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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Well you are welcome to that thought. TYOT as they say. Hope you don't mind if I do likewise.
    How boring would these forums be if we all thought the same?

    As for TYOT, I was using a bear canister in Denali National Part in 1988 and 1989. A whole lot more than 10 years ago.

    I've slept with my food most of my life as that's what people did historically, and that's how I learned.

    In 1990, in a remote'ish area of Olympic National Park, at the end of a long day hiking along a dry ridgeline in the rain without enough water, we saw 11 black bear and a cougar. That afternoon, when we decided to make camp, there was a bear browsing up on the ridge above us. But, since there were bear everywhere we turned (all the rest of which were close enough they ran away when we walk by), we gave up trying to find a place without a bear, pitched our tent, put our pots out to collect rain water, stuffed our food inside our tent with us, went to sleep, woke up the next day with overflowing pots (It apparently rained 7 inches that night). BUT, the area was not heavily traveled by people. At that point in time, outside of a few areas in the country with problem bears, nobody ever thought about using bear canisters, and, in this case, we didn't use one.

    To suggest that the world is evolving toward everyone using bear canisters (if that is what you are doing) is absurd! There are times and places where they are the best option. There are times and places where using them would serve no purpose whatsoever. There are places, like the High Peaks area in the Adirondacks, where bear canisters (many commonly used and otherwise respected and yes, certified ones ones) have proven to be quite inadequate as the pile of destroyed bear canisters at the ranger station would imply.

    And finally, there are times (probably most) where there is no clear and unambiguous right or best answer and we all have to use our personal best judgement, and then trash our friends on-line for not sharing our own personal risk aversion or sets of expectations.
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  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    How boring would these forums be if we all thought the same?

    As for TYOT, I was using a bear canister in Denali National Part in 1988 and 1989. A whole lot more than 10 years ago.

    I've slept with my food most of my life as that's what people did historically, and that's how I learned.

    In 1990, in a remote'ish area of Olympic National Park, at the end of a long day hiking along a dry ridgeline in the rain without enough water, we saw 11 black bear and a cougar. That afternoon, when we decided to make camp, there was a bear browsing up on the ridge above us. But, since there were bear everywhere we turned (all the rest of which were close enough they ran away when we walk by), we gave up trying to find a place without a bear, pitched our tent, put our pots out to collect rain water, stuffed our food inside our tent with us, went to sleep, woke up the next day with overflowing pots (It apparently rained 7 inches that night). BUT, the area was not heavily traveled by people. At that point in time, outside of a few areas in the country with problem bears, nobody ever thought about using bear canisters, and, in this case, we didn't use one.

    To suggest that the world is evolving toward everyone using bear canisters (if that is what you are doing) is absurd! There are times and places where they are the best option. There are times and places where using them would serve no purpose whatsoever. There are places, like the High Peaks area in the Adirondacks, where bear canisters (many commonly used and otherwise respected and yes, certified ones ones) have proven to be quite inadequate as the pile of destroyed bear canisters at the ranger station would imply.

    And finally, there are times (probably most) where there is no clear and unambiguous right or best answer and we all have to use our personal best judgement, and then trash our friends on-line for not sharing our own personal risk aversion or sets of expectations.
    I would ask that you stop putting words into my mouth and then attacking me for things I didn't say. It is very rude and does nothing to further dialogue. I'd explain what I did say, but based on your posts in this thread I'm not about to waste my time.
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  3. #43

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    Not that my opinion matters much but a bear cannister is way too heavy and takes way too much room for me. It seems to me a cannister attempts to solve a problem that in the East only exists in limited areas where hikers congregate and cook and drop food near where they sleep. I have only ever slept with my food but my camping has also been in remote sites or where others have not trained them to associate us with food. If I was in a shelter, I wouldn't want to make anyone uncomfortable, so, I would use whatever facility was provided or throw a hang for the rats.

  4. #44

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    Heavy duty child proof, smell proof mylar bags that hold 1 #10 can of MountainHouse Rice and Chicken have worked really well for me inside my tent. I've tested the bags by putting fishy Fancy Feast cat food in them and left out overnight for 2 nights in my yard. No animals touched/disturbed them. My yard has opossum, racoon and feral cats as a good testing place for the bags. There is a time and place for the special FunkGuard type bag.

  5. #45

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    I keep my food in an odor resistant bag inside the Ursack Allwhite with the metal liner.Real convenient to hang,preferably find a tree with a fork in it and tie it off.Also makes a pretty decent stool if you put a couple seat pads on it.

    I use the system rather than sleep with my food because if I had a problem that went bad I would not want everyone criticizing me afterwards for "breaking the rules".Besides,I don't want to have an encounter with any sort of hungry critter.

  6. #46

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    Just an observation on OP sacks. When they are new and the closure works well, they contain odors pretty well. so well that I keep mothballs in an OP sack in my vehicle to sprinkle on the ground under my engine compartment if I park it where I think porcupines might molest my engine components while I'm away for a few days. When I leave I pick the mothballs back up and put them back in the OP sack. I keep this OP sac in the vehicle year-round and never smell them unless I open the sack. Maybe if I was a bear, I could smell the mothballs, who knows.

    When used on trail, even when careful, because you are taking food out, putting trash in, etc., it does not take long for the outside of the OP sack to become a smellable object, and of course the zip closure is also a common source of failure. So in practical terms, unless you are going to use a new one every other resupply or so, I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense to trust the odor reduction. YMMV.
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  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
    I've been watching Quicksand's Youtube hiking videos...he does a great job...
    I asked him does he hang his food....his reply is he always sleeps with it. And he is currently working on his third thru hike of the AT...I believe...
    I can see possibly sleeping with your food if you're stealth camping away from a shelter...but sleeping with your food at or near a shelter would probably make others around you uncomfortable, IMO.
    Am interested on what others think about sleeping with their food...
    You will experience much less stress using a bear can.

  8. #48
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    Just another anecdote about OPSacks -- my lessons learned and observations after using them since 2014:

    I learned early that the zip seal is a little bit harder to seal than a regular Ziploc; it seems to me that it takes more pressure as you slide your fingers across the seal. You really have to be sure that every inch is in fact sealed, because I was fooled a couple of times.

    The seal will fail if you overfill it -- the seal itself stays sealed, but the plastic on either side of the seal will tear away due to the strain. Once I realized I had to use common sense, I didn't have a problem.

    The plastic is stiffer and more heavy-duty of course than a regular Ziploc, and maybe it's my imagination but seemed less pliable in very cold temps and made me worry about making little "micro-cracks", so I try to be more mindful and careful in handling it in the winter. That being said, I haven't ever noticed any cracks or tears after these trips (I zip up an empty bag and immerse in a sink of water, and no bubbles indicating a leak.) That all being said, I have replaced my big food OPSack once, not because I had noticed any flaws, but I had had it for a few years and was going into the Shenandoah, and just felt like I was buying insurance.

    My own little test and observation on how "smell-proof" it really is:

    I have a beagle, and beagles are known to be one of those dogs with super noses. And her super nose super loves roast pork, among other things. From the minute the food is on the counter, she doesn't care if the world ends -- she is completely focused on the smell of the meat. One day I decided to test one of my OPSacks -- one that I've had for a while. I put some meat in it, surreptitiously put the bag up on a bookcase, and brought the dog in as per usual to sit and play and irritate me...which she did, absolutely according to script. Didn't stick her nose in the air once. Over the course of a couple hours, I would sneak the bag around the room, gradually getting lower and closer, and still no change in her behavior. Eventually I had that bag of pork on a coffee table, and she could have snatched it any time she wanted. She never indicated she knew it was there.

    Yes, I know science says that a bear's sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive than a dog's, but I still thought that this was instructive.

    I usually pack dry, packed, sealed, "unsmelly" foods in my food OPSack -- if anything, my trash bag is WAY more smelly than my food sack (and I use a ziploc or two inside a small OPSack for that as well.) I wipe my hands down with a WetWipe after putting my food back, and also wipe the outside of the sack before I put it away in the Ursack -- which is tied up to a tree, or in my tent with me (depending on where I am and my best judgment. )

    To date, I haven't ever noticed any bear or other critter bothering my food/trash bags.

    Just my experience.
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  9. #49

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    Anybody use "Smelly Bag" brand? They come in a variety of sizes and are pretty cheap

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    I keep my food in an odor resistant bag inside the Ursack Allwhite with the metal liner.Real convenient to hang,preferably find a tree with a fork in it and tie it off.Also makes a pretty decent stool if you put a couple seat pads on it.

    I use the system rather than sleep with my food because if I had a problem that went bad I would not want everyone criticizing me afterwards for "breaking the rules".Besides,I don't want to have an encounter with any sort of hungry critter.
    It is nice to meet a like minded person. I have the Ursack Allmitey 10 liters sack and could not be happier. It pains me that this 100% Made in the USA product does not get much love from the hiking community nor from the authorities. It has the best of both worlds; it is light weight and bear/critters resistant. You don't need to find that perfect branch to hang your food at the end of a long hiking day and you can go to sleep without worrying that some rodent will chew into your food bag even if it is hang the PCT method, which few are skilled at. I know there's an old YouTube video circulating showing a shredded Ursack bag but it is, as mentioned, old. And if one worries about their food being banged up by a bear, they can use the liner. I, personally, never sleep neither with food nor with anything that has odor (hand sanitizer, toothpaste, creams/lotions) in my tent. My greatest nightmare is a rodent chewing in my tent while asleep, spreading their feces/urine all over and leaving a tick or two as a bonus. And, finally, they may be on the pricey side but will probably last for a life time.

  11. #51

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    For what it's worth, I've seen an ursack bag shredded first hand. That was in the spring of 2018. The company did provide a replacement, but that's not much consolation IMO.

  12. #52
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    .................

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i'll take a guess and say this was Cosby Knob shelter...


    That would be my guess also. Usually Cosby Knob is closed for several weeks each summer due to "aggressive bear activity".

    I had a conversation with a Smokies biologist about Russell Field. He said the problem is not one bear but a generation of bears. Mother bear has taught cubs how to get an easy meal.


    this shelter and russell field shelter (and i would imagine others, i just know specifically about these two and bears) have
    "resident" bears that hang around the shelter.....

    if a pack (even empty) is left at shelter, and there's no one around, bears have been known to come around
    and snatch the bag.........

    the bears have learned to associate a bag with food......

    so they take that chance.........

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Anybody use "Smelly Bag" brand? They come in a variety of sizes and are pretty cheap
    I just bought a large size for my Ursack and a smaller size to hold garbage for my upcoming thru of the Arizona Trail. I'll report back how they do. I leave in two weeks.
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  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    For what it's worth, I've seen an ursack bag shredded first hand. That was in the spring of 2018. The company did provide a replacement, but that's not much consolation IMO.
    The AllMitey is made of Kevlar and there's no way a bear can chew into it.

  15. #55

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    The Ursack I'm referring to was one of their Kevlar sacks. Chewed or not, the bag was shredded and covered with bear slobber, and the contents were spread out on the ground.

    Ursack.jpg
    Last edited by CalebJ; 03-05-2021 at 11:58.

  16. #56

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    They say "Any publicity is good publicity". Well, such a picture cannot be good publicity, I must admit. I just hope the company fixed what has to be fixed and that the bag shown is the exception to the rule, not the rule.

  17. #57

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    Same. I like the concept, but it will take some convincing for me to go down that road after seeing that happen.

    I have been on the fence about purchasing a canister for some time now. The biggest hangup is that it simply wouldn't fit in the packs I use most of the year. As a result, I carry a bear bag kit and use it anytime I can find a -good- branch to use. The night the ursack incident happened, I couldn't find one. My own food bag was under my head as a pillow, maybe 50 feet from where the ursack was.

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Same. I like the concept, but it will take some convincing for me to go down that road after seeing that happen.

    I have been on the fence about purchasing a canister for some time now. The biggest hangup is that it simply wouldn't fit in the packs I use most of the year. As a result, I carry a bear bag kit and use it anytime I can find a -good- branch to use. The night the ursack incident happened, I couldn't find one. My own food bag was under my head as a pillow, maybe 50 feet from where the ursack was.
    There are two issues here: (A) sleeping with food; yes/no and (B) food storage. As I wrote in my previous post, I never sleep with food not so much because of fear of a bear attack, I just cannot stand the thought of a mouse/mice in my tent while I'm asleep. That's my phobia. As for food storage, I have to admit i'm too lazy to do the hanging thing. I do own a BV-450 container and I really want to like it but.....the weight. It is over two pounds and there is no way around it. So, for myself, My AllMitey Ursack is the best solution for now until something better comes along.

  19. #59

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    Understood. I'm definitely not espousing sleeping with your food as the solution to much of anything. I just see it as a step above the horrific bear hangs that are so often visible along the trail.

  20. #60

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    Ursacks made after April 1,2014 are IGBC certified as bear resistant.The Ursack will have a tag sewed into it which is indicative of the certification.Tom Cohen,president of company ,said some of the early generation bags did have some issues particularly with improperly stichted seams.My bag has the certification tag.Doesn't make it bear proof
    just bear resistant.I think some bears have gotten into cannisters in the past,rare though but it's happened.Nothing says a bear can't play soccer with your cannister all night to the point that you will never locate it in the morning either unless you did a good job of securing it.

    I use the 22 guage aluminum liner in my Ursack plus I cut a piece of roof flashing to put in the bottom to make it that much harder for ol Smokey to get a good grip on my breakfast.The odor barrier bag probably keeps the odor profile lower and it definitely keeps the contents dry which is just as important.

    One thing to note about Ursacks is you want a tree that is forked enough high enough off the ground so the bear can't get his back feet into the game.Personally,I think it would take a Grizzly to get past my liner and if I were in Grizzly country I would be packing a hard cannister,not a sack.

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