[pct-l] Pct-L Digest, Vol 80, Issue 14 Bear Canisters: Good for Bear, not for Hungry Hiker?

Jackie McDonnell yogihikes at gmail.com
Fri Aug 15 13:40:46 CDT 2014

If I recall correctly, over the years Ursacks have gone through a cycle of
approved - not approved - approved - lather, rinse, repeat.  I suspect what
is approved today will be not approved in the near future - and vice-versa.

Put my food in an Ursack, tie it to a tree, let a bear smash it and drool
all over it, end up with bear-saliva-covered smashed up Snickers and
Idahoans?  No thank you.  Give me a BearVault any day.  I'm tough:   I can
carry the extra 2 pounds, keep my food safe, and more importantly keep the
bears safe.


On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:27 PM, bhuss <hussbl at gmail.com> wrote:

>   Bear Canisters: Good for Bear, not for Hungry Hiker?
> Maybe we should be checking to see when, or if, this much lighter weight
> option: Ursack S29 All White (7.3 oz.) will be approved for use on the
> JMT, and the section of the PCT, where bear canisters are currently
> required? Some hungry hungry hiker could carry two sacks full of
> calories with the aprox. 2 lbs of saved weight from leaving behind a
> bear can.
> Info:
> _http://www.ursack.com/ursack-update.htm_
> July 31, 2014-The 2014 Ursack S29 AllWhite is now listed on the IGBC
> list of certified bear resistant products.
> July 24, 2014-The 2014 Ursack S29 AllWhite has been given IGBC
> certification number 3738.
> Bear Canisters: Good for Bear, not for Hungry Hiker?
> February 20, 2012
> Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon (SEKI) responded to our December
> letter (see their web site for referenced letter). Those Parks have,
> until further notice, turned over the testing of Ursack to the
> Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC). If the IGBC certifies Ursack
> as "bear resistant," it will be allowed in Yosemite and SEKI. However,
> IGBC has no authority to formally approve containers such as Ursack.
> Such approval will be periodically reviewed.
> _
> http://www.igbconline.org/index.php/safety-in-grizzly-country/bear-resistant-products_
> Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC)
> USDA Forest Service
> Federal Building - 200 East Broadway
> Missoula, MT 59802
> Phone: (406) 329-3434 | Fax: (406) 329-3171
> Email: igbc at igbconline.org
> Q: If a product is approved, does it mean that the product can be used
> on any public lands in the United States?
> A: No. While many public land managers use the list of IGBC-approved
> products as a means for approving products for use on the lands within
> their jurisdiction, IGBC approval does not imply that products have
> automatically been approved for use on all public lands. Manufacturers
> and consumers should consult with specific land management agencies to
> confirm whether or not a product complies with local requirements.
> Subject:
> [pct-l] Bear Canisters: Good for Bear, not for Hungry Hiker?
> From:
> <ned at mountaineducation.org>
> Date:
> 8/12/2014 2:12 PM
> To:
> <johnmuirtrail at yahoogroups.com>
> CC:
> pct-l at backcountry.net
> A little reflection on the use of Bear Canisters (BCs) by JMT vs. PCT thru
> hikers and weight loss...
> I was wondering, with the requirement of BCs thru some of the roughest
> sections of the Pacific Crest Trail (basically all of the JMT), could it be
> so simple a statement as to say their food-space limitations are the reason
> why PCT thru hikers lose so much weight?
> The JMT thru hiker starts out with a BC, but they aren't that hungry at
> first, so the BC works for them (at least for a while).
> The PCT thru hiker starts using a BC after their first 30 or so days
> on-trail, certainly at the point already where they are really hungry, then
> are limited with the volume of food they can carry and must start a
> long-term food depreciation phase over the toughest trail and snow of their
> trip!
> Is there any sense to this? BCs are good for the bear, but not so good for
> the food-starving, long-distance hiker!
> So, I guess for the areas where BCs are required, it is best to major
> carbo-load before going in or do these sections after several weeks of
> packing in town food reserves, otherwise you're going to lose weight!
> For some, this could be a good thing (to lose weight), but for the skinny
> people like me, I "bonk" pretty early without eating a ton of food (after
> being on the trail for at least a week).
> So, a Bear Canister can be a real food volume limiter and we can't do
> anything about it except bring two canisters (which my son did when he
> flip-flopped the JMT a few years ago)...
> Food for thought. (Hey, just sayin'!)
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