LIVE BEAR TESTING

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FIELD TESTS

I’ve had my Ursack out for a dozen or so outings over the years and it’s been savaged twice. The last time two bears got on it at once. Dark, but probably a sow and yearling. Took me a while to wake up enough to realize the bell was not my alarm clock; and the bears had their time with the bag. I always follow the tie-up instructions and neither time did the bag nor any food get taken. The first time left some scuff marks but no teeth made it through the weave. This last time there were 25 separations of the weave and a couple of broken threads. Maybe junior’s teeth were still puppy sharp. Most of the holes went back together and after a (non-soap) rinse in the lake little evidence of the snack attack remains. This 2nd effort was at the boat-in campsite on Loon Lake in Eldorado NF. For wt/space reasons I don’t use the aluminum liner. A small amount of food was damaged in the first attack. Last time about half the food was smashed and tooth-poked–including a can of tuna. (Yes, I ate it anyway–bear spit adds a little wilderness flavor.) Both times were early in the outing and would have caused truncated trips if the varmints had taken food. The way I see it, Ursack not only saved my food, but also the balance of my days out. – Wallace B

Just a note and a few photos to let you know that your bearbag worked like a charm on my 2010 AT thru-hike.  For 8 months, I used my Ursack continually & it made my life so much easier!!  It was my favorite gear choice, bar none.

We only had 1 bear encounter, after a brief warm snap in November.  The bear nosed around the campsite and must have taken an exploratory bite that popped a salmon pack.  He worried the bag to the bottom of the tree, stomped, and gnawed on the bag for a LONG time before he gave up in defeat.  We did lose most of the food, not because the bear got it, but because his powerful jaws tore packs open (without tearing the kevlar).  This food was then saturated in salmon and tuna “juice”…  and bear saliva..  (Yuck!!!)  I felt a bit sorry for the bear.  He worked a long time and got absolutely nothing.  (Thankfully, I slept through this encounter, although my mom was not so lucky!)

Although the mess took a very long time to clean up, but we were able to salvage enough usable food to make it to the road.  With new inner bags, my Ursack works like new, even if it bears the scars of the encounter.  And I have am interesting story to tell!  Just wanted to thank you!

URSACK NOTE: CAMPERS CAN AVOID CRUSHING BY SECURING URSACK TO A BRANCH–AS OPPOSED TO THE TRUNK, AND/OR USING THE ALUMINUM LINER.

I purchased the Ursack Hybrid in 2006, when it was Conditionally approved for use in Yosemite. As a lightweight backpacker and climber, I cannot imagine using a Garcia or other competing product because of the weight difference. Last week, I hiked from Red’s Meadow to Happy Isles using the Ursack Hybrid. At Thousand Island Lake, several campsites were hit, but my Ursack was untouched. At Lyell Fork, a bear worked on the Ursack for hours and did nothing to it, except crush a few cashews inside – no food was taken. My entire pack for the trip never exceeded 10 pounds because of the Ursack’s light weight. – Dr. John H

Thank you for sending me an Ursack for use as a backcountry ranger.
I have tested the sack in various conditions (largely N. Cascades of Washington State and the Hawaiian Islands).
 This is a report of its efficacy in the field, as promised.

Animal deterrence: Its ability to hold up against large and small animals was proven to me. I never had an incident with any large animals, even though I spent over 50 days in areas of high black bear population. I would see up to 6 bears while hiking in the day, and never did I lose my food to these animals.

In both Washington and Hawaii, there are large numbers of small rodents which often pose a greater problem for gear destruction and lost food supplies. I ensured that the top hole was closed as much as possible, and, again, I never had any problems. This is notable since my camelback straw/tube was chewed twice and I consistently heard animals scurrying at night — proof that the danger was there.

I am a real advocate of Ursack and will continue to urge other backpackers to use one, for their own security and for the safety of bears and other animals. – Karen H. Olson

As we were stashing food the first night at Young Lakes, my friends realized they had brought far more food then would fit in two bear canisters so they hung a good deal of food in a stuff sack and I countered with the URSACK (regular) full of mostly medical supplies, toilettes, lotions and a few snacks.
 The bear struck by 2:00 in the morning. 
We didn’t hear a word although we did hang a good distance away from the tents.
The bear canisters were untouched. 
The stuff sack was devoured right in the tree leaving garbage 20 feet in the air.
The URSACK was wrapped around a twig with approximately 12 teeth marks about a 1/3 of the size of a pencil. Absolutely no damage to any of the contents. My guess it that it quickly grew frustrated and concentrated on the easy find.
This episode truly made a believer out of me. – Heidi

URSACK NOTE: URSACK does not encourage the use of our products in wilderness areas in which they are not approved.


My husband and I recently purchased our URSACK and field tested it for the first time in a “palmetto patch” in the Ocala Forest in Florida. As the shrubbery barely reached our chests, we unable to hoist the sack high enough to avoid the raccoons circling our campsite at dusk. We tied the URSACK to the strongest tree around and turned in for the night. Almost instantly the sack was covered with raccoons clawing and snarling to get inside. The sack looks a little worse for wear with nearly all the yellow fabric scraped off but the little buggers never got inside! – Susan

It was our fourth and last night out, and after the first three nights the only evidence of any attempt on our bag was some scratch marks made by a marmot or chipmunk.
But during the fourth night we had a bear visit, which we found out when we retrieved the bag in the morning (it was not near our tent). The bag clearly had been “chomped” by a big mouth, and there were four or five very small puncture wounds (about the diameter of a large needle, maybe 1/16 of an inch). But the bear clearly couldn’t get through, and the seams held up fine.
Based on this experience I want to rely exclusively on your bags for my next trip in two weeks in the central Sierras. I plan to donate my metal cans to the Boy Scouts, who have younger and stronger backs than I. Thanks for making such a wonderful product for us backpackers. – Mitch

This is called the highest peak in Southern California at 11,500 ft. (I guess Whitney is considered Central California, or whatever.) I started late, and as a consequence, camped on a hillside short of the Dry Lake campground. San Gorgonio is the closest thing to the Sierra we have around here, and there are some good size trees on it. In fact, there were no trees small enough nor with low enough branches to tie to anywhere near the flat area I managed to find for my tent.
I ended up tying my URSACK to a large 8 inch in diameter piece of deadwood.
I figured a bear would quickly lose interest in dragging that around. I was right. Twice during the night I was awaken by a bear pawing and chewing at my URSACK®. Both times I stuck my head out, yelled and watch the bear mosey off. Next morning I found that my URSACK had suffered only temporary teeth indentations and claw marks, and the contents, except for a couple of partially crushed granola bars, were safe and sound. Even though the bears at Yosemite may be more street-wise and persistent, I now feel confident they won’t get my stash. Thanks for such a great invention! – John

I have been using your product for many years without incident. My oldest bags are Kevlar, but I switched over to the AllWhite. I do a 10 to 14 day trip in the headwaters of the Merced in southern Yosemite every year. I carry 2 Ursacks in over Isberg Pass, stash one, do 5 days, and then pick up the other and come out at Toulumne. This year a bear found my stash and had somewhere between 1 and 5 nights to work on it. He punctured a can and bottle, but didn’t get any food. Someone who saw the photo said that it looked like a shotgun hit it. He also put some holes in my fuel bottle sitting against the sack and tossed it aside.

The bag was tied in a full double overhand at the opening and then around the base of an 8” Hemlock trunk with a multiple full overhand knot, which held perfectly and came out easily when I untied it. [NOTE: Ursack recommends tying to a branch off the ground]. I was able to salvage 4 out of 5 days of food, cook on wood, and still get in another 4 days. – Jim F

At Ruby Lake near Devils Postpile, I awoke to find a very large bear literally hanging from my Ursack.  The bear was unable to do any damage whatsoever to the Ursack or anything in it.  That was a real life test with the largest bear I have ever encountered in over 50 years of backpacking.-Dave

Several customers have posted real life encounters between Ursack and bears, raccoon or other critters. See the links below:

Bear in Camp: How Did the Ursack Perform?

Ursack S29 AllWhite protects food from bear

Ursack Minor thwarts a raccoon

BIG raccoon can’t get into S29 AllWhite