Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#133134 - 05/02/10 10:34 PM Camping with the bears
wally59 Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
Hi all,

I am looking for any and all advice on food storage, ursaks, bear canisters or any other methods of securing food. I'm in Minnesota so I would dealing with black bears. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Top
#133140 - 05/03/10 10:01 AM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: wally59]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
People generally look at the requirements of the park/forest they are going to hike in.

If you are looking for something that will work anywhere, most likely be on the approved list of bear canisters, you'll end up with a Garcia, a Bearikade, possibly a Bare Boxer. Best bet is to look at the approved list posted by the park/NF on their website and rent or borrow or buy accordingly.

Being in California, I hang a simple stuff sack, PCT style, most places a bear canister isn't required, as it's lighter. Some areas, it's raccoons and the bear canister works really well for those too. In the Sierras it's always going to be a canister - too many of those bears know how to get a hung food bag, and tear out the bottoms of ursacks.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#133146 - 05/03/10 12:13 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: wally59]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 937
Loc: Michigan
I live and hike in Michigan, I have hiked most of the NCT in WI and have hiked the SHT in MN. I have used a Ursack most of the time and have never had a problem. On the other hand I have not had a problems with Unicorns either so maybe I just have not been in the right place at the right time.

Top
#133152 - 05/03/10 02:02 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: GrumpyGord]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By GrumpyGord
I live and hike in Michigan, I have hiked most of the NCT in WI and have hiked the SHT in MN. I have used a Ursack most of the time and have never had a problem. On the other hand I have not had a problems with Unicorns either so maybe I just have not been in the right place at the right time.


Unicorns tend to like virgins. Or so I hear. crazy

Clearly Your Bears May Vary - I'm used to the craziness of habituated bruins here. I'm waiting for the bears in Yosemite to start driving away in the cars they break into....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#133169 - 05/03/10 09:09 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: lori]
wally59 Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks Lori and GrumpyGord for your reply.

I did a little on line search for both the Ursack and for the Garcia products, as well as the others. As always, price and weight are the two key factors I will have to balance when I make my decision.

It sounds like for ease of use the Canisters have the edge, but the Ursack has the edge in weight on the trail.

I do have a long term goal of hiking in the Tetons, so perhaps a canister would be the better choice for out west. For the areas in northern Minnesota that I plan to hike the Ursack should work fine.

I did not see a retail outlet in Minnesota that carries the Ursack. Can either of you tell me how they are priced in comparison to the lower end canisters?

Thanks again for your responses.


Top
#133170 - 05/03/10 09:24 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: wally59]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
comparisons

Some are cheaper than the Ursack, others are not. Just depends.

I really like the Bearikades.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#133172 - 05/03/10 09:59 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: lori]
wally59 Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
This is a great help. Thanks lori!

Top
#133181 - 05/04/10 06:06 AM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: wally59]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 937
Loc: Michigan
The Ursack is much easier to pack and the size reduces as the food is eaten. Either option can frequently be purchased used if you do need the latest and greatest. I use the original Ursack and it works fine in the MI/MN/WI area. I have an older Garcia which I used when my daughter lived in CA and I hiked in Yosemite.

Top
#133215 - 05/04/10 08:48 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: GrumpyGord]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I use an ursack most everywhere - including grizzly country - however I'm not hiking in a SIBBG controlled area like Yosemite.

I do have a BearVault that I own that I bought for a sierra trip that I ended up having to cancel. If I go somewhere I need it I'll probably take that. but I'd hate to lug it around everywhere.

I also hang food using the pct method in some situations.

The ursack is definately easiest.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#133216 - 05/04/10 08:49 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: GrumpyGord]
wally59 Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
I will start looking on the sites to see if I can find one used. It would be nice to have both at some point, but as most of my hiking is done in the Midwest the Ursack is the better choice because of weight and cost. GrumpyGord, what do you find is the most successful way of securing the Ursack? Do you hang it or secure it to the base of a tree somehow?

Top
#133218 - 05/04/10 09:59 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: wally59]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By wally59
Do you hang it or secure it to the base of a tree somehow?


The PCT method is the one most commonly used-- check out Youtube directions.

FWIW, in Colorado (except RMNP) I just use a simple stuff sack and OPSacks (Odor proof bags). I put the food in the Opsacks and then just shove them in a stuff sack. When at camp, I hang via the PCT method if possible. If I am above treeline then I feel fairly confident in just sleeping with my food.

Top
#133224 - 05/05/10 12:20 AM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: phat]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Actually, SIBBG kind of fell apart in that department, they now provide links to park and NF pages. The various jurisdictions are now the final answer when it comes to regulations in the Sierras. But the central/southern area is so pockmarked with can required/not required regions that a hike of any length and you might as well carry the can. Bears don't respect boundaries, either.

Tahoe wilderness areas require canisters too, and so does the Lost Coast (northern coast trail) - you really do need to check before you go anywhere in California.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#133230 - 05/05/10 06:06 AM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: wally59]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 937
Loc: Michigan
I just tie it to a tree. There are good instructions on the Ursack site and even a video I think. Actually in most areas the bigger problem is small critters like coons, chipmunks etc.

Top
#133267 - 05/05/10 09:42 PM Re: Camping with the bears [Re: GrumpyGord]
wally59 Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
I'll check out the Ursack website. Thanks. I agree with you on the racoons and chipmunks as being a problem. We have some racoons in the more popular state parks in Minnesota that I swear could pick a padlock if you gave them one to practice with.

The youtube video on the PCT method was also very helpful. Thanks

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Boil in a bottle?
by DustinV
07/23/21 06:29 PM
Can't find a tent for me and the Mrs.
by edfardos
04/26/16 05:19 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Waterproof boots
by Tom7654
09:56 AM
Grandma Gatewood Revisited
by Bill Kennedy
09/26/21 01:51 AM
Greetings from the (not so) prairie state
by UrbanYeti
09/24/21 12:29 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Carrying My Dog LOL
by Hey
07/07/21 09:20 PM
Featured Photos
Spiderco Chaparral Pocketknife
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 61 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
UrbanYeti, Carute, Jacksmith220, snacksalot, Keirv87
13066 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum