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Same ol, same ol. Maybe you can help.

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May 24, 2018

It has been a year or more since Yosemite and SEKI promised to evaluate the Ursack AllMitey for use in those Parks.

We have heard nothing from them. Perhaps they should hear from you.

While Yosemite’s response to us has been underwhelming, they are responding to you as evidenced by an email we recently received from a customer who contacted Mike Reynolds in Yosemite.  It was a boiler plate response, but if the Parks understand why the light weight food protection provided by the Ursack AllMitey is so important to backpackers, maybe we can get them to come around.
If you want to tell Yosemite or SEKI what you think (pro or con), please write them:

Michael T. Reynolds
Office of the Superintendent
Yosemite National Park


                   Woody Smeck
                   Office of the Superintendent
                   Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park
                   47060 Generals Highway
                   Three Rivers, CA 93271

Canisters Failing in Yosemite

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A total of 85 approved bear canisters were either broken or stolen by Yosemite black bears between July 15, 2012 and July 11, 2017. During that same period, 2 Ursacks failed (1 incident was mistakenly reported twice). All of the Ursacks were older models—not IGBC approved.

This information was gleaned from a comprehensive spreadsheet of wilderness bear incidents provided to us by Yosemite. Some of the information in the report is difficult to precisely analyze because the narratives crammed into the spreadsheet are truncated. But as best we can determine, 30 approved canisters were broken enough that a bear got a food reward. Another 55 were rolled or batted away from camp and were never recovered. Many others were rolled away from camp but were eventually found.

Overall 200 bear incidents were reported. Not all involved canisters. Some of the recurring findings: bears taking backpacks with or without food inside; bears pounding canisters so that the food was inedible even if the canister remained intact; and several tales of bears getting improperly stored food because campers could not fit everything into approved containers. It is worth noting that these 200 incidents are based on reports to rangers. Many incidents go unreported.

We will ask Yosemite to post the spreadsheet because it contains fascinating and useful information, and demonstrates how hard it is to keep bears wild–especially in the heavily traveled parts of Yosemite. If you are camping in that area you need to be exceptionally vigilant.

Yosemite and SEKI: No news is no news.

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In a letter dated July 5, 2017, the superintendents of Yosemite (Palmer Jenkins) and Sequoia-Kings Canyon (Woody Smeck) wrote:

“As we mentioned in our May 8, 2017 letter to you, we are in the process of reviewing the new Ursack product [the AllMitey]. However, with the busy spring and summer, we have many high priority operational demands on our staff and park resources. Once we are able to complete our review we will let you know.”

They prefer written communications (not email or phone calls) to PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389.

While waiting for the “as soon as possible” review from Yosemite/Seki, take a look at our new dog toy

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Here is something to chew on while we continue to wait for Yosemite and SEKI to review the AllMitey.

We recently introduced Grrrsack, the world’s toughest dog squeaky toy–made of the same fabric as the AllMitey. Here’s a comment from a customer:


I just wanted to let you know my initial impressions of the Grrrsack. Max has never had a toy other than  Kong toys last more than a couple hours (this may sound crazy but he has eaten or destroyed everything in hours). I gave him the Grrrsack last evening and at first he was not sure what to do with it, I think he thought it was something he should not chew on. After an hour or so he would not put it down. Carrying it everywhere, sleeping with it, even and this is the oddest thing going to the bathroom with it in his mouth. The only time he has put it down was when he eats or I take it from him. All this to say is after 24 hours of playing there is only one small hole [Note: dogs have much sharper teeth than bears]. Between the way it has lasted and how happy it has made him I am completely satisfied with your product.
Thank you,


Yosemite and SEKI to review Ursack AllMitey “as soon as possible.”

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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.”

If you have any comments or questions about this or any other issues about Yosemite or SEKI, you may contact them at:

Ursack AllMitey Receives IGBC Certification No. 5135

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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.

Progress??? at Yosemite

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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.

Finally! Ursack is famous at last.

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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.

Successful Zoo Test of the New Ursack AllMitey

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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:

New Survey About Ursack Adoption Rate

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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.