WHY YOU NEED A IGBC CERTIFIED BAG
If you are going to any of the Grizzly Bear Recovery Areas on Federal Lands to camp, hunt or hike you are required to keep your food, garbage and livestock feed in special certified bear-resistant containers. This required for the bear’s safety, as many things we eat make for a very unhealthy bear diet (and human diet too), but also for our safety.
THE ROAD TO GETTING IGBC CERTIFIED
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) was formed in 1983 to help ensure recovery of viable grizzly bear populations and their habitat in the lower 48 states through interagency coordination of policy, planning, management, and research. The IGBC consists of representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey and representatives of the state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center (GWDC) in West Yellowstone, Montana is the only facility approved for testing products for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s (IGBC) bear-resistant products testing program.
We love a good challenge, so we sent our bags to Montana for testing. Live grizzly bear testing is conducted by placing an attractant (i.e., honey, peanut butter, fish, meat, etc.) inside and all over the container. The containers are closed and securely latched, knotted or padlocked, as appropriate, and placed inside the bear enclosure where bears interact with the containers. Products undergo contact by a number of bears of various sizes and with varying levels of experience with containers. Products remain in the bear enclosure and accessible to bears until breached or until a total of 60 minutes of “bear contact time” has been reached (or until bears lose interest). “Bear contact time” is defined as biting, clawing, pounding, rolling, compressing, licking (only if accompanied by other activities listed), chewing or scratching by the captive test bear(s). A container will be considered to have been breached if it is rendered non-functional, or if is torn or broken and the bear gains access. By now, the bears know that each time a container is given to them, it’s like and Easter egg, and if they get it open there will be a treat inside. This makes them quite motivated and ingenious at getting them open.
We passed! They pulled, bit, chewed, clawed, dunked, squeezed, and smacked at our bags, and could not destroy them. We will be sure to share some of the video with you once we get the raw footage edited.
We are now the only IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant backpack. How cool is that? You may never need it, but it’s good to know that when you carry a LOCTOTE, your bag can survive a bear attack — probably the toughest thief you would ever encounter...