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05/22/2024 08:20AM  
I'm curious to know what all folks have used instead of opsaks to line their ursacks?

Been using the ursacks for around 10 years now and the biggest complaint I have is the annual/bi-annual replacing of the opsaks. They just seem to wear out too quickly.

Now that I have some of the larger ursacks as well I'm wondering if there's a better/larger liner rather than using multiple opsaks?
 
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AlexanderSupertramp
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05/22/2024 08:29AM  
Turkey bags is what I use. Perfect for the smaller Ursacks. For the larger ones I split food up into two turkey bags. Sometimes I double up the bags for extra protection. They are good for usually 1-2 trips then I toss them, but they're like $2-3 so I'm fine with that.
 
05/22/2024 10:26AM  
There are other things people use - some may be larger, some more durable, some cheaper, but I don't know if they are equal in scent containment, which is the primary function. You might take a look at some Mylar bags . . . they should at least be more durable and probably less expensive.
 
05/22/2024 10:35AM  
Owned and used Ursaks for a long time. Never bothered with Opsaks. I have always used sil-nylon roll top bags as liners.
I do not believe in the odor elimination of an any form of container or it's necessity. Bears have much better sense of smell than even well trained dogs and odor-proof bags do not hide the odors left from cooking/eating/recent past campers. KenM
 
Minnesotian
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05/22/2024 10:50AM  
butthead: "Owned and used Ursaks for a long time. Never bothered with Opsaks. I have always used sil-nylon roll top bags as liners.
I do not believe in the odor elimination of an any form of container or it's necessity. Bears have much better sense of smell than even well trained dogs and odor-proof bags do not hide the odors left from cooking/eating/recent past campers. KenM
"


Same here, I've been doing the same thing. I tried the Opsaks for one trip and found that the sealing "zipper" was so fine that it took forever to close, not to mention how gummed up it would get from grit and dirt.

Additionally, the Ursack, no matter how much I cinched it down, wasn't as watertight as a roll top bag.
 
EddyTurn
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05/22/2024 11:44AM  
I don't find smell-proofing useless and always use some kind of ziplocs for my food - for the same reason I use waterproof materials, though total waterproofing is not possible in the field. There's a big difference between cotton and gore-tech.
 
05/22/2024 02:24PM  
I got a ursak when they first came out supporting no reward will extinguish a behavior. I also understood blocking smell to keep bears away was a bit futile, but a reasonable objective. All meals are double bagged in ziplock freezer grade and then in a 5x7 clear sided container (think storage container) that fits in the ursak and it then slides into a sealine roll seal waterproof bag.
No bear encounter tests but plenty of mice who got only my crumbs.
 
05/23/2024 12:01AM  
I vacuum seal every food item and ziplock them after that. It doesn’t seal in all food smells…I can still smell them so obviously a bear can.

The thing you are trying to do is minimize smells as best you can. The stronger the smell the more attractive it is to the bear and the further you might draw them in from a longer distance. For predators it’s more about the concentration and volume of the smell. A bear needs to conserve energy/resources. It can’t afford to expend tons of energy to travel a long distance to try to get a small food source. You are just trying to make your food less attractive—-so any reduction in smell helps in that endeavor.

T
 
straighthairedcurly
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05/23/2024 01:58PM  
Odor proof bags are not truly odor proof, but are designed to decrease the odor radius. People should definitely be using them to help decrease the number of bear Ursack encounters.

I do NOT like Opsaks due to premature and unpredictable failure of the zip lock. I much prefer Smelly Proof brand and also mylar zip lock bags that are designed for long term food storage (keep out light and air). Both are available in various sizes on Amazon. Smelly Proof are nice because they are clear. But the mylar bags are larger and can be easily labeled with a marker. I alternate them right side up and upside down to fit more into the sack.

Be sure to wash and dry bags after each trip if you plan to use them again. Inspect for holes or cuts that could decrease the odor protection.
 
05/24/2024 05:46PM  
I only used freezer ziplock bags until 2022 while I was on the BRT I used double ziplocks + an OPSAK because that one bear near Rose/Daniels was making its rounds on hikers...

I have the Major, and the Almitey! This year I was absolutely FOOLISH and left my Major in the garage and the mice got into it and ruined it. Grrr....

My Almitey is super strong as it's reinforced with Kevlar. I've had it a really long time, and I think it will last the ages compared to the Major..... I typically just use zip-lock bags (doubled up) with that.

I only bring freeze-dried stuff for the most part because now I'm mostly a hiker in the BWCA/SNF.

Another fun tip, just before my BRT trip I learned a new way of tying up the URSAK using the typical double overhand knot... then making two loops, threading them through each other, adding a carabiner, and then adding a square knot on top.

Total overkill but back in 2022 that particular bear was being super brazen, and the USFS told us to only take out what we need to eat and hang immediately!
 
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