I'm new to backcountry travel. Been dayhiking for years. Long day hikes are my favorite, but I'm starting to feel like I'm missing out on some stuff, so I decided I need to start carrying more, to get in further so I can see more.
I have my first trip in September with a group, going to Grand Canyon. I have a nephew who went last April and he said his group rented an Outsak to store their food overnight. I went to the manufacturers website http://www.simpleoutdoorstore.com/ and sure they suggest it. I want to know what anyone out there with more experience than me, thinks about using a stainless steel bag to store your food. Apparently the canyon has metal containers for the last night in a campground, but we are doing 3 nights in more remote locations.
Is it worth carrying an Outsak while traveling in Grand Canyon?
No rush on an answer, I've got about 7 weeks until my trip.
Edited by hobbyhiker (08/02/0909:46 AM) Edit Reason: spelling errors
In the Grand Canyon, generally, the more remote the camp, the less trouble with small furry creatures. They, especially the squirrels, can be particularly brazen at places like Hermit Camp and Monument Camp. I've never camped at Indian Gardens but I suspect that there are active squirrels there. Personally, I favor more remote locations in the Grand Canyon but often have to camp for a night at one of the more frequented sites en route.
You will definitely want something to protect your food. I use an Ursack and hang it out of reach. I use an Ursack because that is what I have; I have been told that it is not mouseproof however. Others use metal mesh sacks such as the Ratsack with success. I have not heard of the Outsack before but assume it is a Ratsack with a different name. Do use something though, the prowling critters range from ringtail cats and ravens to mice; all will go after your food. I have personally watched ravens unzip pockets on a pack and remove the contents looking for food. A ranger I know feels that the ravens are smarter than a lot of the hikers he meets.
Is it worth carrying an Outsak while traveling in Grand Canyon?
In a word, yes! Outsaks work great in the Grand Canyon. The little mice are CRAZY there. You'll hear them chewing all night on your tent, backpack, anything. The rodents carry disease, so definitely protect your food. It looks like the outsak is the choosen bag of the Grand Canyon... you can get it all over up there. Here are their stores, if you are interested: outsak stores
Thanks for the suggestions and the info. After looking at all the options, Outsak looks like the winner. They are sold at Grand Canyon, it is less expensive than ursack, and it has a 1 year warranty. It also looks like I can rent one at the South Rim from the General Store.
Rent and try before you buy. I learned that with some gardening equipment years ago.
The guy I talked to at the general store said they have been renting them for some time now. They must work.
So i talked to a guy, who talked to a guy who had a grubpack and an Outsak in front of him. not even considering the price, he chose the Outsak based on looks and what he believed was a higher quality bag. When I heard that, I knew I made the right choice. Its hard to decide on gear when all you have is a picture to look at.
Personally I've never seen a grubpack, I have an Outsak now and its all I need.I guess the folks in Arizona get the benefit of seeing one in a store before buying, thats a long drive for me.
I was going to rent one, then about 2 weeks ago I ordered one, took advantage of the free shipping, got it in a few days.
Its sitting on my pack, waiting to go to Grand Canyon next week.
I also talked to the owner, he gave me some pointers on side hikes along the way that I never would have known about.I guess he is a former guide in the park. Nice guy. Good Product.
Our canyon trip was cancelled almost before we landed in Vegas. My buddy somehow twisted his knee on the plane. Swelled up like a balloon. By the time we were in our rental car we were looking for a hospital. Long story short version, we stayed in Vegas.
Back on topic-I did get to see this grubbag versus the outsak, but it wasn't a grubbag. Not sure what it was, but it was huge. It might have been 3 feet wide x 3 feet long. Wire mesh, but this doesn't match any description of a product from either company. It didn't have a label on it, guess he assumed it was one..
The outsak sure looks nice, and im glad it isn't 3 feet wide. The grubbag may be a fine product, but I have yet to see one.
We're planning another trip for spring...from what I understand this past week was very, very hot in the canyon. Sometimes things happen for a reason.
Loc: Morgan City, LA
I ordered a bag. From what I see and read the Outsak and Grubpack are similar. I have read good reviews about both of them. Both are stainless steel mesh with a velco top. I ordered the Grubpack online based on the lower price, and they ship free. Outsak cost a little more and charges for shipping. I saved about $7 or $8 on the medium size. I'll be going to the Grand Canyon in January.
Loc: Washington State, King County
I'm attempting an AT thru-hike this year myself. With no personal experience hiking in that part of the country, I at first was going to bring along the Ursack that I already own, but on reflection I'll start with none of the above to save that 8 oz, just bring a food sack and an odorproof liner and see how it works out.
If it turns out that rodents are getting to my food at all, I can have my wife mail out my Ursack. It will certainly depend on how often I sleep in or close to a shelter. Starting in late Feb with a poncho tarp I figure that I'll stay in a shelter when the weather is fairly nasty (wet) and there's space, but incline to stay a ways away from them otherwise. Maybe hang (not bear hang, just rodent hang) food where that seems logical, otherwise sleep with my food if away from well used campsites.
The great thing is that you can always change your mind as you go along. Perhaps just bring along the phone numbers for outsak and grub pack (I wouldn't incline to an Ursack unless I wanted to use it on other trails). If you decide you want one, call them, give your credit card number and tell them which post office to mail it to, general delivery to your name.
Just joined your forum today. I hope my comment is helpful. I bought a medium size Grubpack last week. I received it today. Have not used it yet, but it looks durable and well made. My main point is the price difference. Grubpack costs less and ships free. Outsak cost a few bucks more and charges for shipping. Overall I saved about $12 with Grubpack.
I didn't even know there was such a thing much less competition. Imagine that - rodent safe food containers. I had a hole chewed through a jacket buried in rocks in the grand canyon, the little sucker got five pounds of granola. I always just hang a pastic grocery bag on a small limb 4-5 feet off the ground and I've never had a problen outside the grandcanyon. Of course I NEVER camp in camp grounds so maybe thats why no problems. Maybe I'll get one for my birthday. The idea being to put bait in it and shoot em when they come for my food then eat em. Good way to more food...
Guess I'm a Greenhorn
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
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