Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Dream Gear     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

theokbushman
member (22)member
 
10/23/2020 07:48AM
What piece of gear do you wish existed? I am designing something for a project for a class and would like to do it on a piece of gear. I have a few ideas but also need to sample groups of people.

Thanks
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
10/23/2020 08:09AM
Probably not good for your project, but a Self Packing tent and sleeping bag. I don't mind putting up camp, I hate tearing it down.

More realistically, how about fishing lures that have quick releases for treble hooks, so you can pack a bunch together without getting a birds nest of tangles.
 
inspector13
distinguished member(4132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/23/2020 08:19AM

A compact quantum levitator for ease of portage.

 
MossBack
senior member (52)senior membersenior member
 
10/23/2020 08:55AM
inspector13: "A compact quantum levitator for ease of portage."
I have one of these... I call it my nephew.
 
Blatz
distinguished member(1476)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 09:22AM
A heavy duty removable gunwale pad for the outer knees. I make my own out of pipe insulation but they don't last. This is especially needed for solo canoes. Northstar canoes aluminum gunwales really like to dig into the outer knees but will happen with Wenonah's as well
 
Chuckles
distinguished member (113)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 10:40AM
A pair of gloves that keep my frost-bitten hands warm.
 
alpinebrule
distinguished member (220)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 12:56PM
How about a small lightweight collapsible bellows for the fire with an extending nozzle and or handles.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 12:58PM
A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford.
 
10/23/2020 01:02PM
Compact but highly-accurate bear bag rope launcher.

TZ
 
OCDave
distinguished member(552)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 04:26PM
theokbushman: "What piece of gear do you wish existed? I am designing something for a project for a class and would like to do it on a piece of gear. I have a few ideas but also need to sample groups of people.

Thanks"


I'd like a reasonably light mechanism that would place a line15-20 feet off the ground, between two tree trunks regardless of limb placement for hanging a food bag. This mechanism would also effortlessly retrieve that line when breaking camp. I have seen a few arborist videos with knot/hitch/rope witchery that makes me believe this project could be realized. However, I have also struggled hanging a food bag enough times that I end up feeling silly and end up half-assin' it.
 
1JimD
distinguished member (432)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 04:40PM
johndku: "Probably not good for your project, but a Self Packing tent and sleeping bag. I don't mind putting up camp, I hate tearing it down."

Years ago I quit trying to neatly fold up my tent and trying to fit it into the original bag. I bought a much bigger bag, and now just wad it up and stuff. I'm always done before everyone else. Fun to sit and watch others struggle with neatly folding their tents .
Jim
 
10/23/2020 07:41PM
USB powered heated gloves that are rechargeable. Don't need to get hot, just warm for lower drain. Combine with good quality synthetic or down insulation and I think you would have a winner. I would buy them. I know I don't trip without substantial capacity for USB recharging these days.
 
LilyPond
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 08:07PM
CHALLENGE: Create a comfortable tent and tall cot combination for a solo camper.

PROBLEM: 2-person tents are too low for a 15" high cot. Low cots are uncomfortable for older people. Existing tent cots are much too heavy and bulky. Four-person tents are tall enough for a 15" cot, but too heavy and bulky for one person.

SOLUTION: A compact, lightweight frame that will hold a 2-person tent on top of a cot.

THE COT: Helinox Cot One Convertible with leg extensions

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS: The tent is wider and longer than the cot. You would need to make sure the tent is supported at each end and figure out what to do about the excess width of the tent that sags where it overhangs the cot.

I experimented with this once using materials at hand on a camping trip and spent a very comfortable night.
 
GearGuy
distinguished member (121)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/24/2020 02:36AM
Mind you I've recently sort of completed my BWCA specific dream list.

I'd like to pick up:

a 2 person tent in the TarpTent Stratosphere Li which is a 30oz tent made of Dyneema...$650. Maybe when I kill it in the stock market.

an 8' Winston Pure 4 weight Fly Rod for some trips back home to Montana to fly fish some light dry flies.

a nice 280 Ackley Improved rifle with a nice scope to go back to Montana to do some sweet elk/deer hunting trips.

Dream gear I've recently acquired:

Helinox Sunsetter Chair
Fry Bake Pan
Garmin GPSMap 66i
Simms ProDry Bibs and Jacket
St Croix Legend Elite Spinning Rod

 
TechnoScout
distinguished member (355)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/24/2020 12:20PM
inspector13: "A compact quantum levitator for ease of portage."
I would settle for "portage wings."
 
pswith5
distinguished member(3359)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 05:30AM
How about a magic carpet? It has no wheels and no motor. So should be allowed. A second idea; a time machine so I could go back as a younger man.
 
4keys
distinguished member(775)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 10:09AM
mschi772: "A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford."

A 30 -60 liter certified bear proof container would be great, especially if it was also lightweight, reasonably priced, and still able to be opened by humans but not bears!
 
brulu
member (38)member
 
10/25/2020 09:28PM
Maybe this already exists, but some sort of satellite tracking device for lost dogs? Maybe it turns on and checks for messages once a day, and normally just turns back off again until the next day. If the dog is lost, its owners can tell the system to message the device to report its position and turn back off again, repeating as necessary. Minimize the amount of on time and transmission to preserve battery life. It could be called a Spot, or a Rover, or whatever.
 
10/25/2020 09:44PM
This might seem a bit odd as it’s not an idea for physical gear but digital gear.

Last year when I was looking for a new 3 person tent, I spent much time evaluating REIs “compare” feature which gives side by side measures of such things as size, packed weight, size,etc. as a solo traveler, an absolutely key feature for me is “set up/take down time” for which there seems to be no measure at all. I have several times wiondered if it would be possible to create software that would evaluate how many steps were involved in setting up and taking down a tent and other gear - at least to provide a product by product relative comparison.
 
sylvesterii
distinguished member (156)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 12:41PM
A multiple material sleeping bag. an interior sleeping bag made out of synthetic fill material that zips inside a top quilt made of down. That way if your sleeping bag gets wet it could still provide some warmth, the bottom wouldn't have as much compression issues, and the heat would eventually help dry out the down. Seems like a no-brainer to me, but I've never seen one.
 
10/26/2020 03:02PM
A standard size smartphone with a built in solar panel

A canoe that is as tough as aluminum but as light as Kevlar

Mid height boots that stay dry even if submerged when worn, or failing that, supportive wet foot boots that don't hold water, like crocs, but also keep the rocks and muck out.

Ultra-light and small trail cam to see if bears are checking out your campsite at night

Phone case that allows you to attach a strap so you can't drop it when taking pictures. Bonus if it floats when weighed down by the phone.

Paddle straps to attach multiple paddles to a portage pack without slipping, snagging, or getting kicked when walking.

Depth finder pen. A floating transducer that can be stuck in the water and display a depth after a button is pressed. Bonus usage if it can be cast on a line and display that depth until reeled in and cleared.
 
MReid
distinguished member (239)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 04:42PM
sylvesterii: "A multiple material sleeping bag. an interior sleeping bag made out of synthetic fill material that zips inside a top quilt made of down. That way if your sleeping bag gets wet it could still provide some warmth, the bottom wouldn't have as much compression issues, and the heat would eventually help dry out the down. Seems like a no-brainer to me, but I've never seen one. "

A variety of manufacturers made them years ago--synthetic on bottom, down on top. Prob North Face, REI, etc.
 
MReid
distinguished member (239)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 04:52PM
GearGuy: "Mind you I've recently sort of completed my BWCA specific dream list.
I'd like to pick up:
a nice 280 Ackley Improved rifle with a nice scope to go back to Montana to do some sweet elk/deer hunting trips.
"


Had to gloat--Kimber Hunter 280AI and Leupold scope. Greetings from Montana!
 
tomo
distinguished member (101)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 07:31PM
Built in thwart coffee holder--I've seen the one designed for car windows.

 
GickFirk22
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 09:00PM
tomo: "Built in thwart coffee holder--I've seen the one designed for car windows. "
+1,000,000,000
 
zski
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2020 08:54AM
alpinebrule: "How about a small lightweight collapsible bellows for the fire with an extending nozzle and or handles." not quite a bellows but for $1.64 a piece of PEX tubing works great: https://tinyurl.com/yxhhqshv
 
Mo63021
member (23)member
 
10/27/2020 08:55AM
mschi772: "A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford."

I found this online:

Blue Barrel

and used it to make a food barrel. I added the shoulder straps for about $15, the kayak handles for about $8 and the barrel itself was $30 when I bought it last winter. It holds 14 gallons, (53 liters???) but held apx 40 pounds of food when packed full. Empty I weighed it at apx. the 8 pounds as listed.

 
AlmostCanadian
member (10)member
 
10/27/2020 09:17AM
Lace-up rubber boots. My dad used to have a pair that we called "swampers". Being lace-up they were able to fit more snugly and have better support than a normal pair of muck boots. It also meant they could open up more to take off easily and dry quicker at the end of a long day.
We've used the Chota Boundary Shoe, but the neoprene is not as durable as rubber when you're kicking rocks and sticks on a portage trail.
 
zski
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2020 10:31AM
Mo63021: "mschi772: "A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford."
I found this online:
Blue Barrel
and used it to make a food barrel. I added the shoulder straps for about $15, the kayak handles for about $8 and the barrel itself was $30 when I bought it last winter. It holds 14 gallons, (53 liters???) but held apx 40 pounds of food when packed full. Empty I weighed it at apx. the 8 pounds as listed.
"


This is great - good job!
Thanks for sharing.
 
10/27/2020 11:45AM
1JimD: "johndku: "Probably not good for your project, but a Self Packing tent and sleeping bag. I don't mind putting up camp, I hate tearing it down."


Years ago I quit trying to neatly fold up my tent and trying to fit it into the original bag. I bought a much bigger bag, and now just wad it up and stuff. I'm always done before everyone else. Fun to sit and watch others struggle with neatly folding their tents .
Jim"


This right here is why I don't put the tent poles in the stuff sack with the tent and rain fly. It goes so much faster when you have just a little extra room. I could see the benefit of a quick release on the clips connecting the tent to the poles though.
 
Othello
distinguished member (116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2020 12:56PM
GickFirk22: "tomo: "Built in thwart coffee holder--I've seen the one designed for car windows."
+1,000,000,000"

Do a search for "can-coction". They may be NRS-branded, I don't recall, but I have a couple. They attach to the gunnel of my SR Q17 rather than the thwart, but they work wonderfully. Not sure how they'd fare with thicker wooden gunwales.
 
catadromous
member (8)member
 
10/27/2020 03:51PM
Interesting, but I suspect it would be better with the down on the inside. Decades ago we used to winter camp with a heavy down bag inside a synthetic bag. We didn't have bags warm enough to use alone so doubling up was necessary. We put the down on the inside so that water vapor we gave off in the night would travel through the warm down and not condense until it made it into the synthetic bag, hence the down stays dryer and the synthetic dries more readily. It seemed to work in practice. I am not trying to pour cold water on your idea, just reflecting on what we used to do.

Jack
 
4keys
distinguished member(775)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2020 07:00PM
zski: "Mo63021: "mschi772: "A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford."
I found this online:
Blue Barrel
and used it to make a food barrel. I added the shoulder straps for about $15, the kayak handles for about $8 and the barrel itself was $30 when I bought it last winter. It holds 14 gallons, (53 liters???) but held apx 40 pounds of food when packed full. Empty I weighed it at apx. the 8 pounds as listed.
"



This is great - good job!
Thanks for sharing."


I can't tell from the picture - how does the cover stay attached ? Is this barrel bear resistant or bear proof? Approved by the USFS?
 
Mo63021
member (23)member
 
10/28/2020 08:24AM
4keys: "zski: "Mo63021: "mschi772: "A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford."
I found this online:
Blue Barrel
and used it to make a food barrel. I added the shoulder straps for about $15, the kayak handles for about $8 and the barrel itself was $30 when I bought it last winter. It holds 14 gallons, (53 liters???) but held apx 40 pounds of food when packed full. Empty I weighed it at apx. the 8 pounds as listed.
"




This is great - good job!
Thanks for sharing."



I can't tell from the picture - how does the cover stay attached ? Is this barrel bear resistant or bear proof? Approved by the USFS?
"


I have rented food barrels from the outfitters several times and this material is the same as those. The lid "sits" in and over the top opening and the lid is locked in place by the metal ring as shown. I have not taken it to the USFS to certify it. I would not say it is bear PROOF but it was water tight and would certainly do as good of a job slowing a bear down as the rental units. We took a metal cable that wrapped around a tree and through the eye hooks for the shoulder straps while we were not in camp.


 
coffeetalk
member (13)member
 
10/28/2020 11:10AM
alpinebrule: "How about a small lightweight collapsible bellows for the fire with an extending nozzle and or handles."

Pocket Bellows

 
walleyevision
distinguished member (225)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2020 12:59PM
Blatz: "A heavy duty removable gunwale pad for the outer knees. I make my own out of pipe insulation but they don't last. This is especially needed for solo canoes. Northstar canoes aluminum gunwales really like to dig into the outer knees but will happen with Wenonah's as well"

Your problem already has a solution. Use pool noodles. Cut to the desired length, make a slit lengthwise and pop onto gunwale. They work AWESOME! I'm going on 5 trips using the same pieces.
 
10/28/2020 03:04PM
coffeetalk: "alpinebrule: "How about a small lightweight collapsible bellows for the fire with an extending nozzle and or handles."


Pocket Bellows


"


My camping buddy has something similar that I want but have not been able to find. It is a hard plastic tube, like 1/4 inch water line but much more flexible, with a mouthpiece and a metal end. You use it the exact same way as the pocket bellows, but it works much better since you can aim it wherever you want and from any angle. When coiled up it fits in your pocket and weighs maybe an ounce or two.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2020 06:25PM
A1t2o: "coffeetalk: "alpinebrule: "How about a small lightweight collapsible bellows for the fire with an extending nozzle and or handles."



Pocket Bellows



"



My camping buddy has something similar that I want but have not been able to find. It is a hard plastic tube, like 1/4 inch water line but much more flexible, with a mouthpiece and a metal end. You use it the exact same way as the pocket bellows, but it works much better since you can aim it wherever you want and from any angle. When coiled up it fits in your pocket and weighs maybe an ounce or two."


Fitting a metal tube tip into the end of a length of Acrolene tubing from Kent Systems would likely do the trick. No mouthpiece, but that seems unnecessary to me. Acrolene tubing is what I used in making my gravity filter, and it is very flexible while still being much stronger than silicone tubing. It melts at 215 deg F, but if you're using it to breathe life into a new/weak fire, that shouldn't be a problem.
 
10/28/2020 06:34PM
A1t2o: "coffeetalk: "alpinebrule: "How about a small lightweight collapsible bellows for the fire with an extending nozzle and or handles."



Pocket Bellows



"



My camping buddy has something similar that I want but have not been able to find. It is a hard plastic tube, like 1/4 inch water line but much more flexible, with a mouthpiece and a metal end. You use it the exact same way as the pocket bellows, but it works much better since you can aim it wherever you want and from any angle. When coiled up it fits in your pocket and weighs maybe an ounce or two."


A scoutmaster I worked with in the '80s (as an assistant scoutmaster) made a simple version of what you're describing from a 6" length of 1/4" OD copper tubing and ~18" of 1/4" ID vinyl tubing. One end of the copper tubing was pushed a couple inches into the vinyl tubing, and while aiming the copper tubing at coals, he blew into the free end of the vinyl tubing. When not in use (but still working around the fire), he pushed the free end of the copper tube into the free end of the vinyl (just enough to stay together) and wore the thing around his head. His name was Huters--most of the Scouts called the device "the Huterus tube"... It worked great, weighs and costs almost nothing.

TZ

 
andym
distinguished member(4878)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/28/2020 07:43PM
I think people are thinking of the Campfire Dragon. I gave one to my wife for Christmas one year and she loves it. It works really well. I had been thinking of getting her one of the metal tube versions because your hands are further from the fire but like the point that the flexible tube gives you more aiming versatility.

BTW, the blue barrels would not have passed muster with the FS requirements that they temporarily put in place in a limited area of the BW. You would have had to hang them. Same for the Ursacks. Hopefully we won’t face many of those restrictions in the future.

So what’s my dream gear....
A really light splitting wedge that can be hit with a log. Some people use the plastic wedges meant for holding splits open. Maybe one of those with a metal edge. I’d suggest a lightened metal wedge but I’m guessing any holes would act as stress concentration points and cause cracking.

How about canoe inflation bags that can be triggered with a CO2 cartridge after a capsize to displace a lot of the water? It could provide a degree of additional safety after a capsize far from shore. Or inflatable outriggers to aid in stabilizing a canoe while getting back in and bailing it out. Kayakers use paddle floats for that purpose.
 
OCDave
distinguished member(552)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2020 09:59PM
andym: "...

How about canoe inflation bags that can be triggered with a CO2 cartridge after a capsize to displace a lot of the water? It could provide a degree of additional safety after a capsize far from shore. Or inflatable outriggers to aid in stabilizing a canoe while getting back in and bailing it out. Kayakers use paddle floats for that purpose.
"


When my Northstar Solo was new, I tried practicing self rescue as if I'd capsized. I had zero success. I'd probably purchase something like this. Heck, I have probably purchased a half dozen of those foil space blankets over the past 2 decades. Never used one.
 
andym
distinguished member(4878)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/29/2020 11:57AM
My wife and I spent a night under one of those really lightweight space blankets. They work. It was noisy due to the crinkling sound but we were warm.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/30/2020 07:53AM
Mo63021: "mschi772: "A ~30-60 liter container certified as bear resistant that is hard-sided so that the USFS doesn't fuss about it like they do with Ursacks. Sick of the largest option being BV500's which get so expensive if you need something like 60 liters worth of space or custom Bearikades that require a second mortgage to afford."


I found this online:


Blue Barrel


and used it to make a food barrel. I added the shoulder straps for about $15, the kayak handles for about $8 and the barrel itself was $30 when I bought it last winter. It holds 14 gallons, (53 liters???) but held apx 40 pounds of food when packed full. Empty I weighed it at apx. the 8 pounds as listed.


"


That and other blue barrels are not bear resistant. I have a 60 liter barrel myself. What I want is something that is truly bear resistant in a similar size and that the moronic USFS and NPS will recognize since Ursacks are bear resistant, and numerous parks and forests have decided it is insufficient with no scientific backing to their ruling.

Andym says that blue barrels wouldn't pass muster with the USFS restrictions this year. They shouldn't, but sadly, they probably would because the USFS established its restriction based on next to no real science and what little information about how they evaluate a container for that restriction would not actually rule-out a blue barrel as far as I can tell. Below is a long record of my back and forth with the USFS regarding their restriction as I pressed them to provide scientific support and evidence-based rationale for the rules they put into place for some lakes. I was met with stubborn bureaucracy that couldn't seem to think beyond the bullet points handed down to them from above. No science. No evidence. Just dodgy recitation of bullet points out of fear of saying too much or taking too much responsibility.

mschi772: "mschi772: "mschi772: "I emailed the USFS specifically about Ursacks as that was a common question I was hearing. Pictured here is their reply.








I have sent a follow-up as well that reads:
"Thank-you for the quick response. Since you offered, I would like a more detailed explanation of what methods and evidence-based rationale the USFS uses to evaluate containers in order to qualify or disqualify them as bear-resistant and what data the USFS uses to evaluate the efficacy of its testing/qualification methods."



I have not received another response yet.



As far as I've been able to find, the USFS uses a simple device designed by Missoula Technical Development Center (MTDC) back in 1989 to test the penetrability of hard containers pictured here. This is quite the narrow-minded approach that the USFS sounds like it has stuck with for 30 years while the IGBC has continued to expand and refine its approach. Not only does this method ignore numerous physical and ethological ("ethological" is not a typo) questions, but it is utterly incapable of any meaningful evaluation of a container that is not rigid.
"




I have finally received a response, and it still isn't super clear or helpful:



"As maybe you’re aware, as you referenced them in your initial email, the US Forest Service (on the national level) works closely with IGBC to determine bear safe practices and products. This is primarily developed for Grizzlies in/near Montana, but often these metrics and parameters are implemented by land management agencies (including the US Forest Service and National Park Service) across the country. This is a long way of saying that parameters were used from past collaborations between the IGBC and the Forest Service out of Montana."



My reply follows:



"Confusion remains, and that is why I have contacted you. Ursacks are quite popular, but the vague wording of the USFS order implies that containers must be rigid and pass a penetration test. Regarding the matter of this test, I assume that it is in regards to a test/device devised in 1989 by the Missoula Technical Development Center, but you are now implying that you are more reliant on IGBC testing practices. Ursacks are not rigid and don't meet the parameters describes in the order, but they are tested and approved by the IGBC. This is confusing. Would they or would they not be considered an acceptable container under the current order?



Many BWCA visitors are Ursack users, and they are also concerned that the area defined by the current order is impractical for traditional hangs as the forest is still recovering from the Cavity Lake Fire of 2006. There are a lot of questions about whether or not Ursack users will have to invest in some other container in order to be considered compliant with the current order.""



And the response I received today. We've come full circle. Sigh.


"Regardless of brand, certifications, or origins, the container would need to meet the specs listed below to comply on Alpine Lake/Jasper Lake/Sea Gull Lake/Red Rock Lake/Rog Lake.


§ A securable container


§ Of solid non-pliable material


§ Capable of withstanding 200 foot-pounds of energy


§ When secured and under stress, the container will not have cracks, openings, or hinges that would allow for a bear to gain entry.


Please let me know what within these four specs is offering confusion so I can clarify for your awareness."

Unsurprisingly, my patience for bureaucracy is thin to begin with. My final attempt to actually learn something useful from them follows:

"What I am seeking to learn is how the USFS has chosen those specific requirements? Specifically, please. What are the evidence-based origins and the scientific rationale of those four bullet points? It isn't entirely IGBC because they certainly don't require a container to be made of solid, non-pliable material, and they do allow for small openings as containers like the UHMWPE fabric Ursack can have weave separations of up to 1/4" in diameter and still be considered effectively bear-resistant by the IGBC. I'm a scientist. I would like someone to provide technical answers worthy of a scientist. I have already figured that anyone using an Ursack will not be considered compliant, but I am now seeking a deeper understanding of how my USFS arrives at the decisions it does. Feel free to put me into contact with someone with a better understanding of the science and engineering that informs USFS policies such as this one.

If you are going to insist with your repetition of bullet points without any explanation for what methods and evidence-based rationale the USFS uses to evaluate containers in order to qualify or disqualify them as bear-resistant and what data the USFS uses to evaluate the efficacy of its testing/qualification methods or how someone can, on their own, reliably determine if a container meets those requirements, then please just provide a list of approved containers that the public can look to so that people don't have to ask each other a bunch of speculative questions in a panic. The average person has no way of reliably determining if a container can "withstand 200 ft-lb of energy." I've seen numerous people thinking that this means that if a 200 lb man can sit on the container and not crack it, they're compliant with the order, and I doubt that is at all what the USFS has in mind since that isn't what 200 ft-lb is. There is also no proper definition of what "secured and under stress" means. I would personally prefer specific, scientific, technical information and definitions, but I think the better way to go would be to simply list what containers are compliant for visitors to reference since many people are not scientists nor engineers, and they just want to know if what they have will get them fined or not.

I've already told everyone who has asked that Ursacks are not acceptable despite the IGBC approval and their approval in many national parks since the USFS has chosen to require "solid, non-pliable" material for some reason (one of many things I seek to understand with the technical explanations I'm now seeking)."

Honestly, based on these four bullet points alone, I think a simple blue barrel WOULD meet these requirements. 200 ft-lb (not to be confused with lb-ft) would be about the energy that a 200 lb human has falling from about 1 ft. If you're a little lighter than 200 lb, like 160 lb, add about 3 in to your fall distance. I think a blue barrel can take that since the USFS doesn't define how small of an area that energy should be applied to. Naturally, they should define this to be a small enough area to represent a barrel being slammed into a pointy rock, but they don't. Am I telling people to take blue barrels into the area under this order? Absolutely not. They are not satisfactorily bear-resistant by any decent definition. I'm just illustrating how flawed the USFS bullet points are."


mschi772: "I was away for a week in the BWCA, but I did get another response from someone new. It is a lot of words and zero science. I'm done. It is clear that the USFS is completely uninterested in providing any actual evidence/science that they use. They likely don't actually have any as this last reply makes it painfully obvious that these restrictions are written without any clear idea of enforcement in mind. They refuse to name products because they don't want to endorse anything or miss anything, so that says to me that evaluation of any given food container ends-up having to happen case-by-case in the field, and I highly doubt that the personnel in the field have any more specific specs or tools to use to evaluate a container.


"We do not want bears to rip it apart." As we all know, this does not happen with Ursacks, yet Ann/USFS is implying that it does. Despite acknowledging their existence, they still talk about Ursacks in the same way that they talk about an ol' fabric food pack.


"...can leak food from the container if punctured...the reward makes them work harder" Citation needed, Ann/USFS. Especially since scientific citation is *specifically* what I've been requesting ever since my 2nd email. It is a solid hypothesis that food leaks through Ursack fabric may encourage a bear, but how do you know there is any significant encouragement especially since "bears already know there’s food in there." If there is science to support this hypothesis, that's *exactly* the kind of thing that I've been asking for the USFS to share with me. Even if they do receive encouragement from receiving a taste, we know they won't be defeating the Ursack and receiving an actual meal, so does any amount of encouragement even matter if all of the bears' efforts are ultimately futile? Citation. Needed.


Why did I press this issue so hard and for so long? Because our USFS should not be such a stranger to science. Also because I utterly loathe the creation of rules without any plan for enforcement; rules/laws are worthless if they can't be realistically, consistently, and fairly enforced. I am disappointed to see such a lack of science and fact/evidence-based support for USFS decisions. The way this order and these emails have been worded, I would wager that a blue barrel would qualify, and that is super disappointing since we all know that they are not at all bear-proof far more likely to yield a meal reward to a bear than an Ursack ever will be.


"Bear-proof." I can't believe Ann even suggested that "bear-proof" is a thing by insinuating that Ursacks are merely bear-resistant while others are bear-proof. Nothing is bear-proof (at least nothing that backpackers/canoers carry), and it insults my intelligence that we have USFS personnel who are foolish enough to believe that.


The Order on the Superior National Forest webpage is a Forest Order put in place after bears have received food rewards from visitors at an alarming rate this summer. The bears are conditioned, or learning to be conditioned, that food comes from humans and their food packs. They have become aggressive and are now chasing people off of the campsite or into the water. The District wilderness staff, wildlife biologist, District Ranger, headquarters staff, law enforcement for the Northwest zone, and the Forest Supervisor have decided on this tactic.





Yes, soft packs are listed on the IGBC website as bear resistant containers. IGBC admits in their description that these items are resistant, not bear proof. Soft packs, the brand you mention, are resistant and can leak food from the container if punctured. What we are asking on these 5 lakes that have food conditioned bears, is that you use a container that is made from “solid, non-pliable material”. We do not want bears to mouth a soft pack and rip it apart, which has happened to a variety of soft packs. Obviously bears already know there’s food in there, and the reward makes them work harder. You can also suspend your soft pack as an alternative to a pack made from “solid, non-pliable material”, as described in the Order. This is a method we have suggested since the 1970s.





Regarding our specific regulation, the IGBC says this on their website “Regardless of your public land location or destination, we recommend contacting local land management offices for more details on the use of electric fences or other products and methods that may be used to comply with applicable food storage regulations because requirements may vary by location.” Now you know the variation at our location.





We are asking you for an extra measure of security at 5 lakes because: we have had aggressive bears due to improperly stored food at these locations and we or the State must now kill these bears; we also want to prevent habituating more bears to the ease of procuring human food in these locations; we want to prevent killing more habituated bears; and we obviously want to prevent a bear from mauling a visitor.





You are welcome to:


· Find a site with trees to hang your food in your soft pack (yes, we aware that we have sites with unsuitable trees or no trees) OR


· Get a container made with “solid, non-pliable material” in the case of unsuitable or no trees, choosing from those listed on the IGBC list OR


· There are 1,075 lakes in the BWCAW. Consider camping at one of the other 1,070 lakes in the BWCAW OR


· Consider camping at one of the hundreds outside of the Wilderness OR


· Consider camping at another recreation location that has food lockers





IGBC lists containers of “solid, non-pliable material” - http://igbconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/200610_Certified_Products_List.pdf


We do not simply list specific containers because we cannot endorse a specific company. Even if we did, we might miss a particular company and that too would be problematic. As with any other piece of gear, we are leaving it up to the visitor to choose the container of their liking made of a “solid, non-pliable material”.








Ann Schwaller


Superior National Forest


Forest Program Manager for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness


Duluth, MN


ann.schwaller@usda.gov


218-626-4325



I am not so naive to actually be surprised at the unwillingness of a government agency to cooperate with a citizen's request for information. I'm not so naive as to be surprised by the scientific illiteracy of it either. I just don't back down into complacent realism without some resistance. The USFS should be better than this. We should be better than this. Science and reason aren't difficult, and rules shouldn't just be shotgunned reactively out of committees with no consideration for enforcement....but I guess these days science and reason are considered enemies of the state (which has literally discouraged agencies from using words like "evidence-based" and "science-based" among others; My own citation where this claim of mine is explained pretty well. ) that the USFS serves, so I guess they don't have any other choice right now. "
 
10/30/2020 08:35AM
brulu: "Maybe this already exists, but some sort of satellite tracking device for lost dogs? Maybe it turns on and checks for messages once a day, and normally just turns back off again until the next day. If the dog is lost, its owners can tell the system to message the device to report its position and turn back off again, repeating as necessary. Minimize the amount of on time and transmission to preserve battery life. It could be called a Spot, or a Rover, or whatever."

Part of this exists - there are GPS units for dog collars; bird hunters use them.
However I don't believe they have the on/off aspect that would stretch out battery life for days. So for ~4-900 bucks right now you can have a handheld unit with a screen that will show exactly where your dog is on a map, if the dog is still within a few miles. Because the units are communicating location data every few seconds, battery life is likely not more than a day on those units.

You'd think a manufacturer could write the software to put a collar into 'lost' mode, stretching out battery life for days as you suggest (There is one that does this but it only kicks in when the collar battery is at 25%, and the extension is just 12 extra hours).
 
andym
distinguished member(4878)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/01/2020 11:21PM
Interesting mschi772, I had assumed that the FS strength test had something to do with the more usual bear resistant standards and didn't think the blue barrels would pass those. But I see that I may well be wrong. A strength standard without standards about the closure is sort of pointless. And the part about it being securable is a bit odd. The standard bear canisters have no way to secure them.

I guess a dream canister that passes the usual bear standards and the FS for the BW on odd occasions is still a dream.

BTW, I consider the Ursack the dream bear resistant food storage and have been using them since 2001. I prefer multiple smaller bags to one large container which seems like putting all your powdered eggs in one basket.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/03/2020 02:32PM
andym: "Interesting mschi772, I had assumed that the FS strength test had something to do with the more usual bear resistant standards and didn't think the blue barrels would pass those. But I see that I may well be wrong. A strength standard without standards about the closure is sort of pointless. And the part about it being securable is a bit odd. The standard bear canisters have no way to secure them.


I guess a dream canister that passes the usual bear standards and the FS for the BW on odd occasions is still a dream.


BTW, I consider the Ursack the dream bear resistant food storage and have been using them since 2001. I prefer multiple smaller bags to one large container which seems like putting all your powdered eggs in one basket."


Just want to thank you for reading my wall of text. It took a decent bit of patience and effort to bang my head against that bureaucratic wall for as long as I did. I'm glad it was for more than just myself. I have formal education in animal behavior and ecology that makes bear canisters a unique intersection of those sciences, my interests in physics, and my love of wilderness tripping.
 
andym
distinguished member(4878)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/04/2020 09:01AM
Thanks for asking the questions. It was a surprisingly vague rule when more informed, even if sometimes imperfect, standards exist.
 
goetzc
member (26)member
 
11/04/2020 10:22AM
sns: "brulu: "Maybe this already exists, but some sort of satellite tracking device for lost dogs? Maybe it turns on and checks for messages once a day, and normally just turns back off again until the next day. If the dog is lost, its owners can tell the system to message the device to report its position and turn back off again, repeating as necessary. Minimize the amount of on time and transmission to preserve battery life. It could be called a Spot, or a Rover, or whatever."


Part of this exists - there are GPS units for dog collars; bird hunters use them.
However I don't believe they have the on/off aspect that would stretch out battery life for days. So for ~4-900 bucks right now you can have a handheld unit with a screen that will show exactly where your dog is on a map, if the dog is still within a few miles. Because the units are communicating location data every few seconds, battery life is likely not more than a day on those units.


You'd think a manufacturer could write the software to put a collar into 'lost' mode, stretching out battery life for days as you suggest (There is one that does this but it only kicks in when the collar battery is at 25%, and the extension is just 12 extra hours)."



FWIW-
A few years back when our dog was just a puppy we used a Tagg gps collar which was rebranded as "Whistle" in 2015. Something like this might work ok in the BWCA though we only used it in our yard/neighborhood.
 
Chuckles
distinguished member (113)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/04/2020 09:42PM
goetzc: "sns: "brulu: "Maybe this already exists, but some sort of satellite tracking device for lost dogs? Maybe it turns on and checks for messages once a day, and normally just turns back off again until the next day. If the dog is lost, its owners can tell the system to message the device to report its position and turn back off again, repeating as necessary. Minimize the amount of on time and transmission to preserve battery life. It could be called a Spot, or a Rover, or whatever."



Part of this exists - there are GPS units for dog collars; bird hunters use them.
However I don't believe they have the on/off aspect that would stretch out battery life for days. So for ~4-900 bucks right now you can have a handheld unit with a screen that will show exactly where your dog is on a map, if the dog is still within a few miles. Because the units are communicating location data every few seconds, battery life is likely not more than a day on those units.



You'd think a manufacturer could write the software to put a collar into 'lost' mode, stretching out battery life for days as you suggest (There is one that does this but it only kicks in when the collar battery is at 25%, and the extension is just 12 extra hours)."




FWIW-
A few years back when our dog was just a puppy we used a Tagg gps collar which was rebranded as "Whistle" in 2015. Something like this might work ok in the BWCA though we only used it in our yard/neighborhood."

Unfortunately, the Whistle uses a GPS (satellite) to figure out where it is, but requires a cell signal or wifi to communicate that location back to your phone. We use one at home and it works well until the dog gets further from AT&T towers. I don't think it would work for most of the BWCA.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next