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Ursack Approved by IGBC
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/12/2014 20:56:56 MDT Print View

My apologies if I missed a prior thread -


From the Ursack website -

" ... the 2014 Ursack S29 AllWhite has been certified (No. 3738) by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, each wilderness area is free to set its own food storage policy. Please check regulations first."


It happened in July.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
I got one on 08/12/2014 21:07:30 MDT Print View

I just bought one. This summer I was in grizzly country a lot and a couple of times it was pretty hard to find a good bear hang. I still prefer hanging the food way out of the bears reach. But in some cases an Ursack might be preferable to hanging off spindly trees that a determined bear could probably push over.

Andrew U
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 08:54:04 MDT Print View

A bear resistant (finally approved) bag weighing 18.1 ounces with metal liner and under $100.

The Bearikade people are going to be pissed...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 09:01:59 MDT Print View

do you need the aluminum liner to be bear resistant? I don't think so based on my reading of their website.

without liner - $70, 7.5 ounces

$100, 18 ounces with liner

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 09:03:31 MDT Print View

I'd buy one in a second if it's approved throughout the Sierra.

Andrew U
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 09:51:26 MDT Print View

"do you need the aluminum liner to be bear resistant?"

No, the aluminum liner just keeps a bear who is playing with the bag from smashing all the food inside the bag.

The liner probably isn't necessary unless you are pretty sure a bear is going to invade your campsite. Probably not worth the weight for most people.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 09:59:11 MDT Print View

My bear vault weighs 2 pounds

Ursack 7 ounces

big difference

do you just lay the ursack on the ground or hang it?

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 10:09:13 MDT Print View

The Ursack has to be tied to something secure, or else good luck finding it after the bear hauls it off (bears can't get hold of a bear can).

Does IGBC approval mean anything? Does the NPS or FS still have to give OK?

Andrew U
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 10:12:57 MDT Print View

Either hang it like normal or tie it securely to a tree or rock or other immovable object. You can't just lay it on the ground or a bear or other larger animal could just pick it up and move it. Most bear cans have the advantage of not being able to be picked up by a bear, just swatted around. So the theory is they will only move the can so far before becoming bored. That's why they say to never put your can on a cliff edge or anything.

I would hang it whenever possible and tie it to a rock or thick tree base when I'm camped above timberline with no suitable hanging trees.

Add:

"Does IGBC approval mean anything? Does the NPS or FS still have to give OK?"

It says on their website that a lot of the governing entities go by IGBC recommendations, but the IGBC is not a governing group by themselves. Individual parks and Forest Service regions will have to approve use for their areas.

Edited by anarkhos on 08/13/2014 10:16:44 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 10:22:41 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by greg23 on 08/13/2014 10:29:56 MDT.

Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 10:55:18 MDT Print View

IMO, This doesn't mean much for a lot of people here unless they got the approval of Yosemite. I have my doubts they'll get that. I use one for where hard sided aren't specified and usually counter balance hang it also. It is nice to get into camp late (after dark) and not have to find a suitable hang, while being lighter than my Beraikade.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 10:56:18 MDT Print View

The IGBC simply provides recommendations. It's up to specific Parks and Wilderness areas to either add it to their approval list, or not. I wouldn't hold my breath for it to be approved in Yosemite or Kings Canyon. Given the drawn out legal battle to get the Ursack passed by IGBC, previous Ursack failures, and the strict attitudes towards food storage in those parks, I'll be surprised if they approve it.

I have mixed feels about that. On one hand, I'd sure prefer to carry an Ursack over a bear can; on the other hand, I don't believe that the average park visitor could properly use the Ursack. Some people can't even properly close a bear canister, and we would ask them to tie a knot properly? Remember, bears have been able to get food out of Ursacks before because the opening wasn't closed and knotted tightly and the bear was able to squeeze food out the opening.

Also, there is some misconception about the ways that an Ursack can be used. There are three possibilities:

1) Tie the bag closed and leave it on the ground
2) Tie the bag closed and then tie it around a tree/rock/whatever
3) Tie the bag closed and hang it from a tree

Historically the consensus has been (1) and (3) don't work, because the bear can just pick up the bag, run away from your campsite, and work on getting the food out for days. Bear canisters are specifically designed to be large enough that a bear can't get their jaws around it and walk away with it. As indicated in the IGBC testing, the Ursack is not bear-proof, it's bear-resistant; if you let a bear work at it for long enough, they can eventually tear the fabric or work the knot loose. Option (2) prevents this, but there have been concerns about resource damage to trees from the bear trying to break the bag loose. So it's not clear that even if it were approved by various Parks what the recommended use protocol would be.

David Erikson
(derikson@cox.net) - M
Ursack usage on 08/13/2014 12:02:44 MDT Print View

I've used an Ursack for 8 to 10 years with total success in Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon Parks on two or more annual summer trips. Never had a bear give more than a cursory sniff - and move on.
Most seem to miss the real defense offered by the Ursack: the real protection is the OP sac used as the "liner" inside. It is (in my experience) odor proof even to bears. It is the first line of defense and (in my experience, again) used properly will successfully hide food from bears. The key is to be METICULOUSLY CAREFUL in sealing (and double or triple checking the seal) for proper closure. Also to not try to get too long usage, which will eventually wear out the seal.
I suspect the failure episodes were due to backpackers not getting good OPsack closure as well as not so carefully cinching and tying off the outer sack.
I used to tie it up to a tree trunk. Now I just leave it on the ground.
David

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ursack usage on 08/13/2014 12:18:21 MDT Print View

David,

"I've used an Ursack for 8 to 10 years with total success in Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon Parks on two or more annual summer trips."

What you were doing is illegal. If a ranger saw you using your Ursack, you would have received a hefty fine and most likely would have been escorted back to the trailhead.

While I am also a proponent of the odor-proof sacks, their efficacy has not been proven (see the BPL article testing them with police dogs.) Their use is also completely independent of the Ursack. You can use an odor-proof bag with an Ursack, with a bear canister, or by itself. The Ursack certification is also completely independent of odor-proof bag usage. An odor-proof bag is certainly not going to be a successful food protection strategy for a high-traffic area like Little Yosemite Valley or Paradise Valley. While we can argue whether it has been an effective strategy or not for you specifically, it is certainly not an effective strategy when applied across the millions of backcountry users in both parks. It is very possible for a bear to learn that there is food in an Ursack even if it can't smell it, and so we default back to the original argument as to whether the Ursack is a sufficiently bear-resistant food storage method.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Ursack usage on 08/13/2014 12:44:20 MDT Print View

"I used to tie it up to a tree trunk. Now I just leave it on the ground."

A good example of how things go wrong.



And please don't report the "Ursack Failure" when it happens.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 15:52:19 MDT Print View

The IGBC was sued into submission?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 16:44:28 MDT Print View

^^^^

I believe you are referring to SIBBG - Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group - which was disbanded.


Or do you know of lawsuits brought against the IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee)?

Edited by greg23 on 08/13/2014 16:59:31 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 19:55:36 MDT Print View

King Range (Lost Coast) managed by the BLM here is now listing the canisters approved by Yosemite only. So still no Ursack allowed there.


Read this excerpt from Ursack's site about the test. Notice it was not tied to something, without liner.


"At IGBC insistence, we baited an Ursack S29 AllWhite, knotted it securely and placed it on the ground with no aluminum liner and not tied to a tree. The IGBC testing protocol requires a total of 60 minutes of active bear encounters. A total of seven grizzly bears and two hours of active clawing, biting and scratching--yet Ursack survived."

Edited by kthompson on 08/13/2014 20:00:39 MDT.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
ursack on 08/13/2014 19:59:56 MDT Print View

I talked to a ranger in the tetons last week.....he said if it was igbc approved they were good with it.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Ursack Approved by IGBC on 08/13/2014 20:20:26 MDT Print View

Hi Greg. No, I know of no other lawsuits. I was being slightly sarcastic since I knew there was a lawsuit in the past, but honestly didn't remember who it was against. I think the SIBBG disbanded after that lawsuit?