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Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:54 am

The other advantage a regular bear can (Garcia, Bearikade, Bearvault) has going for it is there aren't any strings on them. If a bear does get to your Ursack, there's a really good chance the bear will run off with it easily.

Also, if you use the search feature after you login here (upper right) and type in ursack, you will see something like this:

search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&keywords=ursack

Yes, we've talked about it here extensively.



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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby SSSdave » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:02 am

Your question has been a regular topic for years on backpacking boards and a major sermon element at ranger stations for those requesting wilderness permits even where they have not been required so am surprised you don't seem to be familiar with the issues?

As noted the most reliable, most secure, least stressful strategy is to carry one of the canisters. I'm an old timer too who has gone decades without bears ever getting into my food despite enduring many nights when they visited including back in my counter balancing days. But that is not to say some of those nights a bear might have carried off our food if we had not scared them off. Or that we got much sleep haha.

I own 2 Garcias and an Ursack. And I am a fan of the latter for limited usage. When required I do carry a canister even when I'd rather not as I did last year going over Kearsarge Pass. But am at odds with the SIBBG Ursack decisions and weak arguments. Those using an Ursack where legal can potentially keep food from bears if they use it wisely. Likewise bears sometimes get into food with those who only use canisters because backpackers can be lazy regarding keeping all their food inside them or even securing the lid since it doesn't have an LED on top telling people at night when it is locked or not. All these food protection methods require vigilence and thoughtful processes. Unfortunately there are and will always will be careless visitors in the backcountry and that is why canisters are being pressured for everyone's use by those making policy. Thus their strategy is to prevent the lowest common denominator among us (yes that means you Homer...DUhhh) from screwing up. Unfortunately authorities have never really got all thru hikers (am not one of them) on board for obvious reasons like a single canister barely fits a week's worth of reasonable food, and worse they removed bear boxes along many thru trails which was a whole other can of worms thru hikers can only blame themselves for.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby balzaccom » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:40 pm

Amen

Of course we take one in Yosemite and SEKI...but we now carry one every time in the Sierra. They may weigh more, but they make life simpler for us. And for the bears.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby robow8 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:56 pm

balzaccom wrote:Amen

Of course we take one in Yosemite and SEKI...but we now carry one every time in the Sierra. They may weigh more, but they make life simpler for us. And for the bears.


This. I even carry one in the San Gabriels. I lost a loaned pack to a bear a few years ago down here.
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The necessity of a bear canister

Postby ERIC » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:51 am

Pretty heavy debate over Ursack approval on the HST Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/7021041900/
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby markskor » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:41 am

Respectfully, a lot of selfish, entitled, and ignorant people are advocating making the ursack legal to use in our Sierra by signing a petition.
Sad because the sack does not/ never worked effectively against bears ...it invites bears into camp.
Many there on FB carp about the bearcan's weight as being too heavy. If weight is that big an issue - stay home.
I detest that some feel their personal enjoyment is more important than the bear's wellbeing.
IMHO, the petition sucks.
just my 2¢
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Re: Ursack Passes IGBC Test

Postby Steve_C » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:02 am

A person from Alaska started a Change.org petition asking Yosemite and SeKi rangers to consider approval of the Ursack S29:

Approve Ursack 2014 S29 for use in your parks

I used an Ursack S29 with aluminum liner last year (2014) in Sequoia N.P, and based on the IGBC testing, feel that it will protect my food in every situation. I added a bell to the tie off so any marauding critter would awaken me, and made sure I learned the proper method to tie the knots correctly.

Here's a picture from the grizzly bear test of the Ursack S29. Pretty sure this one is using the aluminum liner.
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Re: Ursack Passes IGBC Test

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:17 am

That picture looks like an all night chew toy until it breaks the rope.

Bears don't even look at my can anymore (Bearikade).

When the NPS netted Upper Mattie in 2008ish two weeks before I got there, they left two Garcia cans and a gallon of white gas. None were touched even though there were obvious, fresh bear tracks on the beach.

Good luck with your endeavor.
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Re: Ursack Passes IGBC Test

Postby markskor » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:28 am

Steve_C wrote:... based on the IGBC testing, feel that it will protect my food in every situation.


Steve, with all due respect sir, you are wrong, come off as somewhat entitled, and for some selfish reason, are putting your "comfort" ahead of the bear's livelihood. Why? Your argument shows that either you are not bear savvy or do not care about other hiker's safety. After a bear learns that it can easily carry a sack away, or gnaw through the tied sack and get a reward, it will return again...inviting future human confrontations.

As much as you wish that your ursack was 100% effective, it doesn't work on a determined bear...little bell notwithstanding.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:27 pm

ERIC wrote:Pretty heavy debate over Ursack approval on the HST Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/7021041900/


Umm. ok.. I've a question. Is this the forum or is FB the forum? I think this IS the forum.

Russ
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Hobbes » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:06 pm

markskor wrote:If weight is that big an issue - stay home.


Some of the ladies might construe that sentiment as sexist. The women making that point are comparing their relative size/strength vs men to demonstrate their disadvantage with regard to the extra weight canisters entail. Having a 190-200lb male tell a 130-140lb woman to simply 'stay home' if she can't hack it could be considered insensitive. Should biology consign our favorite friends to staying home and cooking dinner?

markskor wrote:I detest that some feel their personal enjoyment is more important than the bear's well being.


Do you equate other native species to the Sierra, like the yellow-legged frog, as comparable candidates for protection? Or do only bears come in for special anthropomorphic personification? Who is more natural to the (high) Sierra, man or fish? I would posit that humans have been trekking across, to & fro the Sierra for sufficient millenia to consider our presence just as natural as bears.

While I certainly don't fall into the 'nature is the dominion of man' camp, I do believe that we have just as much right to be out in the wild as any other animal. I don't advocate hunting endangered game, but I also don't get the special elevated status some enjoy as well.

Bring on the flames! :D
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby markskor » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:51 pm

Hobbes wrote:
markskor wrote:If weight is that big an issue - stay home.

Some of the ladies might construe that sentiment as sexist.

Gee, I'm too weak (could also insert entitled, young, old, "special", hiking a long trail, stubborn, ugly, full of myself...) so obviously rules do not apply to me. How is this sexist...applies to all? Olympic Marathon runners (men) commonly weigh in at 140 pounds, win, yet still follow all rules...no "advantage" given as compared to 200-pound runners. Should the Permit Ranger have a scale, and adjust the rules accordingly?
markskor wrote:I detest that some feel their personal enjoyment is more important than the bear's well being.

Hobbes wrote:Do you equate other native species to the Sierra, like the yellow-legged frog, as comparable candidates for protection? I do believe that we have just as much right to be out in the wild as any other animal.

We have no control over past sins. Species like the yellow-legged frog do suffer...maybe man's mistake/ maybe climate/ maybe a fungus...not really sure. Whatever the cause, all interactions today Sierra are intended to further increase the survivability for all - man, frog, and bear. Not taking care of back-country food (putting the task directly on the hiker), invites bear/human interaction. When the bear gets too familiar, accidents happen and invariably the bear is put down. Thus, man has the responsibility of not initiating this interaction. Thus food storage (for the good of all) depends on a system where, when used correctly, mandates that bears not get our food. The task is then put on man, the visitor...the bear is home already.
The ursack, no matter what you argue, does not work...invites conflict and strife.
Lastly, I do not think that the bear or man is more important, but I do believe we should not make our enjoyment (carrying less weight) a priority over the life (or death) of a "fed" bear.
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