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Speaking of bear resistant canisters....

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Postby hikerduane » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:03 pm

I had one dog or more since 1979. We only had one bear come close to camp that I am aware of and that was close to home where I was bping on the Plumas NF. It must have gotten a whiff of us and split pronto. Even when Pooch, my last dog was alive a few years ago, I could see the writing on the wall and had made preparations to go prepared where needed. I was not convinced yet, that with a dog I still needed a canister where it wasn't required. So you can see that I was starting a slow change. Since I usually only hike where there are few people, I tend to believe in those areas that the bears are still wild. Pooch, a Yellow Lab X, was a good bear dog I think. Three out of the four times I ever heard him bark or growl was when a bear was around. (Pooch growled at a bear in broad daylight in the Marbles and barked a couple times at home when a bear was around or knocking my garbage over in my pickup when I put in it in the back to take to the dump.) That was funny, I was going to take the garbage to the dump a few days before a bp trip so it wouldn't be a target and it gets hit anyway.

I've seen numerous bears while bping, most have been in the morning, sows with a cub or two.



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Postby JM21760 » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:47 pm

About 1978. Sleeping on the mattress next to the cabin's porch in Mineral King. Middle of the night. Heard something. Grabbing around, found the flashlight. Turned it on. Bear head, staring at me from about 2 or 3 feet away. "Yaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!" Bear left abruptly. Got back to sleep an hour later. Such Fun!

Next year in MK, sleeping inside. Sound of splintering wood. "What the...?" Bag of trash left in the back hall. Flashlight reveals forearm of bear swinging around in improvised hole in the roof of the cabin, via the wood pile outside. "Yaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!" Bear departed post haste. Roof repaired next morning with shingles split off Cedar rounds.

Last one. Arrive MK evening. Sprain ankle playing Frisbee in meadow in front of cabin. Rain begins. Knocked out on bed from pain killers. Pours rain all night. Next morning, find car's driver side window ripped out. Big paw prints inside the car. Bag of laundry must have enticed him. Inside of the car soaked! Rains 5 more days, washes out road. Last day, sun came out, and we had to leave as they finally got the road fixed.
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Postby Wanderer » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:04 pm

The URSACK Hybrid recieved conditional approval a couple months ago. I haven't yet seen the aluminum insert personally or played with it yet, but it may be an option for some. If you already own an URSACK you can add the aluminum insert pretty inexpensively and end up with a ligher-weight, less expensive alternative. I already have a BeariCade weekender & an URSACK, hmmmm, what to do, what to do? :)
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Postby hikerduane » Sun Dec 18, 2005 7:32 pm

First I have heard of it. I have the TKO, it would be nice to add the insert for a much lighter bear resistant cantainer, assuming by your post that it is a lighter option. Thanks. A option instead of something else that bears have worked over. Hmm.
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Postby wingding » Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:02 am

The Ursack Hybrid is about 10 ounces lighter than the Bearikade - that does make it tempting.
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Postby sierranomad » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:14 pm

I have the Ursack and have been happy with it. Never had a bear try to get in it, but one night it was tested by a racoon. Some teeth marks were left in it, as well as a couple of frayed strings, but food was left intact.

One note of caution: mice can chew their way in. One night when I was snow camping at Glacier Point I cooked and ate in the Geology Hut. Left my Ursack in the hut, not thinking of mice. The next morning I found a small hole in it, and a lot of my trail mix gone. The problem is, that with the hole and all, I'm sure that it is no longer bear/racoon proof.
Jon

"When one tugs on a single thing in nature, he finds it's attached to the rest of the world". - John Muir
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Postby hikerduane » Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:10 pm

sierranomad, if your Ursack fails within a year I believe, send it back for a refund if it is not your fault.

On to the aluminum insert for the Ursacks. I received mine today, it came via the Post Office. Initially it seemed too big, stiff, springy. After a day outside servicing my pickup and working outside, I had time to try cinching up my Ursack TKO with the aluminum thingie in it. With the time all afternoon to think or not to think, I worked the Ursack over. It ended up being pretty simple after just one try. All I did, was to place my knee on the bag with the insert in it of course and apply some weight to it, so the insert would roll up a little just like a rolled up newspaper would. This enables you to cinch the Ursack up enough to close the hole at the top and to be able to tie a knot behind the cordlock so the top stays closed. I don't know how this would work with a full bag, packed for a trip. You seem to loose some storage inside, the insert is wide and doesn't allow you just a little room you need to close the hole at the top properly without compressing the bag to gain the slack. Some compromise here I guess to make the Ursack usable in the Sierra. I think if the top and bottom of the insert were a little cone shaped, the bottom less than the top, you wouldn't loose any room, at least at this point in my thinking. I emailed Ursack, so I'll have to see what there response is if any.

Price was around $27 shipped and taxed here in CA. They still showed they had some the other day when I ordered.
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Postby sierranomad » Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:05 pm

Thanks, hikerduane, but I have had it for a few years. I like the Ursack and may get another one some day, but will just be sure to keep it away from mice.
Jon

"When one tugs on a single thing in nature, he finds it's attached to the rest of the world". - John Muir
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Postby Ratboy » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:44 am

Just a thought to all those who say bears are not prevalent or whatever...

This was on the trail between my tent and my canister at Garnet Lake in August 2005, which by the way, caused many a camper to overreact at 0130 hours as it moved around the lake, bells whistles, the works...
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and lets not forget the other little critters....at Mt. Whitney Main Trail in July 2005
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and some larger critter, currently nameless, as seen at San Gorgonio in October 2005
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Fruit, nuts, whatever you got it they want it. What saddens me is that many folks believe that since it is biodegradible, it is okay to pitch. Not true. While I would much rather have a very light pack, 2.5-3 lbs of canister, or whatever, is fine with me for peace of mind and knowing my food is okay. The Ursack Hybrid looks and sounds cool, since approval was just granted. Either way, a tool is ony has good as its operator. Also, I just think about the cardio workout with a bit more work versus seeing my tent and bag ripped open by a marmot or whatever what have you. Funny sight is seeing some effectively strung up food, as far as large mammals are concerned, and still a set of squirrels were totally looting the booty.
Dave - Getting it done, one day at at time.
http://www.dnkrhodes.com
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:16 pm

Thanks for the neat pics Ratboy. Cute Pica. I've had a few of the small critters get to food over the years. On a trip into the Marble Mt. Wilderness, with the dog sleeping next to me, my food bag by my head, I could not keep a mouse out of my food. I kept scaring it off, but finally had to roll over on my side facing the pack and the next time it made a rustling noise, I grabbed my pack about where the mouse was and squeezed it with a death grip. Then another one must have been around because I heard a whooze from a owl I guess, then silence for the rest of the night.
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Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:12 pm

hikerduane wrote:Thanks for the neat pics Ratboy. Cute Pica. I've had a few of the small critters get to food over the years. On a trip into the Marble Mt. Wilderness, with the dog sleeping next to me, my food bag by my head, I could not keep a mouse out of my food. I kept scaring it off, but finally had to roll over on my side facing the pack and the next time it made a rustling noise, I grabbed my pack about where the mouse was and squeezed it with a death grip. Then another one must have been around because I heard a whooze from a owl I guess, then silence for the rest of the night.
I used to be pretty cavalier about bears prior to bear cannisters (now carry one) and simply slept on my food for the better part off 30 years. I never had a bear raid, but I did have various critter problems. I once had a chipmunk run off with my block of cheese while I was having lunch at Tyee Lake No 5. I provoked a barrel of laughs from other campers at the lake as I ran after the poor guy going "come back here mutha-----" He didn't run too fast with the cheese and ended up having to jettison it. Another time a marmot ran off with a salame my family and I were eating on Mt. Hoffmann. I'd imagine the salame would really upset his stomach. Yet another time (Chickenfoot Lake, Little Lakes Valley), I made the mistake of leaving some cheese in my main pack as I dayhiked up Mt. Dade. A thunderstorm forced a retreat and I returned to find that some critter had forced his way into the top of the pack, flipping the top flap so rain fell into it. The cheese had been chewed on, and with the rain now formed a real mess. Still another time my dad and I had repeated nocturnal visits at Tower Lake by some little critter that tried to gnaw on every available piece of leather (including grommets on our backpacks and rucksacks). The night ended with virtually every piece of equipment inside our tent. At Smith Lake (Russian Wilderness, Klamaths) I was sleeping under the stars with my boots as my "pillow prop". I awoke to find some critter had chewed up my boots so bad they were barely useable.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:35 pm

I had the edges of the pockets on my hiking shorts chewed up some at a lake in the Marble Mt. Wilderness. Since then, I always bring clothes, boots and gear to my tent at night. When I use my Ursack or canister, I put them a short ways away if by myself to hear if anything is at them. When with a group, they like to place the canisters a 100' or more away from camp.
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