Posts Tagged ‘bear bag’

I’ll be giving a free presentation on lightweight backpacking for OLLI in the Campbell Center on the SOU Campus, 655 Frances Lane, Ashland, Oregon on Wednesday Sept 30 from 1-3 PM.


Although boomer backpackers are my people, the concepts of lightweight backpacking can be applied to many things from motorcycle touring to dayhiking.  All ages and experience levels are welcome from day hikers to hardcore backpackers, bicyclists, RVers, etc.  I’ll do a short PowerPoint slide show and bring some gear for you to check out.  Hope to see you there.


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In my book I talk about a bear bag made of high tech fabric, but I never mention the actual manufacturer, except in the gear table at the end of the chapter.  What was I thinking?  In the next edition I’ll fix that problem.  In the mean time here’s the info.  It’s called an Ursack. fieldtest_gcnp_mike1


The current model is made of white spectra 29.   These bags are intended to be secured to a tree or log at ground level, merely to keep the critter from hauling your food away.  I have never had a bag molested that I could tell.  But, I keep a clean camp.  The bag should be put no nearer your camp than you would want a bear.above_tree


For the most part, I figure I’m keeping smaller animals away from my food, like mice, raccoons, and other small mammals.  I have an older larger version of the bag, which is visible in the snow phot below.  It handles food for two people on a week long trip.  The newer ones, at 650 cubic inches, are about half the size of mine.pic-6-3


Ursack is trying to get approval for use in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks, and Inyo National Forest; all habituated bear areas.  In these areas bear canisters are required by law.  The Ursack was acceptable for a period time and then in January 2008, that approval was withdrawn and only hard sided canisters were allowed.  Ursack is challenging that decision.  For more on this click here.  

I stay in areas where the bears remain wild and have been very happy to use the Ursack instead of the old hanging method or a much heavier and bulkier hard sided canister.  I only use the sack itself without optional aluminum liner, which adds 14 oz to the package.  Alone the 650 cubic inch bag weights less than 8 oz.  The Bear Vault BV500 a popular 700 cubic inch canister weights 2 lbs 9 oz.  So even if you use the aluminum liner you’re still 1 lb. 3 oz ahead of the game.bv500

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