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We’ve written before about how bear canisters are a necessary evil (because of their weight and bulk) when backpacking in bear country. Bear encounters increase when bears get a taste of human food, endangering both humans and bears. In our online course about Ursacks, we present important research that correlates human-bear conflict with food-conditioned bears. Effective food storage devices and techniques are critical to minimizing conflicts, attacks, and fatalities – for both humans and bears.

Lightweight, compact, and portable food storage canisters were invented about 50 years ago as a way to reliably prevent bears from accessing food in the backcountry. Today they are required in many wilderness areas.

We hope this guide will help you understand bear canisters a little bit better. You’ll learn about various testing agencies, bear canister design, materials, usability, and user experiences. Lastly, we’ll make some recommendations for bear canisters that reflect unique combinations of value, weight, and capacity.

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