David and Cindy
hikeon at surewest.net
Sat Sep 9 16:22:02 CDT 2006
Just wanted to share our experience and a warning, using the Ursack with the aluminum liner for the first time this summer on the JMT.
After reading the do's and don'ts using the canister we chose not to tie the Ursak to anything because some forest service areas have restrictions on tying the Ursack to any object. At around 6:00 we climbed out or our tent and were surprised by a bear checking out the canister and trying to smash it and punch it open right in front of our eyes We yelled and blew our emergency whistle which caused the bear to take off, along with the food!!!! We ran after the bear but to no avail. Then mama bear came running along to escort her teenager off in the distance and down in the valley. This all happened at Twin Lakes South of Pinchot Pass. The bear never dropped the Ursack at least not in front of us. Luckily there were three of us and so we shared food from another Ursack and a Garcia canister for the next 7 days. As we went along we talked to others on the trail who also carried the Ursack. They said they always tied the sack with a figure eight knot as instructed by the company. Another good idea was bells or something to alarm the owner of a possible bear theft during the night.
We were 25 miles South of Red's Meadow at the Lake of the Lone Indian during the same week and at 3:30 AM we heard another encounter with our food and a bear. This time we had tied the Ursak to a tree trunk and also had put our cooking pots on top of the bag. It saved our food this time. We got out to check after yelling loudly, the Ursack had teeth marks in it but there was no puncture damage. The sack was dirty and the cord that was tied was very taught, but a least we still had our food.
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