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Ursack??
#40531 10/07/14 02:10 PM
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Are Ursack's allowed in the Whitney Zone and elsewhere on the Whitney Trail, or is it canister only? I am getting conflicting info from various sources.

Many thanks for any feedback.

Re: Ursack??
SS33 #40538 10/07/14 09:32 PM
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The Ursack AllWhite withstood an hour long bear onslaught this summer in West Yellowstone. (That was enough for me, so that is what I have now.) It has been approved by IGBC, but last time I checked Yosemite's website was last updated early last year.

On the Whitney trail, you need to protect your food from marmots and mice, and I am sure the new Ursack will handle that. As for official approval, though, I am not sure.

Why don't you call the Wilderness Permit office for Inyo N.F. (760-873-2483) and ask the question. I would sure like to read what you find out.

Re: Ursack??
Steve C #40539 10/07/14 10:01 PM
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The Inyo Forest Order states that food and refuse must be stored in "a container designed to prevent access by bears."

That's a pretty general definition, and the Ursack would certainly fit.

Here's the Forest Order pdf:

Strangely, notice that the Forest Order expired October 31, 2013. I suspect they just didn't post a more recent version on the internet. But who knows, maybe there is no Inyo Forest Order in effect at this time?

I've been using Ursacks for year. The user really has to know how to tie these properly. Please follow the manufacturers directions carefully!

Waiting to see what SEKI and Yosemite does now that the Ursack has been approved by the Grizzly Bear group.

Re: Ursack??
SS33 #40544 10/08/14 07:57 AM
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As Sierra Nevada said, it container designed... but that is for the Inyo National Forest only!!!

If you pass into SEKI or Yosemite you must abide by their rules...unless you are an awfully fast JMT hiker.

Re: Ursack??
wbtravis #40549 10/08/14 07:06 PM
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The bag may hold up, but what about the food in it? And will bears learn to distinguish the Ursack from other bags?


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Re: Ursack??
saltydog #40554 10/08/14 10:25 PM
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I got the aluminum liner with my Ursack. Then I went to REI and purchased a Bear Bell, which I tie into the rope of the sack.

I put the sack about 20 feet from my bed, and place rocks near the bed for the purpose of throwing at any bear messing with it.

That's my bear-proof plan. If a bear ever tries my setup, I'll let you know how it works out.

Re: Ursack??
Steve C #40560 10/09/14 03:51 AM
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In Alaska, they can positively identify grizzly scat by poking it with a stick. If it rings like a bell, they know its from a grizzly. laugh

Re: Ursack??
saltydog #40562 10/09/14 07:23 AM
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Salty,

That is the chance you take. A macerates your food does not mean you are without food, it means your food is unappealing.

I have used an Ursack TKO since the late 90s. I have never lost food to a bear or an elfin bear during that time...3 or 4 times in the Whitney Zone.

All canisters fail, usually from its owner not doing what is expected of them. They are called bear resistant, not bear proof for a reason.

Re: Ursack??
Steve C #40569 10/09/14 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
If a bear ever tries my setup, I'll let you know how it works out.


Steve, as I recall, the last bear you went nose to nose with wasn't too impressed with how scary you thought you were, and left you one of the coolest souvenirs I have ever seen on a trail. You might want to post a link to that TR if you ever did one for that encounter.

Re: Ursack??
Brent N #40571 10/09/14 03:14 PM
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You recall my "Trail Rage" where I chased the bear, and he swiped at my leg before running off. He ripped my pant leg about 3", but didn't even scratch me.

Boy was I lucky!!! What was I thinking??? crazy crazy

I have the text, but it was posted on a forum that went away. It's too embarrassing to post. I won't chase a bear again like that. From now on, I'll just throw rocks.

Re: Ursack??
SS33 #40585 10/10/14 09:50 AM
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In my experience the answer you get depends on who you talk to.

All the front country and telephone staff I've dealt with were absolutely insistent that the ursacks are forbidden and you must use a can. I've had a few debates with them about this over the past few years.

However, after a few emails to and fro earlier this summer I eventually received confirmation from the Inyo wilderness manager that they were indeed permitted, albeit only in Inyo. I asked specifically about the ursack hybrid. Whether the non-hybrid model is acceptable is another matter.

I've also been explicitly permitted to travel through the canister-required zone without food in a can or ursack, on the basis that I was running and would definitely make it to the next bear box. Even the normally-inflexible front country staff agreed this, and the backcountry ranger who met me also confirmed it.

Re: Ursack??
Steve C #40589 10/11/14 06:46 AM
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I've seen the pant leg. Definitley too embarassing. Plaid shorts or something as I recall. grin


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Re: Ursack??
britonwhit(ney) #40592 10/11/14 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: britonwhit(ney)
In my experience the answer you get depends on who you talk to.

All the front country and telephone staff I've dealt with were absolutely insistent that the ursacks are forbidden and you must use a can. I've had a few debates with them about this over the past few years.



Basically, here is what I have been told when I have confronted the front office staffs with the forest order. You can use your Ursack but if the bear get your food you are liable. If they want you to use a hard sided canister, they would write that order differently.

The Ursack complies with the Inyo's order. I would suggest you e-mail Tom Cohen at Ursack with your concerns. He is very good about responding to correspondence.

Re: Ursack??
SS33 #40684 10/16/14 08:32 AM
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Re: Ursack??
63ChevyII.com #40687 10/16/14 11:02 AM
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Original is on YouTube:

Black Bear Attempts Walking Across a Rope For A Bite Of This Tasty Beaver Treat

Posted by a commercial hunting outfit in Canada.


Re: Ursack??
wbtravis #40688 10/16/14 11:02 AM
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When in doubt, politely request the person to get a copy of the written forest order so you can go over the specific requirements together. Based on my experience over the years, most of the office staff don't read their own forest orders, except fire restrictions which they often post on the wall. Do them a favor by helping them learn their own rules.

Re: Ursack??
SierraNevada #40691 10/16/14 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
When in doubt, politely request the person to get a copy of the written forest order so you can go over the specific requirements together. Based on my experience over the years, most of the office staff don't read their own forest orders, except fire restrictions which they often post on the wall. Do them a favor by helping them learn their own rules.


SN: This is a very sensible approach. I would really like to see it play out with the IAVC staff on their WAGBag policy.


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Re: Ursack??
saltydog #40693 10/16/14 08:44 PM
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Here's a screen shot of the standard Inyo Forest Order for Food Storage. No such order for Whitney Wag Bags, Salty, but you already knew that. I found some references on their web pages where they say a "canister" is required. More bluffing, or maybe just ignorance of their own rules.

The pdf is here


Last edited by SierraNevada; 10/16/14 08:49 PM.
Re: Ursack??
SierraNevada #40694 10/17/14 08:07 AM
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I've seen the one for 2014. It is the same wording. I think this wording goes back to 2008 or 09. In 2007 Ursack were expressly permitted by the interagency group SIBBG.


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