Bearikade Approval

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    Stan B
    BPL Member



    The Bearikade seems popular, but it isn’t certified by IGBC. When I contacted Wild Ideas, they basically said they didn’t believe in the testing.

    Have they been accepted in the required areas? Last time I went to Denali, the ranger looked up my ursack by model number to make sure it was on the list before she would issue the permit.

    I like the way its made and the lightweight, but I don’t want to spend that much on a cannister I can’t use.


    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    Approved canisters are determined by each National Park, so to answer your question it depends.  I have used a Bearikade Expedition in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Gates of the Arctic National Park though I had to dig a bit to find the part in their website where both parks approved canisters by “Wild Ideas”. Both parks to have grizzly bears.   Despite having only black bears they are not approved in Rocky Mountain National park, nor Grand Teton National Park (which does have griz).

    The rumor is that Wild Ideas submitted a Bearikade for IGBC approval and it failed the test, though they deny it and I have no way to validate the rumor.

    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Sympathize with all who hike in highly regulated areas.  But they are a great argument for hiking in Wilderness Areas that are under a totally different department of the federal government, and have very little of the overly bureaucratic behavior of the National Parks.  The Wilderness areas have regulations, but they are far less intrusive, and are online and posted at trailheads.

    One could argue that the Parks need their bureaucracy, because they are so crowded.  A good argument.  But it is also a good argument for hiking in the Wilderness Areas, where I’ve often  gone for weeks without seeing a soul.

    I like to hike with dogs for many reasons, including that bears shy away from them.  But Rocky (RMNP) is vigilant about keeping dogs out, even on boundary trails needed for through passage on the CDT.  So on one occasion, without dogs and before I had discovered the route from Rawah Wilderness south in to the Never Summer Wilderness Trail, I had to detour through Rocky, and found it so overused, it has no wilderness quality whatsoever.  The route was often on gravel roads, and went through a place called Lulu City, that looked like it had been trammeled by a million rhinos.  Finally, just beelined out to the Park road, and hitchhiked to the first trail outside the Park boundary.

    Suggest that backpackers will find more rewarding experiences in the Wilderness Areas, and far less bureaucracy to contend with.  If you know how to camp safe, then less supervision is a blessing, not a problem.  And there is just as abundant scenery in the Wilderness Areas, more actually IMO, if only because of the serene atmosphere of the mountains.

    Agree that for areas outside the continental US, it is a different story.  But I’ve been backpacking in Wilderness Areas in the lower 48 for years, and would still never be able to tour all the most beautiful areas if I lived to be a hundred.  Also, my expenses are not much more than when hiking at home.  Drive, not fly.  Much of the food is already prepared and packed in a portable cooler.   Stay in small friendly motels and cabins wherever possible.  It is a great way to learn about places and a country I never would have known existed, and make great new friendships.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado

    Well said, Sam. I avoid RMNP like the plague for backpacking. Permits, defined campsites that are frequented by bears, over-used trails. Not a wilderness experience in any sense of the word. There are so many amazing places if you get off of the major through-hikes and NPs and just go out and explore.

    Paul McLaughlin
    BPL Member


    Also, many national parks have considerable areas of backcountry that are little frequented and fabulous. Both on trail and off, though especially the latter. Most people go where most people go. Look at a park map, find a spot you’ve never heard of and go there. You’ll probably have it all to yourself.

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