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OR - Ursack food bag by Joe Schaffer

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  • never2muchstuff
    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OR%20-%20Ursack%20food%20bag%20by%20Joe%20Schaffer/ Thank you for your kind edits! (or not so kind--all welcome)
    Message 1 of 5 , May 16 11:05 AM
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      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OR%20-%20Ursack%20food%20bag%20by%20Joe%20Schaffer/

      Thank you for your kind edits! (or not so kind--all welcome)

      Ursack Bear Bag

      OWNER REVIEW
      by Joe Schaffer
      May 30, 2013


      REVIEWER INFORMATION:
      NAME: Joe Schaffer
      EMAIL: never2muchstuff@...
      AGE: 65
      GENDER: Male
      HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
      HOME: Hayward, California USA

      I frequent California's central Sierras, camping every month; up to 95 nights a year; about half the time solo; moving nearly every day. As a comfort camper I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. Summer trips last typically a week to 10 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food-related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000' to 7,000' (1,800 to 2,100 m); 2 to 3 nights; 55 lb (25 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.5 to 6 km) on snowshoes. I work occasionally at an outdoor store.


      The Product:
      Ursack bear resistant food sack
      Manufacturer: Ursack
      Web site: www.Ursack.com
      Purchased: 2008

      My bag:
      Weight: 7.3 oz (207 g)
      Diameter: 7.4" (18.8 cm)
      Length (cinched): 13.5" (34.3 cm)
      Volume: 580 cid (9.5 L)
      Tie cord: 66" (1.68 m)

      Factory specs (from website for S29 AllWhite ):
      Weight: 7.3 oz (207 g)
      Diameter: 8" (20.3 cm)
      Length: 13" (33 cm)
      Volume: 650 cid (10.65 L)
      Tie cord: 72" (1.83 m)
      MSRP: US $67.89

      Calculations for S29:
      Volume per wt: 89.04 ci^3 per oz (0.051 L per g)
      Volume per US dollar of MSRP: 9.57 ci^3 (0.157 L)


      Kindly Note:
      My bag is superseded by the S29 AllWhite. Mfr replied S29 has stronger Spectra fabric than the Vectran in mine, citing no other differences.


      Product Description:

      The product is a bear-resistant food storage bag made of tactical "bulletproof" material with an integrated Spectra cinch cord long enough to secure the bag to a tree. Tear strength appears to exceed the capacities of even two black bears. The material is not waterproof. My bag and the S29 are not rodent-proof as the material can be cut with sharp implements such as chipmunk incisors. Bags are not approved for use in Yosemite; or in bear-can-required areas of Sequoia-Kings Canyon. An optional aluminum liner is available for the purpose of making the bag too big for a bear to jaw the bag's girth.


      Field conditions:

      I've carried my bag for about 100 hiking days over 5 years; mostly in California's Sierras and a week last summer in a couple of wilderness areas in Oregon (USA). I always use an OPSak liner with nested plastic grocery bags to limit odor emission, keep food dry and inhibit oozing under attack. I sometimes rely on the bag exclusively; and where cans are not required, sometimes use the bag as "overage" when everything doesn't fit in one bear can. Rodents have so far not assailed the bag. I don't use the aluminum liner.

      Observations:

      I find the Forest Service's mandated hanging method for vulnerable bags nearly impossible if not nearly always impractical and certainly always inconvenient to follow. Tying to a tree is not so difficult. I first cinch the Ursack with a surgeon's knot, include a bear bell and then a figure 8. I secure the bag to a 6" to 8" (15 to 20 cm) diameter, preferably dead standing tree. I tie the bag as high as I can reach, encircling the tree with the tie cord as a "choker" that will tighten as the bag gets pulled, making it more difficult to pull the bag lower; then a surgeon's knot finished with a figure 8. (Surgeon's knot absorbs much pressure that might otherwise lock up a figure 8.)

      The bag is feather-light compared to hard containers; less than a can of tuna. It also folds smaller as the days go by. Most importantly, I have found it presents an effective obstacle to bears intent on snitching food. My bag has survived two determined snack attacks.

      The first was in 2008 on Kibbie Ridge just outside the border of Yosemite NP on the 3rd day of a 10-day trip. The bag was tied about 4' (1.25 m) up a dead hemlock sucker so sturdy I could not budge it. The bear was getting it to crack in a rhythm of pushing it with his front paws while jerking back on the bag. (I didn't think they could bring that much force to bear standing on their hind legs.) The bag wasn't full and he had his mouth fully around the top. The picture shows him in retreat. He'd been on the bag long enough the top was drenched in slobber and bore a few scuff marks. I guess because he got a mouthful of bag above the food, only a single cup of applesauce actually got squished. The incident demonstrated the gravity of logic in using the hard can to store wet (if even lower priority) stuff on trips I have both.

      The second event occurred in 2012 at the Boat In site (we backpackers walk to it) on Loon Lake in El Dorado NF in California; 1st night of 3. Two bears were on the bag, which I'd tied to a tree about 20' (7 m) from my tent. They managed to put about a third of the contents in distress. I counted 24 weave separations, and one broken thread. Perhaps the team was a sow and adolescent, with junior's puppy teeth sharp enough to penetrate the weave. The punctured can demonstrates the vitality of the incursion. Yet after a thorough rinsing, all but one thread restored to original weave and little evidence of the incident remains.

      In both events the bears masticated with my interpretation of savage intent. None got a literal food reward. Even with dozens of holes in the bag, the liner and plastic grocery bags kept ooze contained. In the second incident they no doubt could taste what their teeth had penetrated. It looked to me that the bears (in both incidents) became tantalized at the prospect of a pigout; and had they been allowed to persist long enough, perhaps they'd have forced ooze to squeeze through.

      I don't always think a bear can necessary, but I never want to be responsible for buggering a bear's natural foraging instinct. Secondarily, a loss of food could lead to a truncated trip. At best I'd lose a day of hiking to spend a day driving and gas to the nearest store to restock. I find Ursack a practical, effective and convenient short term way to prevent bears from rummaging my rations and getting spoiled with a food reward.

      Ursack quick shots:

      a) Light
      c) Packable
      d) Effective
      e) Tantalizing
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 5 , May 25 10:29 PM
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.

        Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR while it's in the edit queue, the entire Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on either Thursdays or Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Editors Team Director
      • Jamie D.
        Hi Joe, You probably noticed your OR was taken by Mike back on May 25th and I m sure you are wondering why you haven t received an edit yet. Mike was
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 22, 2013
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          Hi Joe,

          You probably noticed your OR was taken by Mike back on May 25th and I'm sure you are wondering why you haven't received an edit yet. Mike was unexpectedly called out of town for work and wasn't able to get to your edits before hand. He has enlisted the help of Ray and I'm assuming you will have an edit very soon. Sorry for the delay.

          Jamie D
          Editors Team Director
        • Jlee Snow
          No problem. Thanks for update, Jamie. ________________________________ From: Jamie D. To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday,
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 22, 2013
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            No problem. Thanks for update, Jamie.




            ________________________________
            From: Jamie D. <jdeben@...>
            To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2013 3:31 PM
            Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Attn: Joe Schaffer - Re: OR - Ursack food bag



             
            Hi Joe,

            You probably noticed your OR was taken by Mike back on May 25th and I'm sure you are wondering why you haven't received an edit yet. Mike was unexpectedly called out of town for work and wasn't able to get to your edits before hand. He has enlisted the help of Ray and I'm assuming you will have an edit very soon. Sorry for the delay.

            Jamie D
            Editors Team Director




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Michael
            Hi Joe, First I want to apologize for the delay in getting your edits to you. I was away for a couple of weeks unexpectedly and just returned. I like your
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 23, 2013
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              Hi Joe,
              First I want to apologize for the delay in getting your edits to you. I was away for a couple of weeks unexpectedly and just returned. I like your photos and I've personally wondered about getting one of these bags myself. I think I'll continue to save for my bear can. <grin>

              So your edits are in the following format -
              EDIT - must change
              edit - my recommended change if you agree
              comment - is just that


              Comment – To minimize potential for spam, may I recommend you list your email address something like this? never2muchstuff(AT)yahoo(DOT)com - Good spam filters probably will keep you safe, but why take unnecessary chances…

              "I frequent California's central Sierras, camping every month; up to 95 nights a year; about half the time solo; moving nearly every day. As a comfort camper…"
              EDIT – There is a double space in between the sentences. While usually acceptable, there are places throughout your report where you use single spacing and you must stay consistent throughout the report.

              "The Product:
              Ursack bear resistant food sack"
              EDIT – Since this is a proper noun, please capitalize the complete item name.

              "My bag:
              Weight: 7.3 oz (207 g)
              Diameter: 7.4" (18.8 cm)
              Length (cinched): 13.5" (34.3 cm)
              Volume: 580 cid (9.5 L)
              Tie cord: 66" (1.68 m)"
              EDIT 1 – My bag should be capitalized like this "My Bag" to remain consistent throughout your report. Please check the other headings for similar inconsistencies.
              EDIT 2 – As mentioned above, some of these have double spaces (after "Weight:" and after "13.5" "Volume:" as a few examples) while others are single spaced. Please ensure you are consistent throughout the entire report.

              "Factory specs (from website for S29 AllWhite ):"
              EDIT 1 – Factory Specs (capitalize the second word in title heading)
              EDIT 2 - Delete the extra space after AllWhite…

              "The first was in 2008 on Kibbie Ridge just outside the border of Yosemite NP on the 3rd day of a 10-day trip"
              EDIT – For our international readers, please spell out National Park instead of using the abbreviation "NP" and please ensure the other abbreviations such as "NF" below (throughout this report) are spelled out as well. You can abbreviate these if you've already spelled them out the very first time you've listed them.

              "Secondarily, a loss of food could lead to a truncated trip."
              EDIT – Secondly…

              So that's it. You can upload when you're ready. Hope you have a great day
              Mike



              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "never2muchstuff" <never2muchstuff@...> wrote:
              >
              > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OR%20-%20Ursack%20food%20bag%20by%20Joe%20Schaffer/
              >
              > Thank you for your kind edits! (or not so kind--all welcome)
              >
              > Ursack Bear Bag
              >
              > OWNER REVIEW
              > by Joe Schaffer
              > May 30, 2013
              >
              >
              > REVIEWER INFORMATION:
              > NAME: Joe Schaffer
              > EMAIL: never2muchstuff@...
              > AGE: 65
              > GENDER: Male
              > HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
              > WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
              > HOME: Hayward, California USA
              >
              > I frequent California's central Sierras, camping every month; up to 95 nights a year; about half the time solo; moving nearly every day. As a comfort camper I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. Summer trips last typically a week to 10 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food-related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000' to 7,000' (1,800 to 2,100 m); 2 to 3 nights; 55 lb (25 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.5 to 6 km) on snowshoes. I work occasionally at an outdoor store.
              >
              >
              > The Product:
              > Ursack bear resistant food sack
              > Manufacturer: Ursack
              > Web site: www.Ursack.com
              > Purchased: 2008
              >
              > My bag:
              > Weight: 7.3 oz (207 g)
              > Diameter: 7.4" (18.8 cm)
              > Length (cinched): 13.5" (34.3 cm)
              > Volume: 580 cid (9.5 L)
              > Tie cord: 66" (1.68 m)
              >
              > Factory specs (from website for S29 AllWhite ):
              > Weight: 7.3 oz (207 g)
              > Diameter: 8" (20.3 cm)
              > Length: 13" (33 cm)
              > Volume: 650 cid (10.65 L)
              > Tie cord: 72" (1.83 m)
              > MSRP: US $67.89
              >
              > Calculations for S29:
              > Volume per wt: 89.04 ci^3 per oz (0.051 L per g)
              > Volume per US dollar of MSRP: 9.57 ci^3 (0.157 L)
              >
              >
              > Kindly Note:
              > My bag is superseded by the S29 AllWhite. Mfr replied S29 has stronger Spectra fabric than the Vectran in mine, citing no other differences.
              >
              >
              > Product Description:
              >
              > The product is a bear-resistant food storage bag made of tactical "bulletproof" material with an integrated Spectra cinch cord long enough to secure the bag to a tree. Tear strength appears to exceed the capacities of even two black bears. The material is not waterproof. My bag and the S29 are not rodent-proof as the material can be cut with sharp implements such as chipmunk incisors. Bags are not approved for use in Yosemite; or in bear-can-required areas of Sequoia-Kings Canyon. An optional aluminum liner is available for the purpose of making the bag too big for a bear to jaw the bag's girth.
              >
              >
              > Field conditions:
              >
              > I've carried my bag for about 100 hiking days over 5 years; mostly in California's Sierras and a week last summer in a couple of wilderness areas in Oregon (USA). I always use an OPSak liner with nested plastic grocery bags to limit odor emission, keep food dry and inhibit oozing under attack. I sometimes rely on the bag exclusively; and where cans are not required, sometimes use the bag as "overage" when everything doesn't fit in one bear can. Rodents have so far not assailed the bag. I don't use the aluminum liner.
              >
              > Observations:
              >
              > I find the Forest Service's mandated hanging method for vulnerable bags nearly impossible if not nearly always impractical and certainly always inconvenient to follow. Tying to a tree is not so difficult. I first cinch the Ursack with a surgeon's knot, include a bear bell and then a figure 8. I secure the bag to a 6" to 8" (15 to 20 cm) diameter, preferably dead standing tree. I tie the bag as high as I can reach, encircling the tree with the tie cord as a "choker" that will tighten as the bag gets pulled, making it more difficult to pull the bag lower; then a surgeon's knot finished with a figure 8. (Surgeon's knot absorbs much pressure that might otherwise lock up a figure 8.)
              >
              > The bag is feather-light compared to hard containers; less than a can of tuna. It also folds smaller as the days go by. Most importantly, I have found it presents an effective obstacle to bears intent on snitching food. My bag has survived two determined snack attacks.
              >
              > The first was in 2008 on Kibbie Ridge just outside the border of Yosemite NP on the 3rd day of a 10-day trip. The bag was tied about 4' (1.25 m) up a dead hemlock sucker so sturdy I could not budge it. The bear was getting it to crack in a rhythm of pushing it with his front paws while jerking back on the bag. (I didn't think they could bring that much force to bear standing on their hind legs.) The bag wasn't full and he had his mouth fully around the top. The picture shows him in retreat. He'd been on the bag long enough the top was drenched in slobber and bore a few scuff marks. I guess because he got a mouthful of bag above the food, only a single cup of applesauce actually got squished. The incident demonstrated the gravity of logic in using the hard can to store wet (if even lower priority) stuff on trips I have both.
              >
              > The second event occurred in 2012 at the Boat In site (we backpackers walk to it) on Loon Lake in El Dorado NF in California; 1st night of 3. Two bears were on the bag, which I'd tied to a tree about 20' (7 m) from my tent. They managed to put about a third of the contents in distress. I counted 24 weave separations, and one broken thread. Perhaps the team was a sow and adolescent, with junior's puppy teeth sharp enough to penetrate the weave. The punctured can demonstrates the vitality of the incursion. Yet after a thorough rinsing, all but one thread restored to original weave and little evidence of the incident remains.
              >
              > In both events the bears masticated with my interpretation of savage intent. None got a literal food reward. Even with dozens of holes in the bag, the liner and plastic grocery bags kept ooze contained. In the second incident they no doubt could taste what their teeth had penetrated. It looked to me that the bears (in both incidents) became tantalized at the prospect of a pigout; and had they been allowed to persist long enough, perhaps they'd have forced ooze to squeeze through.
              >
              > I don't always think a bear can necessary, but I never want to be responsible for buggering a bear's natural foraging instinct. Secondarily, a loss of food could lead to a truncated trip. At best I'd lose a day of hiking to spend a day driving and gas to the nearest store to restock. I find Ursack a practical, effective and convenient short term way to prevent bears from rummaging my rations and getting spoiled with a food reward.
              >
              > Ursack quick shots:
              >
              > a) Light
              > c) Packable
              > d) Effective
              > e) Tantalizing
              >
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