Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 10 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3781 Members
10 Forums
5600 Topics
51223 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#32316 - 07/23/13 08:36 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I don't think they are staged. However, Ursack has made these bags out of a lot of different materials, I have had bags made from totally different materials. I think that is very much an issue here.

I don't know of a canister that has not failed...including Bear Vault and Garcia. The difference has been the NP and FS have bent over backwards for the hard canister manufactures to rectify flaws. They have not cut Ursack any slack.

Top
#32330 - 07/23/13 11:05 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
I don't think they are staged. However, Ursack has made these bags out of a lot of different materials, I have had bags made from totally different materials. I think that is very much an issue here.

I don't know of a canister that has not failed...including Bear Vault and Garcia. The difference has been the NP and FS have bent over backwards for the hard canister manufactures to rectify flaws. They have not cut Ursack any slack.

Not saying this was staged, wb, there's no information to conclude anything. Just saying the manufacturer should be informed if our tax dollars are paying Rangers to propagate this "information" to the public. They are negatively impacting his business and the reputation of his product, they should have the guts to contact him and get his side of the story.

Top
#32332 - 07/24/13 08:32 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Sierra Nevada,

It is very obvious that FS and NP are biased against Ursack. I happened to be at Kearsarge Lakes when Bear Vault had one of their problems. A Ranger told us to put our canisters in the bear boxes because 7 Bear Vault canisters had been compromised.

The Park Service worked with Bear Vault, then there was Rae Lakes where "a bear" figured out how to open their canisters. The Park Service, again, chose to work with Bear Vault to rectify the problem. I have not seen this type of cooperation with Ursack when problems occur.

As I have stated, I do not follow the Inyo's rules/recommendations on how to use an Ursack because they are nonsensical. I tie it off in a tree 4' to 5' off the ground to keep the elfin bears away from it and for stealth. I don't need no stinking chippie chewing through the fabric to get to my oatmeal and gorp.

Top
#32341 - 07/24/13 12:23 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
When bears have learned to open rigid canisters, the manufacturers have changed the designs to resolve the situation. That's working with the park service. When bears opening ursacks got the ursack acceptance cancelled, the Ursack company filed a law suit and lost. What is there to work with when a company won't fix their design? This is the USA and business models based on substituting law suits for competent design exist, but there's no reason anyone should respect them.

Dale B. Dalrymple

Top
#32347 - 07/24/13 05:27 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: dbd]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I do not believe that was the sequence of events. No one goes to court right off the bat, they go as a last resort.

Top
#32349 - 07/24/13 07:27 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
...
No one goes to court right off the bat, they go as a last resort.

You're partly right. This isn't the first Ursack design to fail, and not their first failure to provide a successful design fix. That's why you have bags made from different materials, that have failed and been replaced by new materials that have also failed.

Dale B. Dalrymple

Top
#32351 - 07/24/13 08:32 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Quote:
It is very obvious that FS and NP are biased against Ursack. I happened to be at Kearsarge Lakes when Bear Vault had one of their problems. A Ranger told us to put our canisters in the bear boxes because 7 Bear Vault canisters had been compromised.


Well, that ranger was probably me and that was at least 7 years ago. Only one bear in the Keasrsarge/Bubbs Creek drainage had figured it out -- nowhere else in the Sierra. The manufacturer fixed the problem immediately and, I believe, offered to replace anyone with that design bear vault. That has not been true of the ursack. NPS and USFS are not "against" the ursack. Get your facts straight. They had a testing procedure that Ursack continually failed. The hard sided canisters worked. That's pretty simple. The ursack didn't work as designed -- they don't keep bears from getting food rewards which is the point of all this bear food storage fol de rol (is that right???).

If Ursack comes up with something that works, NPS and USFS would support it. They've gone through a bunch of different designs and one lawsuit (which they lost). The photo above shows the problems the sack has. It's not doctored or arranged. It makes no difference how or where you tie it. That is very typical of how bear scattered garbage from a sack (ursack or stuff sack) looks. I've seen thousands (literally).

g.
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

Top
#32352 - 07/24/13 08:41 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Quote:
I don't know of a canister that has not failed...including Bear Vault and Garcia. The difference has been the NP and FS have bent over backwards for the hard canister manufactures to rectify flaws. They have not cut Ursack any slack.


I'm back. Where do you get this stuff?? It is incredibly rare for any of the hard sided canisters to fail. I'm not aware of a single failure (in, what?, 20 years) of the Garcia. One of the others had a few failures (< 6) because of the epoxy they used but was quickly fixed. The problems, though, have not been a failure of design or materials but only of a very few (literally a handful) in thousands and thousands of canisters out there.

That's not been the case with the Ursack though. It's inherent in the materials and design so far. Maybe someday they'll find the right combination but,again, the photo shows they haven't.

EDIT: OK. One last thing. As I referred to in my first post, the whole thing is about food rewards -- keeping the bear from thinking there's any hope of getting food from whatever system is being used (box, hanging, canister, ursack etc.). This is what creates truly wild bears. Only hard side canisters or bear boxes do this. I have watched bears walk right by canisters and boxes because they know they can't get into them. Their behavior has changed (e.g. in Kearsarge/Bubbs/Woods) as a direct result of people carrying and using the dreaded canisters (thanks!!). If you read the link to the Ursack testimonials, you'll see this is not they case. Bears keep trying to break into them. Mostly they work but the bears are NOT being trained to not bother with human food and campsites. That's another reason NPS and USFS don't want them. It's not some dark conspiracy. They just don't work for what's necessary to move bears to nuts and berries (and the occasional fawn...).

g.


Edited by George (07/24/13 08:52 PM)
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

Top
#32353 - 07/24/13 09:16 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: George]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Here is Ursa trying to get into a Bear Vault:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn7oayAaf4k

That is one frustrated bear! Notice the efforts to pry open the lid; smart, but not the right tools for the job.




Top
#32354 - 07/24/13 09:43 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: George]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: George


I'm back.


Most excellent; a sorely missed component to any of these back country conversations.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

Top
#32356 - 07/24/13 10:20 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
Incredible video of the bear. like!

Top
#32359 - 07/24/13 11:32 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2248
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

Top
#32361 - 07/25/13 08:13 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wagga]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Not only did they shun the company after this reported failure, they stopped testing bear canisters back in about 2008. Part of the lawsuit was to try and force them to resume testing and to establish specific criteria to define "bear resistant". How can any new or improved product come onto the market in that regulatory environment?

Top
#32362 - 07/25/13 08:19 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: George]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: George

If Ursack comes up with something that works, NPS and USFS would support it. They've gone through a bunch of different designs and one lawsuit (which they lost). The photo above shows the problems the sack has. It's not doctored or arranged. It makes no difference how or where you tie it. That is very typical of how bear scattered garbage from a sack (ursack or stuff sack) looks. I've seen thousands (literally).
g.

If Ursack comes up with something that works, will NPS and USFS actually test it? After 5 years of not testing and a lawsuit, they finally did resume testing - using Grizzly bears with and without the bag tied off correctly (just throwing the bag on the ground). The only Grizzly in California is on the state flag, but I guess the testing is meant for other parts of the country as well. Testing results and a decision is pending.

George, can you clarify your post please. You're equating an Ursack to "thousands" of conventional fabric stuff sacks that are not bear resistant whatsoever. How many Ursacks have you personally seen fail? Were these Ursack incidents reported to the company? Clearly the NPS and USFS work very closely with the hard canister companies and clearly those types can be compromised as well.

Not saying there's some grand conspiracy out there, but it sure looks to me like there's a regulatory bias against Ursack. Over the years I've owned and sold Garcias, still have 2 Bear Vaults and 2 white Ursacks. You could say I'm "armed for bear" but I want the lightest solution possible and I'm willing to follow directions to tie it off correctly.


Edited by SierraNevada (07/25/13 08:45 AM)

Top
#32363 - 07/25/13 08:49 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Quote:
How many Ursacks have you personally seen fail?


Somewhere around 8. That's more than the total for all of the other canisters combined in 20+ years of them being around. And back to the main point of food reward. The original criteria defined failure as getting food. With a cannister, that usually means a catastrophic failure and access to all the food. With the Ursack, that includes (!) punctures such that food drips out or whatever. That means that the wily bears will keep trying to get into Ursacks and keep hanging around camps in the hope of doing so. That's considered a failure for those reasons.

I'm not sure of the status of the testing and you seem to know more. If I remember right, one of the things that came out of the lawsuit was that the NPS/USFS testing procedure was flawed and they just decided not to do it anymore and so avoid any liability whatsoever. The hope was to get a UL type lab to establish testing and standards. So maybe that's happened?

And, no, I didn't in any way equate the failure of regular stuff sacks to that of an Ursack. That paragraph was for Bob's comment that the food/sack debris might have been staged. My experience with bears getting into stuff sacks -- of whatever material -- is a scene exactly like the one seen in the photo.

There's no conspiracy against Ursack -- nothing to see, keep moving folks! They just need something so bears don't keep getting food, however small. I've said it elsewhere but will repeat that the canisters and boxes have been an incredible success in changing the behavior of bears in the backcountry. They just don't come through camps anymore in areas where canisters are required (Kearsarge etc.). Bear/food incidents have gone from dozens a week in the early 80s to maybe one or two per summer (and only people who aren't carrying a canister or who leave food out). It's darned amazing. I don't think that success would have occurred had Ursacks been allowed.

g.
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

Top
#32364 - 07/25/13 09:03 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: George]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: George
I'm back. Where do you get this stuff?? It is incredibly rare for any of the hard sided canisters to fail. I'm not aware of a single failure (in, what?, 20 years) of the Garcia. One of the others had a few failures (< 6) because of the epoxy they used but was quickly fixed. The problems, though, have not been a failure of design or materials but only of a very few (literally a handful) in thousands and thousands of canisters out there.

That's not been the case with the Ursack though. It's inherent in the materials and design so far. Maybe someday they'll find the right combination but,again, the photo shows they haven't.

EDIT: OK. One last thing. As I referred to in my first post, the whole thing is about food rewards -- keeping the bear from thinking there's any hope of getting food from whatever system is being used (box, hanging, canister, ursack etc.). This is what creates truly wild bears. Only hard side canisters or bear boxes do this. I have watched bears walk right by canisters and boxes because they know they can't get into them. Their behavior has changed (e.g. in Kearsarge/Bubbs/Woods) as a direct result of people carrying and using the dreaded canisters (thanks!!). If you read the link to the Ursack testimonials, you'll see this is not they case. Bears keep trying to break into them. Mostly they work but the bears are NOT being trained to not bother with human food and campsites. That's another reason NPS and USFS don't want them. It's not some dark conspiracy. They just don't work for what's necessary to move bears to nuts and berries (and the occasional fawn...).

g.


Where did I get this stuff? Forest Service and Park employees, George. I did not say they failed bunches, George, just that they failed. The fact that Garcia failed, surprised me.

Most failures are user error. People do not screw the BV past the stops because they are a pain. People not closing the Garcia or Bearikade screws. People following the FS and NPS rules of where to put an Ursack...which are downright stupid.

How to bring something new and improved in, if you are not testing and there no object standards to test to?

Nice equivocation of the nylon stuff sacks and Ursack.

Top
#32372 - 07/25/13 12:03 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: George]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: George
Quote:
How many Ursacks have you personally seen fail?


Somewhere around 8. That's more than the total for all of the other canisters combined in 20+ years of them being around. And back to the main point of food reward. The original criteria defined failure as getting food. With a cannister, that usually means a catastrophic failure and access to all the food. With the Ursack, that includes (!) punctures such that food drips out or whatever. That means that the wily bears will keep trying to get into Ursacks and keep hanging around camps in the hope of doing so. That's considered a failure for those reasons.

How many of these "around 8" incidents were reported to Ursack? How many of these incidents actually resulted in a more common definition of "failure" i.e. the bag came apart or was opened and the bear got the food? Thanks for sharing your front line experience.

Top
#32378 - 07/25/13 04:05 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: George]
hikin_jim Offline


Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
George,

Thanks for sharing your observations concerning the UrSack.
While I continue to hope that UrSack will improve, I can see that they're probably not as "solid" as a bear canister.

I use an UrSack in areas that don't have a lot of history of bear problems. I've had good luck with mine, but I've only had a bear make a try at it once. I heard him right away and started shouting and making noise. The bear ran away, and my food was unharmed. I don't think my experience wouldn't work with a habituated bear.

I have two UrSacks, a pretty old pale yellow one ("cornsilk?") made from Vectran and a newer green one which I believe is made from Spectra. They may be both so old now as to be useless, but I continue to use the green one in low threat areas in Southern California.

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

Top
#32381 - 07/25/13 05:39 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
SN,

When I was at Kearsarge Lakes I was told by the ranger there when 7 BV compromised. That is an awful lot in a small period of time but I do not remember BV ever getting their ticket unpunched.

On a personal note, I have owned a Garcia, 3 or 4 Bear Vaults...which I hated because they were a pia to open, Bearikade and a 3 - Ursacks. So, I have experience with all the major players in the game.

Top
#32385 - 07/25/13 09:05 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
SN,

When I was at Kearsarge Lakes I was told by the ranger there when 7 BV compromised. That is an awful lot in a small period of time but I do not remember BV ever getting their ticket unpunched.

On a personal note, I have owned a Garcia, 3 or 4 Bear Vaults...which I hated because they were a pia to open, Bearikade and a 3 - Ursacks. So, I have experience with all the major players in the game.

Kearsarge Lakes is just over Glen Pass from Rae Lakes where a bear figured out how to open a Bear Vault, just like Yellow Yellow who figured out how to pop a Bear Vault (posted by Wagga above). These stories are not well known. The NPS and NFS didn't show pictures and scare people from using Bear Vaults. No, they worked with the Bearvault company to fix the problem. Is it asking too much to work with Tom at Ursack in a similar fair manner?

Top
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >