Jun 7, 2006 at 10:56 am #1218753
I just ordered some OP sacks from Watchful Eye Designs and they are on closeout. 2 for the price of 1. Reading more carefully into the situation, they are dis-continuing the gussetted bottoms in favor of a more resilient material (to puncture) and no gussets.
I don’t know about you but I like the idea of having the gussetted bottoms for the sheer sake of convenience.
Anyways, git em’ before they’re gone!Jun 7, 2006 at 12:26 pm #1357634
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Thanks for the head’s up. The 9×7 OP saks, in particular will be missed because they were great stand-up boil-in-a-bag bags. Needless to say, I stocked up.Jun 7, 2006 at 12:37 pm #1357635
Even at 2-for-1 prices they are still a bit steep for ‘plastic bags’ used for “freezer bag cooking” meals.
While you can put boiling water in them, you cannot put them in boiling water. So how do you deal with cleaning them after being used?
Once the outside has been “contaminated” with food scents, it is no longer valid as odor proof.Jun 7, 2006 at 2:30 pm #1357648
I only got a bunch of the 12×15 sizes for my bear bag. The gussets make it easier to stand those things up when you’re filling them. I still have the original from my Ursalite Bear Bag and while it looks beat up, I’m sure the thing’s still odor proof.Jun 7, 2006 at 4:07 pm #1357650
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
What makes them truly odor-proof? I’m debating this with my sister, who just stores all her food in a seal-line and says it’s the same thing.
I have an idea but I’d rather hear from the experts!Jun 7, 2006 at 4:17 pm #1357651
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Mike–I only use the large size OP Sack for food storage–I don’t worry unduly about the small ones getting smelly from being used for “freezer bag meals” as they reside in the larger one in my pack and at night( used w/ either a ursalite bearbag or ursack). I don’t have to put the OP in boiling water to clean them or remove smells (even if that were possible)— a scrub w/ a non-scented soap has generally restored them to odor-proofness.Jun 7, 2006 at 4:37 pm #1357652
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Is there anyone on the BPL forum with a dog and an OP Sack who is willing to test the OP Sack versus conventional freezer bags?
I envision the tests involving dinner times for the dog and each bag (rubber gloves used to fill and close the bag) type containing the dog’s dinner. Ideally each bag would also have opaque paper folded over the contents so that there would be no visual cues.
The porosity of freezer bags is directly proportional to their thickness. I suspect possibly any 4 mil, and probably any 6 mil, freezer bag would work as well as the OP sack.Jun 7, 2006 at 11:27 pm #1357660
I’ve tested it with my sole remaining dog. Well, actually, my wife’s new puppy. Like all growing pups, he’s a real “chow hound”.
I’ve tried both cheese and peanut butter, and his favorite bacon scented chew (the bacon scent is so strong, i can smell it faintly just entering the kitchen.
First, the pup is placed upstairs out of “earshot”. The pup, just 5mos old, already associates the sound of all types of noise related to plastic bags with food.
Then, a two person assembly job. I never touch the foodstuffs or chew. She doesn’t contact the zips. My wife places each of them in a Glad zip-lock bag. Then, each of the two zips are placed in an O.P. Sak purchased on the BPL website some many months ago.
O.P. Saks are placed in dining room. Pup eventually finds them as he wanders about (plastic odor??? or serendipity???). The pup is curious, sniffs, and ignores the O.P. Saks.
Now the Glad zips are removed from the O.P. Saks and placed in a freezer sized zip-lock bags. The test is repeated. Bags are placed in dining room.
Pup finds the bags and bites at the bags.
Need to do the test in this order since a dog (and most animals), when it comes to food, can learn to associate (probably not a memory in the human sense of memories, hence the term association) from a single exposure/experience. That is, to be a little clearer, if the test is done the other way around, a dog, the pup in my case, would be attracted to the O.P. Sak simply because it had already learned or associated food with plastic bags.
Richard, i’ve had dogs for years and though an amateur have much experience training dogs – both mine and friends. I would also kennel friend’s dogs at my home, where they all would receive some obedience training even if that wasn’t the purpose for the stay.
Training for my dogs consisted of on and off lead obedience – both verbal and non-verbal (i.e., hand signals), out-of-sight whisper commands like used with sentry dogs in Viet Nam, protection, tracking, and now therapy-dog with my wife’s new puppy which she’s already using with her oncology patients to keep their spirits up while they are getting chemo.
In the field, co-worker didn’t use O.P. sack. He hung his food. I didn’t hang my food (no bears, but a lot of rodents). My food in plastic bags inside of O.P. Sacks – actually tripled bagged – yeah…i know…perhaps overkill. His tent, pack, and plastic storage bags were all bitten through by a bold nocturnal rodent raider to get to a candy bar – still in wrapper – that he forgot was inside of his pack. My gear and food untouched.
As far as i’m concerned O.P. Saks work.
Note: A friend of mine an ex-USAF and long-time professional dog trainer (IMHO, the best i’ve ever encountered) has many Shutzhund competition dogs and a large clientelle. He has stated that next to him, i was (“was”, not “am” – it was about 20yrs ago he said this) the best dog trainer he knew in the State at that time – he was probably being kind and was exaggerating. I use something akin to the Koehler method which is staunchly based upon an understanding of canine psychology as the proper foundation and basis for all canine training. Just “Google” Bill Koehler is interested – amazing credentials. Most public libraries have one or more of his four books.Jun 8, 2006 at 5:07 am #1357669
I was not impressed with the OP saks and would not use them again.Jun 8, 2006 at 6:35 am #1357674
John, What specifically were you unimpressed with? Price? Robustness? Odor-proofness? Please describe and give details for other’s edificaiton. Many thanks.Jun 8, 2006 at 6:59 am #1357675
Performance “in the field” for one OP Sack was less than my performance expectation which was based upon my understanding that was taken from the advertising read on BPL.
The OP sack had breakfast cereal, dry milk, and dehydrated blueberries in it.
It leaked after I added the water.
This happened in a established campsite in Yellowstone National Park, which has a large Grizzly bear population (600?).
I am currently am using an OP sack for a “homemade” first aid kit, and so far, it has worked fine for that.
YMMV.Jun 8, 2006 at 7:20 am #1357676
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Thank you for your test results. You sold me on the OP Sack.
RichardJun 8, 2006 at 8:39 am #1357684
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
The only leaking I’ve found is when the creases/seams they currently employ snag on a zipper when I’m pulling it out of my pack.
I’m sure that’s why they’re changing the design — fewer failure points.
If you aren’t rough with them and don’t let anything specifically abrade the seams, they won’t spill milk in your lap. In my experience.
To the dog tester: thanks for the data! I’ll forward that post to my sister.
BrianJun 8, 2006 at 9:39 am #1357689
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
Following Paul’s well done test with anecdotal evidence seem wrong but, here goes… I keep my pack packed with three days of food just in case. I am testing some gear so the pack is open and on the floor with gear around it. It’s been that way for three days. I watched my Lab sniff around the stuff this morning and she showed no interest in the open pack with food. She could not see the food but she could have easily gotten to it. The OP Sac is one I used all last season. It’s been on a week long trek and numerous overnighters.Jun 8, 2006 at 10:21 am #1357690
As y’all know, when it comes to a dog (and bears for that matter, as well as many other mammals), it’s the nose that knows. Vision is seconday. Even for Sight/Gaze hounds, it’s movement primarily, not static pattern recognition that elicits the prey drive/response and subsequent chase.
Dogs have a much higher ratio of rods to cones than humans. This accounts for their superior sensitivity to movement and at least five times better low-light (scotopic) vision. It also, obviously, makes them less color sensitive than humans.
In my simple test, I didn’t hide the food visually (other than in multiple layers of plastic bags) in either test case. If it looks like food, but doesn’t smell like food, it will very likely not elicit “taste test”, IME. As long as the animal in question hasn’t already learned that food can be obtained from such containers or locations.
Sometimes i use a hunter’s lumbar pack with a “Scent-Lok” lining employing a carbon layer to absorb odors. Wasn’t using one in my prev. experience when my co-worker’s gear was chewed through by a rodent, just the O.P. Saks. Scent-Lok plastic bags are also manufactured, but they are heavy.
If you want to protect your O.P. Saks, they can always be placed inside of a non-O.P. Aloksaks.
When packing food by myself, i place the food in a Glad zip-lock, zip 95% of the way, squeeze out air, zip closed entirely, wipe the outside with a damp sponge with Dawn dishwashing liquid, rinse the bag, dry it, and when completely dry place it in an O.P. Sak – depending, upon the size of the O.P. Sak, more than one may be placed inside. Often a second O.P. Sak, or an Aloksak is used as a third layer or the Scent-Lok bag as the third layer. I’m probably going for overkill here, but if i’m not going to hang my food, i always do this – again, bears, wolves, or a pack of feral dogs are NOT issues where i normally do overnights and 2-3 day treks; also very few coyotes, though i did see one trotting down the middle of main street past the town hall a couple of years ago and two since that time.
Don’t take my experience as suitable for all camping environments, or as a substitute for bear canisters or hanging your food/smellables.
While rodents are abundant in my area, black bears are rare, though a 150lb one was tranq’d and relocated a few week ago in the town next to mine – it was in someone’s backyard and up a tree – same thing happened two or three years agoJun 8, 2006 at 10:57 am #1357693
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Could one OP sack be used multiple times for cooking a boil in a bag meal, Or do they leak or get worn out if used more than a few timesJun 8, 2006 at 11:12 am #1357694
Can’t say that I’m as thorough with my handling of OP sacks Paul.
I pack my drystuffs in freezer bags, evacuate the air, then put them in the OP sack. The only precaution I take with my OP sack is to NEVER contaminate the exterior with food odors when I’m taking stuff out. That means washing my hands with Bronner’s soap, drying them, then Purell before handling the exterior of the bag. That’s why I find the gussetted bottoms so useful. An open bag can stand on its own and I can just drop food/ used bags into the OP sack without touching the exterior. After that, its just a matter of evacuating air from the bag before sealing it up.Jun 9, 2006 at 5:25 am #1357723
Paul, it may very well have been the way I used those saks for my food. I used them alone with no covering and they just didn’t last long nor did they stop some Big Sandy Lake (Wind River Mountains) critters (?chipmunks) from getting at my food. They should be inside a silnylon sack for better longevity.Jun 9, 2006 at 6:29 am #1357727
Drop me an Email first:
Patrick_R_Baker (at) hotmail (dot) com
Send a self addressed stamped envelope:
6028 Mark Trail
This is a limited supply offer directed towards those who have never owned an OP sack but who are interested in purchasing but are on the fence based on the discussion of this thread.
All I ask in return is after receiving and/or testing the OP sack kindly post your comments here !
Size is 9×6 with non-gussetted bottom.
Disclaimer: You are responsible for researching the proper uses and methods of this product at:
This is an older version which may not be relective of their current product.
Manufacturer comments available here:Jun 10, 2006 at 8:44 am #1357786
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Just ordered a set. Thanks, John.
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