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URSACK – Which one?


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Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #3586414
    Robert I
    Spectator

    @bob-i

    I’m going to get an ursack with my REI dividend and 20% discount.  Is the allmitey worth the extra weight, or would the major plus an opsack be just as effective.  Thanks

    #3586424
    Tallgrass
    BPL Member

    @reeas1955-2

    I think it all depends on what animals you are worrying about. I have one of the original Ursacks. It is now called the Ursack Minor. I’ve had it for about 15 years. Officially (according to Ursack), this sack is now for critter protection, only. But unofficially, I believe it is still fairly sufficient for most places that you will encounter bears. Additionally, I have an Ursack Major (S29) All White, for places where bear resistance containers must be approved (and the S29 has that approval). It is slightly heaver than the Minor. (Finally, for places like SEKI, etc., I have a Bare Boxer Contender).

    Now, back to your question. In the 15ish years of my Ursack Minor, and my 4 (or so) years of my Ursack Major, I’ve never had a critter get into either sack. I’m not saying it can’t happen. If I was going to the Grand Canyon, for example, I might be concerned. But, I’ve not yet had a need for the All Mitey version.

    #3586427
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    I have a Minor and a Major. The Major gets all the use. No need for the Almitey which is nearly the weight of a canister.

    #3586460
    Herman
    BPL Member

    @hre814

    Locale: Alaska

    Go with the Major. I have been using the Major for many years now in Alaska. I think we have 6 or so Ursacks.  I have a couple of the original Ursacks when they were a Kevlar green material, and I still use them. I saw an Almighty in the field this past summer. It seemed bulkier and more of a pain. I don’t use Opsacks, just ziploc bags. No problems in Alaska. I see they released a black color. While the white one gets dirty, depending on your sun levels and exposure, I wouldn’t want a black food bag. Go with the Major, it’ll work just fine.

    #3586557
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I have the Major (white) and have always used it with Opsacks.. Never had any problems in NY, NJ or PA.. Areas I have hiked and used it.. now that’s not to say if it worked or not because maybe there were just no animal encounters, I don’t know, but there was never any trace or signs of anything around the Ursack or my food inside…I then switched to hanging, for no reason other than lightening my load.. And after about 2 years of frustration I have since went back to using my Ursack.. It’s just so easy and convenient. I also recently purchased the Almighty but have not used it yet.. Still continue to use the Major. Yes,  the Almighty is heavier and bulkier.  I will probably keep using the Major with Opsack bag just because..

    #3591919
    Justin W
    Spectator

    @arcturusbearv3-0

    For DIY’ers who want to save some money and have excellent critter protection for shorter trips or trips with frequent restocks (not for use in areas that need approved products):

    Buy 1 large all Dyneema protective arm sleeve and 1 Kevlar large protective arm sleeve (these are often 2 ply/double material)–make sure they are about equal length, ok if the Kevlar sleeve is a bit longer than the Dyneema.

    Coat the Kevlar arm sleeve with silicone inside and out (use silicone slurry at least slightly thicker than coating a silnylon tent with).  After dry, insert it into the Dyneema sleeve, matching up the small and larger holes.

    Take a speedy stitch or equivalent (Harbor Freight sells a very inexpensive version). Thread with about 80 lb Spectra fishing line or about equivalent thickness very strong cord (as long as it fits into the hole on the needle of the Speedy Stitch like awl device).  Sew up the smaller end of the combined Dyneema arm and Kevlar sleeves.

    On the larger/wider end, do not completely sew together closed, but sew the two fabrics together around, so that the stocking stuffer is still open, but the two fabrics are connected.

    Once done (and it shouldn’t take all that long for the sewing), take some thick, preferably coated, Dyneema or Spectra cord, and choose a good knot that tightens the more it is pulled. Put food in bags of some kind, the more odor reducing the better. Tie knotted cord towards the open end.

    I might still put my food bags in some cheap silnylon bag or tube, just to be on the safe side though. It’s possible that some critters teeth might get through to the food bag within and puncture a ziplock or similar bag. Conversely, you could also use two EVA foam halves (.125″ thickness) about same length and width of the sleeves, coat the outside of each half with some coating that is both at least semi hard and somewhat flexible, and insert that into the sleeves as both a crush and penetrating barrier, or use a thin plastic as a penetrating barrier (one or two long, cut open PET water/beverage bottles would work. I would keep the bottom of one of the bottles on if using two).

    You now have a Christmas stocking stuffer that will be tougher than nails and fairly light weight. Approximate cost should be around 50 dollars or so initial investment, but if you ever want or need to make another, it will be less since you now have a Speedy stitch and Spectra fishing line (1 Dyneema sleeve +1 Kevlar sleeve = about 22 to 25 dollars).

     

    #3639225
    Daniel T
    BPL Member

    @badgerman

    I would like to follow up on this thread. It seems that the consensus in this thread is that people have not had problems with mini-bears getting into the Ursack Major. Does anyone have an experience on the contrary?

    A corollary: it seems to me that there aren’t many places where you would have to worry about bears getting into your food but not mini-bears. It also seems to me that food protection outside of bear country is pretty easy and would not necessitate the use of an Ursack. If both of those assumptions are true (and please point out if they are not), and if the Ursack models all work the way the company claims, how can one justify buying either of the models that does not offer both bear and mini-bear protection?

    Thanks in advance for anyone’s thoughts.

    #3639235
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I keep the whiskey in my mini bar in an Ursak, but the bears got into it anyway. Go with a Bearikade.

    #3639255
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    It seems that the consensus in this thread is that people have not had problems with mini-bears getting into the Ursack Major. Does anyone have an experience on the contrary?

    A friend’s got penetrated by critters but it was because she hadn’t cinched the top completely closed.  If you can see through it, even a tiny bit, something will wriggle its way in.

    I haven’t used my Major all that much but have had no trouble.  I treat it like a regular stuff sack if there are decent trees–i.e., I hang it high.  Otherwise I try to tie it to something at least shoulder high if I can.  Don’t know if that really helps with mice, which are the main sharptooths of concern.

    #3639322
    Ken Larson
    BPL Member

    @kenlarson

    Locale: Western Michigan

    #3639338
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    “A friend’s got penetrated by critters but it was because she hadn’t cinched the top completely closed.”

    I have trouble cinching the top of my Ursack Minor, too. Now I stuff a small wad of steel wool into that hole. Critters can’t chew through. Keep it in a pill pouch to prevent rust. About 4 grams.

    — Rex

    #3639348
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I have trouble cinching the top of my Ursack Minor, too. Now I stuff a small wad of steel wool into that hole. Critters can’t chew through. Keep it in a pill pouch to prevent rust. About 4 grams.

    Yeah, that’s a point you don’t hear much, but operating an Ursack requires a fair bit of brute strength if tiny critters are a concern.

    #3639369
    Arthur
    BPL Member

    @art-r

    I do not try to close it using the sewn in rope. another small one just below the opening will cinch it very tight, preventing the mini-bears from getting in.  Or, wrapping the installed rope in the same place as in the picture has worked for years in the place where mini-bears go to get their master’s degrees in food stealing, the Grand Canyon.

    #3639377
    Ken Larson
    BPL Member

    @kenlarson

    Locale: Western Michigan
    #3639393
    Doug Coe
    BPL Member

    @sierradoug

    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    Ken L.—That’s a fantastic video! And it’s only been up on YouTube a few days. Good timing.

    #3639402
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    ^^ Saved that one.

    #3639419
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Great video! Glad to see Ursack revived from hibernation after their 2018 buyout. Ironic that they don’t sell lightweight carabiners.

    They’ve also added a National Park/National Forest approval map:
    https://ursack.com/pages/where-ursack-is-approved

    I’ve tried knotting a cord below the neck; it works if the bag isn’t full. My older Ursack has a simple drawstring, not the criss-cross design in the video. That’s why I carry 4 grams of steel wool.

    “Kick the can with Ursack.”

    — Rex

    #3639472
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2MGM–FEXU&feature=emb_logo

    Interesting video; I may give that double slip knot trick a try.  That said, I think the guns on that guy confirm my contention above that it takes brute strength to correctly cinch an Ursack.  They should show a 97lb weakling doing it, or someone with tennis elbow or a bad shoulder. :-)

    #3639496
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Ursack revived…
    On the flip side, the Ursack lawsuit killed the Sierra Interagency Black Bear group which 1) was a great example of inter agency cooperated by staff who did a lot of the work on their own time and 2) enabled all the land management agencies that participated to work from a common understanding of performance data on the products submitted and for the most part have a common policy.
    only the lawyers came out of it “swell” in the end…

    #3639542
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    I see by watching the video from Ersac that the whole lineup has changed. Different sizes, fabrics, reflective bits etc…

    #3639544
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    Wow I really hate the links injected into my post.  If I wanted to link an item to Return Every Item I would do it myself.  Go to the manufacturers website

    https://ursack.com

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