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Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby longri » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:11 pm

Rockchucker wrote:I see bears every year, I saw 3 last year. But I deer hunt and explore areas that have higher populations of bears. I've never used a ursack but the weight savings is enticing.

Lucky you to see bears so often. They are wonderful animals. I hardly ever see them but relish the times that I do. Mostly, anyway. The most recent time was last year when the car in front of me hit one. It was pretty horrible and I wonder if it survived.

The Ursack isn't just lighter, it fits in the pack better since it's soft, malleable and shrinks in size as the contents are emptied out. My canister is a rigid barrel that I feel against my back unless I pack it just ever so. And it takes up a huge percentage of the pack volume for the whole trip, full or empty. I hate the thing, as I'm required to carry it in places where a bear encounter is quite unlikely. But when I'm camping in obvious bear terrain? Then I love it.



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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby Rockchucker » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:30 pm

One of the bears was a real brute, we guessed him to be 500lbs eating grass in a stringer early spring. He looked up to us and had an air of arrogance, kind of like "I'm the king here,move on". His prints were huge, displaced the dirt like a cow. He was cool. But most the time they just run from one tree line to another and are gone.
I also got to see a mother and her cubs last fall, so I guess I saw 4 bears. A guy I hike with saw a blond on the trail in front of us but I didn't catch sight of it. Bear population are on rise around here.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:22 am

An ursack, legally used.

http://giantdumpster.wordpress.com/tag/ursack-failure/

Note that the knot is still neatly tied.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby Snowtrout » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:17 pm

This is an interesting conversation.

I still use the PCT method to hang my food and have never had an issue....maybe I'm lucky or am doing something right, who knows and that is not the point of my message. I have never backpacked in Yosemite, SEKI or other areas that require a bear canister, so I have never used one. I have looked at both the Ursack and bear canisters to protect my food better or to use in those restricted areas. My opinion is neither is perfect and both have negatives. The Ursack is lighter and fits better in a pack but is not, as of yet, allowed in Yosemite, SEKI or restricted areas, has been shown to be more of a deterrent than absolute protection and like hanging your food in a tree, can fail to user error. Until they are approved and shown to be better than a deterrent, to me, hanging food seems to be just as effective for most areas.

As for the hard bear canisters, the weight and size are the main reasons I have not purchased one yet. I keep hoping that someone will invent/design a new canister that is lighter than what is on the market and collapses down to fit in the pack better. Maybe wishful thinking.......... :smirk:
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Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:36 pm

anything collapsible is not even going to slow a bear down. if the teeth can get in, it's gone - canisters succeed only when a bear can't pick it up in its mouth. tie a rope to a canister and a bear will pack it away with him.

look at the photos on the link. no pretending that was user error. a bear cub took 30 minutes to get that one torn open.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby Snowtrout » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:00 pm

AlmostThere, I am not disagreeing with you. As I posted, the Ursack seems more of a deterrent than protection and user error can lead to failure. Your pics and other reports/pics show both of these points to be true.

I think collapsible or pieces that break down for carrying is possible if designed right. For example, this product that has yet to be released might have potential: http://www.camp4outdoors.com/products.html
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby longri » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:53 pm

AlmostThere wrote:An ursack, legally used.

Yosemite in 2013 it wasn't legal.

Regardless, it appears they lost their food due to an Ursack failure. But in a larger context it can also be seen as a failure of canisters. A canister's limited volume coupled with its bulk and weight discourages almost everyone, just like the people in that story, from carrying a second one. I'm not as pessimistic as you and hope to see the technology improve.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:51 pm

I have seen LOTS of bears. Not as much the last couple of years. Lot has to do with where you go. I ran into 8 bears in one day in Northern Yosemite. Most bears I see run off. I suspect that a lot of people are too busy looking at their feet or talking to someone to really notice the bears. I have never had a bear in my camp in the Sierra - did in the Wind Rivers in Wyoming. All my bear encounters are hiking.

I totally agree that a bear canister is more difficult to pack- the hard side big size is a real problem for me because I am small so my pack is really limited in volume. Not only do you have the extra weight of the canister, but I have to go up to a heavier pack just to use the bear can. That adds about 4 pounds total. I have a Ursack that I use whenever bear cans are not specifically REQUIRED. I also totally agree that most Sierra backpackers are not very informed about proper camping in bear country. I know when I am in bear habitat and when I am not. Statistically, look at the bears per square mile and then if you are camped days off-trail at 12,000 feet miles above the nearest timber, the probability of a bear coming into camp at night is pretty small. Particularly if you cook dinner and camp miles apart (this is pretty standard technique when in grizzly country).

I am glad they are giving the Ursack a chance. Interesting to see if there is a big up-spike in bear incidences. This probably a good test case.

That said, I do agree that almost universal use of bear cans has resulted keeping bears from targeting backpackers as much as they did in the past.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby oldranger » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:37 pm

Snowtrout
that canister warrants a closer look because it is cheaper than a Baricade. However it is not really collapsible and it is just as easy to put things like cooking gear, fuel canisters, trash etc in a Baricade as in this version. So I don't see it as reducing the volume of my pack any more than what I currently do with my Baricade.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby Rockchucker » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:10 pm

oldranger wrote:Snowtrout
that canister warrants a closer look because it is cheaper than a Baricade. However it is not really collapsible and it is just as easy to put things like cooking gear, fuel canisters, trash etc in a Baricade as in this version. So I don't see it as reducing the volume of my pack any more than what I currently do with my Baricade.

I don't like you can't use it as a seat.
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby RichardCullip » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:20 pm

Snowtrout wrote:AlmostThere, I am not disagreeing with you. As I posted, the Ursack seems more of a deterrent than protection and user error can lead to failure. Your pics and other reports/pics show both of these points to be true.

I think collapsible or pieces that break down for carrying is possible if designed right. For example, this product that has yet to be released might have potential: http://www.camp4outdoors.com/products.html


Interesting design but a pre-release review of it over at Trailspace
http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2011/01/21/outdoor-retailer-bearier-700.html
dated Jan 21, 2011 suggested that it would be approved and released for sale by May 2011. I wonder what the hold up is?
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Re: Ursack approved in Inyo Forest?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:58 am

longri wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:An ursack, legally used.

Yosemite in 2013 it wasn't legal.

Regardless, it appears they lost their food due to an Ursack failure. But in a larger context it can also be seen as a failure of canisters. A canister's limited volume coupled with its bulk and weight discourages almost everyone, just like the people in that story, from carrying a second one. I'm not as pessimistic as you and hope to see the technology improve.


Bears can get into cars, because they can get their claws in. Bears can get into bags, because they can get teeth in. That ain't pessimism. It's pretty much the way it is.

I would love for there to be something light and soft sided that would work. If Kevlar/spectra doesn't work, what do you think will?

I missed the part where they weren't over the pass yet - but, the bears along the JMT are just as bad as the ones inside the park boundary, so it would have been chewed up just the same. No doubt they parked their tent in the same overused places everyone else does. The bears have a route.
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