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bear bag

Old 04-08-16, 05:31 PM
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I used an Ursack on my last tour as a liner for my front food pannier. It does add a bit of bulk but it effectively kept raccoons and rodents out of my food. I'd just tie it to picnic table or tree without hanging. So far no bear test as seen in manufacturer's videos. I used to borrow neighbor's car trunk or store it in the bath facility if wildlife seemed a threat. Much more convenient having everything close in the morning. Manufacturer gives diagram of simple knot that bear cannot untie with closure tight enough that rodents can't enter.
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Old 04-08-16, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew
There was one bear there that had figured out how to open the BearVault (twist style lid) on a few occasions and was named Yellow-yellow by locals (I think it had a yellow tag or transponder on it). But it was shot by a hunter I think a year or so ago, and no other bear has shown signs of being able to defeat the Bear Vault. I'm on a couple Adirondack hiking forums, and have a BearVault, so I've paid attention to those reports!
Bear Vault modified the design with a second tab because of Yellow yellow. Yellow yellow couldn't open those newer models. My understanding was that you are required to use the newer two tab models there. That is what I was told when I backpacked there.
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Old 04-08-16, 05:50 PM
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Until racoons figure out how to use screwdrivers, my Bearikade (Wild Ideas Bearikade: Wilderness food storage bear canisters for backpacking, camping and hiking) will keep all the little critters, as well as bears, away from my "smelly" stuff. And it makes a pretty comfortable seat while cooking--my knees are too old and decrepit for squatting while stirring my pot.
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Old 04-09-16, 05:24 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Bear Vault modified the design with a second tab because of Yellow yellow. Yellow yellow couldn't open those newer models. My understanding was that you are required to use the newer two tab models there. That is what I was told when I backpacked there.
Oh I didn't realize there was a one-tab design at one point. My BV450 is of the two tab design as well. Sometimes on a cold morning with cold fingers that thing is quite a pain to open! I bought mine several years ago, so the single tab ones must have been quite some time ago now. Good to know though, thanks.

Originally Posted by Aidoneus
Until racoons figure out how to use screwdrivers, my Bearikade (Wild Ideas Bearikade: Wilderness food storage bear canisters for backpacking, camping and hiking) will keep all the little critters, as well as bears, away from my "smelly" stuff. And it makes a pretty comfortable seat while cooking--my knees are too old and decrepit for squatting while stirring my pot.
I've ogled those for many years! If I were to do a long trip like 5+ days or perhaps a shorter trip but with multiple people I think a carbon fiber Bearikades are the way to go. For just solo on my usual 3 day hikes the BV450 was far more economical for just a slight weight penalty. But sooner or later I'm sure I'll end up with the Weekender or Expedition or perhaps custom, the weight advantage goes up with the larger units.
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Old 04-09-16, 05:57 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by T Stew
I've ogled those for many years! If I were to do a long trip like 5+ days or perhaps a shorter trip but with multiple people I think a carbon fiber Bearikades are the way to go. For just solo on my usual 3 day hikes the BV450 was far more economical for just a slight weight penalty. But sooner or later I'm sure I'll end up with the Weekender or Expedition or perhaps custom, the weight advantage goes up with the larger units.
Yes the weight advantage does go up with the larger sizes. In the range of the BV450 and the Scout it is something like $190 more to save 5 ounces. To me that isn't worth it. I can still fairly easily get down to a 15 pound backpacking base weight even carrying a few extras. Of course the value in dollars of those 5 ounces of weight savings is a judgement call.

As far as larger sizes go... I can go 5 days backpacking with the BV450 by carrying the first day's food outside the canister so again I have not felt the need for bigger on solo trips. I do have a bigger canister (Garcia) that goes on family trips, but it gets carried by someone younger and fitter than me. I have decided that in general I am unwilling to carry more food than that any way. Most longer trips that I would do food drops can be arranged to keep the distance between restock at or below 5 days. If I ever do decide to do a trip that the BV450 isn't adequate I'll either bite the bullet and carry my old Garcia or rent a Bearicade.

For bike tours on roads, even dirt ones, I have never carried more food than would have fit in the BV450. In fact I typically buy frequently enough that I would never even half fill it on my typical tour, since I usually buy only enough to get to the next town with a store (plus a little extra just in case). I guess there could be an exception where I might, but I have never felt the need to carry one on tour. I can see where someone might carry a canister to avoid the hassle of hanging food, but I have usually found that the places where the problem is bad enough I tend to stay in parks that have bear (or raccoon) boxes.

If I owned one I might consider taking the Ursack on some of my tours, but I have not yet decided it made sense for me. If it was accepted for backpacking in Yosemite and SEKI I would probably own one.
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Old 04-09-16, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
If I owned one I might consider taking the Ursack on some of my tours, but I have not yet decided it made sense for me. If it was accepted for backpacking in Yosemite and SEKI I would probably own one.
The website for olympic national park says canister only but the friend who had an ursack got a verbal OK and brought it. I had one of those garcia containers, borrowed. While it doesn't compact with use, you can pack other stuff into it as space becomes available. No fan at all of the weight/bulk though. Another friend had a ratsack, we had no hope that velcro closure would keep raccoons out.
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Old 04-09-16, 09:33 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
The website for olympic national park says canister only but the friend who had an ursack got a verbal OK and brought it. I had one of those garcia containers, borrowed. While it doesn't compact with use, you can pack other stuff into it as space becomes available. No fan at all of the weight/bulk though. Another friend had a ratsack, we had no hope that velcro closure would keep raccoons out.
From what I can gather, Ursacks are often allowed places where canisters are required, but there is no explicit rule against Ursacks. I've never had a problem when I've asked, but I've often had to explain what an ursack is.

More generally, it seems that bear canister approval is a slow and bureaucratic process, and that individual enforcement comes down to the ranger on site.
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Old 04-09-16, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050
but there is no explicit rule against Ursacks.
Usually it isn't an exclusive list, more of an inclusive list. I mean they list what is allowable and it need to be on the list. For example for Yosemite: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/containers.htm
What is odd is Bearikade is on that but only the Weekender and up? I wonder why not the Scout?

Similar list for Olympics https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvis...-canisters.htm except note at the bottom Ursack is specifically banned.

Bear Resistant Canisters - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "
  • Non-rigid containers or sacks are not considered bear resistant canisters under the regulation."
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Old 04-09-16, 05:14 PM
  #34  
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Damn, and the one major park we'll visit is Olympic.... harder to carry a big round plastic thing on a bike...
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Old 04-09-16, 06:28 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie
Damn, and the one major park we'll visit is Olympic.... harder to carry a big round plastic thing on a bike...
All of the places I have toured where canisters are required in the back country have bear lockers in the regular and hiker biker sites. They also typically don't allow dispersed camping for bike tourists so their canister requirements are a complete non issue for bike tourists. Just use the bear lockers.

I'd be surprised if Olympic didn't have bear lockers at all of the sites.
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Old 04-09-16, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
All of the places I have toured where canisters are required in the back country have bear lockers in the regular and hiker biker sites. They also typically don't allow dispersed camping for bike tourists so their canister requirements are a complete non issue for bike tourists. Just use the bear lockers.

I'd be surprised if Olympic didn't have bear lockers at all of the sites.
We like going on overnight walks to get away if possible. I've made up front racks where we put 35L Sealline backpacks (that can carry more than 35L) that we use as handle bar bags.
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