How to Use an Ursack
Apr 18, 2022 at 3:42 am #3746758John S.BPL Member
Bearikade has been destroyed too. There is nothing totally bearproof.Feb 9, 2023 at 7:57 am #3772802Michael DBPL Member
The incident happened at Mile 78 of the CT, in the thruhiker campground on the banks of Jefferson Creek–a beautiful spot, but in retrospect a bad risk, probably due to the nearby Forest Service campgrounds.Feb 9, 2023 at 11:38 am #3772820
I did the CT in 2020 with an Ursack (with Opsack rolled multiple times like a dry bag). I went back and looked at my journal to see where I camped. I passed the campsite at mile 78 or so with a creek and a spacious campground. I probably would have camped there – but a big party of 6 AT thru hikers were camped there. So, I took water and went to mile 80 and camped – which had great views.
I guess moral of the story is – avoid popular big camp spots – especially near water as those campsites will be very popular. And a habituated bear knows where the easy pickings are.
I didn’t have any bear encounters with my Ursack. But I do know of one Ursack-bear encounter that year 2020.Feb 9, 2023 at 11:44 am #3772822
This is 13.6 ounces….maybe need to start carrying this. You can always carry this outside the pack perhaps? if you can then it will be easier to carry than a bear can.Feb 9, 2023 at 4:50 pm #3772836jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
A Bearikade scout weighs one pound 12 ounces. 500 cubic inch volume. The Ursak with an aluminum liner is very close to that in terms of weight. I can’t translate the volume of the liner into cubic inches. I’m guessing they’re similar as well? At that point…if not for the money, Bearikade is the better choice. That said, the aluminum liner looks to solve one big issue with URsak, namely bear chomping on food (the slobber on the sack will remain tho and it’s really nasty.) The Scout fits very nicely in a pack.Feb 9, 2023 at 7:01 pm #3772839AK GranolaBPL Member
I want to see definitive proof in a reliable story from a reliable source that is confirmed that showed a bear destroying a Bearikade in the wild. One that was properly sealed. I won’t argue that it cannot happen, because bears in Alaska tear open garage doors and padlocked freezers. But, I want to see the proof. I believe – subject to change if confronted with evidence – that if 99% of hikers consistently and correctly use bear canisters, bears will stop trying to get human food. I think we have pretty much seen that happen in Yosemite, and it has worked well in Denali. That’s the primary goal = don’t feed the bears. Not make your pack lighter or to ensure your food is fresh (i.e., non-slobbered). It’s for the bears.Feb 9, 2023 at 7:35 pm #3772842
jscott – I have a Bearikade Blazer as I will not be able to fit my food in a Scout. Problems with these canisters are they are a pain to fit into a backpack comfortably. I like the Grubcan which is narrow and tall. If that gets approved in Sierras, then it may fit more backpacks. I would take the Ursak with the liner just because I can fit the Ursak better inside the backpack and I am hoping the liner can be carried on top rolled like a ccf pad. Grubcan is approved by IGBC – not in Yosemite yet. I think this may fit backpacks much better and there will be less resistance to carrying a can.
If BV’s have been defeated, then there should be a different solution….not everybody can afford Bearikades – so it is moot how great it is or it has never been defeated by a bear etc.Feb 9, 2023 at 8:31 pm #3772844Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
That’s the primary goal = don’t feed the bears. Not make your pack lighter or …
Well, I guess that depends on how we define primary. If making packs lighter doesn’t matter, we should just require everyone to carry one of these:
The simple reality is that weight in the pack matters and it matters a lot. Drawing a hard line is not exactly straightforward.
FWIW, I’ve seen pictures of failed Bearikades (can’t remember where) and they’re not approved by IGBC, so I don’t think they naturally set a safe weight standard.
…if 99% of hikers consistently and correctly use bear canisters, bears will stop trying to get human food…
I think that’s probably true. I also think it was at one time true of simply hanging food, even poorly. It’s the no-protection crowd that ruined it for the rest of us.Feb 9, 2023 at 9:44 pm #3772846
Andrew Skurka has a spreadsheet of bear incidents in this article here: https://andrewskurka.com/bear-canister-failures/
You will see several – I mean several incidents of bear canisters disappearing in the night never to be seen again. That is the weakness of bear canisters. One doesn’t have to be broken into – it can be carried away while Ursack is tethered to a tree. There is also one incident where a bear got frustrated with the bear can and tore the tent :-)Feb 9, 2023 at 10:23 pm #3772847AK GranolaBPL Member
I have to hand it to a bear who learns to roll canisters off cliffs. Nevertheless, looking through these incidents, most are hiker error, not clever bear. I hope I am never camped near the “I left my peanut M&Ms in my pack” people. I did clean up a pound or more of trash left at Paiute creek; it was all scattered about. I guessed that a squirrel or some smaller animal did the trashing, because there was still uneaten food and I doubt a bear would have left that behind. But apparently plenty of people still don’t secure their food. Canister not secured properly is not the fault of the canister.
I’ll continue to use the Bearikade with high confidence.
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