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Jim525
member (6)member
 
01/16/2022 01:49PM  
I am starting to plan some for some gear for my solo trip this year and am of the understanding that bear proof containers are now required. My first thought after looking around a bit is to purchase a 30 liter barrel by Recreation barrels and just put it inside my old pack with some other kitchen type items. However my research did not turn up any claims from them about being a bear safe container. Does anyone have any information on these? Appreciating in advance any input on these.
 
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01/16/2022 02:02PM  
They are not bear-resistant containers. You will have to hang the blue barrels in the trees. The blue barrels are waterproof and mostly contain food odors, but bears can tear into them.

If you want bear-resistant containers, you'll need to look at Bear Vault, Ursack, and others. For a comprehensive list, see the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee list of bear-resistant products .

Here is a recent discussion thread on this issue:
BWCA 2022 bear container rules .

And welcome to the forums!
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(849)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2022 03:20PM  
you should bear in mind that under the new guidelines, ANY blue barrel container will have to be hung. The only containers that are not required to be hung are bearvaults, bear cannisters, Ursacks.
 
01/16/2022 04:20PM  
If $ isn’t a concern Bearikade bear resistant containers are the lightest, and likely strongest, option. Alternatively you can rent them instead of buy.

Bearikade containers
 
gravelroad
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01/16/2022 10:49PM  
ockycamper: "you should bear in mind that under the new guidelines, ANY blue barrel container will have to be hung. The only containers that are not required to be hung are bearvaults, bear cannisters, Ursacks."

This is incorrect. The definition of “bear resistant container” in the applicable order includes things not in your list:

“‘Bear resistant container’ means a securable container constructed of solid material capable of withstanding 200 foot-pounds of energy (using the approved bear resistant container impact testing machine). When secured and under stress the container will not have any cracks, openings, or hinges that would allow a bear to gain entry by biting or pulling with its claws. Wood containers are not considered bear resistant unless they are reinforced with metal.”

SNF ORDER 09-09-21-09

This is what allows the use of locked coolers that meet this standard.
 
andym
distinguished member(5089)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/17/2022 07:46AM  
Note that many coolers, when padlocked, are in the IGBC list that is linked above.
 
gravelroad
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01/17/2022 08:59AM  
andym: "Note that many coolers, when padlocked, are in the IGBC list that is linked above. "

Including the one placed midships in this photo. :-)
(Under the tarp.)

 
1JimD
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2022 09:42AM  
gravelroad: "andym: "Note that many coolers, when padlocked, are in the IGBC list that is linked above. "


Including the one placed midships in this photo. :-)
(Under the tarp.)


"




Forgive Me ! Is there room in that canoe for a paddler ? Or is it just towed behind another canoe ?
That looks like a portage workout for sure !
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(849)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2022 09:56AM  
We used to be like that. We brought two burner camp stoves, lots of food (nothing dehydrated), cast iron dutch ovens for baking, tents, way too much clothing and every bit of fishing gear we owned.

Forward 15 years. Now we are in hammocks, use backpacking type stoves, all dehydrated foods, and bring one pole and a small case of lures.

We take 14-18 men up there every fall (split into 3 groups). One still brings all their stuff (had THREE two burner stoves in their camp last year). My camp hates portages, weight, lots of work to prepare meals. Everyone is on their own for breakfast (oatmeal, etc), on their own for lunches (tortillas and anything on them). We have a group dinner that is two pot (entre and a side), dehydrated and cooked on two backpacker style stoves.

There comes a point you realize it is more about what you find when you arrive then what you brought with you.

PS: We have never brought a cooler.
 
01/17/2022 03:42PM  
Keep it simple and light when going solo. Use an Ursack
 
Jim525
member (6)member
 
01/17/2022 04:53PM  
A lot of good information, thank you very much. I’ve been looking into the ursacks, anyone have any first hand experience? I like the lightweight and collapsable aspects, also the tough materials , but how do they close so a bear cannot get them open. In my eight previous trips we have not even hung any food packs with no problems whatsoever. No sense in pushing my luck though.
 
01/17/2022 05:53PM  
A lot of people have used Ursacks there. A lot of your questions will be answered at the Ursack site. You have to tie it tight using the correct knots.

And definitely keep it simple and light.
 
01/17/2022 06:16PM  
Jim525: "A lot of good information, thank you very much. I’ve been looking into the ursacks, anyone have any first hand experience? I like the lightweight and collapsable aspects, also the tough materials , but how do they close so a bear cannot get them open. In my eight previous trips we have not even hung any food packs with no problems whatsoever. No sense in pushing my luck though." The closer is easy and effective for Bears and small critters . Attaching it to the tree has a few solutions so the knot doesn't tighten on it's self if a bear is pulling on it. I've used one for years. Never had a Bear test it. I keep a very clean camp which is key.
 
andym
distinguished member(5089)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/18/2022 01:21AM  
I've been using Ursacks for over 20 years now. The rope lets you pull them tightly closed so the bear can't get purchase on opening them. Can't say that mine have been tested, but I'm happy with them. An OpSak inside keeps the odors down. Plus, we take long enough trips that we use multiple Ursacks and spread them out in different trees. So even if a bear gets one, they are unlikely to get all of our food. I like being able to do that with little weight and the Ursacks taking up less space as the trip goes on.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8140)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/18/2022 05:32AM  
I wonder what Stu (BWJ) does? As I recall, his trips were known for a lot of fresh food - like a pack or two.
 
01/18/2022 09:23AM  
billconner: "I wonder what Stu (BWJ) does? As I recall, his trips were known for a lot of fresh food - like a pack or two. "

I wonder too. Probably he hangs the food packs IF he heads into the BWCA this year. Last time I encountered him in the wilderness was on a portage into Gebeonaquet in Spring 2020. He was taking a group of clients on a lollipop loop out of EP 16, I believe. He was lamenting having to take them in the BWCA saying he much prefers Quetico (I know I do) to get the grand slam. No bear container or hanging food pack requirement there. Maybe he will be taking his clients into Quetico via a northern entry this coming season and bail on the BWCA entirely??? Who knows. One thing is for sure, he likes his fresh food…and those packs are not light.
 
01/18/2022 12:45PM  
Blatz: "Jim525: "A lot of good information, thank you very much. I’ve been looking into the ursacks, anyone have any first hand experience? I like the lightweight and collapsable aspects, also the tough materials , but how do they close so a bear cannot get them open. In my eight previous trips we have not even hung any food packs with no problems whatsoever. No sense in pushing my luck though." The closer is easy and effective for Bears and small critters . Attaching it to the tree has a few solutions so the knot doesn't tighten on it's self if a bear is pulling on it. I've used one for years. Never had a Bear test it. I keep a very clean camp which is key."
To add to Blatz's comment, closing up an Ursak is not hard, but you do have to follow 3 steps or it is at risk of failing. 1 - make sure the cords cross each other before going back through the second set of holes, failing to do this lessens the integrity somehow. 2 - squinch it closed very tight by pulling the cords as much as they will go, then tie a double overhand not. This should hold it closed. 3 - tie it to a tree brand or trunk tightly (you don't want any slack to loosen the double overhand knot, then tie the cords together by one of the approved knots. A double figure 8 will hold, but can get synched tight if pulled, so there are fancier knots that won't synch - there was a video on their website last time I checked.

None of this is very hard, but it is important to get it right. Just like many other bear/food protection systems, many failures link back to user error. If you do go this route, I'd suggest you be careful what foods you put in there as a bear can crush or bite the bag still. I avoid plastic bottles of maple syrup or oil in my Ursak's, or anything that can be easily damaged if crushed.

 
01/18/2022 12:53PM  
andym: "I've been using Ursacks for over 20 years now......"

Just out of curiosity, are you still using the same old Ursak's? They have produced several models over the years. Back somewhere around 2005 or so they made a model called the V27 (aka the TKO) that was made from a different material and much more prone to failure. The more recent S29 series made from Spectra is far stronger. I'd suggest anyone who has one of the old models should seriously consider upgrading to a new one.

 
01/18/2022 03:02PM  
I do believe the old V27 was made with Vectran fabric. 2018 Ursack sold to MMI Textiles, Inc./Bear Saga, LLC and now uses their brand of Sectra/UHMWP.

butthead
 
andym
distinguished member(5089)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/18/2022 05:44PM  
I’ve got a variety of Ursack models. Under the new rules, I probably need to upgrade some of the older ones. Without the rules, I wouldn’t have bothered. While there were some failures, there weren’t many.
 
KentuckyPaddler
 
01/18/2022 05:45PM  
So Ursack are allowed under the change? I thought when it was announced it was determined they didn't meet requirements? Would be happy to find out I am wrong.
 
andym
distinguished member(5089)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/18/2022 05:48PM  
The first announced rules in 2021 ruled out Ursacks but they later changed that.
 
KentuckyPaddler
 
01/18/2022 06:02PM  
andym: "The first announced rules in 2021 ruled out Ursacks but they later changed that. "

Awesome! Thanks
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(672)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/18/2022 10:35PM  
1JimD: "gravelroad: "andym: "Note that many coolers, when padlocked, are in the IGBC list that is linked above. "


Including the one placed midships in this photo. :-)
(Under the tarp.)


"




Forgive Me ! Is there room in that canoe for a paddler ? Or is it just towed behind another canoe ?
That looks like a portage workout for sure !"


No portaging, single paddler on Seagull, with 75 pounds of ice and other necessities for a bear hunt.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(672)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/18/2022 10:38PM  
ockycamper: "We used to be like that. We brought two burner camp stoves, lots of food (nothing dehydrated), cast iron dutch ovens for baking, tents, way too much clothing and every bit of fishing gear we owned.


Forward 15 years. Now we are in hammocks, use backpacking type stoves, all dehydrated foods, and bring one pole and a small case of lures.


We take 14-18 men up there every fall (split into 3 groups). One still brings all their stuff (had THREE two burner stoves in their camp last year). My camp hates portages, weight, lots of work to prepare meals. Everyone is on their own for breakfast (oatmeal, etc), on their own for lunches (tortillas and anything on them). We have a group dinner that is two pot (entre and a side), dehydrated and cooked on two backpacker style stoves.


There comes a point you realize it is more about what you find when you arrive then what you brought with you.


PS: We have never brought a cooler."


And you have almost certainly never gone loaded for bear in the literal sense. You might pause to ponder all that implies before making any judgements:


Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Bear Hunt Information
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2022 04:55AM  
ockycamper:......ANY blue barrel container will have to be hung. ".....

Not if you use it to carry your bear vaults. They fit right inside. ;)
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2530)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2022 10:39AM  
If you have a successful bear hunt and secrete said bear in a cooler does the cooler become a bear vault?
 
WonderMonkey
distinguished member(781)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2022 12:12PM  
andym: "I've been using Ursacks for over 20 years now. The rope lets you pull them tightly closed so the bear can't get purchase on opening them. Can't say that mine have been tested, but I'm happy with them. An OpSak inside keeps the odors down. Plus, we take long enough trips that we use multiple Ursacks and spread them out in different trees. So even if a bear gets one, they are unlikely to get all of our food. I like being able to do that with little weight and the Ursacks taking up less space as the trip goes on."

This is exactly what we do. So plus 1.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(672)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2022 04:39PM  
Banksiana: "If you have a successful bear hunt and secrete said bear in a cooler does the cooler become a bear vault?"

I’ll let you know. After two unsuccessful attempts, I’m hoping that the third time’s a charm …
 
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