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Thread: Bear canisters

  1. #1
    Registered User Zman's Avatar
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    Default Bear canisters

    Can someone give me their opinion on what they feel is the best light weight bear canister?

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Best? Overworked word.
    Lightest? Bear resistant food storage? URSACK. I own the Ursack Major for trips from overnight to a couple weeks.
    YMMV.
    Wayne


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    You basically have two choices...
    Bearikade & BearVault.

    Bearikade is lighter than BearValue, but Bearikade cost $$$ where as BearVault costs $$.

    If you NEED a vary large canister, then Bearikade is your only choice. They have a version that holds about 1000cuin, where as the largest BearVault is only about 750cuin.
    An example of where I found the NEED for the larger container was a JMT thru hike where I wanted to go 10 days with no resupply.

    Yes there are other options... but these two are currently the kings.

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    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    You can rent Bearikades. I plan to do this for my JMT thru.

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    without any opinion on bestestness, I have both sizes of Bear Vault. They're inexpensive, don't need tools, and work as intended.

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    Registered User Zman's Avatar
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    Probably a four or five day hike. So obviously a smaller bear canister as well? Being a novice at hiking, do these bear canisters have to be hung from trees just like your backpack if no bear canisters were required

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    Between hiking a lot in the Sierra and find canisters left on the AT by lazy hikers I have the following bear deterrence systems

    both sizes of Bearvault.
    ursack
    bear boxer

    Which do I use, in order of preference.
    1) nothing and sleep with my food as a pillow. - 90% of time
    2) PCT style hang - rarely used unless I'm in a heavy bear area.
    3) ursack - may use in heavy bear area without a suitable place to hang or if leaving a short food cache.
    4) bear boxer - used only when a canister is required and can't be planned around AND it is a small carry. they are very low volume but it fits in my favorite pack.
    5) Bearvault - this would be my go to canister, especially the larger one, on a trail like the JMT.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Probably a four or five day hike. So obviously a smaller bear canister as well? Being a novice at hiking, do these bear canisters have to be hung from trees just like your backpack if no bear canisters were required
    No, canisters are put on the ground away from your campsite. Bears learn to avoid them in areas like the Sierra.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Probably a four or five day hike. So obviously a smaller bear canister as well? Being a novice at hiking, do these bear canisters have to be hung from trees just like your backpack if no bear canisters were required
    The idea behind a bear canister is that it is (almost) impossible for the bear to get into it. So the 1st time a bear follows his nose and finds one, he spends an hour in frustration trying to get at what is inside.
    But then the next time that same bear encounters a similer canister, he doesn't bother it because he's already learned it is a waste of his time.

    So all you have to do is place it on the ground some reasonable distance from your sleeping area.

    However, since you might encounter a bear that hasn't learned about bear canisters... or worst, a bear that has learned that if he can roll it off a cliff, the crash will usually break it open, you want to position the canister so that it is difficult to impossible for a bear (or other critter) to roll the canister down a hill or into a body of water.

    So some of the best places would be a low spot with stuff surrounding it making it difficult to be rolled away.

    You will get various answers on exactly how far away from your tent to place the canister. Some will say 100' to 200' away so that you always keep a safe distance between you and any bear messing with the canister. In areas where there are known to be problem bears, it will sometimes be advised that you keep the canister relatively close by... the idea being the noise will wake you and give you a chance to scare the bear off (you can enhance the noise making by placing rocks or a cooking pot on top of the canister.

  10. #10

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    On the subject of bearikades- is there anywhere to purchase these in person? I have a BV but would like to physically look at a bearikade before buying one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggymane View Post
    On the subject of bearikades- is there anywhere to purchase these in person? I have a BV but would like to physically look at a bearikade before buying one.
    I believe they are constructed and sold exclusively by a cottage manufacturer in California.
    Given that you live clear across the country, I don't see that as being possible... other than renting one first. But then you have to pay for rental and shipping.

    Do you have any questions that some of us here that have used one might be able to answer for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I believe they are constructed and sold exclusively by a cottage manufacturer in California.
    Given that you live clear across the country, I don't see that as being possible... other than renting one first. But then you have to pay for rental and shipping.

    Do you have any questions that some of us here that have used one might be able to answer for you?
    As much as I value small businesses this is one of those times it's a pain.

    Im in the search for a bear can that would hold in volume around that of the bv450, so I was thinking The Weekender would fit that..but along those lines I'm trying to find one that is more packable. Or maybe I'll just be forever stuck strapping it to the top of my bag

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I believe they are constructed and sold exclusively by a cottage manufacturer in California.
    Given that you live clear across the country, I don't see that as being possible... other than renting one first. But then you have to pay for rental and shipping.

    Do you have any questions that some of us here that have used one might be able to answer for you?
    The rental fee is deducted from the purchase price. It's all explained online.
    Where are you planning to go backpacking that you feel obligated to use bear resistant food storage?
    Why are you insisting on a hard sided canister?
    I'm just trying to learn.
    Wayne


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    Registered User Zman's Avatar
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    i was told that on Blood Mountain in Georgia, on the AT is where canisters are required

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    canisters are only required from Jarrod Gap to Neel Gap if you plan on camping in that 5 mile stretch, and then only from March 1 to June 1. most people camp at Lance Creek then pass through to Neel Gap. It is 7 miles.
    Blackheart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    i was told that on Blood Mountain in Georgia, on the AT is where canisters are required
    Generally speaking, any place that requires a bear canister only requires its use while camping.

    One of the tricks to expand the capacity of a bear canister is to carry the 1st day's food outside of the canister saving room for supplies on the following day.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    i was told that on Blood Mountain in Georgia, on the AT is where canisters are required
    Read the specific requirements posted by the National Forest. Then get back to us.
    "He said, She said" is a poor way to make plans. Especially plans that involve spending money.
    Wayne


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  18. #18
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Ps:
    You aren't alone. This subject comes up monthly.
    Same answer: Hike through the area without camping.
    Wayne


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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    The rental fee is deducted from the purchase price. It's all explained online.
    Where are you planning to go backpacking that you feel obligated to use bear resistant food storage?
    Why are you insisting on a hard sided canister?
    I'm just trying to learn.
    Wayne


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    Mainly for convenience, I hike very few places that legally require it. I've been using an ursack for a while now and I've grown to dislike it on most occasions. Upon waking up in the morning I've found spiders inside, I've had water inside, it absorbs dirt..etc. It will also provide a convenient place to sit around camp. If I'm not mistaken the lid also doubles as a fry pan.

    I've been using a BV450, but as has been stated earlier, the lid can be quite the pain when it is cold outside. I just enjoy the convenience, that's all

  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggymane View Post
    Mainly for convenience, I hike very few places that legally require it. I've been using an ursack for a while now and I've grown to dislike it on most occasions. Upon waking up in the morning I've found spiders inside, I've had water inside, it absorbs dirt..etc. It will also provide a convenient place to sit around camp. If I'm not mistaken the lid also doubles as a fry pan.

    I've been using a BV450, but as has been stated earlier, the lid can be quite the pain when it is cold outside. I just enjoy the convenience, that's all
    I bought an Ursack to be used along the Divide.
    I'll be back with a report later this year.
    Thanks for the list of potential problems.
    Wayne


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