Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-22-2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Age
    54
    Posts
    1,368
    Images
    69

    Default Bear vault or ursack the whole way?

    From those of you who have thru-hiked or lashed the PCT what's your thoughts about food storage? Anything to be aware of? Thanks
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  2. #2

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wornoutboots View Post
    From those of you who have thru-hiked or lashed the PCT what's your thoughts about food storage? Anything to be aware of? Thanks
    You will want to be aware of the food storage requirements in several areas that require approved cannisters.

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    74
    Posts
    8,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    You will want to be aware of the food storage requirements in several areas that require approved cannisters.
    Yep. While the Ursack is approved in Griz country, it is not approved in California. Go figure.

    Wayne


    Sent from somewhere around here.
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
    FlickrMyBookTwitSpaceFace



  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-22-2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Age
    54
    Posts
    1,368
    Images
    69

    Default

    Yeah I know a vault is only required in the Sierra's but after researching I'm probably going to stick with my sea to summit dry sack as my food bag. I did hear that the mice are really bad in the north though so i'm wondering if this will be an adequate choice up there? I don't want to buy an ursack if it's not necessary.
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  5. #5

    Default

    Most thru-hikers or Sierra lashers pick up their bear canister at Kennedy Meadows south and get rid of it at Sonora Pass (Kennedy Meadows north). If memory serves, the southern point at which a bear canister is required is Cottonwood Pass, a bit north of Kennedy Meadows south, but KM is far more convenient. I actually liked having a ready made seat. We used sea-to-summit bags the whole way (except for the Sierra) and were extra-careful about hanging them when we got into Washington. Didn't hear any stories (or have any experience) with mice in Oregon, but had advance warning from several SOBOers and flip-floppers about mice, etc. in Washington.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-16-2011
    Location
    On the trail
    Posts
    3,788
    Images
    3

    Default

    Even though I owned virtually ever bear canister and Ursack, I saw no reason (and still don't) to carry a canister or Ursack where it is not required. I believe I had one mouse encounter and no issues with bears. Even in the Sierra I wouldn't do a canister in an area that wasn't required. I believe smart food handling trumps bear protection.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-12-2011
    Location
    In the woods, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Only do a canister where required. I slept with my food the rest of the time. No problems.

  8. #8

    Default

    Do you just rent the canister at Kennedy then drop it off somewhere? I'm doing another AT thru this year, PCT next year.

  9. #9

    Default

    I still don't fully grasp the ursack. I get the bear can't puncture it but am having a very hard time visualizing all my food not completely mangle, mauled, pulverized and ground down. I pay good money to my dentist to afford me the thill of the crunch & chew, why would I let the bear have all the fun.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-16-2011
    Location
    On the trail
    Posts
    3,788
    Images
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rainydaykid View Post
    Do you just rent the canister at Kennedy then drop it off somewhere? I'm doing another AT thru this year, PCT next year.
    I believe there is a loaner program but most send the canister in with their KM resupply and then rid of it at either Sonora Pass or Tahoe.

  11. #11
    Registered User Junco's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-15-2014
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Age
    31
    Posts
    14

    Default

    This is kind of a stupid question but I've never been to the west coast and am planning to thru the PCT this year. I'm starting May 15th so I'm going for a light weight/high mile approach.I appreciate input from any previous PCT thruhikers.

    Is carrying paracord (or equivalent) necessary on the PCT for bear bagging? I carried 40-50ft on my AT thruhike.. originally started off bear bagging but starting in Virginia started sleeping with my food 90% of the time and didn't have any problems. I also liked the ability to rig up a clothesline and dry off my stuff during lunch breaks/at night.

    My cord only ways 1.3oz so this is kind of silly but I'm wondering if its needed or just a waste of space/weight. I assume there are not really trees in desert to bear bag from and in the Sierras a Bear Canister is needed (do you hang it usually?) so I'm not sure if a paracord is even useful in California.

    Thanks,
    Junco

    AT 2014 / NET 2016 / PCT 2016 / and more at: http://gcappalachia.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,400
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    I still don't fully grasp the ursack. I get the bear can't puncture it but am having a very hard time visualizing all my food not completely mangle, mauled, pulverized and ground down. I pay good money to my dentist to afford me the thill of the crunch & chew, why would I let the bear have all the fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Yep. While the Ursack is approved in Griz country, it is not approved in California. Go figure.
    From what I've read, pretty much ever form of bear canister has failures.
    A prime example is the Adirondacks' bear that figured out how to open a Bear Vault.
    I've read claims that a grizzly was able to "eat" a bearikade.
    And in tests by the NPS, bears have been able to pulverize food in a Ursack and have their saliva leach some of the contents thru the bag.

    The current status is that test done by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) found the described failure of the Ursack to be infrequent enough that they have approved of its use (therefore it is approved by agencies that follow IGBC recommendations).

    But the NPS (specifically for Yosemite National Park) found that in trials, multiple bears figured out the failure method of the Ursack, while fewer bears managed to figure out how to defeat a Bear Vault or Bearikade.
    So the current situation is that Ursacks are currently NOT an approved method of food storage in YNP, and many of the surrounding Forestry Service districts have followed suit.

    Ursack has been arguing that the failures of the Ursack have been infrequent enough to warrant its approval for bear protection (because the number of documented failures between the Ursack and other approved bear canisters are very close in number... something on the order of like 10 v. 20 or something like that), even specifically arguing that if the Ursack were to be approved, compliance with canister regulations would increase providing an over-all net improvement in bear/human encounters.

    The NPS currently has the Ursack under review... but as of today, the Ursack is NOT an approved method of food storage in YNP (though that might change).


    ...at least that's my "Reader's Digest" version of what I can recall reading on the subject.

  13. #13
    Registered User Huli's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-02-2013
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    43
    Posts
    180

    Default

    I don't understand the sleeping with your food. I thought we hung the food away from us to keep the bears away.

    Also read Ursak recently was approved by the grizzly people mentioned above.

    We don't PCT for 2 years, but bear stuff is in our plan. Would somebody explain a bit more?

  14. #14

    Default

    One is legally required to store food in a bear safe canister or bear box on a PCT/JMT hike. Despite SOME Bear Boxes present there ARE NOT ENOUGH on the JMT/PCT to LEGALLY hike the PCT/JMT staying on the JMT/PCT relying on just Bear Boxes.



    Postholer has a decent synopsis of the rather convenient Bear Can Loaner Program
    http://www.postholer.com/faq.php#Canister


    Here are where the Bear Boxes are. Not enough to rely just on the Bear Boxes to be legal.
    http://www.postholer.com/gmap/gmap.p...&markertype=13

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-16-2011
    Location
    On the trail
    Posts
    3,788
    Images
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huli View Post
    I don't understand the sleeping with your food. I thought we hung the food away from us to keep the bears away.

    Also read Ursak recently was approved by the grizzly people mentioned above.

    We don't PCT for 2 years, but bear stuff is in our plan. Would somebody explain a bit more?
    Here is the logic, whether you agree with it or not. possession is 9/10ths of the law of nature. Sleeping with your food is keeping it in your control. People don't have fear of walking through bear country with food. If a bear is going to confront you for food then why not on the trail. In contrast, hanging food is out of your control. Bears are scavengers and they found an unattended source of food.

    Often experienced hikers will will do a number of smart things to lessen the chances of bear encounters.
    1) don't cook where you camp.
    2) minimize established campsites.
    3) minimize clutter especially food clutter in camp.

    one last thought. In areas where bear hunting is allowed you will see bears act very different than the national parks where they have little fear of man.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-02-2011
    Location
    Neptune Beach, Fl
    Age
    45
    Posts
    6,110

    Default

    I have always slept with my food, never carried bear spray or a firearm....that said I have only hiked in black bear territory. If I were in grizz country I'd at least bring a change of underwear!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-01-2014
    Location
    Norwell, MA
    Age
    58
    Posts
    2,207

    Default

    You can probably sleep with your food every night for 1000 nights and not have any problems. The stories on here (my own included) bear it out - pun intended. BUT, the down side is when the statistics catch up with you, the cost of that 1:1000 chance of an encounter is higher than many people are willing to risk for the relatively small inconvenience of almost completely eliminating the bear encounter risk all together by hanging food well or keeping it in a bear-proof container. I will always carry food hanging supplies with me, especially along the PCT, from Yosemite north, because the weight is small, the equipment is useful for all kinds of things, and even if you don't feel the need to hang your food every night, the ability to do so if and when circumstances warrant it (every night for some people, only when a new problem bear is reported in an area for others) is well worth the once or two of line I need to carry to do it.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  18. #18

    Default

    I like the Ursack, due to the ability to compact it as the trip goes and it is a lighter solution.
    Visit Backpacking Adventures and enter your pictures into our monthly contest!

    Check us out on YouTube or FaceBook


  19. #19
    Registered User Huli's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-02-2013
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    43
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    Here is the logic, whether you agree with it or not. possession is 9/10ths of the law of nature. Sleeping with your food is keeping it in your control. People don't have fear of walking through bear country with food. If a bear is going to confront you for food then why not on the trail. In contrast, hanging food is out of your control. Bears are scavengers and they found an unattended source of food.

    Often experienced hikers will will do a number of smart things to lessen the chances of bear encounters.
    1) don't cook where you camp.
    2) minimize established campsites.
    3) minimize clutter especially food clutter in camp.

    one last thought. In areas where bear hunting is allowed you will see bears act very different than the national parks where they have little fear of man.
    Great way to put it.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Junco View Post
    This is kind of a stupid question but I've never been to the west coast and am planning to thru the PCT this year. I'm starting May 15th so I'm going for a light weight/high mile approach.I appreciate input from any previous PCT thruhikers.

    Is carrying paracord (or equivalent) necessary on the PCT for bear bagging? I carried 40-50ft on my AT thruhike.. originally started off bear bagging but starting in Virginia started sleeping with my food 90% of the time and didn't have any problems. I also liked the ability to rig up a clothesline and dry off my stuff during lunch breaks/at night.

    My cord only ways 1.3oz so this is kind of silly but I'm wondering if its needed or just a waste of space/weight. I assume there are not really trees in desert to bear bag from and in the Sierras a Bear Canister is needed (do you hang it usually?) so I'm not sure if a paracord is even useful in California.

    Thanks,
    If you're starting from Campo on May 15th you're going to fry.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •