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  1. #1
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    Default Does an Ursack Minor really keep the critters out?

    I'm leaving on an AT thru hike in a month. I have section hiked about a third of the trail so far and the mice are everywhere in the shelters. I have read about the ursack minor bag supposedly being critterproof. Anybody have experience with this product? Trying to decide about a purchase in the next few days. Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you looking for 100% reliability then buy a small mongoose from the pet store

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure I could get all my food stuffed down the mongoose's throat for the night. Should I then hang it by the tail from the shelter rafters? lol. Seriously though, I need a real answer before I pull the trigger on this purchase. Thanks.

  4. #4

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    I used an Ursak Minor in 2012 for the northern third of the trail. I'd leave it against the wall on the ground near my head so I could grab snacks at night. I could hear mice chewing on it occasionally, but they always gave up and moved on to easier pickings. Never noticed any damage to it. I'd take it again for the whole trail.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Miner for the Minor answer.

  6. #6
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    I have a ursack s29.3 I used for six days from Katahadin to jo Mary rd in the 100 mile wilderness and never had a problem but I also used the opsak odor barrier. I'm switching to a canister for my attempt this year

  7. #7
    Registered User CoolBobby's Avatar
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    Yes it does, in my experience.

  8. #8
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    I carried an Ursack Minor for the entire trail in 2010 and had no problem; very nice to have the bag in easy reach for midnight snacks (sometimes you get so-o hungry ...).
    That said, I recall looking at what was advertised as an Ursack Minor sometime after that and deciding that it seemed different; maybe just the listed weight, but also I think the image. So I'm not sure that what I had was the same thing, even though it was sold under the same name by the same company. Hopefully if they did change it, they only changed it for the better.

    Looking just now, mine weighs 76 grams or 2.7 oz. And on their website it's listed at 5.28 ounces, almost double the weight of mine! So --- yes, I would presume it would stand up very well to rodents. OTOH, for that much extra weight, and I speculate also stiffer fabric (mine is very flexible), I question whether I would have carried it.

    I should add that since I had a relatively early start (late Feb in 2010), I spent a lot of time sleeping in shelters, and didn't hang my bag like others did. Of course I can't guarantee anything, and really it's not THAT big a deal to hang your bag, but if you don't mind the added weight it's kind of nice to have.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  9. #9

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    I've got a rat sack which weighs less and is made of metal mesh.

    It is an interesting alternative.

  10. #10
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    I've been using an Ursak Minor (the yellow one) for years now. I love it. My food has not been raided yet. I also used to own a ratsack. In my experience, the ratsack was way heavier. Also, the chain mesh strands broke/came loose in a small area and I ended up puncturing several holes in my thermarest prolite while shoving it into my pack next to the ratsack. Entirely my fault.

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone for the input. After the positive comments about the ursack minor keeping the mice out, I have decided to carry one on the AT. I just ordered one and I will let you know how it worked when I get back in a few months. Thanks again!

  12. #12

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    I should have been clearer -- ounces per square inch, not total weight. viz.


    https://www.ursack.com/product/ursack-minor/ -- 5.28 ounces, and is 8 inches in diameter, 13 inches tall and holds about 650 cubic inches.

    https://www.rei.com/product/846495/armored-outdoor-gear-ratsack-cache-food-storage-bag 10.5 oz. and has a 2,500 cu. in. capacity; medium bag weighs 8 oz. and has a 1,800 cu. in. capacity; small bag weighs 6 oz. and has a 1,200 cu. in. capacity


  13. #13
    Registered User NUPTZE's Avatar
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    Tough as jail cell bars but dont forget to use a Locksak / Opsak which is the odor barrier bag that will keep the critters from sniffing your food in the first place. They work. Word of caution. ... your Ursack will go the distance but you will have to replace the Loksak periodically. I use a smaller Loksak for my first aid / tooth paste etc. Never had a critter problem. Keep it all in your Ursack.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    I've got a rat sack which weighs less and is made of metal mesh.

    It is an interesting alternative.
    +1

    http://grubpack.com/

    It works well and comes in various sizes.

  15. #15
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    Something chewed through mine while on the AT. I had been hanging it from the bear cables...and while in Hiawassee, I noticed something had chewed a quarter (coin) sized hole in the bottom.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder940 View Post
    Something chewed through mine while on the AT. I had been hanging it from the bear cables...and while in Hiawassee, I noticed something had chewed a quarter (coin) sized hole in the bottom.
    Probably a squirrel. They have no problem walking across the cables.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    Probably a squirrel. They have no problem walking across the cables.
    More likely flying squirrels. I have seen them on bear cables at night. Quite the acrobats.

  18. #18

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    We never took food into shelters,ever,and with a proper food hang,never had any damage with a zpack food bag.I have never understood those folks that keep food/bait where they sleep.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Trek View Post
    We never took food into shelters,ever,and with a proper food hang,never had any damage with a zpack food bag.I have never understood those folks that keep food/bait where they sleep.
    I thought for sure the food sleep/hang debate was going to get started again.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    I thought for sure the food sleep/hang debate was going to get started again.
    The Ursack works best as a pillow. A little lumpy but you get use to it.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

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