Holiday Gift Guide 2011: GrubPack and Outsak UL

Ultralight and critter-proof chainmail food storage bags

Ultralight, stainless steel mesh sacks from GrubPack and Outsak make a great gift for anyone who’s lost food to mice, ravens and other smallish trail marauders. The mesh is tight enough to protect against rodents’ tiny teeth, and a Velcro closure at the top is strong enough to foil the claws of crafty raccoons.

Hang the bag from a tree using a fabric loop (Outsak) or brass grommet (GrubPack). If there are no trees where you’re camping, simply stake it to the ground or pile rocks around it. In my four months of testing, from Oregon’s Rogue River Wilderness to Washington’s Mt. Rainier National Park and many points in between, no critter slipped through this tight food security system.

What amazes me is how light these bags are. Both Outsak and GrubPack offer bags that weigh less than 4 oz. and hold enough food for about two or three nights for one person. Larger sacks are available for longer trips. Iowa-based GrubPack offers free shipping and options for carry handles and sewn-in pockets. Outsak, based out of Arizona, includes a free Opsak Odor-Proof Bag and carries a wider selection of sizes (including a UL Micro size under 3 oz.) and several colors.

GrubPack UL

Cost: $30 (includes shipping)

Weight: 3.4 oz.

Capcity: 492 cubic in.

Outsak UL

Cost: $36

Weight: 3.7 oz

Capacity: 630 cubic in.