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  1. #21
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    I have used the Bearicade Weekender(holds 8 days for me), I am now using a BV450 to help me stop carrying too much food. It weighs 2 ozs. more than the Weekender, holds 450 cubic inches instead of 650 cubic inches of the Bearicade. Both are about 2 pounds. Having a fixed volume for food makes my pack carry the same every day, it just gets lighter with less food. The round edges on the BV450 do not wear the inside waterproof surface of my Cuben pack, a problem I did have with the Bearicade.

  2. #22
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    Okay, I’m now leaning towards an Ursack (preferably an Allmitey) with an Opsak inside. I started planning out an itinerary to see when/where we might want to do resupplies and so far I have about 6-7 days between resupplies. I looked around on Ursack’s site and watched their video about how much food the regular Ursack will hold, and it was about 5-6 days of freeze dried food for 2 people.

    We’ve been considering getting a dehydrator and dehydrating all our own meals and sealing them with a vacuum sealer and mostly resupplying with mail drops. This would both save space and we’d be able to have more vegetables, fruits, meats, etc. I know you might not all agree with that, but that’s what we’d prefer to do.

    So my new question is how much food packaged like this would the Ursack hold? Freeze dried food (backpacker meals) like in the video/estimates by Ursack have air in the bags. Would we be able to extend the capacity enough that we would be able to fit all our food for two people for a week, or even more, in a standard size Ursack? We don’t have an REI or anything near us to be able to go look at it ourselves.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    Having a fixed volume for food makes my pack carry the same every day, it just gets lighter with less food.
    Is this a good thing or not? I’m leaning toward Ursack because it can compress as we eat the food and it might be easier to pack things that way.

  4. #24
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biloute View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback. It sounds like I would need a specialized bag. Is it better to be critter resistent, like the Ursack Allmitey? Or is the regular Ursack sufficient and we could get a larger bag?


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    I use an Ursack Allmitey because I've seen more critters chewed bags than bear bags. I also put my food inside an Op Sack. I then have a large Op Sack lining the Allmitey. I have slept with, hung it in a tree, and tied it to a large log without any problems.
    Blackheart

  5. #25
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    I can’t get more than 5 or 6 days of calorie dense food just for myself. Not sure how you think you are going to get that for two people in one Ursack

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by biloute View Post
    Okay, Iím now leaning towards an Ursack (preferably an Allmitey) with an Opsak inside....

    So my new question is how much food packaged like this would the Ursack hold? Freeze dried food (backpacker meals) like in the video/estimates by Ursack have air in the bags. Would we be able to extend the capacity enough that we would be able to fit all our food for two people for a week, or even more, in a standard size Ursack? We donít have an REI or anything near us to be able to go look at it ourselves.
    I just finished a hike with the equivalent of the Allmighty & OpSack combination. (I already had the All White, and added the critter bag to the inside before I ever heard about the Allmighty. I really prefer this set-up: the weight of the two combined is essentially identical to the Allmighty, and I have the option to use one, the other, or both.)

    I was able to get 6+ days of food into it (about 9 lbs), but it was a pretty tight fit. I had all the usual suspects: some oatmeals, some Cliff bars, some tortillas, cheese, and pepperoni slices, crackers, several Snickers and M&M's, nuts, dried fruits, and a 3/3 mix of dehydrated meals and freeze dried (MH) meals. Most things were of course de-packaged and re-packaged for weight & trash considerations, and I rounded the sharp corners off the MH meals.

    Actually, it was a VERY tight fit; I had to pack and repack it all several times in order to get it all in AND get a good seal on the OpSack (overloading it will put a lot of stress on either side of the "zipper", and that is where you will most likely see a tear or failure.)

    I hiked from Harper's Ferry to Rockfish Gap, tenting at more than a couple of areas that were posted with warnings of "High Bear Activity" (although not closed to backcountry camping); I tied my Ursack to a tree a few times, and slept with it at other times. I was never bothered by (or ever aware of) any critters great or small.


    P.S.: I was carrying way too much food.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I loved the Bearikade I used while on the JMT. Yea, it's expensive as #3!!, but in addition to being lighter, I loved how easy it was to operate compared.

    The Bearikade was packed up-right in the top of my pack just under the brain. The underside of the brain had a zipper pocket where I kept a coin. At lunch time, I didn't even have to remove the Bearikade from my pack, just simply lift up the brain and open the Bearikade in-place with the coin from the zipper pocket.

    By contrast, the 1st morning out on the JMT, overnight temps had been a little chilly and a lady from the campsite next to mine came over because she needed help getting her BV500 open (you've got to be able to bend the lid a little to get past the tabs... and the plastic is stiffer when the temps are cold).
    The BV500 is exceptionally easy to open just as long as you have a knive blade or thin piece of plastic like a credit card to use as a guide:

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  8. #28
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    I like having the pack load the same every day, harder to lose things that way. I do not carry freeze dried meals in the factory packaging. I found you lose too much space in the can and their meal sizes don't match my hunger. I take 2 matching meals for 2 persons and make 3 meals for me out of them. I also carry ingredients to build my own meals plus Spam singles, cheese, hard boiled eggs, nuts, butter, dark chocolate, and dried fruit. What you eat has a lot to do with how much space is needed for food.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by biloute View Post
    Okay, I’m now leaning towards an Ursack (preferably an Allmitey) with an Opsak inside. I started planning out an itinerary to see when/where we might want to do resupplies and so far I have about 6-7 days between resupplies. I looked around on Ursack’s site and watched their video about how much food the regular Ursack will hold, and it was about 5-6 days of freeze dried food for 2 people.

    We’ve been considering getting a dehydrator and dehydrating all our own meals and sealing them with a vacuum sealer and mostly resupplying with mail drops. This would both save space and we’d be able to have more vegetables, fruits, meats, etc. I know you might not all agree with that, but that’s what we’d prefer to do.

    So my new question is how much food packaged like this would the Ursack hold? Freeze dried food (backpacker meals) like in the video/estimates by Ursack have air in the bags. Would we be able to extend the capacity enough that we would be able to fit all our food for two people for a week, or even more, in a standard size Ursack? We don’t have an REI or anything near us to be able to go look at it ourselves.
    The short answer to your question: Absolutely not.
    I bought my Ursack Major after reading several people say that the Ursack wouldnít hold more than 5 or 5 1/2 days of food for one person.
    Looking at the Ursacks at REI wonít answer your questions. After you have assembled your homemade food, order one of each size Ursack. Find out at home just how much food each size will hold. Return the one that doesnít work for you.
    I think the Allmitey is the smallest of the 3 Ursacks.
    Donít waste your money on the Opsaks. A simple opaque trash bag liner like a Glad ForceFlex will keep water out and hide your food from a bear.
    Wayne

  10. #30
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    Thank you!

  11. #31
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biloute View Post
    Thank you!
    I may not have been as clear as I would like. My fingers and brain donít always communicate properly.
    I really think that in your case you need to use your homemade and vacuum packed food to test the capacity of the various Ursacks. REI allows returns up to a year after purchase.
    You also didnít say if your wifeís daily ration was equal in weight and volume to yours.
    If the legendary Hiker Hunger affects you and your wife equally the 7+ days of food might be gone in 4 or 5 days.
    I donít have any trouble filling the Ursack Major with an assortment of backpacking meals, no cook trail food and off the shelf breakfast food for 7 days.
    Good luck!
    Wayne

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    I may not have been as clear as I would like. My fingers and brain don’t always communicate properly.
    I really think that in your case you need to use your homemade and vacuum packed food to test the capacity of the various Ursacks. REI allows returns up to a year after purchase.
    You also didn’t say if your wife’s daily ration was equal in weight and volume to yours.
    If the legendary Hiker Hunger affects you and your wife equally the 7+ days of food might be gone in 4 or 5 days.
    I don’t have any trouble filling the Ursack Major with an assortment of backpacking meals, no cook trail food and off the shelf breakfast food for 7 days.
    Good luck!
    Wayne
    It’s me and my husband, actually. We don’t have the dehydrator and vacuum sealer yet. I just know that would take up less space than just freeze dried food (which they use to estimate capacity). We’re waiting to see what we might get for Christmas before we buy anything. I really like to plan though.

    As for hiker hunger, I didn’t encounter that in the 2+ months I was on the Camino de Santiago. I actually wasn’t very hungry at all so I figure if I get hiker hunger that’ll probably be later on. I don’t know how our rations would compare. My husband gets full faster, but also has a tendency to get hungrier sooner than I do. That’s something we’ll have to work out.

    Do you have any trouble with mice, raccoons, etc. with the Ursack Major? We may end up getting an Ursack for each of us anyway. The regular one is supposed to hold 5-6 days for 2 people, so I’m guessing capacity would be fine if we had two of them.

  13. #33
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Cool

    I've only backpacked with the Ursack Major in Colorado and Wyoming. The only wildlife encounter I had was when a mature cow moose came though my campsite at 3:26am at a full gallop. I estimate that she missed my feet by about 10'-12'. Fortunately I had moved my sleeping bag into a circle of mature trees before I went to bed. Mice, raccoons, wolves and bears don't bother me as much as 1,200-1,500 pounds of moose stomping me into oblivion.
    I found a couple pictures of food for a week or so. The first is my food. The left column is morning meals & too much coffee. The middle is trail food. The right is 6 evening meals.
    IMG_1878.JPG
    The second photo is from a gentleman who was heading into Yellowstone or Glacier. Judging by the number of candy bars, I would say this was a 7-10 day trip. He owns an Ursack.
    IMG_2296.JPG
    In parting, I would like to say that I can't imagine anyone living off of freeze dried food for 6 days. I think that the folks at Ursack are wrong to use freeze dried meals to demonstrate the capacity of their products. While it might be lighter and more compact, freeze dried food would be terribly inefficient during the day on the trail. And horribly expensive. Just my opinion.
    Learn by doing. Y'all will figure out what works for you.
    Wayne
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  15. #35
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Somehow "Texas" and "vegan" don't go well together. Is that Tofu Jerky?
    Grinning!
    It's all good! Jerky on the trail is another reason why I would not pack 100% freeze dried food.
    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
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  16. #36
    Registered User Which Way's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biloute View Post
    It’s me and my husband, actually. We don’t have the dehydrator and vacuum sealer yet. I just know that would take up less space than just freeze dried food (which they use to estimate capacity). We’re waiting to see what we might get for Christmas before we buy anything. I really like to plan though.

    As for hiker hunger, I didn’t encounter that in the 2+ months I was on the Camino de Santiago. I actually wasn’t very hungry at all so I figure if I get hiker hunger that’ll probably be later on. I don’t know how our rations would compare. My husband gets full faster, but also has a tendency to get hungrier sooner than I do. That’s something we’ll have to work out.

    Do you have any trouble with mice, raccoons, etc. with the Ursack Major? We may end up getting an Ursack for each of us anyway. The regular one is supposed to hold 5-6 days for 2 people, so I’m guessing capacity would be fine if we had two of them.
    My wife and are planning a thru hike in April '18. We purchased an Excalibur dehydrator and love it, This is our 2nd one to purchase ( our 1st one is in storage in another state). We haven't tried out our food sealer enough for me praise or debunk it yet.

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