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Bear Canisters: Design, Use Cases, and Reviews


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Bear Canisters: Design, Use Cases, and Reviews

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • #3807899
    Sarah Bennett
    BPL Member

    @sarahbennett06gmail-com

    Companion forum thread to: Bear Canisters: Design, Use Cases, and Reviews

    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.

    #3807971
    Eli
    BPL Member

    @patchessobo

    Locale: Canyon Country

    Just bought a BV500. I really wanted a Bearikade but the price is just outrageous, especially given the lack of certification for certain areas.

    #3808051
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I have used Bearikades for a long time, after using the old original Garcia for decades. I’ll never go to another type; they’re so light and so sturdy and effective, plus the volume is great. I’m not worried about “approved models” and such, and haven’t had any issues using them no matter the land jurisdiction and supposed rules. The price is high, but over my lifetime of using it extensively in bear country, totally worth the peace of mind. I don’t think of it as a “necessary evil” at all, just as I don’t think of my backpack as an evil, even though it’s a chore to put it on some days. Nor do I think of bears as evil. They’re part of the environment we love.

    One issue not covered here is condensation with clear bear canister models. You cannot leave those in full sun, and even in hot weather, your food can cause condensation in those, which creates a mess. Soggy tortillas are nasty.

    #3808130
    Tamara R
    BPL Member

    @tlrose-2-2

    I just looked at the Yosemite NP page and they list the Bearikade Weekender and Epedition as legal food containers in the park. I’d prefer to get the Blazer, so am wondering if that one isn’t allowed, which doesn’t make sense to me. Also wondering if I have this correct; are they really allowing some Bearikades to be used?

    #3808133
    marvin k
    BPL Member

    @marvinkarlowgmail-com

    +1 for Bearikade.

    I am an infrequent user of bear cans, preferring my Ursak where possible.

    that said, my experience with Bearikades is outstanding for the reasons outlined in the article.

    Wild Ideas has a very generous rental program. I suppose over time my rental fees will add up to the purchase price but we’re not there yet.

    #3808135
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Oh geeze I’ve used a Bearikade Scout or Weekender  forever inside Yosemite and all through the Sierra.  It’s  never occurred to me that they may not  be approved. A number of times I’ve shown the canister to a ranger. Never had a  comment.

    And yes I won’t use anything else. I’m lucky that I bought the Weekender very early and it was cheaper than now. I actually called the maker and had to convince him to sell me one. At that time he was just going to rent them. It’s likely that I was the first person to buy one.

    #3808136
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Tamara – if you want to go by the letter of the law, you certainly can but they will change the policy on the website whenever, without notice. The Bearikades weren’t even included in the list a few years ago, but I used one anyway, showed it when I picked up my permit, and they didn’t even look at the make or model. They just want you to use one and use it correctly! They want you not to feed any bears. In your place I would get the Bearikade I wanted and use it. It is extremely unlikely the rangers out there are carrying a list of approved models. More likely they will simply tap your pack to see if it’s in there, or maybe make you take it out and they’d give it a once over to be sure it’s not a Folger’s coffee can or some contrived object that can’t keep a bear out.

    I’ve also used my Bearikades in Denali, many many times. The make isn’t on their list at all, but they don’t care. If you ask them the policy, they’ll give you the official policy, because that’s how it’s done. They can’t tell you to do whatever you want. It doesn’t have to make sense. But again – they want you not to feed any bears which does make sense.

    It’s sort of like asking a traffic cop; is it illegal to go 5mph over the speed limit? yes it is. It always is. It’s illegal and you could be fined. They have bigger fish to fry however, in real life and you’re highly unlikely to get a ticket for it – at least where I live. I’ve gone 30 years here and never even been pulled over, ever. I don’t deal meth, so yeah, it’s illegal to go 5mph over but…

    #3808158
    Gary W
    BPL Member

    @gawilliamson

    Locale: Santa Cruz County

    The Bearikade Weekender and Expedition both appear on the approved list from IBGC, but the authors of this article did not put a check mark in the IBGC column for these products.  Is this a typo or oversight, or is something else going on?

    #3808159
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    “Is this a typo or oversight, or is something else going on?”

    This sounds like typical conspiracy thinking. Was that your intent Gary or is something else going on?

    So tired of this type of comment. I hear it from every quarter in every circumstance. We’re all running around suspicious of each other. It’s toxic.

    #3808161
    Matthew / BPL
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I’m pretty sure that I would know if there was a conspiracy here. Let’s all assume positive intent please.

    I will ask the editorial side of BPL and see if I can get a clarification.

    #3808162
    Gary W
    BPL Member

    @gawilliamson

    Locale: Santa Cruz County

    I am sorry, the Bearikade products are on the SIBBG list, not the IBCG list (the lists that are clickable in the article), but not checked on the BPL table in the SIBBG column.  The Ursaks are on the IBCG list and not the SIBBG list.

    AK Granola, by “something else going on” I meant that maybe the products had been approved since the article was written, BPL has information that the approval has been revoked, or some other explanation outside of a simple typo.  I do not suspect any nefarious intent from BPL I love them and completely respect their integrity.  I apologize if my wording cast any suspicions on anyone.   The Bearikade products are popular because of their light weight and some commenting are surprised that they have no approvals.  Just wanted to point out that there’s an inconsistency at this time, the source of which I do not know.

     

    #3808246
    Tamara R
    BPL Member

    @tlrose-2-2

    Ok, then I’m going to bite the bullet and get one. Now for sizing…. PCT. I need up to 7 days, which is in between the Weekender (6 days) and the Blazer (9 days). Are these sized for large man appetites? I’m a smallish gal who eats a lot. What are your experiences?

     

    #3808247
    Matthew / BPL
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    It’s hard to answer that. How much do you want to optimize? Do you enjoy playing bear can Tetris? Or are you willing to play Tetris in order to carry a more compact can? How many calories/day do you want to carry?

    If you are doing the whole PCT I’m guessing you will become a calorie machine and the bigger one might be nice? Also then you can resupply easily with whatever you find at small town grocery store…

    I have enjoyed the optimization problem in the past but I haven’t hiked longer than a couple weeks ever.

    #3808248
    Robert Spencer
    BPL Member

    @bspencer

    Locale: Sierras of CA and deserts of Utah

    Tamara, good call on the Bearikade. Big fan! I have both the Blazer (slightly different custom size before this model was available) and a Weekender, and I use each one depending on the type of trip, duration, and if my wife is joining me or not. The smaller option is certainly doable for 7 days of food if you are careful, but I like the peace of mind and versatility the Blazer provides. Plus I like to go with bulky freeze dried meals more often than not, store my cookpot, stove and other items in there so nothing gets crushed and things stay organized.  Scented items can really add up so don’t forget some extra volume depending on your kit especially after resupply. With that said, the rice and bean tortilla crowd will probably steer you towards the Weekender.

    #3808251
    Jon Fong / Flat Cat Gear
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    Consider reviewing GearSkeptic’s video on calories and volume. It might work for you and help to maximize your calorie to volume goals.  My 2 cents.

    #3808276
    David Hartley
    BPL Member

    @dhartley

    Locale: Western NY

    I have a custom Bearikade that is 1″ shorter than the weekender (sized to fit horizontally in a pack I no longer use) that I can get 6 days in without too much trouble and 8 days if I focus on maxing calories/volume (I have done this once). I am a 185 lbs male and my daily food intake on week long hikes weighs 20-24 oz per day. I do not store my cookpot, stove, etc. in there – only food and smelly stuff like toothpaste, etc. Re-packaging any freeze dried backpacking meals into ziploc bags is required. Also, many small snack packaging seems to have a lot of air in the bags, so I will puncture the packaging to allow the air out. I imagine a thru-hiker diet might be heavier and offer less chance to optimize the mix of food for volume efficiency based on what is available for resupply.

    #3808277
    Tamara R
    BPL Member

    @tlrose-2-2

    Thanks everyone, especially David, as that’s exactly what I was looking for and I should have specified that. I’m an experienced hiker, finishing up PCT CA because I hiked SOBO in ‘21, year of the Dixie fire and the closing of CA. I make my own meals and they’re as high cal/oz as I can make them while also being nutritious and edible on a long term basis. 20-24 oz/day but w starvation fear apparently because i always overpack. I’ll flip a coin on the size. I have the Durston 40L pack and either will fit, just annoyingly so. Thanks again

    #3808302
    Chase Jordan
    Admin

    @chasemilo99-2

    Locale: Northeast US

    I am sorry, the Bearikade products are on the SIBBG list, not the IBCG list (the lists that are clickable in the article), but not checked on the BPL table in the SIBBG column.  The Ursaks are on the IBCG list and not the SIBBG list.

    AK Granola, by “something else going on” I meant that maybe the products had been approved since the article was written, BPL has information that the approval has been revoked, or some other explanation outside of a simple typo.  I do not suspect any nefarious intent from BPL I love them and completely respect their integrity.  I apologize if my wording cast any suspicions on anyone.   The Bearikade products are popular because of their light weight and some commenting are surprised that they have no approvals.  Just wanted to point out that there’s an inconsistency at this time, the source of which I do not know.

    Thanks for bringing this up to us – it looks like it was an oversight that wasn’t caught in our review process. We’ve updated the article for the two sizes that are SIBBG certified. Cheers!

    #3808362
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I think it’s pretty easy to get ~seven days of food with the weekender. Especially if one carries the first days lunch and dinner on your body.

    with my ancient Mariposa I could lay the Weekender sideways on the bottom of the pack. Not so, with the Blazer.

     

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