- Sep 23, 2017 at 9:55 am #3492748
Ken T.BPL Member
5 pages in and you want to announce your position. A bit late.Sep 23, 2017 at 9:56 am #3492749
Can no one appreciate a sense of humor? Again, the silliness is the incongruity I alluded to earlier. Bear in mind that for those not accustomed (nor required) to carrying a bear can, it does seem incongruous to squeeze a big ole piece of cylindrical plastic into a miniscule pack. My apologies if my jest was mistaken for derision–it was intended in the spirit of seeking enlightenment.Sep 23, 2017 at 10:19 am #3492753
Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
My apologies if my jest was mistaken for derision–it was intended in the spirit of seeking enlightenment.
I’ve been following this thread from the start and at no time did I sense either of those things to be at all evident.Sep 23, 2017 at 10:35 am #3492755
Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Bear in mind that for those not accustomed (nor required) to carrying a bear can, it does seem incongruous to squeeze a big ole piece of cylindrical plastic into a miniscule pack.
That can be true. Back in the 90’s and into the mid 2000’s nobody I hiked or climbed with ever carried or even owned a bear canister that I know of. First exposure to one was hiking the Olympic coast in Olympic NP. The first thought was “wow, what a big, bulky and poorly shaped contraption to fit into my pack”. Later that day I saw a raccoon trying to drag my backpack into the woods when I took my eye off it for 10 seconds. That was very enlightening and quite different from any experiences I had in CO. After RMNP started their canister requirements over 10 years ago I got used to carrying one pretty quickly.
BTW, you said “Bear” (punny). Yes, lets keep the “bear in mind”.
Sep 23, 2017 at 10:58 am #3492757
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Lester Moore.
If you built a shock canister, you’d be violating the second amendment protection of the rights of bear arms.
(Because I can’t resist following a bad pun with a truly horrible one.)
Sep 23, 2017 at 11:45 am #3492766
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by MJ H.
Rene RavenelBPL Member
Yeah, but no bear nose about that amendment ;)Sep 23, 2017 at 12:29 pm #3492772
Pls note, I’m not representing any agency here but writing as a private person. I’m relatively new to BPL and am so far really loving it because I’m a shameless gram weenie that does SUL occasionally in summer… and I am also a Park Ranger.
What peeves me about David’s post is perhaps his poor elucidation. If he indeed, as newly claimed, was jesting or just wanting empirical evidence, his first many posts did not imply that. In fact, they seemed “UL pretentious.” If you are looking for empirical/ statistical data, first, ASK IT THAT WAY or even better yet, why don’t you do some research and ask the people making the regulations or email the bear can manufacturers? If you are looking for ideas for LEGAL alternatives, write that… but you didn’t. Instead you whined that you’d spent lots of money to go UL, and 2 lbs is sooo heavy and you’re Mr. Experienced so…. etc etc. Then you backtracked after the upheaval.
Well guess what… I have spent lots of money to go SUL too and I have the experience to back it up… professionally and privately. I’ve also been attacked by a bear for no reason that I can figure out and been responsible for hazing bears in campsites for months on end.
I am not, however, pretentious enough to state that every hang I have ever done is bear-proof because that would assume empirical/ statistical testing of my bear hangs throughout my life and would negate human error. What that means is, in heavy bear country, I respect the rules because I am willing to admit that I too am able to make mistakes. This “lowest common denominator” argument is logically insignificant because it assumes two things: 1. that David’s hanging is properly done almost 100% of the time and 2. that just because David wants to accept his margin of error when his hang isn’t proper, that everyone else in the backcountry and all the bears should accept his percentage of failure as well.
If you truly wanted to remove the regulation, why don’t you volunteer at REI to teach people how to properly hang, perhaps pay for bear boxes to be implemented in heavy bear traveled areas, pay for the authorities/ land management agencies to have formal testing that they publish or pay the regulating industries more in order to give them a budget they can actually function on? Better yet, don’t go on a forum full of mostly experienced people that love the outdoors to whine about a rule that protects your wilderness experience.
We land management agencies are underfunded and under attack by everyone nowadays although there are more people in the backcountry than ever before and we sure won’t be getting anymore money under this administration. If you don’t like a rule, do something POSITIVE to change it. Don’t whine about how a grown man doesn’t like carrying 2 lbs of weight more which FORCES the bears and other backcountry hikers to accept not only their margin of hang error but yours, David, as well.
There. I am finished. I love this forum. Again, if you are only poor at actually stating what you were looking for in this conversation, you may disregard this post. ;)Sep 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm #3492773
d kBPL Member
Also bear in mind (pun intended) that studies have shown people tend to underestimate the ambiguity of their printed statements, and also overestimate their own capacity to correctly interpret others’ meaning in print.
Sep 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm #3492783
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by d k.
Ken T.BPL Member
9 years here, you should not be surprised at the way this is going David.Sep 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm #3492788
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Larin, tell more about the story of bear attacking for no reasonSep 23, 2017 at 1:49 pm #3492793
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
“Can no one appreciate a sense of humor?”
Your comedic timing window ended on page two.Sep 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm #3492795
Mordecai _BPL Member
From the original post, I think it was this that really ticked people off:
“Do you carry it as a spiritual burden of sorts–like the boulder that Sisyphus carried up and down the mountain, do you just accept the foolishness and move on?”
Maybe a little close to home for some? I can see accepting the can, just moving on, but there is also an embrace that goes with bear cans, too. (“What a great stool!”) OP wrote to unsettle this unquestioning comfort with a blunt hammer of a tool that sits among all the nicely honed lock-picks. Strident reaction shows he did a good job.
My own two cents on Ursack approval:
I think there is no approval for the Ursack because of enforcement. A big bulky hard-sided can is easier to enforce. You’d have to go digging into a pack if you want to inspect for an Ursack, and Rangers are overburdened as-is. (And bear hangs are impossible to enforce, so that’s definitely out.) There is also, I am guessing, an expectation that the big bulky alien will remind people to be more cognizant of all of their impacts during their trip. I concede that there is prolly more user error with Ursacks, but that has not been demonstrated… So, I think the first two reasons are why Ursacks are not approved. I am only guessing, of course, because that is all I can do. Yosemite/etc give no reason, except the bogus pencil test BS response, YEARS after initial submission… This was just insulting, a poke in the eye. Maybe there is personal beef there, too. Who knows, but… The lack of legitimate explanation is a problem. It undermines the authority of Parks that prohibit the Ursack without explanation. It encourages an independent thinker to question the wisdom behind that authority. Look, I believe in the mission of the Parks, and I don’t want to make it harder for rangers there to do their job. So I carry the can. But I fully believe that my Ursack would be equally effective with regard to avoiding the habituation of bears to my human food. A stupid stool is no consolation for the fact that my gear is infected with bureaucratic BS. Eff the two pounds. Spare me the BS. Just say why the Ursack is prohibited.Sep 23, 2017 at 3:33 pm #3492805
THE GOOGLE. On the first page of search for “ursack failure rates” was this:
A court case against various agencies from Ursack with a 26pg explanation.
I’m sure if I looked on pg 2 of THE GOOGLE, I might actually find more documentation.Sep 23, 2017 at 4:22 pm #3492813
I get where you are coming from David, as well as your sense of humor. There was only one way this thread could go given that this is online.Sep 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm #3492817
Mordecai _BPL Member
I seriously do not see your point.
Is there any testing that shows that the use of Ursacks (CURRENT VERSION) increases the risk of bear habituation, in contradiction to the testing done by the IGBC?
Also, assuming there is some failure rate, wouldn’t that have to be compared to the failure rate of canisters?Sep 23, 2017 at 4:53 pm #3492818
No backtracking here. Just trying to clarify the tenor of my post so that some bear can owners don’t get their feelings hurt or think that I have total disregard for bears (which they should not, were they to read carefully rather than reacting emotionally). With regard to my having 100% effective bear hangs–where did I state that? I will maintain, as I have throughout this thread, that no method is 100% guaranteed to be failure proof. Such is the nature of wilderness travel, let alone UL backpacking. And yes, you and I will both have to accept that others may not dig proper catholes and may habituate bears through poor food management techniques (not limited just to storage at night). That’s an unfortunate consequence of allowing others on the trail besides ourselves. :)
I’m not claiming to be an expert here, I’ve just found no need for a bear canister in the wilderness areas I frequent (mostly Colorado). I accept that I may occasionally be unable to do a proper hang. Still, I maintain that at least hanging is better than nothing (i.e., sleeping with food as a pillow in your tent as many do). Certainly, there have been times when I haven’t done a proper hang. But I don’t think that means I need to rush over to REI to buy a $250 piece of plastic. Others are welcome to disagree–such is the nature of this forum. But rather than simply disagree, I’d like to hear your arguments. Perhaps there are good reasons to carry a canister in certain areas (i.e., Sierras), but I’d like to see why those reasons override UL considerations other than “it’s the law.” Is this a UL forum, or not? As for breaking local laws, I’m not here to ask for anyone’s permission to travel in bear country without a canister. That’s just plain silly. At the end of the day, we will all make our personal decisions based on the risks we are willing to take. Just as we make a decision as to whether to obey the speed limit on the highway, we make decisions regarding what items to take (or not) into the wilderness, bear canisters included.
I think the conversation going forward will only be fruitful if we are willing to focus on the arguments for carrying a canister vs. other methods. Some posts have been helpful in providing anecdotal evidence, although there still seems to be a noticeable lack of controlled experiments performed by anyone that I’m aware of. Hopefully all of us can acknowledge, as some have pointed out, that mandating canisters in order to prevent habituation to human food is a “blunt hammer” approach for the average backpacker with a minimum skillset and desire to properly manage their food. This doesn’t amount to elitism any more than my choice to use a cuben fiber shelter, a minimal first aid kit, down insulation, or a 3 oz rain jacket. I just don’t see why some are so fixated on the bear can issue as we are to regard it as an article of faith. My original post was mean to encourage some creative thought on the issue. If that is too much for some, then refrain from posting, or just keep carrying your bear can. I have no quarrels with that. With regard to the Ursack, I think Mordecai is on the right track here. It’s a bit frustrating that government agencies are so slow to evaluate such alternatives as the Ursack, especially for those of us here on this forum. Hopefully most here can appreciate that this does amount to a kind of “silliness.”
Sep 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm #3492820
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by David Poston.
From the link in Larin’s post:
” First, unlike with hard-sided canisters, bears were able
to chew the bags, mutilating the food inside and rendering the
food inedible due to the presence of bear saliva. In some
instances, the aluminum insert was crushed and torn, resulting
in small fragments of metal mixed into the smashed food. The
ability of bears to destroy the food was problematic for three
reasons. First, backpackers might be inclined to dump their
spoiled food, allowing bears access to the food and also contributing
to wilderness litter. Second, the presence of bear
saliva on the food posed a small risk of rabies infection,…” etc.
Which is enough to discourage me from using an Ursack. Bear slobber is really nasty! I imagine a bear will gnaw on a sack all night as well. Whereas in the Sierra bears know that they can’t get into a canister and simply move on. However, I suppose if people want to carry an Ursack and if it keeps food from bears (and people!) I suppose…Sep 23, 2017 at 5:07 pm #3492824
I think the AllMitey is supposed to be able to do all of the things that the earlier ones couldn’t, including preventing bear slobber from entering your food, or so they claim:Sep 23, 2017 at 6:42 pm #3492842
… before I was a ranger, I was in new product development and sourcing. I like the idea of an Ursack.
Ursack was rejected multiple times by the SIBBG and when he didn’t get the feedback he wished for, he sued…who paid for the lawsuit defense? Taxpayers. Perhaps time/ experience alone would have gotten his product approved…before the lawsuit burned his bridges.
The second problem is finding a non-biased third party to do additional testing that is RECOGNIZED (key word here) by the deciding powers. Either they will make their own testing institute (SIBBG) or have to be convinced to accept the recommendation of another one (e.g. IGBC). Who will lobby for IGBC, who will fund additional testing when your product fails the first time? The manufacturer or testing institute does in private industry. They have to prove their methods to the deciding party.
If you want a “fruitful conversation going forward” ask for new product design ideas: what are the lightweight materials available, what does the market look like, who has the means to produce these in the tiny quantities for us ULers, who will pay for the testing and who is going to be the lobbyist for the testing institute (e.g. the IGBC)? Can there be quantitative data when dealing with bears in different regions and of different species or must we choose the safest method possible?
Creativity often comes from complaints about an existing situation… but there shouldn’t be a blame game involved nor lack of care for humans and animals while you create.
I mentioned many ways in my previous post for you to alleviate some of the issues but I noticed in your last post, you didn’t mention any of these…they all require financial investment or time. I have a cheaper option for you… work with those land mngmnt agencies to create a licensing course that qualifies you to not carry a canister… like proving you have the know-how needed.
Pretty soon there might be no more land mngmnt agencies the way we’re going. You can do whatever you want then. …but no search and rescue anymore either so it will be a self correcting problem. ha.
I’m writing books here… it won’t happen again. Only when it comes to bears because I get tired of explaining to people why giving bread to their 8 yo child to feed the cub is a bad idea. Not a joke.Sep 23, 2017 at 6:51 pm #3492843
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Two simple solutions here:
1: Let the parents or the kid get mauled, and when they howl point to a large sign saying “Don’t feed the bears”. And add photos of mauled victims to the signs.
2: Arrest the father for wilfully endangering the Rangers. Helps to have signs up for this to fly.
Too much wimpiness: go hardline. Politically incorrect stuff of course, but bears are not PC.
Sep 23, 2017 at 7:06 pm #3492846
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Roger Caffin.
hahahah Roger!!! I like your ideas but there is a problem… the first thing you learn is that nobody reads any signs!
My first formal suggestion at my first land mngmnt location, I offered up that we could put pin-up gals and guys on the signs that point to the bathroom so that people would stop asking us when the sign was right in front of their face. Needless to say, my suggestion was not implemented. hahaha.Sep 23, 2017 at 7:21 pm #3492849
“…including preventing bear slobber from entering your food, or so they claim:”
You’re gonna handle the stuff when you pick up your bag full of crushed dust. It’s surprisingly sticky. It doesn’t come off the bag easily. Whatever, have at it!
“A bear just spent five hours gnawing on my food bag…it’s covered in bear drool…some has worked its way inside…and now, I’m opening it up and having breakfast!”Sep 23, 2017 at 7:42 pm #3492854
I think it would depend on how hungry I was. I’m not aware of any bear-transmitted diseases.Sep 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm #3492857
I would guess that the rationale of an Ursak is, if the bear gnaws on it , forget it, you’re done, hike out. But the bear didn’t get your food.
Maybe you really have to handle the stuff to understand how nasty bear slobber is. I was very surprised.Sep 23, 2017 at 7:58 pm #3492859
Maybe. But I’ve eaten at Arby’s more than once.
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