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Ursack

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  • Frank Martin
    As of January 25 Ursack is no longer conditionally approved. There are currently no conditionally approved containers.
    Message 1 of 27 , Jan 29, 2007
      As of January 25 Ursack is no longer conditionally approved. There
      are currently no conditionally approved containers.


      http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/approvedcontainers.htm
    • Barbara Karagosian
      Just read this on Ursack website January 13, 2010 http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the
      Message 2 of 27 , Jan 21, 2010

        Just read this on Ursack  website  January 13, 2010

         

         http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

         

        “It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the Sierra this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae Lakes, Dusy Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI.  We calculate that Ursack may be used on more than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail.  SIBBG, the Sierra Agency Black Bear Group, no longer exists.  There are no standardized bear canister tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager makes the decision for his or her own area.  While Ursack will likely submit the S29 AllWhite Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI, there can be no assurance of approval given those parks lack of testing criteria and/or their historical antipathy toward Ursack.”

         

        Big thread about it on BPL Gear Forum. 

         

        I’m probably still taking a Bearikade – but interesting stuff….  Barbara

         

         

         

         

      • ed_rodriguez52@yahoo.com
        Thanks Barbara very interesting. Now if I read the map right the area from VVR to MTR and Piute Pass (south side)the Ursack will be ok. Sent on the Sprint®
        Message 3 of 27 , Jan 21, 2010
          Thanks Barbara very interesting. Now if I read the map right the area from VVR to MTR and Piute Pass (south side)the Ursack will be ok.

          Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


          From: "Barbara Karagosian" <barbara@...>
          Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 22:41:02 -0800
          To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

           

          Just read this on Ursack  website  January 13, 2010

           

           http://www.ursack. com/ursack- update.htm

           

          “It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the Sierra this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae Lakes, Dusy Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI.  We calculate that Ursack may be used on more than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail.  SIBBG, the Sierra Agency Black Bear Group, no longer exists.  There are no standardized bear canister tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager makes the decision for his or her own area.  While Ursack will likely submit the S29 AllWhite Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI, there can be no assurance of approval given those parks lack of testing criteria and/or their historical antipathy toward Ursack.”

           

          Big thread about it on BPL Gear Forum. 

           

          I’m probably still taking a Bearikade – but interesting stuff….  Barbara

           

           

           

           

        • John Ladd
          I m a big Ursack fan. I used it this last summer in the area where they were legal (VVR to Pinchot). One thing to note: you need to keep the instructions on
          Message 4 of 27 , Jan 21, 2010
            I'm a big Ursack fan.  I used it this last summer in the area where they were legal (VVR to Pinchot).  One thing to note: you need to keep the instructions on how to tie the knot that cinches the Ursack properly, or a bear can get into it.  I think the main reason it's had trouble getting approval is that it's possible to use it incorrectly and some users were misusing it and some bears got food rewards due to poor knot-tying.

            It's also good protection from marmots and field mice and other small critters.

            In general, you probably don't need to tie it to anything, since the experience in SEKI field tests indicated that bears did not carry it far.  And it's bright white, so should stand out if a bear carries it for 20 to 50 yeards.

            Jmaddog just gave me the idea to attach a bearbell to the thing so that I can tell if a bear is starting to nose around at it.  I've generally found that bears will retreat if I make enough noise.

            He also found a link to an Abstract about field testing of the Ursack in SEKI

            Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group - 2004 report

            It is offered with or without an metal liner, which protects your food from crushing as the bear tries unsucessssfully to get the thing open.  It's the sack, and not the liner, that protects the bear from getting your food.  The liner is keeps your food in better shape, but I don't care about that as much as keeping the bear from getting a food reward.

            I guess that I am still nervous enough about the Ursack to try to avoid notorious food-accustomed-bear areas like Rae lakes or Dusy Basin.  But in those areas, you'll generally find a bearbox and can use it instead - or I just hike further to an area that is less subject to bad bears.

            One possible strategy for JMT thru hikers.  If you can get all your food into your bearcan until Muir Trail Ranch (due to the availability of resupply options) but want to hike the last half of the trail without a resupply south of Muir Trail Ranch, include an Ursack in your MTR resupply bucket since it's legal from there to Pinchot Pass.  The food that won't fit your bearcan will fit the Ursack and by the time you reach Pinchot Pass you'll be able to get everything in the bearcan.

            John Curran Ladd
            1616 Castro Street
            San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
            415-648-9279


            On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:
             

            Just read this on Ursack  website  January 13, 2010

             

             http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

             

            “It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the Sierra this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae Lakes, Dusy Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI.  We calculate that Ursack may be used on more than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail.  SIBBG, the Sierra Agency Black Bear Group, no longer exists.  There are no standardized bear canister tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager makes the decision for his or her own area.  While Ursack will likely submit the S29 AllWhite Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI, there can be no assurance of approval given those parks lack of testing criteria and/or their historical antipathy toward Ursack.”

             

            Big thread about it on BPL Gear Forum. 

             

            I’m probably still taking a Bearikade – but interesting stuff….  Barbara

             

             

             

             


          • ed_rodriguez52@yahoo.com
            Yea that was my plan use the ursack to carry the extra food that does not fit into my can. And from that point on keep every thing in my can. Should I also buy
            Message 5 of 27 , Jan 21, 2010
              Yea that was my plan use the ursack to carry the extra food that does not fit into my can. And from that point on keep every thing in my can. Should I also buy OPSak--Odor Barrier Bags and Aloksak

              Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


              From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
              Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 23:47:25 -0800
              To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

               

              I'm a big Ursack fan.  I used it this last summer in the area where they were legal (VVR to Pinchot).  One thing to note: you need to keep the instructions on how to tie the knot that cinches the Ursack properly, or a bear can get into it.  I think the main reason it's had trouble getting approval is that it's possible to use it incorrectly and some users were misusing it and some bears got food rewards due to poor knot-tying.

              It's also good protection from marmots and field mice and other small critters.

              In general, you probably don't need to tie it to anything, since the experience in SEKI field tests indicated that bears did not carry it far.  And it's bright white, so should stand out if a bear carries it for 20 to 50 yeards.

              Jmaddog just gave me the idea to attach a bearbell to the thing so that I can tell if a bear is starting to nose around at it.  I've generally found that bears will retreat if I make enough noise.

              He also found a link to an Abstract about field testing of the Ursack in SEKI

              Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group - 2004 report

              It is offered with or without an metal liner, which protects your food from crushing as the bear tries unsucessssfully to get the thing open.  It's the sack, and not the liner, that protects the bear from getting your food.  The liner is keeps your food in better shape, but I don't care about that as much as keeping the bear from getting a food reward.

              I guess that I am still nervous enough about the Ursack to try to avoid notorious food-accustomed- bear areas like Rae lakes or Dusy Basin.  But in those areas, you'll generally find a bearbox and can use it instead - or I just hike further to an area that is less subject to bad bears.

              One possible strategy for JMT thru hikers.  If you can get all your food into your bearcan until Muir Trail Ranch (due to the availability of resupply options) but want to hike the last half of the trail without a resupply south of Muir Trail Ranch, include an Ursack in your MTR resupply bucket since it's legal from there to Pinchot Pass.  The food that won't fit your bearcan will fit the Ursack and by the time you reach Pinchot Pass you'll be able to get everything in the bearcan.

              John Curran Ladd
              1616 Castro Street
              San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
              415-648-9279


              On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@mkpe. com> wrote:
               

              Just read this on Ursack  website  January 13, 2010

               

               http://www.ursack. com/ursack- update.htm

               

              “It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the Sierra this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae Lakes, Dusy Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI.  We calculate that Ursack may be used on more than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail.  SIBBG, the Sierra Agency Black Bear Group, no longer exists.  There are no standardized bear canister tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager makes the decision for his or her own area.  While Ursack will likely submit the S29 AllWhite Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI, there can be no assurance of approval given those parks lack of testing criteria and/or their historical antipathy toward Ursack.”

               

              Big thread about it on BPL Gear Forum. 

               

              I’m probably still taking a Bearikade – but interesting stuff….  Barbara

               

               

               

               


            • Peter Burke
              interesting - ultralighters will be happy. Thing is, I am now so used to not having to worry one bit about bears that there s no way I will leave my canister
              Message 6 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                interesting - ultralighters will be happy. Thing is, I am now so used to
                not having to worry one bit about bears that there's no way I will leave
                my canister at home.

                Barbara Karagosian wrote:
                >
                > Just read this on Ursack website January 13, 2010
                >
                > http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm
                >
                > “It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the
                > Sierra this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae
                > Lakes, Dusy Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI. We calculate that Ursack may
                > be used on more than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail. SIBBG, the Sierra
                > Agency Black Bear Group, no longer exists. There are no standardized
                > bear canister tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager
                > makes the decision for his or her own area. While Ursack will likely
                > submit the S29 AllWhite Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI,
                > there can be no assurance of approval given those parks lack of
                > testing criteria and/or their historical antipathy toward Ursack.”
                >
              • John Ladd
                ... John: Ursack recommends OPSaks and I followed their recommendation. But don t really have a personal opinion on this. Aloksak seems like overkill and way
                Message 7 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                  On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:56 PM, <ed_rodriguez52@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Should I also buy OPSak--Odor Barrier Bags and Aloksak [for use with Ursack}


                  John:

                  Ursack recommends OPSaks and I followed their recommendation. But
                  don't really have a personal opinion on this. Aloksak seems like
                  overkill and way pricey for sizes big enough to contain everything you
                  could get into a Ursack
                • jmaddog1082@charter.net
                  Not sure if this is the norm, but Ursack included an O.P. Sak (no additional charge) with my Ursack purchase about 3 years ago. J
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                    Not sure if this is the norm, but Ursack included an O.P. Sak (no additional charge) with my Ursack purchase about 3 years ago.

                    J


                    ---- ed_rodriguez52@... wrote:
                    > Yea that was my plan use the ursack to carry the extra food that does not fit into my can. And from that point on keep every thing in my can. Should I also buy OPSak--Odor Barrier Bags and Aloksak
                    > Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
                    > Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 23:47:25
                    > To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack
                    >
                    > I'm a big Ursack fan. I used it this last summer in the area where they
                    > were legal (VVR to Pinchot). One thing to note: you need to keep the
                    > instructions on how to tie the knot that cinches the Ursack properly, or a
                    > bear can get into it. I think the main reason it's had trouble getting
                    > approval is that it's possible to use it incorrectly and some users were
                    > misusing it and some bears got food rewards due to poor knot-tying.
                    >
                    > It's also good protection from marmots and field mice and other small
                    > critters.
                    >
                    > In general, you probably don't need to tie it to anything, since the
                    > experience in SEKI field tests indicated that bears did not carry it far.
                    > And it's bright white, so should stand out if a bear carries it for 20 to 50
                    > yeards.
                    >
                    > Jmaddog just gave me the idea to attach a bearbell to the thing so that I
                    > can tell if a bear is starting to nose around at it. I've generally found
                    > that bears will retreat if I make enough noise.
                    >
                    > He also found a link to an Abstract about field testing of the Ursack in
                    > SEKI
                    >
                    > Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group - 2004
                    > report<http://www.ursack.com/sibbg.htm>
                    >
                    > It is offered with or without an metal liner, which protects your food from
                    > crushing as the bear tries unsucessssfully to get the thing open. It's the
                    > sack, and not the liner, that protects the bear from getting your food. The
                    > liner is keeps your food in better shape, but I don't care about that as
                    > much as keeping the bear from getting a food reward.
                    >
                    > I guess that I am still nervous enough about the Ursack to try to avoid
                    > notorious food-accustomed-bear areas like Rae lakes or Dusy Basin. But in
                    > those areas, you'll generally find a bearbox and can use it instead - or I
                    > just hike further to an area that is less subject to bad bears.
                    >
                    > One possible strategy for JMT thru hikers. If you can get all your food
                    > into your bearcan until Muir Trail Ranch (due to the availability of
                    > resupply options) but want to hike the last half of the trail without a
                    > resupply south of Muir Trail Ranch, include an Ursack in your MTR resupply
                    > bucket since it's legal from there to Pinchot Pass. The food that won't fit
                    > your bearcan will fit the Ursack and by the time you reach Pinchot Pass
                    > you'll be able to get everything in the bearcan.
                    >
                    > John Curran Ladd
                    > 1616 Castro Street
                    > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                    > 415-648-9279
                    >
                    >
                    > On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...>wrote:
                    >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Just read this on Ursack website January 13, 2010
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > “It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the Sierra
                    > > this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae Lakes, Dusy
                    > > Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI. We calculate that Ursack may be used on more
                    > > than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail. SIBBG, the Sierra Agency Black Bear
                    > > Group, no longer exists. There are no standardized bear canister
                    > > tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager makes the decision for
                    > > his or her own area. While Ursack will likely submit the S29 AllWhite
                    > > Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI, there can be no assurance of
                    > > approval given those parks lack of testing criteria and/or their historical
                    > > antipathy toward Ursack.”
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Big thread about it on BPL Gear Forum.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > I’m probably still taking a Bearikade – but interesting stuff…. Barbara
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • medici95014
                    This is great news! I ve been using an Ursack for quite a few years now on my Sierra trips. I generally stay away from the JMT and similar savvy bear areas
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                      This is great news! I've been using an Ursack for quite a few years now on my Sierra trips. I generally stay away from the JMT and similar savvy bear areas (because of crowds, not bears), but I use the bear boxes if I stop in the heavy use areas.

                      I agree with John's thoughts/experiences below. I don't carry the liner. Can't say that I've had a bear really test the bag. At least I've never seen any sign of it, so I haven't experienced bear-crushed food.

                      Sadly, the Ursack has been disputed for so long that folks will probably still be leery of them. Like the "giardia is everywhere"
                      myth that the NPS/NFS has espoused for decades.

                      BTW, the newer ones don't carry the stern warnings about using only a tight figure-8 knot. They've changed the cord, too. Doesn't seem as sturdy. Apparently it's not as critical.

                      As to bear bells, I carried them for years on the cords of my food bags back when we hung them. My wife found a set of Christmas-type bells which work well. Haven't used those since I bought the Ursack.

                      Pete

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I'm a big Ursack fan. I used it this last summer in the area where they
                      > were legal (VVR to Pinchot). One thing to note: you need to keep the
                      > instructions on how to tie the knot that cinches the Ursack properly, or a
                      > bear can get into it. I think the main reason it's had trouble getting
                      > approval is that it's possible to use it incorrectly and some users were
                      > misusing it and some bears got food rewards due to poor knot-tying.
                      >
                      > It's also good protection from marmots and field mice and other small
                      > critters.
                      >
                      > In general, you probably don't need to tie it to anything, since the
                      > experience in SEKI field tests indicated that bears did not carry it far.
                      > And it's bright white, so should stand out if a bear carries it for 20 to 50
                      > yeards.
                      >
                      > Jmaddog just gave me the idea to attach a bearbell to the thing so that I
                      > can tell if a bear is starting to nose around at it. I've generally found
                      > that bears will retreat if I make enough noise.
                      >
                      > He also found a link to an Abstract about field testing of the Ursack in
                      > SEKI
                      >
                      > Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group - 2004
                      > report<http://www.ursack.com/sibbg.htm>
                      >
                      > It is offered with or without an metal liner, which protects your food from
                      > crushing as the bear tries unsucessssfully to get the thing open. It's the
                      > sack, and not the liner, that protects the bear from getting your food. The
                      > liner is keeps your food in better shape, but I don't care about that as
                      > much as keeping the bear from getting a food reward.
                      >
                      > I guess that I am still nervous enough about the Ursack to try to avoid
                      > notorious food-accustomed-bear areas like Rae lakes or Dusy Basin. But in
                      > those areas, you'll generally find a bearbox and can use it instead - or I
                      > just hike further to an area that is less subject to bad bears.
                      >
                      > One possible strategy for JMT thru hikers. If you can get all your food
                      > into your bearcan until Muir Trail Ranch (due to the availability of
                      > resupply options) but want to hike the last half of the trail without a
                      > resupply south of Muir Trail Ranch, include an Ursack in your MTR resupply
                      > bucket since it's legal from there to Pinchot Pass. The food that won't fit
                      > your bearcan will fit the Ursack and by the time you reach Pinchot Pass
                      > you'll be able to get everything in the bearcan.
                      >
                      > John Curran Ladd
                      > 1616 Castro Street
                      > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                      > 415-648-9279
                      >
                      >
                      > On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...>wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Just read this on Ursack website January 13, 2010
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > "It appears that Ursack will be allowed almost everywhere in the Sierra
                      > > this year except Yosemite National Park and three areas (Rae Lakes, Dusy
                      > > Basin, Rock Creek) of SEKI. We calculate that Ursack may be used on more
                      > > than 98% of the Pacific Crest Trail. SIBBG, the Sierra Agency Black Bear
                      > > Group, no longer exists. There are no standardized bear canister
                      > > tests--each Superintendent of Forest Service Manager makes the decision for
                      > > his or her own area. While Ursack will likely submit the S29 AllWhite
                      > > Hybrid for consideration by Yosemite and SEKI, there can be no assurance of
                      > > approval given those parks lack of testing criteria and/or their historical
                      > > antipathy toward Ursack."
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Big thread about it on BPL Gear Forum.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I'm probably still taking a Bearikade – but interesting stuff…. Barbara
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd
                      I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I ve had easily punctured (so it s no longer odorproof ) or was handled quickly with dirty
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                        I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one. 

                        On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 10:13 AM, <jmaddog1082@...> wrote:
                         

                        Not sure if this is the norm, but Ursack included an O.P. Sak (no additional charge) with my Ursack purchase about 3 years ago.

                        J

                      • John Ladd
                        ... This has also been my experience. I ve also had trouble re-sealing mine after 5-6 days of use. John Curran Ladd 1616 Castro Street San Francisco, CA
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                          <rebecca@...> wrote:
                          > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.

                          This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                          mine after 5-6 days of use.

                          John Curran Ladd
                          1616 Castro Street
                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                          415-648-9279
                        • Sam Rohlfs
                          I too had bad experiences with the OP sack. They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately. The ziplock part separated from
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                            I too had bad experiences with the OP sack.  They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately.  The ziplock part separated from the bag.  I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up.  They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it.  IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement.  DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.

                            On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                             

                            <rebecca@...> wrote:
                            > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.

                            This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                            mine after 5-6 days of use.

                            John Curran Ladd
                            1616 Castro Street
                            San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                            415-648-9279


                          • robert shattuck
                            Get a good freezer bag instead. . . . but wait, what brand of freezer bag. And do I want one with the zip thing across the top, or will the standard strip
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                              "Get a good freezer bag instead."  . . . but wait, what brand of freezer bag. And do I want one with the zip thing across the top, or will the standard strip seal thing work (debate rages on . . . ) 

                              It appears that URSACKS, while a great idea, come with a few tricks . . . ya gotta stick 'em in an "OP sack" to hopefully ward off the smell . . . you gotta remember to tie them capably, to a tree . . . then you have to fidget with the idea of all that extra weight of the liner . . . it's all just one more thing to think about and fret over once you've snuggled in for the night on your great adventure. 

                              Do you get up every time you hear a bear in camp, to see if your knot did the trick? Have the rodents beaten the bears to your stash?  So you've shaved a few pounds in pack weight, but gained all that worry and lost sleep . . . 

                              Haul the canister of your choice, endure the minimal added weight and enjoy having less to deal with while on the trail . . . my dwindling two-cents worth and now, out into the rain I go. 

                              bob

                              sparklefart.blogspot.com
                              http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480






                              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                              From: samrohlfs@...
                              Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:16:54 -0800
                              Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

                               
                              I too had bad experiences with the OP sack.  They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately.  The ziplock part separated from the bag.  I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up.  They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it.  IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement.  DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.


                              On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com> wrote:
                               
                              <rebecca@backpackgea rtest.org> wrote:
                              > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.

                              This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                              mine after 5-6 days of use.

                              John Curran Ladd
                              1616 Castro Street
                              San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                              415-648-9279





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                            • Roleigh Martin
                              I certainly agree the OP Sacks have a horrible ziplock feature -- very easily breaks in the field. I bring 3 OP Sacks for the duration of a thru-hike to
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                                I certainly agree the OP Sacks have a horrible ziplock feature -- very easily breaks in the field.  I bring 3 OP Sacks for the duration of a thru-hike to compensate for that.  I definitely want my garbage not smelling up my bear container.

                                On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 2:16 PM, Sam Rohlfs <samrohlfs@...> wrote:
                                 

                                I too had bad experiences with the OP sack.  They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately.  The ziplock part separated from the bag.  I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up.  They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it.  IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement.  DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.



                                On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                 

                                <rebecca@...> wrote:
                                > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.

                                This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                                mine after 5-6 days of use.

                                John Curran Ladd
                                1616 Castro Street
                                San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                415-648-9279



                              • jmaddog1082@charter.net
                                You forgot that it doesn t double as a camp stool... While most of these things are true Robert, I personally still love the fact that the Ursack s volume
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                                  You forgot that it doesn't double as a camp stool...

                                  While most of these things are true Robert, I personally still love the fact that the Ursack's volume (rather than the weight) is ever-shrinking and its less-rigid form is far more forgiving to pack, especially in a curved Osprey pack. Although, it's 8 oz weight is tough to ignore.

                                  I've used a Garcia far more times than my Ursack, but I'm beginning to re-think my choices based on trip specifics.

                                  J
                                  ---- robert shattuck <bobolonius@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > "Get a good freezer bag instead." . . . but wait, what brand of freezer bag. And do I want one with the zip thing across the top, or will the standard strip seal thing work (debate rages on . . . )
                                  > It appears that URSACKS, while a great idea, come with a few tricks . . . ya gotta stick 'em in an "OP sack" to hopefully ward off the smell . . . you gotta remember to tie them capably, to a tree . . . then you have to fidget with the idea of all that extra weight of the liner . . . it's all just one more thing to think about and fret over once you've snuggled in for the night on your great adventure.
                                  > Do you get up every time you hear a bear in camp, to see if your knot did the trick? Have the rodents beaten the bears to your stash? So you've shaved a few pounds in pack weight, but gained all that worry and lost sleep . . .
                                  > Haul the canister of your choice, endure the minimal added weight and enjoy having less to deal with while on the trail . . . my dwindling two-cents worth and now, out into the rain I go.
                                  > bob
                                  > sparklefart.blogspot.com
                                  > http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                  > From: samrohlfs@...
                                  > Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:16:54 -0800
                                  > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I too had bad experiences with the OP sack. They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately. The ziplock part separated from the bag. I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up. They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it. IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement. DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > <rebecca@...> wrote:
                                  > > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                                  > mine after 5-6 days of use.
                                  >
                                  > John Curran Ladd
                                  > 1616 Castro Street
                                  > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                  > 415-648-9279
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > _________________________________________________________________
                                  > Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.
                                  > http://clk.atdmt.com/GBL/go/196390709/direct/01/
                                • robert shattuck
                                  Right, forgot that one . . . you can t sit on an Ursack or make it do double duty as a water carrying device or washing machine. sparklefart.blogspot.com
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                                    Right, forgot that one . . . you can't sit on an Ursack or make it do double duty as a water carrying device or washing machine. 

                                    sparklefart.blogspot.com
                                    http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480






                                    To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                    CC: bobolonius@...
                                    From: jmaddog1082@...
                                    Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 16:52:02 -0500
                                    Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

                                     
                                    You forgot that it doesn't double as a camp stool...

                                    While most of these things are true Robert, I personally still love the fact that the Ursack's volume (rather than the weight) is ever-shrinking and its less-rigid form is far more forgiving to pack, especially in a curved Osprey pack. Although, it's 8 oz weight is tough to ignore.

                                    I've used a Garcia far more times than my Ursack, but I'm beginning to re-think my choices based on trip specifics.

                                    J
                                    ---- robert shattuck <bobolonius@hotmail. com> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > "Get a good freezer bag instead." . . . but wait, what brand of freezer bag. And do I want one with the zip thing across the top, or will the standard strip seal thing work (debate rages on . . . )
                                    > It appears that URSACKS, while a great idea, come with a few tricks . . . ya gotta stick 'em in an "OP sack" to hopefully ward off the smell . . . you gotta remember to tie them capably, to a tree . . . then you have to fidget with the idea of all that extra weight of the liner . . . it's all just one more thing to think about and fret over once you've snuggled in for the night on your great adventure.
                                    > Do you get up every time you hear a bear in camp, to see if your knot did the trick? Have the rodents beaten the bears to your stash? So you've shaved a few pounds in pack weight, but gained all that worry and lost sleep . . .
                                    > Haul the canister of your choice, endure the minimal added weight and enjoy having less to deal with while on the trail . . . my dwindling two-cents worth and now, out into the rain I go.
                                    > bob
                                    > sparklefart. blogspot. com
                                    > http://www.summitpo st.org/plans/ view_activity. php?post_ id=6480
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
                                    > From: samrohlfs@gmail. com
                                    > Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:16:54 -0800
                                    > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I too had bad experiences with the OP sack. They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately. The ziplock part separated from the bag. I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up. They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it. IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement. DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > <rebecca@backpackgea rtest.org> wrote:
                                    > > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                                    > mine after 5-6 days of use.
                                    >
                                    > John Curran Ladd
                                    > 1616 Castro Street
                                    > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                    > 415-648-9279
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                                    > Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.
                                    > http://clk.atdmt. com/GBL/go/ 196390709/ direct/01/




                                    Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now.
                                  • Sam Rohlfs
                                    Or a toilet. Anyone want to borrow my bearvault? On Jan 22, 2010, at 4:02 PM, robert shattuck
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                                      Or a toilet. Anyone want to borrow my bearvault?

                                      On Jan 22, 2010, at 4:02 PM, robert shattuck <bobolonius@...> wrote:

                                       

                                      Right, forgot that one . . . you can't sit on an Ursack or make it do double duty as a water carrying device or washing machine. 

                                      sparklefart. blogspot. com
                                      http://www.summitpo st.org/plans/ view_activity. php?post_ id=6480






                                      To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
                                      CC: bobolonius@hotmail. com
                                      From: jmaddog1082@charter.net
                                      Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 16:52:02 -0500
                                      Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

                                       
                                      You forgot that it doesn't double as a camp stool...

                                      While most of these things are true Robert, I personally still love the fact that the Ursack's volume (rather than the weight) is ever-shrinking and its less-rigid form is far more forgiving to pack, especially in a curved Osprey pack. Although, it's 8 oz weight is tough to ignore.

                                      I've used a Garcia far more times than my Ursack, but I'm beginning to re-think my choices based on trip specifics.

                                      J
                                      ---- robert shattuck <bobolonius@hotmail. com> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > "Get a good freezer bag instead." . . . but wait, what brand of freezer bag. And do I want one with the zip thing across the top, or will the standard strip seal thing work (debate rages on . . . )
                                      > It appears that URSACKS, while a great idea, come with a few tricks . . . ya gotta stick 'em in an "OP sack" to hopefully ward off the smell . . . you gotta remember to tie them capably, to a tree . . . then you have to fidget with the idea of all that extra weight of the liner . . . it's all just one more thing to think about and fret over once you've snuggled in for the night on your great adventure.
                                      > Do you get up every time you hear a bear in camp, to see if your knot did the trick? Have the rodents beaten the bears to your stash? So you've shaved a few pounds in pack weight, but gained all that worry and lost sleep . . .
                                      > Haul the canister of your choice, endure the minimal added weight and enjoy having less to deal with while on the trail . . . my dwindling two-cents worth and now, out into the rain I go.
                                      > bob
                                      > sparklefart. blogspot. com
                                      > http://www.summitpo st.org/plans/ view_activity. php?post_ id=6480
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
                                      > From: samrohlfs@gmail. com
                                      > Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:16:54 -0800
                                      > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I too had bad experiences with the OP sack. They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately. The ziplock part separated from the bag. I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up. They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it. IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement. DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > <rebecca@backpackgea rtest.org> wrote:
                                      > > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                                      > mine after 5-6 days of use.
                                      >
                                      > John Curran Ladd
                                      > 1616 Castro Street
                                      > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                      > 415-648-9279
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                                      > Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.
                                      > http://clk.atdmt. com/GBL/go/ 196390709/ direct/01/




                                      Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now.

                                    • Barbara Karagosian
                                      Bob, you are SO funny! Barbara On Jan 22, 2010, at 4:02 PM, robert shattuck
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jan 22, 2010
                                        Bob, you are SO funny!

                                        Barbara

                                        On Jan 22, 2010, at 4:02 PM, robert shattuck <bobolonius@...> wrote:

                                         

                                        Right, forgot that one . . . you can't sit on an Ursack or make it do double duty as a water carrying device or washing machine. 

                                        sparklefart. blogspot. com
                                        http://www.summitpo st.org/plans/ view_activity. php?post_ id=6480






                                        To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
                                        CC: bobolonius@hotmail. com
                                        From: jmaddog1082@charter.net
                                        Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 16:52:02 -0500
                                        Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

                                         
                                        You forgot that it doesn't double as a camp stool...

                                        While most of these things are true Robert, I personally still love the fact that the Ursack's volume (rather than the weight) is ever-shrinking and its less-rigid form is far more forgiving to pack, especially in a curved Osprey pack. Although, it's 8 oz weight is tough to ignore.

                                        I've used a Garcia far more times than my Ursack, but I'm beginning to re-think my choices based on trip specifics.

                                        J
                                        ---- robert shattuck <bobolonius@hotmail. com> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > "Get a good freezer bag instead." . . . but wait, what brand of freezer bag. And do I want one with the zip thing across the top, or will the standard strip seal thing work (debate rages on . . . )
                                        > It appears that URSACKS, while a great idea, come with a few tricks . . . ya gotta stick 'em in an "OP sack" to hopefully ward off the smell . . . you gotta remember to tie them capably, to a tree . . . then you have to fidget with the idea of all that extra weight of the liner . . . it's all just one more thing to think about and fret over once you've snuggled in for the night on your great adventure.
                                        > Do you get up every time you hear a bear in camp, to see if your knot did the trick? Have the rodents beaten the bears to your stash? So you've shaved a few pounds in pack weight, but gained all that worry and lost sleep . . .
                                        > Haul the canister of your choice, endure the minimal added weight and enjoy having less to deal with while on the trail . . . my dwindling two-cents worth and now, out into the rain I go.
                                        > bob
                                        > sparklefart. blogspot. com
                                        > http://www.summitpo st.org/plans/ view_activity. php?post_ id=6480
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
                                        > From: samrohlfs@gmail. com
                                        > Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:16:54 -0800
                                        > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I too had bad experiences with the OP sack. They go on and on about how durable they are but mine failed almost immediately. The ziplock part separated from the bag. I called OP Sack to get a replacement and they gave me such a huge hassle that I finally just gave up. They wanted me to mail them the bag so they could inspect it. IF they decided that it had failed prematurely, then they might send me a replacement. DO NOT waste your money on that product - get a good freezer bag instead.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > <rebecca@backpackgea rtest.org> wrote:
                                        > > I never really understood the purpose of the OP Sak. Every one I've had easily punctured (so it's no longer 'odorproof') or was handled quickly with dirty hands (and therefore had odors on the exterior). I've made due with an ursack without the OP Sak liner and have encountered no reason to use one.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > This has also been my experience. I've also had trouble re-sealing
                                        > mine after 5-6 days of use.
                                        >
                                        > John Curran Ladd
                                        > 1616 Castro Street
                                        > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                        > 415-648-9279
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                                        > Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.
                                        > http://clk.atdmt. com/GBL/go/ 196390709/ direct/01/




                                        Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now.

                                      • Peter Burke
                                        ... I can see using it as overflow container only, but having the option is better than what was available so far. Last year I was doing a northbound hike
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jan 23, 2010
                                          jmaddog1082@... wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > You forgot that it doesn't double as a camp stool...
                                          >
                                          > While most of these things are true Robert, I personally still love
                                          > the fact that the Ursack's volume (rather than the weight) is
                                          > ever-shrinking and its less-rigid form is far more forgiving to pack,
                                          > especially in a curved Osprey pack. Although, it's 8 oz weight is
                                          > tough to ignore.
                                          >
                                          > I've used a Garcia far more times than my Ursack, but I'm beginning to
                                          > re-think my choices based on trip specifics.
                                          >
                                          I can see using it as "overflow" container only, but having the option
                                          is better than what was available so far. Last year I was doing a
                                          northbound hike after the Muir Trail Ranch had closed and I had to
                                          adjust my daily miles upward because my food capacity was limited to the
                                          Bearikade Expdition's volume. Now, I could easily fit another day or two
                                          with the Ursack. I don't own one, but I would have bought one last year
                                          if it had been legal. Heck, I've done the trail with nylon bags and
                                          counter balancing 10 times.

                                          Thing is, I can't see the Ursack actually being allowed everywhere, nor
                                          do I feel the current "SIBBG is gone and therefore you can use it"
                                          situation will actually hold. The rangers have a very different opinion
                                          of the Ursack, which George Durkee's response to my post about the news
                                          on the Whitney Portal Forum sums up (he is a ranger in Kings Canyon)

                                          http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=60732&page=1&fpart=3#Post72414

                                          It mostly affects PCT hikers, who in general ignore the canister rule
                                          anyway. Of those I've met over the last two years, I thing only 50%
                                          actually have a bear canister.
                                        • Gary
                                          I love the Ursack; so light and compresable compared to a canister. Does anyone really know if they are legal on the JMT? I know the areas where they are
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Feb 11, 2011
                                            I love the Ursack; so light and compresable compared to a canister. Does anyone really know if they are legal on the JMT?

                                            I know the areas where they are specifically not allowed (Yosemite and from Pinchot Pass to Forester Pass), but what about everywhere else?

                                            The wording of Inyo National Forest Order #04-10-02 says specifically "a container designed to prevent access by bears". Surely an Ursack meets this definition! However, calls to any ranger station in Inyo yield a negative response even when I quote the Forest Order.

                                            I need a lawyer! Thanks for anyone's help or explanation.

                                            Gary
                                          • John Ladd
                                            Not legal. Ursack has sued them about it, but suit not yet decided. You can use it as a supplemental container, but only in the areas where a bear-hang is a
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Feb 11, 2011
                                              Not legal.  Ursack has sued them about it, but suit not yet decided.  You can use it as a supplemental container, but only in the areas where a bear-hang is a legal way for bear protection (e.g., roughly between Donohue Pass -- or is it Selden? -- and Pinchot Pass) , and even then you have to hang it.  I like it too, but a legal bearcan isn't all that bad and it has its merits.

                                              Lawsuit update info here:

                                              http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

                                              The rather rigorous requirements for bearcans have worked a huge improvement over the 1970's and 1980's when bears wwere a major almost every-night problem along significant parts of the trail.  It's not all that pleasant to have a bear sniffing at your head  in the middle of the night, as happened to me several times back in that era.  All the people who have carried legal bearcans over the years have made our on-trail life lots better and I feel it's kind of our moral responsibility to follow the rules that have worked in practice.  If it wasn't for all those people humping bearcans, the Ursacks would get attacked by food-accustomed bears.  They might not get the food, if the knot is secured properly, but they would sure smush it up pretty good.

                                              John Curran Ladd
                                              1616 Castro Street
                                              San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                              415-648-9279


                                              On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:05 PM, Gary <glweltmann@...> wrote:
                                               

                                              I love the Ursack; so light and compresable compared to a canister. Does anyone really know if they are legal on the JMT?

                                              I know the areas where they are specifically not allowed (Yosemite and from Pinchot Pass to Forester Pass), but what about everywhere else?

                                              The wording of Inyo National Forest Order #04-10-02 says specifically "a container designed to prevent access by bears". Surely an Ursack meets this definition! However, calls to any ranger station in Inyo yield a negative response even when I quote the Forest Order.

                                              I need a lawyer! Thanks for anyone's help or explanation.

                                              Gary


                                            • Peter Burke
                                              ... the question should be - do they work? and the rangers will tell you that in their experience, they do not work. That s about all that matters. Some may
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Feb 12, 2011
                                                On 2/11/2011 7:05 PM, Gary wrote:
                                                > I love the Ursack; so light and compresable compared to a canister. Does anyone really know if they are legal on the JMT?

                                                the question should be - do they work? and the rangers will tell you
                                                that in their experience, they do not work. That's about all that
                                                matters. Some may have more success with them than others, always
                                                depending on how well you tie it to some tree stump that may not be
                                                available within 4 miles of where you camp.

                                                And since for the remaining parts of the JMT you need an approved
                                                canister, just bring one and be done with the discussion.

                                                PCT hikers are much more likely to use the Ursack, since many of them
                                                feel they are "experienced" with those things. My guess is that at least
                                                25% of the PCT hikers ignore the bear can requirements and hike with the
                                                Ursack. So if you want to know more about those things, check out the
                                                PCT forums. Many people using them doesn't make them legal or more
                                                effective, though. The success rate these users have is mostly a result
                                                from the other hikers being all equipped with bear canisters and bears
                                                being unsuccessful obtaining food rewards from the majority of
                                                backcountry visitors. They don't come and check human camps as much as
                                                they used to. But that behavior was not modified by people carrying
                                                Ursacks into the area. Your chances to get through without bear trouble
                                                have only increased because most hikers do use canisters the bears know
                                                cannot be breached.

                                                Now, if you're hanging food in the areas where it's legal because it
                                                doesn't fit into the can, you can use an Ursack to add a little extra
                                                protection, but why would you? the only way these things protect your
                                                food from bears is with the aluminum liner and with that your bag weight
                                                is getting close to a light bear can. Not sure why one would bother with
                                                that - when a bear shows up to get a bag off a tree, you aren't going to
                                                sleep anyway - back in the 80s and early 90s I spent many nights chasing
                                                bears away from camp, and there's no way I'd return to that only to save
                                                a few ounces.

                                                > I know the areas where they are specifically not allowed (Yosemite and from Pinchot Pass to Forester Pass), but what about everywhere else?
                                                >
                                                > The wording of Inyo National Forest Order #04-10-02 says specifically "a container designed to prevent access by bears". Surely an Ursack meets this definition! However, calls to any ranger station in Inyo yield a negative response even when I quote the Forest Order.
                                                >

                                                they don't consider the Ursack as acceptable. Same in Kings Canyon - you
                                                are supposed to hang food where the canisters are not required in those
                                                areas, and for that you don't need the Ursack, just a lot of
                                                treespotting skills.


                                                > I need a lawyer! Thanks for anyone's help or explanation.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                you need a bear canister and move on to more important gear decisions.
                                                This one has been made for you.
                                              • John Ladd
                                                I m more positive than Peter on the Ursack (as a supplemental carrier) than Peter, but we have a lot of agreement. Those who have read our prior exchanges may
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Feb 12, 2011
                                                  I'm more positive than Peter on the Ursack (as a supplemental carrier) than Peter, but we have a lot of agreement.  Those who have read our prior exchanges may want to skip this.

                                                  On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 7:18 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:
                                                   

                                                  ...
                                                      the question should be - do they work? and the rangers will tell you
                                                  that in their experience, they do not work. That's about all that
                                                  matters. Some may have more success with them than others, always
                                                  depending on how well you tie it to some tree stump that may not be
                                                  available within 4 miles of where you camp.


                                                  IMHO, you shouldn't tie them to anything, even if you chose not to properly bearhang them (see comment below).  Just helps the bear get a better tug (loosening your knot if you tied it badly) and tests show the bears don't carry them off.  (See link below) But I totally agree with Peter that misuse is a major problem, mostly failure to properly knot the closing, and is my guess about the non-approval is that Yos/SEKI Rangers want an idiot-proof bear solution and Ursack is definitely not idiot-proof.  You really have to follow the knotting directions carefully and carry them with you so you don't forget them on the trail.

                                                   
                                                  And since for the remaining parts of the JMT you need an approved
                                                  canister, just bring one and be done with the discussion.


                                                  I agree.  On JMT, I'd (at most) use if for food when leaving the long stretch from VVR or MTR where people otherwise overflow their bearcans and try to hang their extra food in simple sacks.
                                                   
                                                    ... The success rate these users have is mostly a result
                                                  from the other hikers being all equipped with bear canisters and bears
                                                  being unsuccessful obtaining food rewards from the majority of
                                                  backcountry visitors. They don't come and check human camps as much as
                                                  they used to.
                                                  But that behavior was not modified by people carrying
                                                  Ursacks into the area. Your chances to get through without bear trouble
                                                  have only increased because most hikers do use canisters the bears know
                                                  cannot be breached.


                                                  I really, really agree with this.  Use of a Ursack as a main carrier unfairly exploits the work of people who carry the better protection.  Do your share and help preserve the solution to the problem we all have in common.
                                                   
                                                  Now, if you're hanging food in the areas where it's legal because it
                                                  doesn't fit into the can, you can use an Ursack to add a little extra
                                                  protection, but why would you?
                                                  the only way these things protect your
                                                  food from bears is with the aluminum liner and with that your bag weight
                                                  is getting close to a light bear can. Not sure why one would bother with
                                                  that - when a bear shows up to get a bag off a tree, you aren't going to
                                                  sleep anyway - back in the 80s and early 90s I spent many nights chasing
                                                  bears away from camp, and there's no way I'd return to that only to save
                                                  a few ounces.

                                                  You use a Ursack plus a proper bearhang because you aren't confident that your bearhang is 100% effective.  Ursack isn't 100% effective either, but using both (properly) gets awfully close.  You don't need the liner if it's a supplemental device and you hang it.  In the hopefully rare case where your hang fails, the Sack (not the liner) is what protects the bear from a food reward (what we are mostly trying to avoid).  The liner is designed to keep your food edible (protect the food from the bear, not crushed and slobbered over by the bear. Since most of your food is in the legal can, you can take a risk of the food being inedible after a failed bearhang.  The sack will keep it from the bear (as a second line of defense) even if it is crushed.

                                                  (It's worth repeating here that bearhangs aren't easy in the Sierra.  It's hard to find a proper branch since most Sierra branches are downsloping.  You can waste a lot of time bearhanging.)

                                                  It's worth owning an Ursack for other hikes (those with minimal bear issues), so why not bring it along if you know your can capacity will be exceeded at some point of your JMT hike. 

                                                  Pretty convincing test results here, conducted by Inyo NF staff:

                                                  http://www.ursack.com/sibbg_abstract.htm

                                                  John


                                                • Peter Burke
                                                  ... but there s the problem - very few will invest in this bag to supplement a can. They want the bag to save weight. I have never met a single Ursack user who
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Feb 12, 2011
                                                    On 2/12/2011 10:57 AM, John Ladd wrote:
                                                    You use a Ursack plus a proper bearhang because you aren't confident that your bearhang is 100% effective.  Ursack isn't 100% effective either, but using both (properly) gets awfully close.  You don't need the liner if it's a supplemental device and you hang it.  In the hopefully rare case where your hang fails, the Sack (not the liner) is what protects the bear from a food reward (what we are mostly trying to avoid).  The liner is designed to keep your food edible (protect the food from the bear, not crushed and slobbered over by the bear. Since most of your food is in the legal can, you can take a risk of the food being inedible after a failed bearhang.  The sack will keep it from the bear (as a second line of defense) even if it is crushed.

                                                    but there's the problem - very few will invest in this bag to supplement a can. They want the bag to save weight. I have never met a single Ursack user who actually did bring a can. I have met a few dozen who ignored the rules and carried just the Ursack. Most of them repeat PCT hikers and convinced they know better than the rangers...


                                                  • Herb Stroh
                                                    I hate extra weight--but bear cans are necessary and they work. Back in the day there were entire areas we would avoid camping in because the bear risk was too
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Feb 12, 2011
                                                      I hate extra weight--but bear cans are necessary and they work. Back in the day there were entire areas we would avoid camping in because the bear risk was too high. I frequently ran across hikers scurrying back home because a bear snagged their food and they were starving.
                                                       
                                                      The first time you drop that rock--I mean bear can--into your pack you think, God I gotta carry this the whole trip?? But you get used to its size and how it packs. I eliminated other gear that turned out to be non-essential to try and balance the added weight. It sure is nice to pull into camp and not have to scout a hanging tree and go through the process of securing the food.
                                                       
                                                      My opinion is that Ursaks are best used where your food predators are no worse that crows, marmots, mice and the like. Plus, bear cans are way more comfortable to sit on!
                                                       
                                                      Herb
                                                       
                                                       
                                                       

                                                      From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Burke [pburke@...]
                                                      Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 9:38 AM
                                                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Ursack

                                                       

                                                      On 2/12/2011 10:57 AM, John Ladd wrote:

                                                      You use a Ursack plus a proper bearhang because you aren't confident that your bearhang is 100% effective.  Ursack isn't 100% effective either, but using both (properly) gets awfully close.  You don't need the liner if it's a supplemental device and you hang it.  In the hopefully rare case where your hang fails, the Sack (not the liner) is what protects the bear from a food reward (what we are mostly trying to avoid).  The liner is designed to keep your food edible (protect the food from the bear, not crushed and slobbered over by the bear. Since most of your food is in the legal can, you can take a risk of the food being inedible after a failed bearhang.  The sack will keep it from the bear (as a second line of defense) even if it is crushed.

                                                      but there's the problem - very few will invest in this bag to supplement a can. They want the bag to save weight. I have never met a single Ursack user who actually did bring a can. I have met a few dozen who ignored the rules and carried just the Ursack. Most of them repeat PCT hikers and convinced they know better than the rangers...


                                                    • Gary
                                                      Thanks John. Hadn t quite thought about it in that way. Still, I hope bear canisters evolve toward softer and lighter; and the Ursack is a step in that
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Feb 12, 2011
                                                        Thanks John. Hadn't quite thought about it in that way. Still, I hope bear canisters evolve toward softer and lighter; and the Ursack is a step in that direction.

                                                        Gary

                                                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > Not legal. Ursack has sued them about it, but suit not yet decided. You
                                                        > can use it as a supplemental container, but only in the areas where a
                                                        > bear-hang is a legal way for bear protection (e.g., roughly between Donohue
                                                        > Pass -- or is it Selden? -- and Pinchot Pass) , and even then you have to
                                                        > hang it. I like it too, but a legal bearcan isn't all that bad and it has
                                                        > its merits.
                                                        >
                                                        > Lawsuit update info here:
                                                        >
                                                        > http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm
                                                        >
                                                        > The rather rigorous requirements for bearcans have worked a huge improvement
                                                        > over the 1970's and 1980's when bears wwere a major almost every-night
                                                        > problem along significant parts of the trail. It's not all that pleasant to
                                                        > have a bear sniffing at your head in the middle of the night, as happened
                                                        > to me several times back in that era. All the people who have carried legal
                                                        > bearcans over the years have made our on-trail life lots better and I feel
                                                        > it's kind of our moral responsibility to follow the rules that have worked
                                                        > in practice. If it wasn't for all those people humping bearcans, the
                                                        > Ursacks would get attacked by food-accustomed bears. They might not get the
                                                        > food, if the knot is secured properly, but they would sure smush it up
                                                        > pretty good.
                                                        >
                                                        > John Curran Ladd
                                                        > 1616 Castro Street
                                                        > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                                        > 415-648-9279
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:05 PM, Gary <glweltmann@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I love the Ursack; so light and compresable compared to a canister. Does
                                                        > > anyone really know if they are legal on the JMT?
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I know the areas where they are specifically not allowed (Yosemite and from
                                                        > > Pinchot Pass to Forester Pass), but what about everywhere else?
                                                        > >
                                                        > > The wording of Inyo National Forest Order #04-10-02 says specifically "a
                                                        > > container designed to prevent access by bears". Surely an Ursack meets this
                                                        > > definition! However, calls to any ranger station in Inyo yield a negative
                                                        > > response even when I quote the Forest Order.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I need a lawyer! Thanks for anyone's help or explanation.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Gary
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        >
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