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5/15/2018 1:21 pm  #18


Re: Bear bag

Yup, definitely doesn't say that anything has to be hung, so I think you could make a strong argument in defence of an unhung Ursack, although I imagine a ranger could make an argument to the contrary, since the wording is so vague. I guess the recommendation by the manufacturer is to tie it to a tree, so if you do that you're using it appropriately. I would still be concerned about the bear getting a good chew on the bag, and seeing some reward from that. Don't know that I would want to chew on the contents of the bag once the bear is done with it, but this seems like the perfect bag to use with a bear hang. On the off chance that a bear got his claws on the bag, you wouldn't be left empty-handed and with a fed bear nearby. Really cool product testing facility, and I imagine everyone who has checked out the Ursack website has seen their video. It's a very impressive bag, that's for sure.




 

Last edited by nvm (5/15/2018 1:22 pm)

 

5/15/2018 2:13 pm  #19


Re: Bear bag

The downside of the Ursack is it's limited size. It looks like the largest one is 15 L. That might be enough for food and cooking gear for a solo ultralight backpacking trip, but it isn't going to hold everything for a group of 4 or more people. Even the Ursack estimate is 7 days of food for 1 person using the Ursack Major XL which is the 15 L version and that is assuming all freeze dried food and counting "single serving" packaged freeze dried meals as sufficient for a "full serving" when typically double servings are required to meet minimum calorie requirements for an active adult. Food only for 4 people for 4 days would take at least 2 X 15L Ursack Major XL bags.

The focus still seems to be focused on storing food (which is important) as opposed to storing everything food related (which is the minimum required to be effective or useful). If you plan on using Ursacks for cooking gear too, then count on another 2 X 15L Ursack Major XL bags. 

 

5/15/2018 2:37 pm  #20


Re: Bear bag

Technically an Ursack is not supposed to be hung.

The manufacturer recommends a specific procedure for using the bag. The western US parks that allow the Ursack in lieu of a Bear Canister also require the Ursack to be used in accordance with these guidelines, ie the Ursack should not be hung.

You are not supposed to hoist it via a rope system. The rope system can fail. The ropes can be cut. Even though they may never gain access to its contents, a bear could run off with your Ursack. This is one reason why parks with high numbers of problem bears insist on Bear Canisters. Bears cannot gain access to it's contents or run away with it. (ignoring the bear Yellow Yellow for now)

If you follow the manufactures instructions and your Ursack is tied properly to the crotch of a tree, a bear cannot physically remove the bag from the tree or gain access to its contents.

Still, I agree completely with some of the comments against an Ursack. There is no way for them to be completely odor free. You are putting food scents within reach of a bear. Which could potentially attract them to your campsite, where they will puzzle away with your food for some hours.

Last edited by MartinG (5/15/2018 2:40 pm)

 

5/15/2018 7:34 pm  #21


Re: Bear bag

Technically nothing is 100% odor-proof (like nothing is 100% waterproof). Is the hanging food pack odorless? Can it attract a bear or a squirrel? - you bet! My shirt and my beard smell of food I cook and eat - should I hang them? There's no need to invent circumstances under which a ranger or a bear will take advantage of our food system imperfectness. The question is: has anyone met such a bear? I use Ursack/Opsak combination for over 50 days of camping in Algonquin and crown land and according to physical evidence not a single mouse ever make an attempt at it - and mice are much more numerous than bears and rangers.

 

5/16/2018 8:18 am  #22


Re: Bear bag

That would be the reference in the regs ...  would the rangers consider a bear bag that's not hung to be a violation of the  "clean campsite" regs  ... no idea but it sounds like its at the officers discretion.    

My suggestion would be to at least make an attempt to hang it when you are away from the campsite and then its pretty tough for you to get a fine (you attempted due diligence) ...

Mt 2 cents ...

 

5/17/2018 7:58 pm  #23


Re: Bear bag

I seem to recall reading a trip report where someone hung their food bag from a cable set up by the park on several Joe Lake campsites due to repeated bear issues. This cable thing may spread. i wonder...

 

5/17/2018 9:31 pm  #24


Re: Bear bag

Methye wrote:

I seem to recall reading a trip report where someone hung their food bag from a cable set up by the park on several Joe Lake campsites due to repeated bear issues. This cable thing may spread. i wonder...

I've seen cables on campsites on Stratton Lake but they seem too low to protect food from a bear.   Great protection from racoons though!  My wife and I will be camping on Joe Lake tomorrow night so having a cable setup at the campsite would be great, especially as we will be getting in late.
 

 

5/18/2018 5:13 am  #25


Re: Bear bag

yellowcanoe wrote:

Methye wrote:

I seem to recall reading a trip report where someone hung their food bag from a cable set up by the park on several Joe Lake campsites due to repeated bear issues. This cable thing may spread. i wonder...

I've seen cables on campsites on Stratton Lake but they seem too low to protect food from a bear.   Great protection from racoons though!  My wife and I will be camping on Joe Lake tomorrow night so having a cable setup at the campsite would be great, especially as we will be getting in late.
 

I was on a site on Joe with a cable pre set up. It was pretty useful. Here are the details

https://allofalgonquin.com/campsite-reviews/joe-lake-east-arm-site-2/

Last edited by AlgonquinLakes (5/18/2018 5:14 am)

 

5/18/2018 9:59 pm  #26


Re: Bear bag

I'm a fan of Youtuber Brian Delay's '2 cords a ring' bear hang method.   




It's similar to this illustration (which I hope I've linked properly).  

The nice thing about this method is that it uses a pulley system, so yanking up your bag isn't as hard.  As well, you don't need to find 'the' branch. Any branch will do.  The downside is that you still need to toss a rope over a high enough branch.    

 

5/20/2018 2:43 am  #27


Re: Bear bag

Hang your food and hope the squirrels and raccoons don't get to your cache. You don't have the capability while cooking and travelling in the backwoods to make either packs "scent free" of anything. 

​The goal is to not lose your food to any animal, so you can wake up and have breakfast.  You're not tricking any animal into believing there was just no food at that site.  Tying any food containment aparatus  to a tree at ground level seems much more inviting to the shorter pests that will hang around. The strap smell like your dinner, gorp, dishes etc.....  Perhaps that aparatus is in fact bear proof....  Hang your food.







 

 

Last edited by Markus (5/20/2018 2:47 am)

 

5/20/2018 4:26 pm  #28


Re: Bear bag

Markus wrote:

You're not tricking any animal into believing there was just no food at that site.  Tying any food containment aparatus  to a tree at ground level seems much more inviting to the shorter pests that will hang around. The strap smell like your dinner, gorp, dishes etc.....  Perhaps that aparatus is in fact bear proof....  Hang your food.

This sounds reasonable. But observations do not support this theory.
 

 

5/20/2018 9:51 pm  #29


Re: Bear bag

EddyTurn wrote:

Markus wrote:

You're not tricking any animal into believing there was just no food at that site.  Tying any food containment aparatus  to a tree at ground level seems much more inviting to the shorter pests that will hang around. The strap smell like your dinner, gorp, dishes etc.....  Perhaps that aparatus is in fact bear proof....  Hang your food.

This sounds reasonable. But observations do not support this theory.
 

​Another option is to hang a piece of dirty human clothing (used sock) 50 plus  yards upwind and downwind of your barrel, hanging food, tree strapped bag, etc etc.  That should keep big scary aggressive animals away. If it doesn't, I'd likely depart. 

​As for the observations portion, I don't need them. This system has been effective for me. I can get a look at a good steak by sticking my head in a cows ass, but I'd rather take the butcher's word for it. 

 

5/21/2018 8:37 pm  #30


Re: Bear bag

This brings back memories of my second trip to Algonquin, a four night trip hitting Tom Thompson, Lake la Muir, Big Crow, and Dickson. On the first night I thought I would save time and hassle so I used a long series of slip knots to secure the bear hang. In the morning the scene was comical, with naked man yelling and trowing sticks at a well-fed family of raccoons until they slowly sauntered off. These Tom Thomson raccoons were experienced enough to pull on my rope undoing the slip knots and then chewing holes through the heavy vinyl MEC dry bag. After sorting out what was eaten and what was left untouched, we lost about 40% of our food.

Still, we went ahead with the trip. On the second last day we had tasty instant mashed potatoes without the flavour packet. Halfway on the Dickson-Bonfield portage my wife took a picture of me with pack on the back, perfectly balanced canoe on shoulders, shirt open due to the heat, and mussels showing that hadn't seen the light of day before ... or since. Probably lost 10 lbs on that trip. Upon exiting the park we both got large cones from Kawartha Dairy and that was the best tasting ice cream we every had. 

Last edited by solos (5/21/2018 8:40 pm)

 

5/22/2018 6:20 pm  #31


Re: Bear bag

]

Markus wrote:

​As for the observations portion, I don't need them. 

Neither did Aristotle for his geocentric theory. You are in good company.
 

 

5/22/2018 9:14 pm  #32


Re: Bear bag

Interesting point of view here:

https://www.cliffcanoe.com/bear-proofing-your-camp

 

 

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