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Why we carry bearcans

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  • John Ladd
    ... This is -- with apologies to those who have read it before -- a reposting (from 2011, updated in 2013 and again for this year). But we have new members and
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
      On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 8:16 AM, <hstroh@...> wrote:
      Bear cans have dramatically reduced bear incidents in the wilderness. Back in the day, it was not uncommon to meet someone making an unplanned exit due to a bear raid. But we all need to remain vigilent in properly securing food, closing cans, and keeping a clean camp.

      This is -- with apologies to those who have read it before -- a reposting (from 2011, updated in 2013 and again for this year). But we have new members and I think it's worthwhile reminding people why we carry bearcans. While a few people do ignore bearcan regulations without losing their food, here's why the requirements aren't just mindless over-regulation.

      The reason you may not yourself have seen bothersome backcountry bears (even if you have spent lots of recent time in Yosemite or SEKI) is because of the bearcan.  

      When we didn't have bearcans, bears were a problem.  It's probably true that 5% of the people can hike without bearcans and personally have no big problem. But that's only because the 95% of folks who DO carry them will mean that (1) fewer bears will become food-accustomed and (2) the bears who do become food accustomed will head for the Valley or other day use and car camper areas.  My viewpoint is that people who don't carry bearcans (or other legal and properly-executed food protection) are just free riders off the efforts of those who do.

      Over the 4 years 1976-79 there were an average annual 260 reported hiker injuries or property (gear) damage caused by bears in the Yosemite backcountryAuthors estimate that only 8-10% of incidents were reported, which would suggest that there used to be over 2,600 such backcountry "incidents" per year. (More serious incidents, however, were more likely to be reported.)

      http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin/tpl/Downloads/URSUS/Vol_5/Keay___van_Waggendonk_Vol_5.pdf

      An interesting sidelight of this study is that better bear protections in the Valley (which preceded improvements in backcountry practices) tended to move the incidents from the Valley to the backcountry.  After this report, better backcountry practices moved the vast majority of the incidents back to the Valley.

      The bear population has not gone down, but the incidents have gone way down.

      http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/population.html


      Nor, I suspect, has the backcountry use (people) gone down.  (I don't have a statistic to back it up, but it's certainly my impression that there are more of us out there now, especially on the JMT.)

      Despite this increase in the number of bears and the number of people, there were 52 backcountry bear incidents in 2013, which is an increase over recent years but better than in the pre-bearcan days. Definition of "incidents" seems unchanged from the earlier study.

      In 2012 (thru oct 13) there were 26 backcountry bear incidents


      In 2011 (through Oct 1) there were 10 backcountry bear incidents



      In 2010 (through Nov 6) there were 19 incidents

      Note: This figure came from the November 2010 version of the following page, which showed zero backcountry incidents so far that year. Unfortunately, The Internet Archive doesn't have a copy of the page so you'll have to trust my record of it.

      In 2009, there were 28 (through October)


      I don't 100% trust the statistics on only 10-52 backcountry Yosemite bear incidents per year in 2009-13.  People are presumably more reluctant now to admit backcountry incidents (at least minor ones) for fear of getting cited for improper food storage.  But the 1970's study concluded that there was already a lot of non-reporting.  A drop from 260 reports per year to 10-52 reports, despite more people and more bears, can't (IMHO) be explained by reporting trends alone.  It's a pretty dramatic change - roughly a 80-90% drop in reported incidents.

      The uptick in reports in 2013 is the cause of some concern at least if it happens again in 2014. It's possible that people are starting to get sloppy about bearcans. There was one report on my 2013 survey of use of an unapproved bear protection method (an Ursack) leading to a bear getting a food reward on the JMT (out of 358 hikers surveyed)

      You may have a false impression that there aren't many bears out there because you haven't seen bearsign.  Lots of people look for obvious, large scat in the middle of the trail, but bear scat is somewhat variable and not the only sign.  Bearscratching on trees is fairly common up there, as are big logs and rocks that have been pulled back to expose the insects and grubs underneath.  Good article on bearsign here:

      http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/mammals/bearsign.html

      Nice pic of bear-scratched tree below.  Bears sometimes like to scratch high to show other bears how big they are, but they scratch low also

      sue_with_bear_tree_sw.jpg

      Rock as a bear sign

      sign_of_bear.JPG

      Scat pictures here:

      http://www.google.com/images?q=black+bear+scat

      Note how variable it is.

      I don't think you need to be scared about bears on the JMT.  But it's the bearcan that explains why you don't. You benefit from the fact that I -- and most other hikers -- carry the damn bearcan.

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279
    • Roleigh Martin
      Great post John, over at the JMT Sidebar, I ve posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory. http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm April 18, 2014
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
        Great post John, over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory.  http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

        "April 18, 2014

        We are still awaiting the official certification letter and number from the IGBC, but can share some of the details. At IGBC insistence, we baited an Ursack S29 AllWhite, knotted it securely and placed it on the ground with no aluminum liner and not tied to a tree. The first two grizzlies went at it for an active 57 minutes. One of the bears was nick-named "The Destroyer," but neither he nor his sister were able to compromise the Ursack. The Grizzly Wolf and Discovery Center rotates bears in and out at approximately one hour intervals. So the Destroyer went back to his quarters and five, count 'em, five more grizzlies came out to work on the same Ursack. The IGBC testing protocol requires a total of 60 minutes of active bear encounters, so even though we needed just a few minutes more to pass the test, there was no way to get the Ursack out until the five bears finished their shift. Not to worry. Ursack made if for another hour. A total of seven grizzly bears and two hours of active clawing, biting and scratching--yet Ursack survived. After washing the Ursack one could barely (bearly?) tell that it had been attacked."

        It will be very interesting to see if this approval impacts the future fate of Ursack approval in any of the areas involving the JMT.  Until it is approved, it can't be used as a substitute for a bear canister where bear canisters are required.

        Here are the specs on this Ursack S29 AllWhite


        Inline image 1




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        On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 8:59 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
         

        On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 8:16 AM, <hstroh@...> wrote:
        Bear cans have dramatically reduced bear incidents in the wilderness. Back in the day, it was not uncommon to meet someone making an unplanned exit due to a bear raid. But we all need to remain vigilent in properly securing food, closing cans, and keeping a clean camp.

        This is -- with apologies to those who have read it before -- a reposting (from 2011, updated in 2013 and again for this year). But we have new members and I think it's worthwhile reminding people why we carry bearcans. While a few people do ignore bearcan regulations without losing their food, here's why the requirements aren't just mindless over-regulation.

        The reason you may not yourself have seen bothersome backcountry bears (even if you have spent lots of recent time in Yosemite or SEKI) is because of the bearcan.  

        When we didn't have bearcans, bears were a problem.  It's probably true that 5% of the people can hike without bearcans and personally have no big problem. But that's only because the 95% of folks who DO carry them will mean that (1) fewer bears will become food-accustomed and (2) the bears who do become food accustomed will head for the Valley or other day use and car camper areas.  My viewpoint is that people who don't carry bearcans (or other legal and properly-executed food protection) are just free riders off the efforts of those who do.

        Over the 4 years 1976-79 there were an average annual 260 reported hiker injuries or property (gear) damage caused by bears in the Yosemite backcountryAuthors estimate that only 8-10% of incidents were reported, which would suggest that there used to be over 2,600 such backcountry "incidents" per year. (More serious incidents, however, were more likely to be reported.)

        http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin/tpl/Downloads/URSUS/Vol_5/Keay___van_Waggendonk_Vol_5.pdf

        An interesting sidelight of this study is that better bear protections in the Valley (which preceded improvements in backcountry practices) tended to move the incidents from the Valley to the backcountry.  After this report, better backcountry practices moved the vast majority of the incidents back to the Valley.

        The bear population has not gone down, but the incidents have gone way down.

        http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/population.html


        Nor, I suspect, has the backcountry use (people) gone down.  (I don't have a statistic to back it up, but it's certainly my impression that there are more of us out there now, especially on the JMT.)

        Despite this increase in the number of bears and the number of people, there were 52 backcountry bear incidents in 2013, which is an increase over recent years but better than in the pre-bearcan days. Definition of "incidents" seems unchanged from the earlier study.

        In 2012 (thru oct 13) there were 26 backcountry bear incidents


        In 2011 (through Oct 1) there were 10 backcountry bear incidents



        In 2010 (through Nov 6) there were 19 incidents

        Note: This figure came from the November 2010 version of the following page, which showed zero backcountry incidents so far that year. Unfortunately, The Internet Archive doesn't have a copy of the page so you'll have to trust my record of it.

        In 2009, there were 28 (through October)


        I don't 100% trust the statistics on only 10-52 backcountry Yosemite bear incidents per year in 2009-13.  People are presumably more reluctant now to admit backcountry incidents (at least minor ones) for fear of getting cited for improper food storage.  But the 1970's study concluded that there was already a lot of non-reporting.  A drop from 260 reports per year to 10-52 reports, despite more people and more bears, can't (IMHO) be explained by reporting trends alone.  It's a pretty dramatic change - roughly a 80-90% drop in reported incidents.

        The uptick in reports in 2013 is the cause of some concern at least if it happens again in 2014. It's possible that people are starting to get sloppy about bearcans. There was one report on my 2013 survey of use of an unapproved bear protection method (an Ursack) leading to a bear getting a food reward on the JMT (out of 358 hikers surveyed)

        You may have a false impression that there aren't many bears out there because you haven't seen bearsign.  Lots of people look for obvious, large scat in the middle of the trail, but bear scat is somewhat variable and not the only sign.  Bearscratching on trees is fairly common up there, as are big logs and rocks that have been pulled back to expose the insects and grubs underneath.  Good article on bearsign here:

        http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/mammals/bearsign.html

        Nice pic of bear-scratched tree below.  Bears sometimes like to scratch high to show other bears how big they are, but they scratch low also

        sue_with_bear_tree_sw.jpg

        Rock as a bear sign

        sign_of_bear.JPG

        Scat pictures here:

        http://www.google.com/images?q=black+bear+scat

        Note how variable it is.

        I don't think you need to be scared about bears on the JMT.  But it's the bearcan that explains why you don't. You benefit from the fact that I -- and most other hikers -- carry the damn bearcan.

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


      • Roleigh Martin
        PS, more about the IGBC here: http://www.igbconline.org/index.php/safety-in-grizzly-country/bear-resistant-products/igbc-certified-bear-resistant-products
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014

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          On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
          Great post John, over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory.  http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

          "April 18, 2014

          We are still awaiting the official certification letter and number from the IGBC, but can share some of the details. At IGBC insistence, we baited an Ursack S29 AllWhite, knotted it securely and placed it on the ground with no aluminum liner and not tied to a tree. The first two grizzlies went at it for an active 57 minutes. One of the bears was nick-named "The Destroyer," but neither he nor his sister were able to compromise the Ursack. The Grizzly Wolf and Discovery Center rotates bears in and out at approximately one hour intervals. So the Destroyer went back to his quarters and five, count 'em, five more grizzlies came out to work on the same Ursack. The IGBC testing protocol requires a total of 60 minutes of active bear encounters, so even though we needed just a few minutes more to pass the test, there was no way to get the Ursack out until the five bears finished their shift. Not to worry. Ursack made if for another hour. A total of seven grizzly bears and two hours of active clawing, biting and scratching--yet Ursack survived. After washing the Ursack one could barely (bearly?) tell that it had been attacked."

          It will be very interesting to see if this approval impacts the future fate of Ursack approval in any of the areas involving the JMT.  Until it is approved, it can't be used as a substitute for a bear canister where bear canisters are required.

          Here are the specs on this Ursack S29 AllWhite


          Inline image 1




          -------------------------------------------------
          Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
          _



          On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 8:59 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
           

          On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 8:16 AM, <hstroh@...> wrote:
          Bear cans have dramatically reduced bear incidents in the wilderness. Back in the day, it was not uncommon to meet someone making an unplanned exit due to a bear raid. But we all need to remain vigilent in properly securing food, closing cans, and keeping a clean camp.

          This is -- with apologies to those who have read it before -- a reposting (from 2011, updated in 2013 and again for this year). But we have new members and I think it's worthwhile reminding people why we carry bearcans. While a few people do ignore bearcan regulations without losing their food, here's why the requirements aren't just mindless over-regulation.

          The reason you may not yourself have seen bothersome backcountry bears (even if you have spent lots of recent time in Yosemite or SEKI) is because of the bearcan.  

          When we didn't have bearcans, bears were a problem.  It's probably true that 5% of the people can hike without bearcans and personally have no big problem. But that's only because the 95% of folks who DO carry them will mean that (1) fewer bears will become food-accustomed and (2) the bears who do become food accustomed will head for the Valley or other day use and car camper areas.  My viewpoint is that people who don't carry bearcans (or other legal and properly-executed food protection) are just free riders off the efforts of those who do.

          Over the 4 years 1976-79 there were an average annual 260 reported hiker injuries or property (gear) damage caused by bears in the Yosemite backcountryAuthors estimate that only 8-10% of incidents were reported, which would suggest that there used to be over 2,600 such backcountry "incidents" per year. (More serious incidents, however, were more likely to be reported.)

          http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin/tpl/Downloads/URSUS/Vol_5/Keay___van_Waggendonk_Vol_5.pdf

          An interesting sidelight of this study is that better bear protections in the Valley (which preceded improvements in backcountry practices) tended to move the incidents from the Valley to the backcountry.  After this report, better backcountry practices moved the vast majority of the incidents back to the Valley.

          The bear population has not gone down, but the incidents have gone way down.

          http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/population.html


          Nor, I suspect, has the backcountry use (people) gone down.  (I don't have a statistic to back it up, but it's certainly my impression that there are more of us out there now, especially on the JMT.)

          Despite this increase in the number of bears and the number of people, there were 52 backcountry bear incidents in 2013, which is an increase over recent years but better than in the pre-bearcan days. Definition of "incidents" seems unchanged from the earlier study.

          In 2012 (thru oct 13) there were 26 backcountry bear incidents


          In 2011 (through Oct 1) there were 10 backcountry bear incidents



          In 2010 (through Nov 6) there were 19 incidents

          Note: This figure came from the November 2010 version of the following page, which showed zero backcountry incidents so far that year. Unfortunately, The Internet Archive doesn't have a copy of the page so you'll have to trust my record of it.

          In 2009, there were 28 (through October)


          I don't 100% trust the statistics on only 10-52 backcountry Yosemite bear incidents per year in 2009-13.  People are presumably more reluctant now to admit backcountry incidents (at least minor ones) for fear of getting cited for improper food storage.  But the 1970's study concluded that there was already a lot of non-reporting.  A drop from 260 reports per year to 10-52 reports, despite more people and more bears, can't (IMHO) be explained by reporting trends alone.  It's a pretty dramatic change - roughly a 80-90% drop in reported incidents.

          The uptick in reports in 2013 is the cause of some concern at least if it happens again in 2014. It's possible that people are starting to get sloppy about bearcans. There was one report on my 2013 survey of use of an unapproved bear protection method (an Ursack) leading to a bear getting a food reward on the JMT (out of 358 hikers surveyed)

          You may have a false impression that there aren't many bears out there because you haven't seen bearsign.  Lots of people look for obvious, large scat in the middle of the trail, but bear scat is somewhat variable and not the only sign.  Bearscratching on trees is fairly common up there, as are big logs and rocks that have been pulled back to expose the insects and grubs underneath.  Good article on bearsign here:

          http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/mammals/bearsign.html

          Nice pic of bear-scratched tree below.  Bears sometimes like to scratch high to show other bears how big they are, but they scratch low also

          sue_with_bear_tree_sw.jpg

          Rock as a bear sign

          sign_of_bear.JPG

          Scat pictures here:

          http://www.google.com/images?q=black+bear+scat

          Note how variable it is.

          I don't think you need to be scared about bears on the JMT.  But it's the bearcan that explains why you don't. You benefit from the fact that I -- and most other hikers -- carry the damn bearcan.

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



        • John Ladd
          ... It s worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don t know, that it was from the
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
            On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
             ... over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory.  http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm


            It's worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward  from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don't know, that it was from the use of an improper knot to tie the Ursack closed. I'm hoping the Ursack doesn't get approved since we can't count on people using it properly. A good bearcan design needs to be more idiot proof than the Ursack seems to be. I suspect that if it is approved it will get provisional approval (as other new cans and the earlier Ursack itself have in past years) and they we will see if in fact bears get into it and the provisional approval will get yanked if people don't learn to tie the proper closure knot. Just guessing.
          • Roleigh Martin
            John, I beg to differ. We should not hold usage requirements for the Ursack higher than those required for bear canisters. Lots of people leave their bear
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
              John, I beg to differ.  We should not hold usage requirements for the Ursack higher than those required for bear canisters.  Lots of people leave their bear canister opened until they're done with a meal.  Lots of bears have taken bear canisters away from people during that period.  Should we take away approval of bear canisters?  Just as one has to shut a bear canister immediately after using it, one has to tie a proper knot (they're super easy to do, one just needs to look at the one picture cartoon that explains it from Ursack).  

              In any event, we'll see what (first) the IGBC does -- that issue might even affect it being approved in IGBC territory; and (secondly) what the various JMT agencies do.  It's their decision(s) that count.

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              On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
               

              On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
               ... over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory.  http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm


              It's worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward  from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don't know, that it was from the use of an improper knot to tie the Ursack closed. I'm hoping the Ursack doesn't get approved since we can't count on people using it properly. A good bearcan design needs to be more idiot proof than the Ursack seems to be. I suspect that if it is approved it will get provisional approval (as other new cans and the earlier Ursack itself have in past years) and they we will see if in fact bears get into it and the provisional approval will get yanked if people don't learn to tie the proper closure knot. Just guessing.


            • Roleigh Martin
              Unfortunately, Wild-Ideas.net took away their war stories about improper use of bear canisters. It used to exist. Bears can take away at high speed a bear
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                Unfortunately, Wild-Ideas.net took away their war stories about improper use of bear canisters.  It used to exist. Bears can take away at high speed a bear canister that is left open by using it's mouth, letting it run with all 4 legs then until it's out of way of the humans, and it can enjoy the contents of the bear canister.  I get very lectury on the hikes I organize when I see a hiker not shut the bear canister immediately after taking something out of it.  If one of the members in your group loses their food due to this stupidity, it threatens the whole group, for a host of obvious (no need to belabor) reasons.

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                _



                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                John, I beg to differ.  We should not hold usage requirements for the Ursack higher than those required for bear canisters.  Lots of people leave their bear canister opened until they're done with a meal.  Lots of bears have taken bear canisters away from people during that period.  Should we take away approval of bear canisters?  Just as one has to shut a bear canister immediately after using it, one has to tie a proper knot (they're super easy to do, one just needs to look at the one picture cartoon that explains it from Ursack).  

                In any event, we'll see what (first) the IGBC does -- that issue might even affect it being approved in IGBC territory; and (secondly) what the various JMT agencies do.  It's their decision(s) that count.

                -------------------------------------------------
                Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                _



                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                 

                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                 ... over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory.  http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm


                It's worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward  from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don't know, that it was from the use of an improper knot to tie the Ursack closed. I'm hoping the Ursack doesn't get approved since we can't count on people using it properly. A good bearcan design needs to be more idiot proof than the Ursack seems to be. I suspect that if it is approved it will get provisional approval (as other new cans and the earlier Ursack itself have in past years) and they we will see if in fact bears get into it and the provisional approval will get yanked if people don't learn to tie the proper closure knot. Just guessing.



              • longritchie
                I ve awoken in the middle of night on a number of occasions and discovered I d fallen asleep hours earlier with my Bearikade wide open and the food spread
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                  I've awoken in the middle of night on a number of occasions and discovered I'd fallen asleep hours earlier with my Bearikade wide open and the food spread around. So it certainly possible to fail to close a canister. But that said it seems more likely that a cinched and knotted fabric bag would require more care to properly close. And in making the rules the unfortunately low intelligence of the average backcountry visitor has to be considered.

                  Maybe there should be a requirement for an auto-closure of canisters. It could be spring loaded so that once you let go of the lid it closes and locks itself. It might add an extra pound and make it a little bigger and more expensive but wouldn't that be acceptable to you if it would save even one bear?


                  ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote :

                  Unfortunately, Wild-Ideas.net took away their war stories about improper use of bear canisters. It used to exist. Bears can take away at high speed a bear canister that is left open by using it's mouth, letting it run with all 4 legs then until it's out of way of the humans, and it can enjoy the contents of the bear canister. I get very lectury on the hikes I organize when I see a hiker not shut the bear canister immediately after taking something out of it. If one of the members in your group loses their food due to this stupidity, it threatens the whole group, for a host of obvious (no need to belabor) reasons.

                  -------------------------------------------------
                  Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
                  _





                  On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@... mailto:roleigh@...> wrote:
                  John, I beg to differ. We should not hold usage requirements for the Ursack higher than those required for bear canisters. Lots of people leave their bear canister opened until they're done with a meal. Lots of bears have taken bear canisters away from people during that period. Should we take away approval of bear canisters? Just as one has to shut a bear canister immediately after using it, one has to tie a proper knot (they're super easy to do, one just needs to look at the one picture cartoon that explains it from Ursack).

                  In any event, we'll see what (first) the IGBC does -- that issue might even affect it being approved in IGBC territory; and (secondly) what the various JMT agencies do. It's their decision(s) that count.


                  -------------------------------------------------
                  Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
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                  On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@... mailto:johnladd@...> wrote:

                  On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@... mailto:roleigh@...> wrote:

                  ... over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory. http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm








                  It's worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don't know, that it was from the use of an improper knot to tie the Ursack closed. I'm hoping the Ursack doesn't get approved since we can't count on people using it properly. A good bearcan design needs to be more idiot proof than the Ursack seems to be. I suspect that if it is approved it will get provisional approval (as other new cans and the earlier Ursack itself have in past years) and they we will see if in fact bears get into it and the provisional approval will get yanked if people don't learn to tie the proper closure knot. Just guessing.
                • Roleigh Martin
                  Ritchie, I do not subscribe to the idea that all must be punished to prevent stupidity from happening. If you made bear canisters an extra pound heavier, many
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                    Ritchie,

                    I do not subscribe to the idea that all must be punished to prevent stupidity from happening.  If you made bear canisters an extra pound heavier, many would fake carrying and using a bear canister -- when rangers stop you and ask about bear canisters, most people just bang their bear canister which is covered by pack cloth.  If those bear canisters weighed 4 lbs, and all the light weight ones weighed that one extra pound, you'd see people bringing out-of-date ones or substitute-made ones (cardboard cement cylinder forms), or what not to avoid carrying that extra weight.

                    You could more easily have a knot adapter on the Ursack rope that makes the knot easier and more bear proof, and I'm sure the knot adapter would weigh less than a pound.

                    In any event, my opinion does not count, it's about those who make the rules about bear safety.  I'm glad that Ursack reached out to IGBC.  It will be interesting if IGBC puts the Ursack on their approved product list -- they have not done that yet.

                    Roleigh

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                    _



                    On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM, longritchie <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                     

                    I've awoken in the middle of night on a number of occasions and discovered I'd fallen asleep hours earlier with my Bearikade wide open and the food spread around. So it certainly possible to fail to close a canister. But that said it seems more likely that a cinched and knotted fabric bag would require more care to properly close. And in making the rules the unfortunately low intelligence of the average backcountry visitor has to be considered.

                    Maybe there should be a requirement for an auto-closure of canisters. It could be spring loaded so that once you let go of the lid it closes and locks itself. It might add an extra pound and make it a little bigger and more expensive but wouldn't that be acceptable to you if it would save even one bear?

                    ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote :



                    Unfortunately, Wild-Ideas.net took away their war stories about improper use of bear canisters. It used to exist. Bears can take away at high speed a bear canister that is left open by using it's mouth, letting it run with all 4 legs then until it's out of way of the humans, and it can enjoy the contents of the bear canister. I get very lectury on the hikes I organize when I see a hiker not shut the bear canister immediately after taking something out of it. If one of the members in your group loses their food due to this stupidity, it threatens the whole group, for a host of obvious (no need to belabor) reasons.

                    -------------------------------------------------
                    Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
                    _


                    On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@... mailto:roleigh@...> wrote:
                    John, I beg to differ. We should not hold usage requirements for the Ursack higher than those required for bear canisters. Lots of people leave their bear canister opened until they're done with a meal. Lots of bears have taken bear canisters away from people during that period. Should we take away approval of bear canisters? Just as one has to shut a bear canister immediately after using it, one has to tie a proper knot (they're super easy to do, one just needs to look at the one picture cartoon that explains it from Ursack).

                    In any event, we'll see what (first) the IGBC does -- that issue might even affect it being approved in IGBC territory; and (secondly) what the various JMT agencies do. It's their decision(s) that count.

                    -------------------------------------------------
                    Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
                    _

                    On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@... mailto:johnladd@...> wrote:

                    On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@... mailto:roleigh@...> wrote:

                    ... over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory. http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

                    It's worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don't know, that it was from the use of an improper knot to tie the Ursack closed. I'm hoping the Ursack doesn't get approved since we can't count on people using it properly. A good bearcan design needs to be more idiot proof than the Ursack seems to be. I suspect that if it is approved it will get provisional approval (as other new cans and the earlier Ursack itself have in past years) and they we will see if in fact bears get into it and the provisional approval will get yanked if people don't learn to tie the proper closure knot. Just guessing.


                  • Roleigh Martin
                    Youtube has a video of the IGBC test with the grizzlies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=079s2CwGn0Q ... Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                      Youtube has a video of the IGBC test with the grizzlies.

                    • Roleigh Martin
                      It s obvious after watching the video, that if a bear did that to your ursack, you d only have one meal for the rest of your hike, and that would be blended
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                        It's obvious after watching the video, that if a bear did that to your ursack, you'd only have one meal for the rest of your hike, and that would be blended mush.  Your worry after the bear attack would be protecting the food from ants and mice for the rest of the hike.  I'm not sure the Ursack is mouse-proof.  It certainly is not ant-proof.

                        I'm sticking with my Bearikade Canister -- the weight of the Ursack with the Aluminum inner-wrapper to protect the food is hardly any different (a difference of 8 ounces).  Interesting I saw the note there at ursack: " Ursack is not approved for use in Yosemite N.P. or in three areas of Sequoia-Kings Canyon N.P.  It is allowed in Inyo National Forest and the rest of the Sierra."  I did not know about Inyo approving it.  I have not confirmed this with Inyo's rule page on bear canisters.

                        -------------------------------------------------
                        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                        _



                        On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                        Youtube has a video of the IGBC test with the grizzlies.


                      • Kim Fishburn
                        My Ursak came with an odor proof ziplock. It ll keep the insects out but I doubt it would keep out the mice, and I m sure they can crawl into the smallest
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                          My Ursak came with an odor proof ziplock. It'll keep the insects out but I doubt it would keep out the mice, and I'm sure they can crawl into the smallest opening you can create with it tied shut. For the short period that I heard that the Ursak was allowed you were required to have the aluminum liner. If it ever is approved you still won't be able to tie it to a tree. I would at least tie it to a fallen limb so its harder to drag off.

                          Kim


                          On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                           

                          It's obvious after watching the video, that if a bear did that to your ursack, you'd only have one meal for the rest of your hike, and that would be blended mush.  Your worry after the bear attack would be protecting the food from ants and mice for the rest of the hike.  I'm not sure the Ursack is mouse-proof.  It certainly is not ant-proof.

                          I'm sticking with my Bearikade Canister -- the weight of the Ursack with the Aluminum inner-wrapper to protect the food is hardly any different (a difference of 8 ounces).  Interesting I saw the note there at ursack: " Ursack is not approved for use in Yosemite N.P. or in three areas of Sequoia-Kings Canyon N.P.  It is allowed in Inyo National Forest and the rest of the Sierra."  I did not know about Inyo approving it.  I have not confirmed this with Inyo's rule page on bear canisters.

                          -------------------------------------------------
                          Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                          _



                          On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                          Youtube has a video of the IGBC test with the grizzlies.



                        • Roleigh Martin
                          Kim, I m sure the odor proof ziplock would not survive intact, even with the aluminum liner (which is open-ended at top and bottom), if the grizzlies got ahold
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                            Kim, I'm sure the odor proof ziplock would not survive intact, even with the aluminum liner (which is open-ended at top and bottom), if the grizzlies got ahold of the ursack and tore at it like they did in the video.  Then the food is at risk from ants.  Now I suppose one could pack in a separate container separate odor proof ziplock to handle this contingency.  I should have thought of that earlier.

                            Still, we await the authorities' decisions (first IGBC).  

                            Interesting about Inyo. does anyone have the confirmation page link handy from Inyo's web site?  I'm still working and can't divert too much time on this.

                            Roleigh

                            -------------------------------------------------
                            Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                            _



                            On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 1:01 PM, Kim Fishburn <animalfarm99@...> wrote:
                             

                            My Ursak came with an odor proof ziplock. It'll keep the insects out but I doubt it would keep out the mice, and I'm sure they can crawl into the smallest opening you can create with it tied shut. For the short period that I heard that the Ursak was allowed you were required to have the aluminum liner. If it ever is approved you still won't be able to tie it to a tree. I would at least tie it to a fallen limb so its harder to drag off.

                            Kim


                            On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                             

                            It's obvious after watching the video, that if a bear did that to your ursack, you'd only have one meal for the rest of your hike, and that would be blended mush.  Your worry after the bear attack would be protecting the food from ants and mice for the rest of the hike.  I'm not sure the Ursack is mouse-proof.  It certainly is not ant-proof.

                            I'm sticking with my Bearikade Canister -- the weight of the Ursack with the Aluminum inner-wrapper to protect the food is hardly any different (a difference of 8 ounces).  Interesting I saw the note there at ursack: " Ursack is not approved for use in Yosemite N.P. or in three areas of Sequoia-Kings Canyon N.P.  It is allowed in Inyo National Forest and the rest of the Sierra."  I did not know about Inyo approving it.  I have not confirmed this with Inyo's rule page on bear canisters.

                            -------------------------------------------------
                            Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                            _



                            On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                            Youtube has a video of the IGBC test with the grizzlies.




                          • Steve Eddy
                            The bag remained intact. I m guessing the contents were a little a munched up though.
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014

                              The bag remained intact. I'm guessing the contents were a little a munched up  though.

                            • longritchie
                              That s the same argument I ve used for years for making Ursacks legal. I constantly run into people who can t fit their food in their canister and any choose
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 23, 2014
                                That's the same argument I've used for years for making Ursacks legal. I constantly run into people who can't fit their food in their canister and any choose to leave the remaining food unprotected.

                                What's better for keeping bears from getting food:
                                (a) two Ursacks
                                -OR-
                                (b) a cansiter and a plastic bag?


                                ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote :

                                Ritchie,

                                I do not subscribe to the idea that all must be punished to prevent stupidity from happening. If you made bear canisters an extra pound heavier, many would fake carrying and using a bear canister -- when rangers stop you and ask about bear canisters, most people just bang their bear canister which is covered by pack cloth. If those bear canisters weighed 4 lbs, and all the light weight ones weighed that one extra pound, you'd see people bringing out-of-date ones or substitute-made ones (cardboard cement cylinder forms), or what not to avoid carrying that extra weight.


                                You could more easily have a knot adapter on the Ursack rope that makes the knot easier and more bear proof, and I'm sure the knot adapter would weigh less than a pound.


                                In any event, my opinion does not count, it's about those who make the rules about bear safety. I'm glad that Ursack reached out to IGBC. It will be interesting if IGBC puts the Ursack on their approved product list -- they have not done that yet.


                                Roleigh


                                -------------------------------------------------
                                Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
                                _





                                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM, longritchie <no_reply@yahoogroups.com mailto:no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                I've awoken in the middle of night on a number of occasions and discovered I'd fallen asleep hours earlier with my Bearikade wide open and the food spread around. So it certainly possible to fail to close a canister. But that said it seems more likely that a cinched and knotted fabric bag would require more care to properly close. And in making the rules the unfortunately low intelligence of the average backcountry visitor has to be considered.

                                Maybe there should be a requirement for an auto-closure of canisters. It could be spring loaded so that once you let go of the lid it closes and locks itself. It might add an extra pound and make it a little bigger and more expensive but wouldn't that be acceptable to you if it would save even one bear?

                                ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <roleigh@...> wrote :


                                Unfortunately, Wild-Ideas.net took away their war stories about improper use of bear canisters. It used to exist. Bears can take away at high speed a bear canister that is left open by using it's mouth, letting it run with all 4 legs then until it's out of way of the humans, and it can enjoy the contents of the bear canister. I get very lectury on the hikes I organize when I see a hiker not shut the bear canister immediately after taking something out of it. If one of the members in your group loses their food due to this stupidity, it threatens the whole group, for a host of obvious (no need to belabor) reasons.

                                -------------------------------------------------

                                Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
                                _

                                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@... mailto:roleigh@ mailto:roleigh@...> wrote:
                                John, I beg to differ. We should not hold usage requirements for the Ursack higher than those required for bear canisters. Lots of people leave their bear canister opened until they're done with a meal. Lots of bears have taken bear canisters away from people during that period. Should we take away approval of bear canisters? Just as one has to shut a bear canister immediately after using it, one has to tie a proper knot (they're super easy to do, one just needs to look at the one picture cartoon that explains it from Ursack).

                                In any event, we'll see what (first) the IGBC does -- that issue might even affect it being approved in IGBC territory; and (secondly) what the various JMT agencies do. It's their decision(s) that count.

                                -------------------------------------------------

                                Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links) https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about
                                _

                                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@... mailto:johnladd@ mailto:johnladd@...> wrote:

                                On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@... mailto:roleigh@ mailto:roleigh@...> wrote:

                                ... over at the JMT Sidebar, I've posted about the Ursack has done in Grizzly territory. http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm

                                It's worth noting that my survey included one report of a bear getting a food reward from an Ursack. I suspect, though I don't know, that it was from the use of an improper knot to tie the Ursack closed. I'm hoping the Ursack doesn't get approved since we can't count on people using it properly. A good bearcan design needs to be more idiot proof than the Ursack seems to be. I suspect that if it is approved it will get provisional approval (as other new cans and the earlier Ursack itself have in past years) and they we will see if in fact bears get into it and the provisional approval will get yanked if people don't learn to tie the proper closure knot. Just guessing.
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