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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Bear containers

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  • Reuben Gerber
    Over the years I have used both the Bear Vault and the hog (Garcia). This past August I hiked the JMT north bound from Evolution Lake to Yosemite Valley
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 21, 2007
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      Over the years I have used both the Bear Vault and the "hog" (Garcia). This past August I hiked the JMT north bound from Evolution Lake to Yosemite Valley using the Ursack w/ a aluminum liner over the course of 9 days. I did no resupply along the way and carried 18 pounds of food in the Ursack. All food was packaged in Alum. zip lock type boil in bags double wrapped in plastic scent proof bags. I had bears roll through camp on two occasion and did not have a problem. I did have a bear tug on my Ursack my last night at Cathedral Lake and after tossing a few stones his way he gave up. I am a firm believer that it is the type of food you eat as well as the way you store it regardless of which container you choose. I have spent 26 years backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and have never provided a bear with a free meal. The Ursack is by far the best ultralight source on the market and I love that it gets smaller as you eat through the bag.

      All the Best,

      Reuben

      Raoul Kraus <rkraus1@...> wrote:
      I carried the ursack with the liner on my JMT trip this last summer. I fit 10/11 days of food in it. You must pack carefully and thoughtfully. I would say easily 7/8 days worth, above that is a chore to fit. I did not have a single bear event on the entire 19 day journey! I hope you all have the same luck! I had a hard time fitting the liner in my backpack...so it spent the trip tied to the outside. I actually only used the liner 2/3 times on the trip (in the heavy bear areas). I highly recommend stealth camping when possible.

      PS. I sure am glad I did NOT carry the xtra weight of a std. container.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • microseris2004
      Thank you, Snowbird, for the excellent set of links on the status of Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) approved bear resistant food-storage
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 21, 2007
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        Thank you, Snowbird, for the excellent set of links on the status of
        Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) approved bear resistant
        food-storage containers.

        I hiked the entire JMT with a friend of mine in 2005. We both carried
        Bearikade Expeditions, which were just the right size for the Muir Ranch
        to Mt. Whitney 10-day+ leg of the trip. For a 5-day solo trip, the
        Bearikade Weekender should be plenty big—as would the similarly
        sized BearVault 450. And if you don't eat much and pack really tightly,
        you might even be able to use the smaller sized models.

        While we had two nights where bears walked by our camp, they paid no
        attention to us and did not bother us with our food securely stored in
        our crush-proof O-ringed-sealed canisters. (Interestingly, our earlier
        group-campsite in Yosemite Valley was raided somewhat successfully by a
        bear the night before we left. The bear had discovered a way of throwing
        itself at the steel food-storage boxes in such a way that it was able to
        open the locks on the steel boxes! Sheesh, I hope the park has found a
        way to keep those locks from being successfully assaulted. Could
        someone post an update on that? Fortunately, our gear wasn't damaged,
        but we were happy to leave the Valley for wilder, and perhaps safer,
        country ahead.)

        Most of the folks that we talked to on the JMT were carrying BearVaults,
        and of course the talk of the trail was the bear or bears near the Rae
        Lakes (and south) area that were breaking in to the BearVaults. It's
        good to hear that a redesigned BearVault is now in the stores and they
        have a program to replace the old ones and educate old BearVault users
        so the bears are less likely to find success.

        We all benefit when bears eat wild food and leave the hikers alone.



        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "thebeebes" <rickbb@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" jvfbender@ wrote:
        > >
        > > I am struggling with a choice among bear containers. I would love
        > to have the light weight
        > > of the URSACK but am concerned about 1) It is not fully approved
        > in the National Parks
        > > and 2) I am concerned about my food being crunched if not consumed.
        > >
        > > I am giving serious consideration to the bear vault but am
        > deliberating over which size I
        > > would select. I will do most of my trecking solo and at most would
        > do 5 days between
        > > resupplies on any trip.
        > >
        > > What do you think would be the way to go.
        > >
        >
        > You might want to wait and see what happens with the Ursack. Right
        > now it is showing as conditionally approved on the Sierra Interagency
        > Black Bear Group website at
        > http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/approvedcontainers.htm, but
        > there is a fairly recent post on the Ursack website by Tom (the
        > owner) at http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm saying that things
        > are up in the air with the SIBBG for 2007. Remember that conditional
        > approval is all you need. If the SIBBG clears the green (Spectra)
        > Ursack for another year with the aluminum liner, at 20 ounces it's
        > your best choice by far as far as weight goes, and its capacity
        > compares to the others.
        >
        > I carried a Bearikade on my 2004 JMT thru-hike but use an Ursack with
        > the aluminum liner on a five-day trip in the Dusy Basin-LeConte
        > Canyon area last fall. I had no problems with bears either time. I
        > couldn't tell any difference in capacity between the two. With the
        > liner, you're not going to have a significant crunch problem if a
        > bear gets hold of it. As far as capacity goes, unless your diet is
        > on the bulky side you should be fine on a five-day trip.
        >
        > Snowbird
        > JMT '04
        >
      • thebeebes
        True, the Ursack gets smaller as you eat up your food, but then again, you can t sit on it. ... (Garcia). This past August I hiked the JMT north bound from
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 21, 2007
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          True, the Ursack gets smaller as you eat up your food, but then
          again, you can't sit on it.

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Reuben Gerber
          <reubengerber@...> wrote:
          >
          > Over the years I have used both the Bear Vault and the "hog"
          (Garcia). This past August I hiked the JMT north bound from Evolution
          Lake to Yosemite Valley using the Ursack w/ a aluminum liner over the
          course of 9 days. I did no resupply along the way and carried 18
          pounds of food in the Ursack. All food was packaged in Alum. zip lock
          type boil in bags double wrapped in plastic scent proof bags. I had
          bears roll through camp on two occasion and did not have a problem. I
          did have a bear tug on my Ursack my last night at Cathedral Lake and
          after tossing a few stones his way he gave up. I am a firm believer
          that it is the type of food you eat as well as the way you store it
          regardless of which container you choose. I have spent 26 years
          backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and have never provided a bear with
          a free meal. The Ursack is by far the best ultralight source on the
          market and I love that it gets smaller as you eat through the bag.
          >
          > All the Best,
          >
          > Reuben
          >
          > Raoul Kraus <rkraus1@...> wrote:
          > I carried the ursack with the liner on my JMT trip this
          last summer. I fit 10/11 days of food in it. You must pack carefully
          and thoughtfully. I would say easily 7/8 days worth, above that is a
          chore to fit. I did not have a single bear event on the entire 19 day
          journey! I hope you all have the same luck! I had a hard time fitting
          the liner in my backpack...so it spent the trip tied to the outside.
          I actually only used the liner 2/3 times on the trip (in the heavy
          bear areas). I highly recommend stealth camping when possible.
          >
          > PS. I sure am glad I did NOT carry the xtra weight of a std.
          container.
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • hmdsierra
          Often the latches on the bear boxes are broken. A few years ago we were in Little Yosemite Valley. the Ranger strongly insisted I use the bear box. I looked
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 22, 2007
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            Often the latches on the bear boxes are broken. A few years ago we
            were in Little Yosemite Valley. the Ranger strongly insisted I use
            the bear box. I looked at it and one of the latches was missing the
            catch the other had a broken spring that allowed the slide latch to
            remain open. I bumped one with the heel of my hand once and the other
            twice and the lid fell open. I looked for the ranger but he was
            already gone. I put my food in it but was not asured.

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "microseris2004"
            <microseris2004@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Thank you, Snowbird, for the excellent set of links on the status of
            > Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) approved bear resistant
            > food-storage containers.
            >
            > I hiked the entire JMT with a friend of mine in 2005. We both carried
            > Bearikade Expeditions, which were just the right size for the Muir Ranch
            > to Mt. Whitney 10-day+ leg of the trip. For a 5-day solo trip, the
            > Bearikade Weekender should be plenty big—as would the similarly
            > sized BearVault 450. And if you don't eat much and pack really tightly,
            > you might even be able to use the smaller sized models.
            >
            > While we had two nights where bears walked by our camp, they paid no
            > attention to us and did not bother us with our food securely stored in
            > our crush-proof O-ringed-sealed canisters. (Interestingly, our earlier
            > group-campsite in Yosemite Valley was raided somewhat successfully by a
            > bear the night before we left. The bear had discovered a way of throwing
            > itself at the steel food-storage boxes in such a way that it was able to
            > open the locks on the steel boxes! Sheesh, I hope the park has found a
            > way to keep those locks from being successfully assaulted. Could
            > someone post an update on that? Fortunately, our gear wasn't damaged,
            > but we were happy to leave the Valley for wilder, and perhaps safer,
            > country ahead.)
            >
            > Most of the folks that we talked to on the JMT were carrying BearVaults,
            > and of course the talk of the trail was the bear or bears near the Rae
            > Lakes (and south) area that were breaking in to the BearVaults. It's
            > good to hear that a redesigned BearVault is now in the stores and they
            > have a program to replace the old ones and educate old BearVault users
            > so the bears are less likely to find success.
            >
            > We all benefit when bears eat wild food and leave the hikers alone.
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "thebeebes" <rickbb@> wrote:
            > >
            > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" jvfbender@ wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I am struggling with a choice among bear containers. I would love
            > > to have the light weight
            > > > of the URSACK but am concerned about 1) It is not fully approved
            > > in the National Parks
            > > > and 2) I am concerned about my food being crunched if not consumed.
            > > >
            > > > I am giving serious consideration to the bear vault but am
            > > deliberating over which size I
            > > > would select. I will do most of my trecking solo and at most would
            > > do 5 days between
            > > > resupplies on any trip.
            > > >
            > > > What do you think would be the way to go.
            > > >
            > >
            > > You might want to wait and see what happens with the Ursack. Right
            > > now it is showing as conditionally approved on the Sierra Interagency
            > > Black Bear Group website at
            > > http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/approvedcontainers.htm, but
            > > there is a fairly recent post on the Ursack website by Tom (the
            > > owner) at http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm saying that things
            > > are up in the air with the SIBBG for 2007. Remember that conditional
            > > approval is all you need. If the SIBBG clears the green (Spectra)
            > > Ursack for another year with the aluminum liner, at 20 ounces it's
            > > your best choice by far as far as weight goes, and its capacity
            > > compares to the others.
            > >
            > > I carried a Bearikade on my 2004 JMT thru-hike but use an Ursack with
            > > the aluminum liner on a five-day trip in the Dusy Basin-LeConte
            > > Canyon area last fall. I had no problems with bears either time. I
            > > couldn't tell any difference in capacity between the two. With the
            > > liner, you're not going to have a significant crunch problem if a
            > > bear gets hold of it. As far as capacity goes, unless your diet is
            > > on the bulky side you should be fine on a five-day trip.
            > >
            > > Snowbird
            > > JMT '04
            > >
            >
          • Roleigh Martin
            Sounds like this is an idea to bring a heavy duty, light caribeaner along to act as a lock mechanism to put on the unit while one is using it. Maybe the
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 22, 2007
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              Sounds like this is an idea to bring a heavy duty, light caribeaner <sp?>
              along to act as a lock mechanism to put on the unit while one is using it.
              Maybe the type of caribeaner which has a spinning type bolt on it so a
              simple depression would not defeat it -- perhaps also bring a clamping
              "ring" to facilitate "hooking" into the chain.

              I've used the bear boxes each year now, a week long, each year, for 7 years
              with no problems. Our only encounters with bears so far has been on the
              trail during the day, never at the bear box locations at night. We hike in
              SEKI each year now. Best park in the nation, in my opinion. I did the
              entire High Sierra Trail last year. Would like to make a round trip this
              coming summer. Anybody use a cache service like this one?

              http://www.rockcreekpackstation.com/whitneypacktrips.shtml

              I'm thinking, start a round trip at Crescent Meadows, and take food for the
              one way trip to Whitney, and around/near Whitney pick up your cache
              resupply without having to go down the Eastern side of Whitney all the way
              to Lone Pine, enabling one to return back to Crescent Meadows from the
              Summit of Whitney.

              Anyone know of any other cache services to get an idea of the competition
              out there? Anyone with first hand use of the above service? Comments?

              Roleigh


              --- hmdsierra <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

              > Often the latches on the bear boxes are broken. A few years ago we
              > were in Little Yosemite Valley. the Ranger strongly insisted I use
              > the bear box. I looked at it and one of the latches was missing the
              > catch the other had a broken spring that allowed the slide latch to
              > remain open. I bumped one with the heel of my hand once and the other
              > twice and the lid fell open. I looked for the ranger but he was
              > already gone. I put my food in it but was not asured.
              >
            • Kevin Aston
              I just bought a Bearikade Expedition MKII from http://www.wild- ideas.net/products.html It weighs about the same as the bear vault , but is 900 cu in instead
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 31, 2007
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                I just bought a Bearikade Expedition MKII from http://www.wild-
                ideas.net/products.html It weighs about the same as the bear vault ,
                but is 900 cu in instead of 400. It is pricey at $225 if you work with
                the scouts or are a military person.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jvfbender@...> wrote:
                >
                > I am struggling with a choice among bear containers. I would love
                to have the light weight
                > of the URSACK but am concerned about 1) It is not fully approved in
                the National Parks
                > and 2) I am concerned about my food being crunched if not consumed.
                >
                > I am giving serious consideration to the bear vault but am
                deliberating over which size I
                > would select. I will do most of my trecking solo and at most would
                do 5 days between
                > resupplies on any trip.
                >
                > What do you think would be the way to go.
                >
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