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Thread: Bear container

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    Default Bear container

    I have a certified bear container. It will hold all of my food for 6 days and fits in my backpack. My question is... Do I still need to HANG the container or can it sit inside the tent or shelter? Or leave it on the picnic table?


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    Registered User TheMidlifeHiker's Avatar
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    No, you donít hang it. Leave it a fair distance from your tent. The idea is that the bear can bat it around but wonít be able to get into it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    No, you donít hang it. Leave it a fair distance from your tent. The idea is that the bear can bat it around but wonít be able to get into it.


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    My comment assumes itís a bear can.

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    Do not hang the container. They are shaped so that bears cannot get enough of a grip on them to bite the can open. Any foreign material such as a rope or a duffle bag can provide the bear with something else to get a grip on and either destroy or carry off the container.

    In terms of storage, place it on the ground a fair distance from the camp area and make sure to put it in a place where it won't accidently roll away if it gets knocked around by an animal during the night:
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    You can attempt to wedge it into a space (between rocks, stumps, etc...) if there is a risk of a bear rolling it away off a cliff or into a river.

    I swear I've read somewhere that rangers in Yosemite tell folks to keep the can next to your tent so if a bear does come, you can run it off. I've always kept mine a short distance away from my campsite however.
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    Thank you for the comments. I had to hunt around to find the box it came in. It is a Bear Vault Model BV-500. Now that I am reading the directions closer... It says keep 100 yards from camp in the shade - never in tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hildebrand1944 View Post
    Thank you for the comments. I had to hunt around to find the box it came in. It is a Bear Vault Model BV-500. Now that I am reading the directions closer... It says keep 100 yards from camp in the shade - never in tent.
    Iíve got the same one and I love it. Makes a good seat! My only complaint is that theyíre tough to open on cold mornings... but I guess thatís the point!

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    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
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    I also have a BV-500 and I agree with everything Sarcasm the elf, JPritch and Midlifehiker have said.

    A lot of people don't want to carry bear canisters because they add weight to your pack but once you factor in the weight of a food bag, rope and carabiner, the weight penalty is not that bad. And a definite plus is that your food doesn't get crushed by everything else in your pack.

    I love my BV-500 and it works great!

  10. #10

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    My food bag, rope, and carabiner combined weigh less than 4 ounces as I recall, vs about 2.5 pounds for a Bear Vault 500. You can argue back and forth on whether the merits of a bear canister adequately balance out the drawbacks, but I really don't think you can avoid acknowledging a very significant weight difference.

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    I swear I've read somewhere that rangers in Yosemite tell folks to keep the can next to your tent so if a bear does come, you can run it off. I've always kept mine a short distance away from my campsite however.[/QUOTE]
    Not next to tent but close enough, say 50 yards (my words), so that you can chase a bear off. They recommended I put my pot and metal spork on top of the bear can so the noise would wake me if a bear tried to get at the food.

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    So how many people carry the can (BV500 or equal) on the AT? I have a BV500 that i used in Alaska and also have Ursack S29. Each have advantages. I'm still on the fence on which to bring on the AT.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    I’ve got the same one and I love it. Makes a good seat! My only complaint is that they’re tough to open on cold mornings... but I guess that’s the point!
    I use an expired plastic gift card (like a credit card) to open mine. Slot the card between the two tabs and twist the top. Works very well especially when it's cold out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud64 View Post
    So how many people carry the can (BV500 or equal) on the AT? I have a BV500 that i used in Alaska and also have Ursack S29. Each have advantages. I'm still on the fence on which to bring on the AT.
    Neither Is needed on AT....a simple properly hung bag is fine....


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud64 View Post
    So how many people carry the can (BV500 or equal) on the AT? I have a BV500 that i used in Alaska and also have Ursack S29. Each have advantages. I'm still on the fence on which to bring on the AT.
    From what Iíve read, no one carries bear cans on the AT. Theyíre only required on one tiny part and only if you sleep there. Most just skip staying there. And I forget exactly where... Blood Mtn maybe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADK Walker View Post
    I use an expired plastic gift card (like a credit card) to open mine. Slot the card between the two tabs and twist the top. Works very well especially when it's cold out.
    Good idea! Next time Iím out west, Iíll give that a whirl.

  17. #17

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    The card trick is not my own original idea but I love using it.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Itís funny that the AT generates so much bear can talk when Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park donít require them. In grizz country. Go figure.
    Wayne
    PS: Glacier does require bear resistant containers (Ursack acceptable) in a remote area where food hanging hardware is not provided.

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    Hildebrand1944 and suzzz. What trail are you guys talking about hiking?

  20. #20

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    Another suggestion if you are putting it far away, put a strip of reflective tape on it. In case you need to find it in the dark.

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