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Re: Bear containers

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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