mrchad9 wrote: MoapaPk wrote:
I have an ursack, and quite frankly, would not use it in any well-traveled part of the Adirondacks. I use it only where I think the bears are a bit naive.
What is that decision based on?
I do not know anything about the Adirondacks, but I do know it works in areas where bears are not naive (and I am not sure how you are determining a bear's cognitive ability).
I typically depend on indirect methods to determine if the bears are naive. For example, in Bryce, the rangers have found that it is generally sufficient to put your food in your car for the night, to prevent bear interest. I take this to mean that the bears are naive about methods of food protection; the Bryce advice doesn't fly in Yosemite. In the Rubies, one finds bear tracks; but there are lots of hunters, and bears are very rarely seen near the campsites; therefore they have little experience defeating canisters and ursacks. In the Uintas -- well, I simply asked people about their experiences, and they told me they had never used canisters -- so I brought the ursack, more for a protection against rodents.
By the the mid 70s, folks reported how bears would go straight for hanging stuffascks in the Adirondacks, and immediately attacked the suspension points, rather than trying to jump futilely at the bags. That is, they already had learned the weak points of the system.
In 1980 in the Adirondacks, I listened as a bear desperately tried to get my hanging food; then s/he went down to the next campsite and tore apart their measly defenses. In New Mexico in 1969, bears wandered through our camp and went right for the hanging food, but failed to get it as it was suspended 15' above the ground between two trees. I determined that those bears were used to thinking of hanging stuffsacks as food, but were not so smart as to chew the suspension points.
In addition to bears, the Adirondacks have lots of fishers and pine martens, which are capable of shredding an ursack (very sharp teeth -- the ursack site even mentions this problem). Unless you put in the Al liner, and ursack is pretty much useless at preserving your food from a determined bear; s/he might not get the food, but will crush it to a saliva-soaked mess. And if you bother with the Al liner, then you might as well have a canister.
I think that canisters are REQUIRED in some areas of the Adirondacks.