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Ursack Minor

in Miscellaneous Products

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (1 reviews)

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Brian Lewis
( brianle )

Pacific NW
Ursack Minor on 08/10/2010 09:05:06 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The "Ursack Minor" is quite distinct from the traditional Ursack, in that it's not meant to be bear proof (or "resistant" or whatever). Instead, Ursack says it's "for critters---not bears". It's lighter weight (2.7 oz vs. about 8 oz for an Ursack) and the more flexible, pliable material makes it act more like a regular food bag --- a traditional Ursack has more stiff material.

I used the Ursack Minor this year on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike, a trail where "critters" (shelter mice and ground squirrels) are the biggest danger to food. I stayed in shelters the majority of nights (well up into the double digits of nights I would guess) this year, and most of those nights I didn't hang my food bag from the supplied hang points (as most people do) but just slept with the bag beside me. Exceptions to this were places where there were bear poles or cables or lockers and clear reason to be concerned about bears, but most nights I just slept with the food bag next to me on the floor of a shelter.

I never had a problem. And I had companions that did get holes nibbled into their bags. A mouse for some reason chewed holes in the hydration sleeve inside my backpack one night, but my food bag was never touched.

While this isn't absolute "proof", count me among the fans of the Ursack Minor for keeping critters out. In fact, even where bear poles are used I'd kind of like to use this, as in some cases bear poles become a sort of AYCE squirrel banquet (poles set too close to nearby trees). In such a case it's nicer to have a food bag that's more resistant than other food bags hanging alongside.

I used an odor proof liner inside, more just to ensure my food stayed dry, and I typically used something like a grocery store plastic bag on the outside to keep the bag cleaner and dryer. The result of mostly being inside a sort of plastic sandwich, however --- for literally months --- was that my Ursack Minor had a lot of spots inside and out when I finished which I speculate were mold. I just sprayed it with a standard 5% solution of vinegar and I think it will be fine.

Bottom line is that the Ursack Minor has turned out to be a very useful piece of gear; my wife and I also have bear cannisters and a pair of standard Ursacks, but the Ursack Minor will fill a useful role for trips where bears aren't a significant concern.

Edited by brianle on 08/10/2010 09:08:08 MDT.

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