View Full Version : Bear Canisters

01-23-2014, 11:30
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest - News & Events (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/conf/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5351877)
... 3061. Bear-resistant Storage Containers Required When Camping
Overnight Near a Section of the Appalachian Trail. The ...
www.fs.usda.gov/detail/conf/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5351877 - 52k

Whis this said, What advice can a previous thru-hiker contribute to the use of a canister the whole trip NOBO?
Would you use a canister or not?

01-23-2014, 13:07
Not a thru hiker but this regulation went into effect a coupe of years ago. Most are camping before Jarrod gap then hiking past Neel gap. As long as you don't camp in this area you won't need a canister.

01-24-2014, 10:48
Thank you so much, Hate the thought of adding unnecessary weight.

01-24-2014, 12:59
You're welcome and welcome to WB.

01-24-2014, 15:50
What advice can a previous thru-hiker contribute to the use of a canister the whole trip NOBO?
Would you use a canister or not?

First of all, I need to state that I sleep with my food on the AT most times. If I was not comfortable with that I would consider a bear can. My Bearikade (for use out west and in places required by regulation) weighs just under 2 pounds. I am not sure what is typical for food hangers regarding weight but it is not zero. My guess would be that considering the rope/etc involved that the weight penalty would be closer to 1 pound.

For that one pound you do not have to spend time finding that perfect tree at the end of a rough day. And let's face it, many do not find perfect trees and are kidding themselves anyway. You have a nice chair at all times. To me it seems that the 1 pound penalty may be worth not having the extra hastle and time commitment. You KNOW that your food is secure too. Many hikers lose their food to bears and have it contaminated by mice every year.

I am not a shelter dweller either so I do not have the safety-in-numbers rationale allowing me to hang my food in shelters. If I were planning on staying at shelters most of the time the can makes less sense.

01-24-2014, 16:19
My bear hanging system, by MLD weighs 1.5 oz which is 50' of line. That assumes that you have a bear capable of hanging. I wouldn't consider carrying a canister on the AT. If I was worried about bears, which I'm not, I would use an Ursack. Much easier to pack and lighter than a canister. Or you can do what one hiker that met a couple of time in 2012 did, he carried a five gallon bucket.

01-24-2014, 16:38
I have the zPacks bear bagging kit which weighs 3 ounces, 30 ounces less than my custom 12 inch Bearikade. I'll be using the zPacks bear bagging kit on the Colorado Trail. I have a permit for the JMT in early June which I'll use if snow conditions remain dismal and of course I'll have to use the Bearikade there.

I've actually used the Bearikade on overnights along the AT a few times. Reason being that my pack weight is already really light with just a couple days of food and the canister doesn't bother me and I can be lazy and not have to hang food. Plus I have a stool in camp. But I should start hanging food along the AT to practice for the summer on the CT. It takes me a while to do hangs using the PCT method correctly.