Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
2 registered (bruce, Gma), 26 Guests and 76 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3128 Members
13 Forums
5151 Topics
48348 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#28251 - 10/04/12 04:18 PM Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
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)

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


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2188
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
That wasn't a Ursack Attack, that was an Ursine Attack!
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
Loc: Fresno, CA

It was not a benign ursine to attack the ursack.

Maybe someone can do better.

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


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1488
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 ?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

Top
#28266 - 10/05/12 07:42 AM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 719
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)

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
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.

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


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 719
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?

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


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2188
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
I think this has been posted before, but worth watching.

_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1055
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?

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
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.






Top
#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!
_________________________
Come check out my weblog www.bryansoutdooradventures.blogspot.com and share your gear reviews, adventures, and trip reports!

Top
#28290 - 10/05/12 04:59 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: saltydog]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2188
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

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


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1055
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.

Top
#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...
_________________________
Facebook

Flickr Pics

Think outside the Zone.

Top
#28294 - 10/05/12 05:49 PM Re: Ursack failure near Mammoth Lakes [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
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.

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


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1055
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.


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


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1055
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.

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
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.

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


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 719
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...

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


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1055
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)

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >