View Full Version : Bear Canister

04-12-2016, 13:01
I am hiking the JMT this summer and need to carry a bear canister. What canister do you prefer and why? If's there's a recent thread on the subject, please steer me there! Thanks.

04-12-2016, 13:38
We used Bearikade Expedition canisters, which you can rent from Wild Ideas. This large canister allowed enough canister room for a final resupply at Muir Trail Ranch for the remaining 8-9 days of our SOBO JMT trek. Also big enough to use as seat in camp.

04-12-2016, 14:07
I too am planning a JMT hike this summer, and I would say the best place on the internet to get JMT questions answered would be either the JMT Facebook group or the JMT Yahoo group.

But from a practical stand point, I would argue that a summary of your practical choices comes to one of the following:
BV450 (440cuin)
BV500 (700cuin)
Bearikade Scout (500cuin)
Bearikade Weekender (650cuin)
Bearikade Expedition (900cuin)

Few other choices have been approved for use in Yosemite, and they all have either similar (or worst) specs to the ones listed above.

Next, you need to decide what size canister you will need based on maximum number of days between resupplies. A starting rule of thumb is that you will need about 100cuin/day for food and can carry your 1st day's supplies outside of the canister. So your choices narrow based on the maximum days you plan between resupply:
5 days or less: BV450 or Scout
6 days: BV500, Scout, or Weekender
7 days: BV500, Weekender, or Expedition
8 days: BV500 or Expedition
9 days (or more): Expedition

Seems like most SOBO JMT thru hikers are either hiking fast enough OR including a resupply between MTR and Whitney that they simply have to choose between the cheaper BV500 or the lighter but more expensive Weekender. Those that have multiple trips planned that will require a canister seem to typically opt for the lighter Weekender if they can afford it.

Seems like there is a fair number of SOBO JMT thru hikers that don't plan on a resupply after MTR and expect to take about 10 days to finish the trail from there. This group is pretty much stuck with the Expedition and simply have to decide between renting or buying. I'm in this group and I'm currently leaning toward buying because I'd like to have plenty of time to see how I'll pack such a large canister in my backpack as well as experiment with getting all my supplies in the canister.

The other choice is to look and see where canisters are required and where they are optional. Even if you are in the group needing 10 days between resupply, you can potentially get by with the smaller BV500 or the Weekender if you don't mind dealing with hanger your food on the nights you're not in "canister required" territory.

Vegan Packer
04-13-2016, 03:56
If you dig a little deeper on the Wild Ideas site, they will also make a custom canister size for about $30 extra. I got them to make a 700 liter version for me, and it fits perfectly in horizontal position on top of my pack.

04-13-2016, 11:00
. . . I got them to make a 700 liter version for me, and it fits perfectly in horizontal position on top of my pack.
Wow. That must be one large backpack! ;-)

04-13-2016, 19:31
Wow. That must be one large backpack! ;-)
Keep in mind that Wild Ideas only varies the length of the canister. The diameter of their canisters are all the same. Since he says he is carrying horizontal, you only need a typical backpack to accommodate the diameter of the canister. However the width would make it a little unwieldy going down most backcountry trails.

Vegan Packer
04-14-2016, 01:20
Wow. That must be one large backpack! ;-)

I meant cubic inches. ;) Actually, I checked the site, and it is 750, not 700, and it sits at exactly 12 inches, which is just a bit narrower than my pack with items added into the side pockets.

04-20-2016, 20:57
I opted to rent the weekender for my 13 day September jmt hike last year...was the perfect size for me....if you rent and decide to buy they will credit the rental to purchase. They offer good disc for jmt thru hikers...it fit horizontal in my circuit fine. They have great resale! I stumbled upon a expedition AFTER my hike on CL in Fl! Like new -$80!!! Sold on jmt yahoo site for $300....

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

04-28-2016, 12:31
Depends on how far you are going between resupplies. I used a Bearkiade Weekender, which turned out to be a bit to small for the 2nd half (MTR to the end), and if I do the JMT again I'm going to resupply more often or get a bigger canister.