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experience with Ursack Major Bear Bag

Just wondering if anybody had any experience with the Ursack major bear bags?

Particularly in grizzly country I am interested to know anyone's thoughts on the efficacy of the material the bag is made of.

3 Replies

I do have one and used it a handful of times, but only in black bear country. They are pretty nice, but they most definitely are not bear proof. I have seen many photos and videos of Ursacks that bears have torn into. Given a good chunk of the time they just smash your food and maybe have a small puncture in the bag, but they have ripped them apart before. 

"The mountains whisper for me to wander; my soul hikes to the call." - Angie Weiland-Crosby

Yes I am thinking about using a bear canister for my food and then just putting a cooking stove and coffee press in the bag. That way there is no food in the Ursack if it does get compromised. Thank you.

No personal experience but I've considered them and the general advice on Ursacks I have found is this...

They only work well against bears in areas where bears are not habituated to human food.  They may be most effective when used as insurance in combination with a bear hang although obviously this limits where you can use one effectively.

They are effective against smaller creatures but not rodents which can chew their way in.  There is a heavier rodent version but it apparently is not really that rodent proof and therefore some people do not think it is worth the extra weight.  (I considered maybe putting the Ursack in Ratsack for occasions where rodent protection is called for a more flexible system.)

It is important to keep Ursack's clean and as free of food odor as possible which is not that easy.  Advice I saw which seemed sensible was to double bag the food using zip locks inside a larger resealable plastic bag.  This allows you to reduce odors by only handling the Ursack and the outside of the resealable bag with clean hands.  (Opsack's are not that great.  Apparently the seal often fails.)

If a bear does find your Ursack, your food will be crushed.  Bears can puncture the cloth and have been known to chew through it if motivated enough and they have sufficient time with it.   Carry a spare larger resealable bag to use in case your Ursack gets chewed.   That way you can transfer your crushed but zip locked food to a new undamaged resealable bag if necessary allowing you salvage some of your food and make a safe exit since you can still keep your food's odor under control.