Soft bear bags?

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moab
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Soft bear bags?

Post by moab » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:31 pm

https://www.rei.com/product/109165/ursa ... _f15718725

Does anyone know if these suffice for areas that require bear bags? I think the bear would still smash your food or carry it off a long ways. But at least it's better than a huge bottle.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:39 pm

In the PNW those would be fine if hung by a branch 10ft in the air. If you want food stored on the ground you need the box/barrels.

Something I did note from the product description is there is no built in odor barrier, and they recommend adding one.
Ursack highly recommends using an OPSak odor barrier bag or an aluminum liner (both sold separately) with the bag
I would recommend that as well, or finding one that has it built in. Without even hanging in the tree, the odors will attract animals. When hanging in the tree if they can't get to them they will explore around the area and possibly into your camp. So getting odors not to travel is very important even if the bag is safely away from reach.

Here is an example of the typical WA state rules at an official gov site

https://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/ ... ements.htm

*edit to add, I noticed:
Passed the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) test and was placed on its bear-resistant products list on July 31, 2014
Not sure if they still meet all the requirements, that was 5 yrs ago.

here is the 2019 list of products from IGBC
http://igbconline.org/wp-content/upload ... s_List.pdf
Last edited by ineffableone on Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:51 pm

So not sure what state you are looking at needing this, but here is a list for different state regulations and requirements.

http://igbconline.org/food-storage-regulations-2/
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by flybynight » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:23 pm

First review from the OP's link

I used the S29 Ursack on a trip on the Colorado Trail. I purchased the "odor proof" bags for use as well. The one night I could not find a limb to hang it from I tied it securely to the trunk of a tree, following the manufacturer's directions. During the night a bear attacked it and completely destroyed all my food. The bag did remain intact and tied to the tree, so the bear was not rewarded, but I had to make a trip into Leadville to buy all new food. I have since purchased the aluminum liner, and I like that it adds support allowing me to strap the bag to the bottom of my backpack. It has not been bear tested yet however. I think the odor proof bags are worthless, and the aluminum liner is essential.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:20 am

Hmm, not sure where you saw the review flybynight, I didn't see one when I looked at the link and still don't.

That said, the review might be right, it clearly stated the bear bag did it's job, but was not happy with the odor barrier bag. I posted info on the question asked, not in reference to the quality of the product. I don't know the product personally.

To be honest my friends and I tend to use normal dry sacks for our bear bags (yes they are not approved bear bags). I have used both Sea to Summit and OR dry bags with decent results. We use odor resistant bags inside these bags, and always put them in the air. Usually hanging 20' up. We tend to rely less on the bag, and more on the hanging of the bag. Since really that is the key.

As for the review, well you lash a bear bag to the trunk of a tree instead of putting it into the air, I would suspect you will have problems in bear country. As for the quality of odor barrier bags, there is a limit when you deal with animals who's sense of smell is way over not just ours but more than the best blood hound. Small traces you never noticed that you leave outside the bag will still be quite noticeable to a bear. Especially if it is down near the ground. Odor barrier bags are to reduce odors, but you should not expect them to not be present. I can't specifically say if their odor resistant bags work or not. I have no experience with that brand. But considering it is the only one sold at REI, I suspect it is not low quality like the review suggests. Rather it is more user error than the bag's fault.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by moab » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:35 pm

flybynight wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:23 pm
First review from the OP's link

I used the S29 Ursack on a trip on the Colorado Trail. I purchased the "odor proof" bags for use as well. The one night I could not find a limb to hang it from I tied it securely to the trunk of a tree, following the manufacturer's directions. During the night a bear attacked it and completely destroyed all my food. The bag did remain intact and tied to the tree, so the bear was not rewarded, but I had to make a trip into Leadville to buy all new food. I have since purchased the aluminum liner, and I like that it adds support allowing me to strap the bag to the bottom of my backpack. It has not been bear tested yet however. I think the odor proof bags are worthless, and the aluminum liner is essential.
I don't need to use these per se. Was just wondering if they were of value to folks that need them. Would be a lot easier than the barrel. I didn't get a chance to read thru that list of approved vendors. Did anyone else see there name on any of them?

I wondered about the odor too. And did not read it enough to see about the aluminum and scent bags. Why wouldn't a mylar bag with ziplock work?
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:17 pm

I did not see it on the updated list, but I think that list is just additions for new products this year. For REI to still be selling it, it should still meet all requirements. I may have issues with some of the pricing REI does, but they don't tend to offer low quality. They stand by every product they sell offering replacements or refunds for anything that does not work out, no questions asked.

As for mylar bags, it would depend upon the quality of the zip closure. Good quality zip closure I would say should be good to go.

In the review of that bag, the bear did not damage the bag even though it tried. It just crushed and ruined the food inside. So sounds like the bag did it's job perfectly.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by moab » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:53 pm

ineffableone wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:17 pm
I did not see it on the updated list, but I think that list is just additions for new products this year. For REI to still be selling it, it should still meet all requirements. I may have issues with some of the pricing REI does, but they don't tend to offer low quality. They stand by every product they sell offering replacements or refunds for anything that does not work out, no questions asked.

As for mylar bags, it would depend upon the quality of the zip closure. Good quality zip closure I would say should be good to go.

In the review of that bag, the bear did not damage the bag even though it tried. It just crushed and ruined the food inside. So sounds like the bag did it's job perfectly.
That was my entire holdback on these. Was the ability of a bear to literally crush and destroy anything inside of it.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:01 pm

That is why you hang the bags.

Here is a good counter balance method video, my preferred method



PCT method video





2CR method video



3 different methods in one video
01:32 Basic Bear Bag Hang
02:44 PCT Style
04:44 2-Trees Method



Hope these videos help. As I said my favorite is the counter balance. But give different methods a try in the back yard or local woods to test out which seems the most natural and easy for you.
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by flybynight » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:44 pm

ineffableone wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:20 am
Hmm, not sure where you saw the review flybynight, I didn't see one when I looked at the link and still don't.

That said, the review might be right, it clearly stated the bear bag did it's job, but was not happy with the odor barrier bag. I posted info on the question asked, not in reference to the quality of the product. I don't know the product personally.

To be honest my friends and I tend to use normal dry sacks for our bear bags (yes they are not approved bear bags). I have used both Sea to Summit and OR dry bags with decent results. We use odor resistant bags inside these bags, and always put them in the air. Usually hanging 20' up. We tend to rely less on the bag, and more on the hanging of the bag. Since really that is the key.

As for the review, well you lash a bear bag to the trunk of a tree instead of putting it into the air, I would suspect you will have problems in bear country. As for the quality of odor barrier bags, there is a limit when you deal with animals who's sense of smell is way over not just ours but more than the best blood hound. Small traces you never noticed that you leave outside the bag will still be quite noticeable to a bear. Especially if it is down near the ground. Odor barrier bags are to reduce odors, but you should not expect them to not be present. I can't specifically say if their odor resistant bags work or not. I have no experience with that brand. But considering it is the only one sold at REI, I suspect it is not low quality like the review suggests. Rather it is more user error than the bag's fault.

HMMM I just scrolled down . But if you're impatient to get to reviews, normally if you click on the review rating of the product in a online catalog, it will take straight to the reviews. That page had reviews of the product , with photos of after the bears tested it's effectiveness :wink:
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ineffableone
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Re: Soft bear bags?

Post by ineffableone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:14 pm

I see the word Reviews, but nothing happens clicking it and nothing was listed under it. Maybe my ad blocker is hiding it.

* edit to add, ok turned off the blocker and indeed reviews were there. Funny that was consider advertising by the blocker.
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