack so I have no problems. As I've stated, I'm all for UL when its practical, but some of you folks take things to an unhealthy extreme.

Eric Eichelberger
(blatargh) - F

Locale: Northcoast
Not for Summer 2012 on 05/10/2012 22:36:38 MDT Print View

Posted yesterday at http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm
"Ursack will not be tested in time for approval for this summer's backpacking season"

Nathan Hays
(oroambulant)

Locale: San Francisco
No new cannisters? on 05/11/2012 10:53:48 MDT Print View

I have very recently been in contact with the IGBC, the group responsible for testing and there is no hold on testing of new hard containers. What they don't have is a protocol in place for testing soft containers.

The Ursack failed in live tests because the test bear poked five tiny holes in it. Think about it. A bear gets to chew away on a good smelling sack and its saliva gets mixed in with your favorite trail bars, peanut butter tubes, and MH spaghetti. I have a dog that would gnaw on something like that for hours. From the bear's perspective it got the food. I'm sure the bear would be all excited next time it found a bright yellow chili-pop dangling from a tree. And from the hiker's perspective, the oatmeal-milk-coffee-beefstick-cheese paste is the new dinner seasoning.

I would really love a soft, lightweight Ursack style solution, but if it doesn't work, and by that I mean the bears aren't trained not to bother, it doesn't work.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Re: Ursack in Winds on 05/11/2012 13:06:03 MDT Print View

I don't think there is a specific requirement, but not 100% sure about that. I used a pair of Ursacks with OP liners last year. There were numerous spots without good trees to hang from, so Ursack or canister is a good idea. There are grizz. I would lay the Ursacks on the ground, tied off to each other around the biggest heaviest boulder that would serve. Never got bothered by any critters over ten days, probably due to the OP sacks as much as anything.

Edited by QiWiz on 05/11/2012 13:19:37 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ursack (and Bearikade) not legal in Winds! on 05/11/2012 15:25:03 MDT Print View

Edit: OOPS, I posted an almost identical post three months ago! Sorry for the senior moment, but will leave the bare outline for Robert and for others who don't want to go back in this very long thread!

The Wind Rivers (both sides) are under a Food Storage Order:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/btnf/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_063588
Requires that your food either be hung or stored in Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee approved containers.

Sketch on how to hang your food; anyone familiar with habituated bears will ROTFL:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_063303.pdf

List of IGBC-approved containers--note that neither the Wild Ideas Bearikade nor the Ursack are included:
http://www.igbconline.org/Certified_Products_list_Feb2012.pdf

As I mentioned in my earlier post, since I'll be illegal either way, I figure I might as well be illegal with the lighter option!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/11/2012 15:41:25 MDT.

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Locale: http://theshadedtrail.blogspot.com
Re: Ursack (and Bearikade) not legal in Winds! on 05/11/2012 16:45:19 MDT Print View

I'm surprised that the Bearikade isn't listed there. However, I do see that the Lighter1 canisters are now listed as "Approved Bear-Resistant Products"

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Bearikade on 05/11/2012 17:18:53 MDT Print View

I contacted the Bearikade folks about that, having found out this interesting fact a year after buying the Weekender. Their response was that they didn't see the point of getting separate approval from the IGBC after already having one from the Sierra Black Bear people. The tests, they claim, are the same. I wonder if they're still saying the same thing now that the IGBC is the only testing agency and more places in the Rockies (Rocky Mtn. and Grand Teton NPs) are requiring approved canisters?

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/11/2012 17:20:22 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Cowboys and oil men on 05/11/2012 20:20:48 MDT Print View

When I went a few years ago, I was more worried about how cowboys and oil workers would handle my hiking shorts, trail runners when I had breakfast in what appeared to be the most popular cafe in town. Not a word or look. I musta looked too old to bother with. Bummer about the Bearicade, I guess I slipped thru on my trip, never saw the law.
Duane

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Bearikade on 05/11/2012 20:27:47 MDT Print View

"The tests, they claim, are the same."

But the testers are not -

Bear Damage

Grizzlies play in a different league than the black bears.

Edited by greg23 on 05/11/2012 20:44:42 MDT.

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Re: Bearikade on 05/11/2012 21:05:03 MDT Print View

Now that's one impressive bit of destruction. Maybe that's why I prefer to hang with black bear wimps in the Sierras.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bearikade on 05/11/2012 22:28:01 MDT Print View

I want my mommie!
Duane

Dowser Tom
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
Update on 05/13/2012 11:03:12 MDT Print View

Bummer. I gotta go buy a Bearvault I guess.

Edited by DaFireMedic on 05/13/2012 11:11:21 MDT.

Stephen Morse
(scmorse1) - MLife

Locale: Bay area
Ursack on 05/15/2012 19:22:21 MDT Print View

I own a Garcia, Bearikade Expedition, and a Ursack. I use the Ursack in areas where the biggest threat to my food is a raccoon. Even if a bear didn't break the Ursack, the contents would be mush. I think the Garcia is the best in terms of bear resistance, but after carrying two in my pack in Gates of the Arctic NP for 12 days, I bought the Bearikade.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: Bearikade on 05/15/2012 20:37:02 MDT Print View

Woah! What's the story with that Bearikade?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite?" on 05/15/2012 21:55:59 MDT Print View

I'd like to know the story, too!

Stephen Morse
(scmorse1) - MLife

Locale: Bay area
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 05/15/2012 22:35:55 MDT Print View

The simple explanation for the Bearikade purchase is that it weighs less than 2 Garcias. I was hiking alone & had to carry 12 days of food + keep anything that smelled in it, and it took 2 Garcias to hold it all. The bear canisters were over 6 lbs alone.

But I know that's not the story you were hoping for. So, here you go:

I did have a bear encounter on that trip. I was hoping to see wildlife on the trip. Up until day 9 I only saw prints of bear, wolf, caribou, goats, etc.

On day 9 I stopped at a stream to get some water. I was letting some electrolyte tabs dissolve as I looked back at the scenery. As I turned around, a very large black bear was walking up to me. He was much larger than any black bear I have ever seen in California. Huge bear. At first I thought "Wow, it's a bear!". He stopped a few inches from my belly button. He just stood there & stared at me. Then I was thinking "This could go really badly". We stared at each other for what seemed like a long time, but probably 20 or 30 seconds. Then I yelled "BEAR!". He didn't even blink, he just kept staring. Then I pulled out the Counter Assault Bear Spray. At that range it would take us both out. As I pulled the safety tab, he stopped staring at me & looked at the canister with an "Oh 5h.t" look on his face. He huffed and turned around and waddled away quickly. I guess he had been sprayed before.

I put my pack back on & got out of there. For the remainder of the trip I was paranoid that the bears were watching me.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Bearikade on 05/15/2012 22:48:20 MDT Print View

Obviously your bear knew what bear spray was!

I think BenF and I are both wondering about the holes in that Bearikade in the photo in Greg's post!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/15/2012 22:50:30 MDT.

Stephen Morse
(scmorse1) - MLife

Locale: Bay area
Bearikade on 05/15/2012 22:55:37 MDT Print View

Mary,

I would like to hear about it too.
I'm sure his story will be better than mine :-)

-Steve

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Bearikade on 05/15/2012 22:58:03 MDT Print View

And not just the holes, but it looks like the sidewalls are shredded too!

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Shredded Bearikade on 05/15/2012 23:05:08 MDT Print View

Greg,

As an owner of a Bearikade Expedition, I'm interested in two questions

1) What happened and where?
2) Did you communicate that to Wild Ideas? And what was their response?

Thanks,

Manfred

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Shredded Bearikade on 05/16/2012 07:30:23 MDT Print View

Manfred,

The photos are from the Grizzly Discover Center, Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Canister Testing, about 2009 (memory fading....). I was very interested in why the Bearikade was not approved and had a difficult time getting direct answers from WildIdeas, so I went to the source - IGBC.

From them I learned that testing had taken place, and managed to indirectly acquire the posted photos. The IGBC folks were understandably concerned about outcome of the testing, and hoped that additional models would be forthcoming. My impression was that they were very interested and supportive of getting bear resistant canisters into the hands of backcounty hikers, and that they operated without an agenda or bias.

I communicated again with WildIdeas, included these photos, and was told that the canisters tested where "only prototypes", that production models would not be submitted, and that the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) testing was sufficient because "we don't do much business up there".

Edited by greg23 on 05/16/2012 07:31:22 MDT.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: Shredded Bearikade on 05/16/2012 08:31:19 MDT Print View

Wow, Greg, that's worrying to say the least. Especially since WildIdeas claims on their website that the Bearikade passed zoo tests, whatever that means. "We don't do much business up there" sounds like a huge copout.
Thanks for posting those--my dad was buying a Bearikade for grizzly country, but it looks like he should be looking at something different.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Garcia Machine on 05/16/2012 08:59:14 MDT Print View

I still have my old Garcia Machine canister, maybe when I run out of space on my Bearicade, I should put more stickers on the Garcia Machine. :)
Duane

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Mental State on 05/16/2012 09:33:10 MDT Print View

>"For the remainder of the trip I was paranoid that the bears were watching me."

Stephen, Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean the world isn't out to get you.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Garcia Machine on 05/16/2012 12:42:41 MDT Print View

I have to say... the Garcia canister is heavy and ugly, but it works. I've never heard of one failing, except maybe if it got pushed over a hundred-foot cliff.

--B.G.--

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
Re: Re: Garcia Machine on 05/16/2012 14:11:00 MDT Print View

"except maybe if it got pushed over a hundred-foot cliff."

found this one scrambling up from upper hitchcock lake to the mt whitney switchbacks. looks like someone wasn't careful when unloading at trailcrest.. the lid was gone and there was a crack in the top rim. still food wrappers and other trash in the areagar1gar2

(found that pad too)

Edited by JasonG on 05/16/2012 14:13:27 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Garcia Machine on 05/16/2012 14:54:46 MDT Print View

" (found that pad too) "

It's amazing to me what good junk I can find along the trail.

Some beginners don't understand how tightly gear needs to be attached to a pack. When camped, some beginners don't understand how easily stuff will blow away in a breeze. Others just don't care.

I watched an entire three-man dome tent blowing away over a ridgeline one time. The former occupants just stood there and watched it as well.

--B.G.--

bill berklich
(berklich)

Locale: Northern Mid-West
Sleeping Bag on the AT on 05/16/2012 17:08:24 MDT Print View

Hiking So. bound from Pen-Mar in late March and found a sleeping bag hanging from a tree limb in the middle of the trail. Hadn't passed anyone in and day and a half so bundled it up and left it at the next shelter. Never did see anyone. I guess they just decided to go Extreme Ultralight.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Garcia Canister on 05/16/2012 18:43:19 MDT Print View

"looks like someone wasn't careful when unloading at trail crest.."

Or, maybe someone just chucked it because they were carrying too much. Oops, I lost my canister. Oh, well.

Edited by scottbentz on 05/16/2012 18:43:57 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Garcia canister on 05/16/2012 19:07:54 MDT Print View

Horses allowed up there? Seems they would load stuff securely in packs/panniers though.

Duane

Jeffrey A.
(Jeff81) - F
Test in April on 03/03/2013 23:17:19 MST Print View

I know I'm bringing back an old thread but...emailed ursack and they notified me that a test should be happening in April. I have high hopes.

Carter Hunt
(TheChamp) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Update. on 03/03/2013 23:47:36 MST Print View

Thank you for the update. High hopes here as well...

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
From the Ursack web site // great video of recent test on 06/11/2013 23:37:45 MDT Print View

June 5, 2013

SUCCESSFUL GRIZZLY TEST. Ursack was tested in two configurations by the IGBC at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone on May 30, 2013. I was there for both tests. Check out a video excerpt on our Bear Test Videos page. This is a slightly newer version of the Ursack S29 AllWhite which since April 2013 is sewn with Spectra thread. Ursack did extremely well. The IGBC test protocol requiresthat a product must survive 60 minutes of bear contact, which is defined as: "biting, clawing, pounding, rolling, compressing, licking or scratching." More than one Grizzly worked on the Ursacks, but the clock only runs while a bear is actively engaged. In one test, at least three (possibly four) bears attacked a baited unlined Ursack tied about five feet up a tree trunk. At the end of 60 minutes, the Ursack was fully intact with no punctures or tears. I easily untied it from the tree and opened it without the use of tools. The current IGBC published protocol states that: "If the product is not breached within the required 60 minutes of bear contact time, it will be considered to have "passed" the captive bear test."

In the other test, an Ursack with an aluminum liner was placed on the ground and not tied to anything. Sam and Illie--a brother sister tag team (Sam weighs 950 pounds)--attacked the Ursack. This bag was torn after approximately forty three minutes of contact. My interpretation is that the grizzlies were able to use their massive shoulder strength and claws to compromise the Ursack. Black bears are very different. They do not have the shoulder strength (no hump) or size of grizzlies and their claws are different. We have tested lined Ursacks on the ground with captive black bears and the Ursacks have easily survived. In the thirteen years we have been in business selling across North America (including Alaska and Canada), I have never heard of a grizzly compromising an Ursack.

It is my very strong belief that Ursack, whether lined with aluminum or not, tied up a tree or not, would pass a captive bear test with black bears. I suspect that an Ursack (aluminum lined or not) tied up a tree to minimize claw and shoulder advantage would survive a captive grizzly test.

The IGBC has not issued its official evaluation yet. We hope to receive approval within a couple of weeks. Stay tuned. I will post video excerpts of the IGBC test soon.

Edited by swimjay on 06/11/2013 23:41:15 MDT.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Grizzly slobber on 06/11/2013 23:42:01 MDT Print View

Not sure I'd want to eat the contents of the Ursack after the workout the Grizzlies gave it!!

Edited by swimjay on 06/11/2013 23:42:45 MDT.

Jeffrey A.
(Jeff81) - F
Very cool on 06/11/2013 23:44:51 MDT Print View

I hope the approval does come.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Strength? on 06/12/2013 06:52:13 MDT Print View

Jim, how are grizzleys able to use their strength? Please explain. What are they doing that black bears can't, whereas tied in a tree, their strength is of no use? I'd only be guessing.
Duane

scree ride
(scree)
Re: Grizzly slobber on 06/12/2013 07:13:41 MDT Print View

You're not hungry enough then. It beats the alternative. I'll play the odds.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
strength on 06/12/2013 08:46:10 MDT Print View

Duane, my post is a direct quote from the Ursack site.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Strength? on 06/12/2013 08:57:31 MDT Print View

Sorry Jim, thought you had a direct connection.
Duane

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 06/12/2013 09:36:47 MDT Print View

I don't see ursack coming to yosemite any time soon. Unless the whole product has improved, they are not the reward free type of food protection the park wants in use. But the website makes it sound like only the stitching changed.

If the new bags can with stand up against teeth and claws without a puncture sans liner, that would be a huge improvement.

Ursack vs Bear

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 06/13/2013 05:50:53 MDT Print View

You don't understand...of COURSE it will pass all the tests and be allowed everywhere!!!

Because I just bought a bearikade.

Bily Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
not so sure on 06/13/2013 07:27:43 MDT Print View

As I read it, seems the UrSack passed the test when hung in the tree, but failed when on the ground. I'm guessing the park service will NOT be impressed with that failure. In addition, the test was for grizzlies. Not sure the CA parks will accept that test. In addition, there are other considerations, like tree damage. I believe Inyo Nat Forest allows UrSack use with metal liner, but NOT tied into the trees because it causes damage to trees when the bear claws at the bark. That is the test that the post said failed... the on the ground test.

I will be happily surprised if and when the Ursack is approved by Yosemite and SEKI, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Bill

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
long time Ursack user on 06/13/2013 09:42:13 MDT Print View

The thing is, it seems like the Ursack works splendidly as long as it's never challenged. And hey, I've used one for years, and never had a problem. But after reading Jeremy's post, seeing his photos and the most recent test videos from the Ursack site, I have to conclude that it's not an effective protection system, either for our food or for the bears. Those bears in the test weren't simply persistent; they were being rewarded. Notice that they keep licking the bags. So even if they're just crushing the food, slobbering through the porous weave of the Ursack, and then licking off the now-food-flavored slobber, they're learning that attacking an Ursack pays off.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Re: Re: Ursack closer to being allowed in Yosemite? on 06/13/2013 12:44:15 MDT Print View

Jenifer- having not used my bear can yet I will be trying to send mine back for a refund should this thing get approved.... Lets be real hear I'd rather lose a Ursack to a bear than a bearikade. and I havent yet had a problem with bears. Not saying it wont happen I just would rather carry the Ursak and take my chances than carry a Expensive heavy UL bear can. I was fighting with myself buying it in the first place!!! It being the best of the all bad options.

When do they find out if it gets approved?

Jeffrey A.
(Jeff81) - F
Approval on 06/13/2013 13:02:08 MDT Print View

According to Ursack's website Yosemite and SEKI have turned over testing to the IGBC. They claim that if they receive approval from IGCB that they'll be permitted in the parks. I think they said they are hoping for approval in the next couple weeks.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Re: Approval on 06/13/2013 14:54:06 MDT Print View

"I think they said they are hoping for approval in the next couple weeks."

Yeah that was over a month ago that they wrote that right?

I was hoping someone in this vast community has an inside connection or maybe one of the reps is on here and can shed some light on the outcome?

Jeffrey A.
(Jeff81) - F
Re: Re: Approval on 06/13/2013 16:05:33 MDT Print View

"Yeah that was over a month ago that they wrote that right?"

No, they wrote that a week ago. The test was conducted on May 30th. They are hoping to receive approval due to the results of the test.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Approval on 06/13/2013 18:28:45 MDT Print View

Something tells me that the Ursack is not going to get approved based on this test. Quoting directly from http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm "The IGBC test protocol requires that a product must survive 60 minutes of bear contact" ... "This bag was torn after approximately forty three minutes of contact." So there you have it.

Jeffrey A.
(Jeff81) - F
Re: Approval on 06/13/2013 22:50:44 MDT Print View

"'This bag was torn after approximately forty three minutes of contact.' So there you have it."

I disagree. I think they have a great chance at approval. The bag was torn when it was left on the ground. It's not meant to be used in that manner. Straight from their website - "URSACK must be secured to a fixed object that is a safe distance from your camp site." When it was tied to the tree and used as suggested by ursack, it passed the test. I'm sure they'll take into consideration the fact that it could be compromised if a hiker left it out or used it improperly, but I don't think that alone, would be grounds for denial.

Edited by Jeff81 on 06/13/2013 22:54:57 MDT.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Passed the test? on 06/13/2013 23:01:32 MDT Print View

Not sure it really did pass the test -- the grizzlies were rewarded for their efforts; they didn't manage to tear the Ursack apart, but they did get food flavors by biting it, and so kept at it. Living in a zoo, they may not have really been hungry, and enjoyed treating the Ursack as a flavored toy. But Jeremy's experience suggests that a motivated definitely bear can definitely get into an Ursack, so I suspect that if the Grizzlies were really hungry, they could have penetrated it.

It actually looks as if, from the video, they could have, had they wanted, pulled the pole over.

Jeffrey A.
(Jeff81) - F
Re: Passed the test? on 06/14/2013 00:25:41 MDT Print View

Well ursack made it sound as if the test was passed. I guess we'll find out soon enough, but I get what you're saying. Jeremy's experience shows that you will definitely want to use a liner with it to protect your food. A bear did get in his friend's ursack. If I remember he couldn't say if the knot was tied properly by his friend. It's possible it was used properly and breached. Really hard to say it is definitely possible for a bear to get in it when its used properly based on that one experience though. I think an hour of active work on it in the test without a breach is a good sign. I think when used with a liner it could be a good option. I'd be comfortable using it. No arguing that a bear can is more idiot proof though. I hope we continue to see innovation in this area.

Edited by Jeff81 on 06/14/2013 00:27:08 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Resource damage on 06/14/2013 06:49:33 MDT Print View

How are they going to get around resource damage? Seems that was an issue with jurisdictions, tying a Ursack to a tree/shrub and a bear working it, causing damage to the anchor. Hmmm? I had a Mammoth, CA area bc Ranger question why I had left my upgraded Ursack laying on the ground one day. I had to tell them that was how it had to be or required by them.
Duane

David Hankins
(hankinsohl) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Bearikade Testing on 09/13/2013 11:04:43 MDT Print View

>> The photos are from the Grizzly Discover Center, Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Canister Testing, about 2009 (memory fading....).

Hi Greg:

Do you remember who you talked to at the IGBC? I've contacted the IGBC myself to get more information about Bearikade testing and the IGBC says that they have no record of any testing performed on a Bearikade or a Bearikade prototype.

If you prefer not to discuss this in public, please send me a PM.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Bearikade Testing on 09/13/2013 13:48:52 MDT Print View

David,
As I recall, IGBC Testing gave me the run around. I talked to someone at the Grizzly Center. I do not recall who it was, other than it was a male. We talked for maybe 15 minutes. There was nothing confidential about our conversation. His position was "... this is how it failed, we need good solutions, I'm sorry this failed, I hope it gets improved and tested again". He then emailed the photo. That was the end of it.

I contacted Wild Ideas and asked about the testing and anticipated follow-up. The response I got was "Well, it was a prototype. Besides, most of our business is in the Sierras, so it's not a high priority".

Edited by greg23 on 09/13/2013 13:54:47 MDT.

David Hankins
(hankinsohl) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Bearikade Testing on 09/13/2013 15:24:14 MDT Print View

Hi Greg:

I just got off the phone with Randy from the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. He's currently in charge of bear resistant testing. He's double-checked all their records and cannot find any testing paperwork for Bearikade or indeed for any product produced by Wild Ideas.

Do you recall if the product and or company name was different at the time of testing?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Bearikade Testing on 09/13/2013 15:31:54 MDT Print View

It was the same then as now.

Edit: Call Wild Ideas. They will know when and where it was tested.

Edited by greg23 on 09/13/2013 15:50:06 MDT.

Michael Matiasek
(matiasek) - F - M
Ursack update on 04/11/2014 09:43:34 MDT Print View

There is more movement at the IGBC to retest the Ursack due to the "ambiguous" results last year. http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

Also here is a blog post that surfaced last summer which has an account of a failing ursack. I wonder if younger bears will be included in the test protocols: http://giantdumpster.wordpress.com/tag/ursack-failure/

I was really rooting for the ursack for obvious reasons... but the more I see the more I think it is just not worth the risk for me or the bears. At least not in certain wilderness areas like yosemite.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Ursack update on 04/11/2014 14:08:08 MDT Print View

That was an interesting story about so many bears in camp. Personally, I have never had more than three bears, and they were very fiesty. Rangers often tell you to store your food a certain distance away from your camp, but I don't believe in that. I generally put my bear canister at a distance from my sleeping bag that is equal to the maximum flash range on my camera.

--B.G.--

Ralph Wood
(visualscapes) - MLife

Locale: Northern CA
Flash range on 04/11/2014 14:24:57 MDT Print View

"I generally put my bear canister at a distance from my sleeping bag that is equal to the maximum flash range on my camera."

Bob, that's a good tip!

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
re: Flash range on 04/11/2014 14:29:39 MDT Print View

I'm curious, Bob--does the flash tend to scare them off, or do you have to add some loud noise (banging pots, yell at them, firecrackers, etc.)? My air horn does a good job on them in Glacier/Yellowstone, but it would be cool to chase them off and get a photo from my tent at the same time.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Flash range on 04/11/2014 14:33:22 MDT Print View

As I have stated previously, the fur of a typical black bear will soak up just about every photon of light that you throw at it, and it is almost impossible to overexpose the dark fur. So, setting the flash compensation at +1 or +2 is not stupid.

I always have to think carefully about which camera rig I am carrying and the maximum flash range of it. One only does about 12-15 feet, and the other one does around 100 feet. I generally step off the distance so that I can pre-adjust my camera before sunset. At night, it is extremely difficult to get an autofocus lock of the black bear fur. So, it is not stupid to use a bright continuous light in order to help the camera along. Bears hate that.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: re: Flash range on 04/11/2014 14:43:11 MDT Print View

Gary, first you have to get your priorities straight. This will vary between a grizzly bear and a black bear. Also, it matters if the bear is a mother with cubs.

Sometimes I have had black bears see the camera flash and then immediately depart. More typically, they seem not to understand what the flash is, so they just continue their work. They seem to understand a bright flashlight better. I would think that a bright strobe mode on a light would scare them.

Banging pots and pans will get their attention, but it works best if you run toward them while banging. Shouting "Bear!" when you charge them seems to get their attention.

I think firecrackers would work good, except in most places like Yosemite they are prohibited from use in the backcountry. They are used in the front country campgrounds by bear technicians only. I have a very loud electronic horn in my intrusion alarm system, but I don't carry it so often.

I generally try to concentrate on getting the photo first, and then I scare off the black bear. For grizzlies, it is hard to keep that priority.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ursack update on 04/11/2014 17:50:44 MDT Print View

"Also here is a blog post that surfaced last summer which has an account of a failing ursack. I wonder if younger bears will be included in the test protocols: http://giantdumpster.wordpress.com/tag/ursack-failure/"

2things stood out in her blogpost, at least for me: 1) She wasn't using the latest Ursack; 2) She didn't have the aluminum insert, which allowed the bear to sink its teeth into the bag from both sides. This allowed it to exert much greater force on the fabric and, even if it didn't get the food, render it unfit for human consumption. The whole idea of the insert is to mimic the hard sided canisters by presenting the bear with a cylinder that it can't get its jaws around. She screwed up, IMO, and paid the price. This incident was not the fault of the Ursack, again, IMO.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ursack update on 04/11/2014 19:02:01 MDT Print View

That insert makes a fantastic windscreen for your canister stove too. Does not blow around like foil.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Ursack with inserts and Grizzlies on 04/11/2014 19:09:32 MDT Print View

I've considered a bear canister for camping above treeline in Grizzly country (where there are no trees for bear bagging). Any thoughts on whether an Ursack with an insert would work on a Grizzly bear? Tying it off to a small tree at timberline would be a lot simpler then finding a tree big enough for a griz proof bear bag.

Edit - I know grizzlys probably won't stred it. I am more concerned they'd get a taste through the bag if they crush it enough. In the Sierra's you can chase the bear off. In Grizzly country I'm less incline to run out in the dark to meet a bear. All that means if a grizzly did find the food he'd have time to work on it uninterrupted.

Edited by Cameron on 04/11/2014 19:22:28 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: Flash range on 04/11/2014 19:33:53 MDT Print View

Bob, I definitely understand the difference between a black and a griz; I've been around both, plenty. Blacks are spooky, griz aren't. I'm thinking that the flashing strobe on my Fenix might just work OK on a black bear, along with a couple of loud "Hey dude, get the hell outa here, boogie, boogie, boogie!" type of comments. I won't really know until the next incident comes along. If I live, I'll post my story for your amusement. I just hope I never see another griz at close range. Blacks, OK, but not another griz.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 04/11/2014 19:35:24 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Ursack update on 04/11/2014 20:26:59 MDT Print View

"That insert makes a fantastic windscreen for your canister stove too. Does not blow around like foil."

Great idea. Textbook example of multiple use gear.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Flash range on 04/12/2014 00:45:58 MDT Print View

"I just hope I never see another griz at close range."

Gary, you know that you have a long enough focal length on your camera lens when you look through it at the grizzly and all you see is fur.

--B.G.--

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Ursack on 04/12/2014 00:56:28 MDT Print View

"April 11, 2014

IGBC test today. PASSED. Details to follow."

Richard Banks
(EDDAKA) - M
Re: Ursack on 04/12/2014 02:12:59 MDT Print View

Being able to use for the PCT this year would be amazing!

Edited by EDDAKA on 04/12/2014 02:14:13 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ursack with inserts and Grizzlies on 04/12/2014 17:05:56 MDT Print View

" Any thoughts on whether an Ursack with an insert would work on a Grizzly bear? Tying it off to a small tree at timberline would be a lot simpler then finding a tree big enough for a griz proof bear bag."

No sure answer to this one, Luke. I face the same problem with black bears all the time, and am similarly uneasy about confronting them once they are in control of the bag. Even a blackie can ruin your day in that kind of situation. What I have concluded is that avoiding attracting them in the first place is the best strategy. So, I go stoveless in bear territory, eat away from camp, and double bag my food with Nylo Barrier odor proof bags. I wash my hands before putting the second bag over the first one to avoid leaving any odor on the outside of the final bag. So far, so good, but there are no guarantees.

'

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Flash range on 04/12/2014 17:07:00 MDT Print View

"you know that you have a long enough focal length on your camera lens when you look through it at the grizzly and all you see is fur."

Or teeth. ;0)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Ursack with Insert and Grizzlies on 04/12/2014 17:38:02 MDT Print View

Good points on oder Tom. I went stoveless last time but had a lot of greasy trailmix type food. On one hike I used a trash bag and ziplocks for my food. I could smell it in my pack which meant the bears definitely could. I then got an Opsack and couldn't smell it. Opsacks may not be perfect but my own "smell test" would indicate that less smell is getting out. So maybe now the bear can only smell my food at 100 yards rather then 500 yards, I'll take whatever improvement I can get.

I'll probably eat a combination of bars, nuts, fruit, and cheap jerky. The advantage of prepacked food is there is another layer of plastic between the food and the bear's nose. Also these are foods with minimal grease and they won't shower me with crumbles like say, crushed pringles. I'll probably throw in a couple small opacks to seal up the garbage in.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re Re Ursack with Insert and Grizzlies on 04/12/2014 18:01:13 MDT Print View

"Opsacks may not be perfect but my own "smell test" would indicate that less smell is getting out. So maybe now the bear can only smell my food at 100 yards rather then 500 yards, I'll take whatever improvement I can get."

For me that's the name of the game, and I spend far more time working to improve that than worrying about new gear. The reasons I went to Nylo Barrier bags over Opsacks are that they allow a much better seal, are lighter, larger, and, being a floppy bag that doesn't use a zip lock, conform to just about any space. They are also cheaper.

"I'll probably eat a combination of bars, nuts, fruit, and cheap jerky. The advantage of prepacked food is there is another layer of plastic between the food and the bear's nose. Also these are foods with minimal grease and they won't shower me with crumbles like say, crushed pringles. I'll probably throw in a couple small opacks to seal up the garbage in."

I think you're spot on the mark here. Minimizing the odor of the foods you bring is huge, IMO. I do the same.

I also use a small Opsack for my food and garbage during the day, and transfer the garbage to the main sack at night. Keeping the odor off your pack, clothes, etc is super important, because no matter what the odor is on, the bear will smell it and come to investigate. At that point, it's just a matter of time until he discovers the food bag, odor or no, and then you've got a problem.

Edited by ouzel on 04/13/2014 17:54:30 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ursack with Insert and Grizzlies on 04/12/2014 18:21:37 MDT Print View

Here's a link to keep updated from Ursack.
http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

Edited by kthompson on 04/12/2014 18:22:20 MDT.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Ursack given IGBC certification on 07/28/2014 11:18:13 MDT Print View

This is certainly good news. Now we'll see how long it takes (and if) the NPS to allow them.

July 24, 2014

The 2014 Ursack S29 AllWhite has been given IGBC certification number 3738. It may take a bit of time before that information shows up on the IGBC website. 2013 and earlier models of the AllWhite are not certified. We are working on a way to offer a low cost retrofit and once we figure that out, we will post the information on our website and attempt to contact affected customers by email.

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Seriously? Why do these "regulators" take so long? on 07/28/2014 16:34:32 MDT Print View

This has to be the most ridiculous thread ever. Everything at a standstill while some supposed "experts" mess around for years evaluating something new. Ultimately of zero value since they really just need to cull the bears. I'd blame this on Obama but I think this process started back with Reagan. Sad.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Seriously? Why do these "regulators" take so long? on 07/28/2014 16:38:41 MDT Print View

There's a thread in the Sierra Bear Blog about how the solution is to cull out the humans : )