We received a letter from the superintendents of Yosemite (Palmer (Chip) Jenkins) and SEKI (Woody Smeck) dated May 8, 2017 in which they said they would review the Ursack AllMitey “as soon as possible.”
We weren’t worried about the IGBC Grizzly test, because the AllMitey is made of the same Spectra and closure system as the already approved Ursack S29.3 AllWhite. But they required a new test because we added a Kevlar laminate. The AllMitey was tested at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone on April 11, 2017 and successfully withstood at least 60 minutes of Grizzly attacks. IGBC Certification Number 5135.
Ursack’s Secretary of State (a.k.a) Kristi Denton Cohen met with the acting Superintendent of Yosemite on March 24, 2017. He knew Kristi from her work on her prize winning documentary, Vertical Frontier. Kristi demonstrated the AllMitey for him, and he appeared genuinely interested. The AllMitey now goes to others at Yosemite and SEKI for their input and (we hope) approval.
On the February 9, 2017 episode of Jeopardy, the answer was “bear” and the question was:
Thanks to Paula Whittington of Loksak (maker of OPSak) for spotting this and being quick enough to take a picture of her tv set.
We will soon be offering the Ursack AllMitey, which is resistant to all creatures great and small. Made of a laminated fabric comprised of Spectra (the same as used in our AllWhites), EVA and Kevlar Primo (made to resist shivs in prison), the AllMitey is impervious to punctures. While bears are virtually never able to tear holes greater than a 1/4″ in our S29.3 AllWhite models, their teeth and claws can sometimes penetrate the bag (often a weave separation) and mess up your food. That can’t happen with the AllMitey, which means your freeze dried food will survive a bear attack as well as the efforts of sharp toothed rodents. Progress does not come without costs. The AllMitey weighs 12.5 ounces and will retail for $124.95. We took the AllMitey to the Folsom Zoo on January 19, 2017, and with the help of 6 year old Henry, a black bear, and his somewhat older zookeeper, Amy Van der Molen, we put it to the test. Amy has been an invaluable help to our testing program since we first started going to the Folsom Zoo in 2000.
We filled the AllMitey with a variety of freeze dried food and a juice box. The juice box failed (but what backpacker would carry such a thing?). The food survived nicely. There were no holes in the AllMitey by which food could escape, and to my mind all of the food would have been completely edible. There was no bear slobber on it, and while some of the packaging was a little worse for wear, the contents were intact. Here are some pictures:
Sectionhiker.com, a website devoted to backpacking with 300,000 unique readers per month, has just published a survey entitled Ursack Bear Bag Adoption Rate.
Here is a summary of the results:
There were 409 participants in this survey. Of these, 338 reported that they camp or backpack in areas that require protecting food from bears. Within that population:
- 58 respondents (17%) already own and use a Ursack;
- 65 respondents (19.2%) have definite plans to acquire a Ursack;
- 101 respondents (29.9%) are considering a Ursack;
- 140 respondents (41.4%) have used a bear canister in the past, when required.
And here is a link to the entire article: http://sectionhiker.com/ursack-bear-bag-adoption-rate-survey-results/
Happy New Year.
I recently completed an interview with famed backpacker and writer Andrew Skurka about Ursack. You may find it informative: http://andrewskurka.com/2016/ursack-bear-bag-interview-ceo-founder-tom-cohen/
Andrew Skurka is an accomplished adventure athlete, speaker, guide, and writer. The 34-year-old is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, notably the 4,700-mile 6-month Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the 6,875-mile 7-month Great Western Loop, and the 7,775-mile 11-month Sea-to-Sea Route. In total, he has backpacked, skied, and packrafted 30,000+ miles through many of the world’s most prized backcountry and wilderness areas—the equivalent of traveling 1.2 times around Earth’s equator! He is the author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail and guides about 15 trips per year under his company. Skurka has been named “Adventurer of the Year” by both Outside and National Geographic Adventure, as well as “Person of the Year” by Backpacker. National Geographic described him as “a superman among trekkers” and “one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet.” He has been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel, National Public Radio and dozens of local media outlets.
In the September 8, 2016 Wall Street Journal, the newspaper covered bear product testing at the Wolf and Grizzly Discovery Center in West Yellowstone stating: “Passing the Discovery Center’s test is the gold standard for bear-resistance certification from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, a group of representatives from state and federal agencies that promotes grizzly populations in the U.S. and Canada.” This is, of course, the test that the Ursack S29 AllWhite passed after two hours of mauling.
Here is a link to the article and video: http://www.wsj.com/articles/nice-trash-can-lets-see-what-the-bears-think-1473346166
This was posted at Tuolumne Meadows wilderness permit station. In case you can’t read it, here are the highlights:
“LYV Area: The majority of bear incidents in this area are the result of improperly stored food or garbage…a bear has been successful in obtaining partial or whole canisters [or food?] because people were cooking too far from their bear-resistant container.”
“Snow Creek Footbridge: A bear in this area has been rolling bear-resistant containers away from campsites in the night. Bear-resistant containers should be placed overnight in an area that it is difficult for a bear to roll or bat it away and within viewing distance of your camping area. Additionally, it can be helpful to place noisy objects (like your cook pot) on top of your canister to help alert you if an animal is attempting to move it.”
Also, the ranger there confirmed that at least one bear was still rolling canisters off of a cliff and collecting food from the broken canister at the bottom of the cliff.
(Note that no bear has, to the best of our knowledge, ever broken the cord that secures an Ursack to a tree)
Lassen National Park has implemented an emergency food storage plan which requires use of an “allowed canister.” The list does not include Ursack. The plan is open to comment from the public until September 8, 2016. To add your comment, use this link:
Some of the things you may wish to consider in making a comment.
>The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) certified Ursack S29 AllWhite has never been torn open by a bear.
> Some of the “approved” canisters on Lassen’s list have never been certified by the IGBC.
>Many of the approved hard sided canisters have repeatedly been compromised by bears (about 25 in Yosemite in 2013).
>Campers are much more likely to carry a 7.8 ounce Ursack than a 2-3 pound hard sided canister.
Thanks for your help.