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#28251 - 10/04/12 04:18 PM Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's why Inyo N.F. doesn't want anyone using an Ursack in bear habitat. These are recent pictures from an Ursack Attack near Mammoth Lakes.











Edit/Update: These pictures were provided to me by staff from Inyo National Forest. They did not provide any information as to the circumstances surrounding the incident, or who owned the Ursack that was damaged.

See below (Post id 32252) for a response from the owner/inventor of Ursack. (July, 2013)

Also, good news April, 2014: Ursack passed the IGBC test


Edited by Steve C (04/19/14 11:44 PM)

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#28253 - 10/04/12 04:59 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2248
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
That wasn't a Ursack Attack, that was an Ursine Attack!
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#28257 - 10/04/12 05:55 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wagga]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA

It was not a benign ursine to attack the ursack.

Maybe someone can do better.

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#28265 - 10/05/12 06:47 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Ack! Alas and alack! I am taken aback! Wrack and bruin! Will Ursack reimburse Jack for the ursine usurpation and sack of the erstwhile Ursack ?
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#28266 - 10/05/12 07:42 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
These pictures prompt several questions.

1. One of the sacks (the really dirty one) does not appear to be an Ursack White, the one recommended by the manufacturer as being bear-proof. What was it? Ursack also makes less capable sacks that will only deter squirrels and marmots.
2. Were the Ursacks tied correctly at the top?
3. Were the odor proof inside bags in use?
4. Why in the heck was a little red stuff sack tied up with the Ursack? Was there food in it? That in itself would be enough to encourage the bears(s) to really go at it.
5. All the sacks should have been counter-balance hung...as recommended by the staff at White Mountain ranger station in Bishop. Just leaving them on the ground is an invitation to the bear clan.
6. Where did this actually happen? In the town or elsewhere?
7. The trash appears to have been very neatly laid-out, as if on display. Mr. and Mrs. Ursa would never leave such a tidy looking mess; they'd just let things fall in a heap. This is very suspicious to me.

I've been using the Ursack this season (six overnighters) in the Inyo National Forest (avoiding Mammoth), and have had no problems. But I take extra care to follow the manufacturer's explicit instructions.

Okay, what are your opinions? Anyone else use one? Where? I'm sure someone out there will know better than me about Ursacks.



Edited by Bob West (10/05/12 08:07 AM)

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#28271 - 10/05/12 08:05 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
wbtravis Offline


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

If I'm not mistaken, the forest/park service wanted these thing affixed to snags because they did not want trees harmed. This put the bags near the ground and out in the open.

I've have never complied with that rule. I have followed the Ursack instructions and tied the bag off ~5' off the ground in a stealth position within bushy trees. I have not had problems in over 10 years.

Most "failures" are user errors both with Ursacks and hard canisters.

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#28272 - 10/05/12 08:12 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Yep, Travis, you're right. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter.

Inyo N.F. told me to counter-balance hang them, but I seldom do that. I tie them to very heavy logs or from old, heavy snags.

Ursacks have been used all over the U.S. Any reports of bear damage to them from grizzly country or elsewhere?

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#28279 - 10/05/12 10:13 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2248
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
I think this has been posted before, but worth watching.

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#28284 - 10/05/12 01:13 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Bob West
These pictures prompt several questions.


1. One of the sacks (the really dirty one) does not appear to be an Ursack White, the one recommended by the manufacturer as being bear-proof. What was it? Ursack also makes less capable sacks that will only deter squirrels and marmots.

The rodent version Ursack "minor" has a different fabric, finer weaver for small sharp teeth, but not bear proof. These bags didn't fail through the fabric, so I doubt that was the issue. These appear to be seam failures.

2. Were the Ursacks tied correctly at the top?
Hard to tell, one is still tied, the other maybe not, but again, the failure is through the seams. If the knot were untied, the bear would've gotten into the bag from the top and stopped working on the seams.

3. Were the odor proof inside bags in use?
Probably would not have deterred the bear anyway. This appears to be in a developed area - look at the metal screen in the lower right of the photo. This area must be hooked up to a drainage system, probably a campground? This bear is probably a local seasoned break-in artist and would know to go after these sacks with or without an "odor proof" liner.

Okay, what are your opinions? Anyone else use one?
It looks to me that this was not a good place to be using an Ursack. It's especially risky to tie them off low. Whenever possible, I use the PCT method to hang my Ursack with a carabiner and stick - it suspends the bag like counterbalancing but you only need one sack, it's more secure and quicker once you get the hang of it. It still worries me that seams failed on both bags. That should not happen. These incidents do not look good to decision makers. I have two of these sacks and I'm hopeful the approval range is expanded, not restricted. Why didn't anyone hear this going on and try to chase off the bear?

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#28285 - 10/05/12 01:41 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
SN:
That "drain", I think, is actually a pair of brown plastic "Crocs" water/camp shoes.

> I use the PCT method to hang my Ursack with a carabiner and stick

Can you explain that in more detail. I'm not sure what you are doing.






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#28289 - 10/05/12 04:16 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
Bryan P Offline


Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 34
Loc: Ventura County, CA
I am terrified of bears for no reason at all, but I feel FAR more comfortable with a HARD plastic barrier between my food (lifeline really) and the bears.

A soft sided bag, while saving TONS of space and weight, cannot stand up to a bear that wants inside!
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#28290 - 10/05/12 04:59 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: saltydog]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2248
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Ack! Alas and alack! I am taken aback! Wrack and bruin! Will Ursack reimburse Jack for the ursine usurpation and sack of the erstwhile Ursack ?

And hapless Jack said "Oh Fack!"
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#28291 - 10/05/12 05:14 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Steve C
SN:
That "drain", I think, is actually a pair of brown plastic "Crocs" water/camp shoes.

Dang, you're right. I better turn in my secret decoder ring and detective badge too.

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#28292 - 10/05/12 05:18 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
I dare a bear to wake a sleeping moose... eek wink

Now, if these bags had to be snake-proof...
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#28294 - 10/05/12 05:49 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: MooseTracks
I dare a bear to wake a sleeping moose... eek wink


A bear DID dare to wake this geek, and you can see the result at the bottom of the picture.



This occurred over 8 years ago. ...when I was crazier than I am now.

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#28514 - 10/15/12 09:19 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Steve C
SN: I use the PCT method to hang my Ursack with a carabiner and stick
Can you explain that in more detail. I'm not sure what you are doing.

Steve, I just noticed your earlier question - sorry for the delay. I combine this method with an Ursack whenever there's a good tree available. There's nothing much a bear can do with the thin spectra line that dangles freely. It has to be pulled down for several feet, which is not possible with paws and claws.

A Better Way: The PCT Method Article on Backpackinglight.com Affectionately known by the lightweight hiking underground as the "PCT Method" (presumably because it was first used by long distance hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail), a bear bag hanging method exists that is lighter, requires less rope, offers the benefits of counterbalancing, is easier to set up, and offers simple and quick hanging and retrieval of your food.

The system is used as follows:
1.Tie one end of the rope to the drawcord of the rock sack.
2.Tie a loop (e.g., bowline) into the other end of the rope and clip the carabiner through it.
3.Insert a rock into the rock sack, cinch it closed, and throw it over a branch that is 15-20 feet high.
4.Remove the rock from the rock sack.
5.Attach the food sack drawcord to the carabiner.
6.Clip the rock sack end of the rope through the carabiner so that it can run freely.
7.Pull the rock sack end of the rope until the food bag is at the height of the branch.
8.Take the twig and reach as far as possible up the rock sack end of the rope (for the average man, this is about six feet) and tie a clove hitch around the twig.
9.Let the rock sack end of the rope go, until the twig catches on the carabiner and keeps the food sack in place, at least 10 feet above the ground.

This system leaves extra rope hanging freely below the food bag, and unlike conventional hanging systems where the spare end of the rope is tied to a tree trunk, eliminates the possibility of an animal untying or chewing the rope in efforts to bring the food bag down.

In addition, the PCT Method requires less skill, and thus, is faster to deploy than the counterbalance method. Finally, the PCT Method requires a system of equipment that is lighter than the counterbalance method because it uses less rope and only one food storage sack.


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#28677 - 10/23/12 10:38 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Just got an email back from the owner/CEO of Ursack. I sent him the photos on this thread thinking he would know more about this. He's not aware of this incident and he would like the bag owners to contact him at ursack.com

It looks to me like the seams were not treated with seam grip. It would've helped, but maybe not enough.

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#32252 - 07/19/13 12:05 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
I recently got an email from Tom Cohen who wrote:

Quote:
I am the owner/inventor of Ursack. I saw the pictures last year, but was surprised that there was no warranty claim.

I'd like to know what happened (in detail please) and to honor our warranty.

Unfortunately, your pictures have been used against us by park rangers all over the country. It appears that the seam ripped and, among other things, I'd like to know if you applied SeamGrip--or did you buy the Ursack before we started supplying SeamGrip with it.

As of April 2013, we use Spectra thread, which is 12 times stronger than seamgrip reinforced seams, so we are pretty sure the problem is solved.

tom


I should point out that the pictures above of the damaged Ursack containers were not mine, nor was the Ursack mine. I only posted the pictures as they were sent to me by Inyo National Forest staff.

I do hope, as Tom wrote, that the problem is solved. Seems to me that testing the newer Ursack around Mammoth Lakes might be a good way to find out.

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#32255 - 07/19/13 06:50 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Here are some field reports on the Ursack:

http://www.ursack.com/ursack-fieldtests.htm

I've used one in the Inyo Forest for three years. Never had a problem with it. The Ursack White model. But I'd use a hard sided container in SEKI or Yosemite to protect me against being cited by a ranger...

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#32310 - 07/22/13 11:08 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I recently got an email from Tom Cohen who wrote:

Quote:
Unfortunately, your pictures have been used against us by park rangers all over the country.
tom

If the intent is to scare people and rent canisters, these picture will work. No need to get the facts behind the pictures. Just spread rumors, don't even bother to contact the company who manufactured the product.

If someone has the facts about this, please post, this could have been completely staged as far as anyone knows.


Edited by SierraNevada (07/22/13 11:10 PM)

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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


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

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#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.

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


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

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.




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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
Incredible video of the bear. like!

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#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

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#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?

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#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)

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#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
_________________________
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#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.

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#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?

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#32387 - 07/25/13 09:28 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: hikin_jim]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
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.
HJ

I concur with HJ and George that a "solid" bear canister (Garcia, BV, Bearikade) is the most secure solution, it's obvious. These models should be highly encouraged for active bear areas, especially where there aren't any bear boxes. And these are the ones to rent to newbies and people without the skills of a typical ultralight backpacker. But let's also be honest about the Ursack. There's an aluminum liner that fits inside the bullet proof fabric that makes it very similar to a "solid" canister. The fabrics and stitching have continually improved. Give it some fair testing and allow technology to advance in a fair marketplace.

This is one reason why I'm headed to the Emigrant Wilderness next week instead of fighting for an Inyo permit. Thank you Stanislaus NF, no trailhead quotas, bear canisters "recommended" (I'm using my Ursack), and we can even have a campfire to cook our trout. Yeah, the real freedom of wilderness.

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#32393 - 07/25/13 11:07 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I heard a crazy story over lunch today: a couple of buddies of mine were in the Snow Creek area of Yosemite and they ran into a bear control ranger who advised them that their bear cans had to be stored in a way that a bear could not mobilize them. Huh? It seems that the regional bear had figured out a way to roll the bear cans off the cliff, so that they would crack open like an egg. Now, the person who told me the story is an OD (Olde Dude) and not prone to joking, but I am still looking to varify the story (hahaha: lessee if said Olde Dude discovers my description of him)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#32394 - 07/25/13 11:23 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bee]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Bee
...in the Snow Creek area of Yosemite and they ran into a bear control ranger who advised them that their bear cans had to be stored in a way that a bear could not mobilize them.

Bee, is there really such a thing as a "Bear Control Ranger" and even if there was such a law enforcement authority, what regulation is there about "mobilizing" a bear can? What is this coming to? Are they going to spray paint locations where you can store a particular model of bear canister? Clip your USNPS Official Bear Can into a USNPS approved orange painted Rock Bolt or pay a $5,000 fine? If the wilderness is that scary, why let anyone go there?

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#32395 - 07/25/13 11:45 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
You will note that I did not place caps on the "bear control ranger" because it was a descriptive, rather than a title. Apparently, amongst the rangers, they have their specialties (animal management, law enforcement (people management?) Nor did I infer, state, mention, motion that "de-mobilizing" the bear can was a regulation, rather, it was delivered as a cautionary statement. Really, I don't believe that there is some sort of black op force at work behind the concept of keeping the bears outta the food.

Anyhow, as I clearly stated, the anecdote was not first hand, thus, it would be interesting for those in the know to pipe up if there is any validity to the tale.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#32398 - 07/26/13 09:19 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
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?


At the end of the 2007 season, if I remember correctly, conditional approval was pulled...this was the summer of the aluminum insert. This brings us to the period where they stopped testing, if what was has been said in this thread is correct.

I am not privy to the correspondence between local officials of the NPS or FS; therefore, do not know if they made any suggestions to Ursack. However, I did have conversations with the principals at BV after the Kearsarge Lakes incident. It seemed to me at the time, the government was working with BV to get this thing corrected.

We all go work everyday thinking we know how the world works, NPS and FS people are no different. It is obvious they are skeptical about flexible "canisters" and show preference for though made out of carbon fiber or thermoplastics. All I ask, is Ursack be treated in the same manner as Bear Vault. These being the two companies with most of the canister failures.

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#32400 - 07/26/13 09:33 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
KathyW Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Redlands, CA
Folks that have been out there in the backcountry a lot, like George, have a lot better idea how successful the bear cans and bags have been as compared to someone who rarely goes backpacking in the Sierra.

Thanks for your input George. It sure is nice to have folks like you who know and love the Sierra adding your input.

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#32420 - 07/26/13 09:44 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: KathyW]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
I ditto that and I appreciate George's input too. Sometimes these posts come across more confrontational than they are meant to be when we mostly agree anyway.

I would like some clarification on his experience with how many of those 8 Ursacks actually came apart or were opened up by a bear.

I agree with George that if a bear is able to get a few crumbs or juice, it might not be much of a reward, but that bear is probably more likely to keep trying. In that regard, the hard sided canisters are superior. No doubt about it. So we mostly agree.

However, there is a place for Ursacks in wilderness food management, and the company should be treated more fairly, in my opinion. That's not a big disagreement I hope.

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#32438 - 07/27/13 09:44 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
I find these annual Ursack discussions tiresome. The design is flawed at the core and as long as a bear can get even a small amount of crushed food through holes or the opening, the bag concept has to be considered a failure. I don't want bears hanging around my camp trying for hours to lick some milk powder and Gatorade from my Ursack just because they keep getting a small tease taste of it through some tiny openings as they crush up the contents.

I have seen bears completely ignore my Bearikades and walk right up to our backpacks to sniff through the pockets to see if we forgot to take out some goodies, and then move on, 30 seconds later. That is what the whole food reward thing is all about and if they learn these canisters are a waste of energy, they leave you and your camp alone.

I recall sleepless nights in the 80s when we had food hanging on questionable trees, and bears came almost every night to test our hanging skills. These nights were no fun, and even though they made for good campfire stories, I prefer to go to sleep knowing my food is 100% safe and no critter will get it's little or big claws into my pop tarts. A bag tied to a tree stump does not provide that security for me, no matter how strong the fabric (what about above tree line? that alone is a non-starter for me, as I camp high a lot and I have seen bears cross high passes in summer).

I own 5 canisters of three different types and never had one even closely examined by a bear. In fact, the number of bears coming into my camp has dropped from almost every other night in the 80s to once every 2-3 weeks in recent years. When they do come into camp nowadays, they mostly sniff around backpacks and cooking gear, but walk right past the cans.

Canisters are working, and the whole debate about the Ursack is mostly driven by selfish ultralight inspired hikers who feel they are better than the average Joe on the trail and can deal with the risks because it saves them a few more ounces from their lightweight loads. A large percentage of PCT hikers willfully ignore canister rules where required in the Sierra, and the rest of the tend to follow the rule only to "please the rangers." This is in part driven by prolific long distance hikers like Andrew Skurka who encourage this behavior with statements like

Quote:

But, I ask, are canisters really necessary in order to protect your food, protect the bear, and protect the next backcountry user? I would argue, “No.”

...

I do not carry a canister to protect my food, the bears, or my fellow backcountry user—I can do those things without a one. Instead, I carry one in order to protect myself from backcountry rangers, who could fine me if I’m caught without one.
- see his Bear Canister Basics page. Everyone should just master the "bear hang" - sure, show me where to hang my food on Evolution Lake.

Hikers with this "I know better" attitude are selfish and simply don't care about the overall long term impact on how bears behave if there are just a handful of extra food reward events. When somebody others look up to states that it is "unfortunate" that the Ursack is not approved, citing only its 12 ounce weight advantage over canisters in their comments about it, it is no surprise others who look up to these hikers will not carry canisters either.

When did lightweight hiking become more important than doing the right thing in the wilderness to keep it wild? I can't wrap my head around what goes through the minds of hikers who need to push their "base weight" down to some ridiculously low numbers - what for? This culture of pushing extremes just doesn't make sense to me. What are we to gain from doing an extra mile a day compared to losing sleep or worse, all our food to a bear?
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#32442 - 07/27/13 12:39 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Fishmonger]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
... 12 ounce weight advantage over canisters...

What are we to gain from doing an extra mile a day compared to losing sleep or worse, all our food to a bear?

As with any quality discussion, let's start with the correct facts.

... 12 ounce weight advantage over canisters...

Hard sided bear cans are more than 2 1/2 POUNDS, ones that are rented (Garcia) or are most affordable (Bear Vault). This represented the largest and heaviest item in a lightweight or ultralight pack, including the pack. The fabric Ursack is 7 oz. That's more than a 2 POUND difference in weight, not 12 ounces. With the aluminum liner, it's 18 OUNCES, still less than HALF the weight of a hard sided canister. That's HUGE for an ultralight hiker.

...an extra mile a day...

It's my experience, and typical of others, that Ultralight hiking doubles the miles I can cover in a day. I have more energy and I'm happier after 20 miles with a 20 lbs pack (fully loaded) than I am after 10 miles with a 40 lbs pack.

Lastly, skills DO matter. The Ursack, used in an appropriate area, in combination with stealth camping skills is highly effective. By cooking dinner before getting to camp at the end of the day, by selecting an appropriate spot, or by using bear boxes in the high risk popular areas, one can sleep soundly and go years without an incident, if ever. Should that rare bear stumble into your remote area, you deal with it that night. If the bear gets a few crumbs and you end up with mush, oh well, that was the chance you took and it's not a complete failure. People report this as a success, unfortunate as it is.

Skills DO matter. Which is why the Ursack is not for everyone or for every location. But don't take it away from everybody.

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#32452 - 07/28/13 07:33 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
you just keep talking weight. That is the usual answer you get from the ultra light crowd. What the hell are you going to gain from all that?

double your miles? So that Ursack is the key to doubling your miles? What for? You can't get there with normal mileage?

Skills are mostly irrelevant when you bring a proper container. You just sound like Skurka - you are more skilled than the average hiker, aren't you? So you get to do whatever you want to do, because you know that your use of the Usack will not impact the situation for other. I've heard all that before.

It is not Skurka or you necessarily who is the problem in the wilderness. You are the problem online - where people get their guidance and inspiration for what they end up doing. I guarantee you that 50% of those who head out with the Ursack have nowhere near the experience you or Skurka have, and that's why EVERYONE should just stick the program, because it's a few ounces.

Ursack plus aluminum liner is at the most 12 ounces less than a similar volume Bearikade. All other canisters do not matter in my math, because if you spend time in the backcountry, you should be able to put a Bearikade up as a priority in your fancy gear list, not just that ridiculous cuben fiber tarp for $350 or similar idiotic purchases the ultra light hiking crowd can easily justify to double their miles each day, or whatever their reasons are.
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#32453 - 07/28/13 08:23 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Thank you for your post. After 40+ years backpacking in the Sierras, I have never lost food to bears. Why? Through careful protection of my food - without Ursacks or hard-sided canisters.

A few years back, while finishing the last leg of a north-bound JMT hike (camped at Snow Creek - Yosemite), my partner and I hanged our food (in nylon stuff sacks) in a technique similar to the PCT method. That night momma bear and two cubs attempted to get to our food - they failed - but the college boys near us got raided. We easily frightened away the cubs, while momma pillaged the boy's food supply.

The problems arose because of careless food storage, at camps and homes. Humans can be smarter than bears; it isn't all that difficult.

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#32459 - 07/28/13 09:06 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Fishmonger]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
you just keep talking weight. That is the usual answer you get from the ultra light crowd. What the hell are you going to gain from all that?

double your miles? So that Ursack is the key to doubling your miles? What for? You can't get there with normal mileage?

Skills are mostly irrelevant when you bring a proper container. You just sound like Skurka - you are more skilled than the average hiker, aren't you? So you get to do whatever you want to do, because you know that your use of the Usack will not impact the situation for other. I've heard all that before.

It is not Skurka or you necessarily who is the problem in the wilderness. You are the problem online - where people get their guidance and inspiration for what they end up doing. I guarantee you that 50% of those who head out with the Ursack have nowhere near the experience you or Skurka have, and that's why EVERYONE should just stick the program, because it's a few ounces.

Ursack plus aluminum liner is at the most 12 ounces less than a similar volume Bearikade. All other canisters do not matter in my math, because if you spend time in the backcountry, you should be able to put a Bearikade up as a priority in your fancy gear list, not just that ridiculous cuben fiber tarp for $350 or similar idiotic purchases the ultra light hiking crowd can easily justify to double their miles each day, or whatever their reasons are.


Paragraph 1...
I think SN has talked weight AND skills.

Paragraph 2...
Double miles...from an Ursack. Ah, no. Just a bit of hyperbole, don'cha think? I have not magically double my miles by switching from a Bearikade to Ursack.

Paragraph 3 and 4...
I did not see where SN has broken any of the forest's rules. He has stated he stays away from places that he believes has onerous rules.

Paragraph 5...
You can't quantify your 50% statement but it sounds good. The current program in the Inyo National Forest is anything manufactured to preventing food to taken by bears, if you do a search of the Inyo Website you will find a sign forest order dated April 2013. An Ursack is part of the program.

Paragaph 6...
Bearikades are a luxury item. Not everyone is going to throw $250 at a piece of carbon fiber, when you can get a thermoplastic canister for $50. You have to justify that purchase, just like I have for winter sleeping bags and packs, I don't do it enough to have an 850 fill power minus 20 bag or something to replace my 1998 Gregory Palisades, which does work all that well with lashed gear.

Idiotic purchases to whom?


Edited by wbtravis (07/28/13 06:20 PM)

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#32463 - 07/28/13 10:00 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Fishmonger]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Fishmonger, you make some good points but they are blunted by what appears to be some strong feelings about this Skurka guy. He's an interesting character with 1000's of miles hiking and paddling in the wilderness. Putting his personality and opinions aside, his experience can't be hand waived away. Backpacking with just the basics using the latest technologies can easily get your base weight down in the 12-15 lbs range, and still be totally comfortable. It's quite liberating, but it must be done as an entire system to get it right. If someone seriously tries that and still wants to go back to the heavier old gear, I'll take their opinion about weight more seriously.

I agree with you that internet information can cause people to make mistakes and I hope I've not written anything that has motivated someone to do something they shouldn't have done. On the other hand, facts are facts and debates like these get people thinking and hopefully make the best educated decisions they can.

I have 2 sizes of Bear Vaults and 2 Ursacks, and planning my food storage is usually the biggest decision I make other than where I'm hiking. So I do take this very seriously, as everyone should. Like Bob, I've never lost any food to a bear either. A tag team of genius stellar jays and chipmunks got me for a small bag of dried fruit in LYV on one of my first trips many years ago, but that's it.

Let me put out another scenario for your consideration. This weekend I'm heading into an area where no bear canister is required. I'm allowed to counter balance a couple nylon stuff sacks. But in this situation, I carry the few extra ounces that an Ursack weighs and use the PCT method of hanging it. I will lose no sleep and I don't mind a few extra ounces. It's nice to have the redundant system.

As for the Bearikade, I made my investment in BearVaults for size and cost reasons. The BearVault is larger (750 vs 650 cubic inches) and only 10 ounces heavier than the Bearikade. I would really like to upgrade someday, but for $250 it makes poor economic sense as an upgrade. Maybe you can convince my wife, but I'm having a hard time justifying a $250 upgrade to drop 10 ounces from a Bear Vault to a Bearikade and lose 100 cubic inches of storage. Maybe Santa will be nice to me someday.

Lastly, let's get the facts on the screen here about the actual weights involved. The Ursack fabric version is 7 oz, which is 1 1/2 POUNDS heavier than the carbon fiber Bearikade, NOT 12 ounces. If you include the aluminum liner with the Ursack, then your 12 ounce number is about right, the Ursack with liner is 18 oz and the Bearikade is 31 oz.

I think Inyo has it about right on this... quietly allow the Ursack but highly encourage hard sided canisters.

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#32480 - 07/29/13 01:32 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
UrsackCEO Offline


Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 1
Loc: Mill Valley, CA
My name is Tom Cohen, the inventor/CEO of Ursack. I appreciate the ongoing discussion here, and would like to clarify a few things.

Taste reward. I believe the taste reward theory (e.g. a tiny taste of lemonade powder is a gateway drug) is not valid. Note that the Sierra National Parks have outsourced canister testing to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. Their test protocol allows for gaps or puncture holes up to 1.5 inches. More, when the Sierra rangers tested Ursack in 2006, their tests showed that Ursacks lost no weight after a bear encounter.

Mid-2000s Ursack failures. Their were some "failures" that caused Yosemite and SEKI to withdraw approval. It has been a few years, but as I recall virtually all were a result of user error--failure to tightly cinch and knot the Ursack. In virtually all cases no fabric was torn--except perhaps a grommet. As a result, we have changed the design, starting with the first S29 AllWhite, to make it easier to cinch and knot the Ursack. That design eliminated the problem.

Seam failure. A very small number of S29s (of the thousands sold) had seam failure--as in the ones pictured at the beginning of this thread. Since April of 2013 we have been able to use Spectra thread in the seams, which so far seems to have solved the issue. For about a year before that, we sent SeamGrip with each order. SeamGrip helped strengthen the seams (not as much as Spectra thread). The bags pictured above do not appear to have been treated with Seam Grip.

Failure of hard-sided canisters. I have heard (including from rangers) that hard sided canisters do fail on occasion. Even aside from the publicized BearVault problems, no hard sided canister is perfect and no reputable manufacturer advertises its product as perfect. Note, for example, that Garcia sells replacement lids.

The current status of testing and approval. Ursack was tested with Grizzlies by the IGBC on May 30, 2013. You can see a video excerpt of that test on our website. They have not published a decision yet, and there may be an issue as to the applicability of the tests to black bears. Grizzlies are bigger and stronger than black bears and therefore have an advantage when an Ursack is on the ground. However, in the thirteen years we have been in business, we have never received a report of a Grizzly or Brown bear compromising an Ursack--and we sell a lot in Alaska and Canada.

I hope that answers some of the questions. Using Ursack is a choice. It is not for everyone, but we hope that campers, not Park officials, have the opportunity to decide what product is best for their own needs.

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#32483 - 07/29/13 03:39 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: UrsackCEO]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Mr. Cohen's points seem sound and reasonable, with a couple of exception. Unfortunately they are not minor.

First, from all that I have read, it is apparent that a large part of the success of the hard canisters is the learned behavior of the bears: they do not expect to breach one and for the most part have learned that it is not worth it to try. Not so with the Ursack. The Ursack obviously looks and feels as if it ought to be vulnerable to a bears jaw's, and the least "taste reward" would seem to encourage that. The fact that no measurable mass is lost from the contents is not a compelling argument. A bear's olfactory senses are 1000 times more powerful than ours, and it obviously would not take a lot of molecules to make even a mouthful of kevlar pretty attractive for long enough to mash it up pretty well. Bears have ripped through enough ordinary bags to learn that they are worth attacking, and probably do not distinguish well, at first glance, between kevlar and cordura. They may not get the food, but they are going to keep trying, and that's what makes the difference.

Nor is the 1.5 inch hole argument very persuasive. That may be the standard, but it has to be pretty rare. Rare enough certainly that I have never heard of one, and the bears apparently haven't either. Porosity, however, as well as similarity to nylon bags, is inherent in the Ursack.

SO I would have to conclude that while there still may be occasional failures in hard cans, they are extremely rare, whereas the weakness of the Ursack, even short of a technical failure, is inherent: its inability to discourage attacks and protect food from mechanical damage in the event of one.

And that's a big difference. It may satisfy the criterion of not allowing the bear to actually take the food, but it seems to tend to encourage habituated behavior, which is the more important point and leads to the second point of exception.

And that is who gets to decide. The camper may pick what is best for her, but that is not necessarily the most important consideration. A decision that cannot be left to the free market is what is best for the bears, and that is usually a very different thing. If the Ursack saves my food but contributes to habituating the bear, I can't claim that consumer choice is the complete solution, can I?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
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#32486 - 07/29/13 05:36 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: saltydog]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Here in bear country, most habituation of bears to human food seems to occur in camp grounds and in towns like Mammoth Lakes, where much more human food is available to bears than in backpacker's Ursacks or whatever other containers they might be using. In towns like Mammoth Lakes the odor of human food cooking in homes and restaurants must be a strong attractant.

Human food only accounts for a small percentage of the overall calories consumed by bears over a Summer season. (Please don't ask me for statistics, it's just makes sense.) Most of a bear's diet is vegetation, which is what they need in order to really pack on the fat. BTW, according to the Mammoth Lakes bear officer, there is an abundance of natural forage for bears this year; much more than in the Summer of 1212. During the second drought year...go figure. Read what Steve Searles has to say on the topic: http://www.thebearwhisperer.com/

Having said that, it is true that wilderness bears that roam through areas frequented by backpackers have learned to recognize food containers by sight. Hence, the experience of seeing bears rolling hard-sided containers around and trying to get into them. Backpacker's camps and their cooking odors are bound to attract bears.

If some backpackers are concerned about habituating bears to human food, they ought to just stay home...



Edited by Bob West (07/29/13 06:17 PM)

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#32489 - 07/29/13 07:10 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: UrsackCEO]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 90
Loc: CT
As this forum concerns the Whitney Zone I would like to know if the Ursack is permitted for overnight stays on the Whitney main trail. I'd also like to know if it's use is permitted around Cottonwood Lakes and Mount Langley. Thanks!

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#32497 - 07/30/13 06:37 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Marty]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Marty,

The Ursack is allowed in Inyo National Forest.

Bob


Edited by Bob West (07/30/13 06:37 AM)

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#32512 - 07/30/13 07:27 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
While technically allowed, there's not really a good place to properly attach an Ursack at Trail Camp and you're at risk of having marmots or other critters chew through your expensive bear resistant fabric. The bear fabric is not designed to hold up to those small critter teeth. There are trees at Outpost Camp, but it's such a short hike to OC you might consider a hard sided canister if you're camping there.

This is where I tend to go with the hard sided canister - in heavily used areas with a history of bear problems. Not so sure Whitney meets the second criteria, but I choose my small BearVault for Whitney. Wish I had the small Bearikade - are you listening, Santa?

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#32514 - 07/30/13 07:59 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bee]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Bee
You will note that I did not place caps on the "bear control ranger" because it was a descriptive, rather than a title. Apparently, amongst the rangers, they have their specialties (animal management, law enforcement (people management?) Nor did I infer, state, mention, motion that "de-mobilizing" the bear can was a regulation, rather, it was delivered as a cautionary statement. Really, I don't believe that there is some sort of black op force at work behind the concept of keeping the bears outta the food.

Anyhow, as I clearly stated, the anecdote was not first hand, thus, it would be interesting for those in the know to pipe up if there is any validity to the tale.

Sorry, Bee. I took your post too literally. If a Ranger wants to recommend how I place my bear canister for my own good, I appreciate the advice, but don't bother me on my vacation in nature unless it's absolutely necessary. I took your story literally to be a "bear control ranger" (never heard the term before) directing how a canister must be placed, as if there was a regulation for that. Maybe I'm a bit sensitive, but I don't appreciate a heavy handed approach to wilderness management unless it's really necessary. Most everyone I've ever met in the wilderness wants to do the right thing and a friendly educational approach tends to work very well. Luckily, most every Ranger or volunteer I've ever run across seems to understand that. I use the same approach when I feel like I have to say something to someone screwing up - nicely explaining why it's bad to hand feed Doritos to the cute friendly (fat) squirrel, or why they shouldn't shortcut a switchback on erodible soil. Of course there are knuckle headed idiots out there that need a strict enforcement approach, but they're probably doing a lot more serious things than setting down a bear canister on a slope. If they don't want to listen, let them hike down the hill to retrieve their food in the morning, lesson learned. If they're actually doing damage and they don't want to listen, then bring in the "bear control ranger" who can create some real consequences they understand.

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#32516 - 07/30/13 08:27 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I think that everyone in the park community (rangers, etc.) still has bad memories of the way things used to be when the food/bear encounters were completely out of hand (a lot like how the Portal is now) I suppose that in some cases, it could induce an overreaction in the prevention dept.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#32518 - 07/31/13 06:45 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
As for the Bearikade, I made my investment in BearVaults for size and cost reasons. The BearVault is larger (750 vs 650 cubic inches) and only 10 ounces heavier than the Bearikade. I would really like to upgrade someday, but for $250 it makes poor economic sense as an upgrade.


somewhat off topic, but FYI - I own 3 Bearikades and two Bearvaults. The Weekender Bearikade has more internal volume than the Bearvault. I measured them - Bearikade is larger than advertised, Bearvault BV 500 smaller. I used water to the top of the can to get the values:

Bearvault BV500 advertised to hold 700 cu. in. measured 650 cu. in.
Bearikade Expedition advertised as 900 cu. in. measured 925 cubic inches
Bearikade Weekender - advertised 650 cu in - measured it at 675 cu. in.

Wild Ideas will make any size you want, so you could have a can made that's 750 cubic inches if that is what you need. It won't cost much more, because they just need to cut the carbon tube to a different length.

I can also get you the actual weight in grams for these cans, if interested. The Bearvault's only advantage is price. The clear material is not much help when unloading either, since the narrow neck makes unloading so much more difficult than a Bearikade's wide open top - you need to unload them anyway to get the food from the bottom.

And to talk about economic sense and the Sierras in the same sentence is something I generally try to avoid. I could buy 6 Bearikades for what I am spending on gas alone this year to drive to the Sierra and back. Heading out Friday again, gas being the most expensive part of my summer in the mountains. Two hikers, two Bearikades, free camp chairs, no problems.

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#32522 - 07/31/13 11:20 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 90
Loc: CT
Thanks Bob.

The Ursack website says there are 3 areas in Sequoia/Kings Canyon N.P. where the Ursack is not acceptable.

Do you know which areas these are?

Thanks!

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#32523 - 07/31/13 02:33 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Fishmonger]
John P. Offline


Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 52
Loc: Palmdale
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
As for the Bearikade, I made my investment in BearVaults for size and cost reasons. The BearVault is larger (750 vs 650 cubic inches) and only 10 ounces heavier than the Bearikade. I would really like to upgrade someday, but for $250 it makes poor economic sense as an upgrade.


somewhat off topic, but FYI - I own 3 Bearikades and two Bearvaults. The Weekender Bearikade has more internal volume than the Bearvault. I measured them - Bearikade is larger than advertised, Bearvault BV 500 smaller. I used water to the top of the can to get the values:

Bearvault BV500 advertised to hold 700 cu. in. measured 650 cu. in.
Bearikade Expedition advertised as 900 cu. in. measured 925 cubic inches
Bearikade Weekender - advertised 650 cu in - measured it at 675 cu. in.

Wild Ideas will make any size you want, so you could have a can made that's 750 cubic inches if that is what you need. It won't cost much more, because they just need to cut the carbon tube to a different length.

I can also get you the actual weight in grams for these cans, if interested. The Bearvault's only advantage is price. The clear material is not much help when unloading either, since the narrow neck makes unloading so much more difficult than a Bearikade's wide open top - you need to unload them anyway to get the food from the bottom.

And to talk about economic sense and the Sierras in the same sentence is something I generally try to avoid. I could buy 6 Bearikades for what I am spending on gas alone this year to drive to the Sierra and back. Heading out Friday again, gas being the most expensive part of my summer in the mountains. Two hikers, two Bearikades, free camp chairs, no problems.






I've used both (my buddy owns the Bearvault) and I ponied up the clams for the Bearikade Weekender. Fishmonger is right on with the Bearikade being the bigger AND much easier of the two to use. I hated the screw top on the Bearvault and found it a pain to open and the opening is constricted making packing it a hassle (kinda like a big plastic pickle jar). The screw setup on the Bearikade is straightforward and doesn't make it seem like I'm trying to open a childproof bottle. The interior is big enough for me to stuff my sleeping bag in it while hiking and distribute the weight of the food in a more reasonable manner in my pack. For what it does so well and for the weight it saves it was one of the more wiser gear choices I've made.


Edited by John P. (07/31/13 02:35 PM)
_________________________
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#32524 - 07/31/13 03:31 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Marty]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA


Edited by Bob West (07/31/13 03:37 PM)

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#32526 - 07/31/13 04:10 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bee]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
This blog gives some credibility to Bee's Olde Dude.

From the blog.(The quote is from Caitlin Lee-Roney, a wildlife biologist and expert insider at Yosemite National Park.):

Bears continue to be active in Yosemite’s backcountry. In the wilderness near the Snow Creek footbridge, she reported that “many visitors have reported seeing a bear rolling bear canisters away from campsites.”

“A sow with cubs has been reportedly checking out bear canisters at the Cloud’s Rest junction on the John Muir Trail,” she wrote.

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#32529 - 07/31/13 09:56 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wazzu]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: wazzu
...
From the blog.(The quote is from Caitlin Lee-Roney, a wildlife biologist and expert insider at Yosemite National Park.):

Bears continue to be active in Yosemite’s backcountry. In the wilderness near the Snow Creek footbridge, she reported that “many visitors have reported seeing a bear rolling bear canisters away from campsites.”


As the story goes...

Goldilocks goes into the bear's house and sits on papa bear's Counter Assault Bear Keg stool and says, "This stool is too tall." Then Goldielocks sits on the baby bear's Bear Vault BV450 stool and says, "This stool is too short." And finally, Goldilocks sits on the mama bear's Bear Vault BV500 stool and says, "This stool is juuust riiight!"

Meanwhile ...

The NPS does not allow bears to sit on ursacks in a number of areas because of past reports that sitting on ursacks has rewarded bears with hemorrhoids. The insertion of an aluminum liner to stiffen the ursack has been suggested as a redesign to prevent hemorrhoid rewards while still providing a lighter more portable stool than the rigid alternatives.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#32530 - 07/31/13 11:01 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Fishmonger]
SierraNevada Offline


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

Bearvault BV500 advertised to hold 700 cu. in. measured 650 cu. in.
Bearikade Expedition advertised as 900 cu. in. measured 925 cubic inches
Bearikade Weekender - advertised 650 cu in - measured it at 675 cu. in.
Confirmed what Fishmonger wrote about BearVault volume discrepancy. I measured 657 cu inches after filling and weighing the water in my BV500. Wow, that's disturbing.

My BV450 came in low also - 399 cu inches instead of 440 cu inches as advertised.

The lid holds about 50 cu inches, perhaps they're counting that, which would be bogus since it provides no additional storage volume when it's screwed onto the canister.

The economics are still an issue since I have to upgrade at this point - sunk cost of the BV, $250 to save 10 ounces and I still go with my Ursack half the time. Tough sell for my wife, but at least she'll believe size matters. shocked I don't see how the cost of gas has anything to do with it, except that you're probably spending a lot driving from Madison. Fun place, I was there back in the day when the first statue of liberty went up on Lake Mendota.

Anyway, I'll have to put this info in my letter to Santa. Looks like some BearVault Elves have been telling lies about their toys.

Here's an interesting product notice from the BearVault website:
"In 2007 one or more bears at Marcy Dam in the Adirondacks learned how to open BearVault models. The bear(s) opened the lids by pressing in the snap on the lid with its canine tooth, unscrewing the lid past the housing lock and then opening the unit." The newest version has not stopped them, so just don't use it in this area they say. And there are issues with the lids on the earlier model if you over-tighten them.


Edited by SierraNevada (07/31/13 11:31 PM)

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#32532 - 08/01/13 06:31 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wazzu]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Wondering if the clear sides of Bearvaults allow the bears to see the feed items inside and more easily identify it as a possible food source, and then use it as a bowling ball in efforts to break it or steal it? Or see the place on the lid where it can be pressed to open it?

For that reason, I carry my BV500 (or BV450) inside a green nylon carrying case (I think it is a Garcia), so that the food items cannot be seen from the outside. It also has carrying straps, which allow it to be packed outside the backpack. Admittedly, I've never been awake when and if bears come around to see if the carrying case fools them.

Any body have experiences with disguising the containers?

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#32535 - 08/01/13 09:35 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Bob West]
Marty Offline


Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 90
Loc: CT
Bob,

Thanks for your help...much appreciated!

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#32550 - 08/01/13 07:05 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: John P.]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: John P.

I've used both (my buddy owns the Bearvault) and I ponied up the clams for the Bearikade Weekender. Fishmonger is right on with the Bearikade being the bigger AND much easier of the two to use...For what it does so well and for the weight it saves it was one of the more wiser gear choices I've made.

Right on, John, good gear choice. Wish I would've done more homework on this purchase before I bought the BVs. Get it right the first time, only Santa can get me an upgrade now.

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#32560 - 08/02/13 09:41 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Marty]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Quote:
The Ursack website says there are 3 areas in Sequoia/Kings Canyon N.P. where the Ursack is not acceptable.

Do you know which areas these are?


The thing to remember is that, in areas where food canisters are required, the ursack is not equivalent to a canister. In areas where you can hang, you can hang on ursack just like you can a regular stuff sack -- you just can't leave it on the ground. So, in those areas, it affords you an extra layer of protection.

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.

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#35653 - 04/03/14 09:54 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Fishmonger]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 403
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
somewhat off topic, but FYI - I own 3 Bearikades and two Bearvaults. The Weekender Bearikade has more internal volume than the Bearvault. I measured them - Bearikade is larger than advertised, Bearvault BV 500 smaller. I used water to the top of the can to get the values:

Bearvault BV500 advertised to hold 700 cu. in. measured 650 cu. in.
Bearikade Expedition advertised as 900 cu. in. measured 925 cubic inches
Bearikade Weekender - advertised 650 cu in - measured it at 675 cu. in.

Wild Ideas says the Bearikade Weekender is 9” in diameter and 10.5” long. That means it occupies 668 c.i., and the internal volume should be somewhat less. 650 sounds believable, but 675 is impossible unless the advertised dimensions are wrong.

BearVault says the BV500 is 8.7” in diameter and 12.7” long. That would occupy 755 c.i. (minus a little bit because the bottom is rounded and the lid is a bit smaller in diameter). Again, the advertised volume of 700 sounds more believable than 650 unless the advertised dimensions are wrong.

Has anybody measured the external dimensions? Has anybody else measured the volume?


Edited by bobpickering (04/03/14 09:55 PM)

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#35655 - 04/04/14 07:09 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Bob, I checked the Bear Vault numbers myself, they are not as large as advertised. This is posted a few up from yours.

Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Confirmed what Fishmonger wrote about BearVault volume discrepancy. I measured 657 cu inches after filling and weighing the water in my BV500. Wow, that's disturbing.

My BV450 came in low also - 399 cu inches instead of 440 cu inches as advertised.

The lid holds about 50 cu inches, perhaps they're counting that, which would be bogus since it provides no additional storage volume when it's screwed onto the canister.

Here's an interesting product notice from the BearVault website:
"In 2007 one or more bears at Marcy Dam in the Adirondacks learned how to open BearVault models. The bear(s) opened the lids by pressing in the snap on the lid with its canine tooth, unscrewing the lid past the housing lock and then opening the unit." The newest version has not stopped them, so just don't use it in this area they say. And there are issues with the lids on the earlier model if you over-tighten them.

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#35662 - 04/05/14 11:12 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 403
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I’m planning a five-day trip over Shepherd Pass to the Great Western Divide area this summer. It’ll be my first backpacking trip with a bear canister in six years. My ancient three-pound Garcia is too small, and I can’t justify $274 (shipped) for a Bearikade I might not use for another six years. I used my REI dividend on a BV500. Naturally, I had to check the volume. I weighed it, filled it with water to overflowing, weighed it again, and converted pounds to cubic inches. The volume was … drum roll … 650 cubic inches.

I thought about measuring the volume of the water, rather than the weight, but that seemed like too much trouble. I did pour the water into the old Garcia and then measure the volume of the water that was left over. The difference was 81 cubic inches.

Does anybody want a lightly-used Garcia?

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#35663 - 04/05/14 11:35 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: bobpickering]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
So Bob measured his old Garcia at about 570 cubic inches.

REI specs say it should be 614 cubic inches, assuming it's the same internal shape as the latest product.

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#35787 - 04/14/14 09:14 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
brholler Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 55
Loc: New York
Thanks for all the discussion of this before I buy any gear. smile I appreciate the insights!

Looks like the bearikade weekender has a good mix of size and weight - if one can stomach the price. I imagine we'll use it often enough that we can justify amortizing over many trips.


Edited by brholler (04/14/14 09:20 AM)

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#35788 - 04/14/14 10:08 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: SierraNevada]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 403
Loc: Reno, Nevada
My old Garcia is not the same exterior dimensions as the current model. The old Garcia is both smaller and heavier than the new one.

I emailed BearVault about the volume of the BV500. They replied “Bob we have verified the volume using measured additions of water and we stand by our claimed volumes. The water was filled to the brim for the volume testing though.

One of these days, I’ll make the time to measure my BV500 more rigorously. When three people on this board (including me) measure much less than 700 cubic inches, I have to suspect that BearVault is engaging in some creative measuring.

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#35810 - 04/15/14 08:58 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: brholler]
wbtravis Offline


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

How I justified the purchase of a Bearikade Weekender was by adding up what two Bear Vaults had cost me. I had a solo and a weekender. I replaced both those canisters with on Bearikade. With a Bearikade, I got the size of the BV weekender with the weight of the solo. So, I don't feel bad when I start up the trail with a half full can.

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#35824 - 04/15/14 04:30 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: wbtravis]
brholler Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 55
Loc: New York
wink I like the way you think. Now we'll see if it works on my husband.

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#35917 - 04/20/14 12:06 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: brholler]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
Time to point this thread back to it's original topic:

Ursack passed the IGBC test.

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