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[pct-l] Bear Canisters

>From: "W. O. Ward" <bill@woward.com>
>To: <pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
>Subject: [pct-l] Bear Canisters
>Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 20:45:38 -0700
>Has anyone heard lately whether the Bearikade canister is still approved in
>all National Parks and other places when canisters are required?
>What about the Ursack?

As far as I know, the Ursack is not permitted in Sequoia Natl. Park any 
longer--it may well be restriced elsewhere, now.  However, the "Ursack 
Ultra" (2-layered) may still be approved.  Having personally field-tested an 
"Ultra"--twice!--against the wiles and brawn of Yosemite's indefatigueable 
bears, I can recommend them.  Yes, whatever you put in them may suffer, from 
an aesthetic standpoint, and baggies of dry milk be utterly ruined, but 
those two bears were unable to undo a good, sturdy figure-8 knot, and the 
sacks sustained little damage other than torn-off labels.  I guess "I'd 
trust 'em" isn't a direct answer to "are they allowed," but they do work.  
I'm sure it helped that we tied them high in trees where a bear would have 
to perch somewhat precariously in order to rip and tug...had they been tied 
closer to ground level, they might not have fared so well.

Another method currently being tested by my fearless associate and I is the 
"hikers who know better and who are acting like fools" method--which is 
directly linked to the "opening beers at 10,000'" field test.  The idea is 
that if you do enough absurd things like spilling cocoa on your sleeping pad 
(or better yet, your partner's!), dropping cookies in the dark in camp, 
cooking while sitting on your sleeping bag, maliciously tossing food 
wrappers under your partner's bed, and making a wretched and tipsy attempt 
at a bear-hang that leaves your food bag exactly at bear-paw-level, and if 
you make sure to LAUGH--constantly and uproarously, while shaking your head 
and saying things like "well, we're dead, NOW!"--any bears who might be in 
the area will be either too amused or too offended to bother with your food. 
  So far, so good.

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