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M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Bearikade Weekender: Which ULA pack on 05/14/2009 06:26:43 MDT Print View

Does the Bearikade weekender fit well in a Circuit? Or best to go with a Catalyst?

This is for a JMT through hike in late september when I'll be carrying some warmer gear. I'm seriously leaning towards the catalyst but was hoping for some opinions on volume differences/ preferences from users that have tried either or both of these packs with a bearikade weekender in them. How much space does it take up in your pack, how much rooms was left for clothing, shelter, water, sleeping bag.

Thanks.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Bearikade Weekender: Which ULA pack on 05/14/2009 11:10:03 MDT Print View

For comparison, I just got the Circuit and my Bear Vault 500 fits in it just fine with plenty of space left over.

Barbara K
(Barbara) - F

Locale: So Cal
ULA & bear cannister on 05/14/2009 17:58:53 MDT Print View

I just bought a Catalyst for my daughter at the Lake Moreno PCT kickoff. She has an Expedition canister, which was why Brian recommended the Catalyst. He said the Circuit tapers towards the bottom, whereas the Catalyst does not. A longer canister therefore won't fit into the Circuit. I'm not sure if this is true for the Weekender, depending on the length difference. Maybe give ULA a call and tell the the dimensions of your canister - I am sure they'll be very helpful. Barbara

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Bearikade Weekender: Ula? on 05/14/2009 18:15:56 MDT Print View

I have a Bearikade Expedition that fits into a ULA P-2, Jam and MLD Ark. I find that the Expedition fits in better length wise vs. sideways...

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F - M

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Bearikade Weekender: Which ULA pack on 05/15/2009 00:20:14 MDT Print View

I was just packing up my new Ohm pack. I put my Montbell 120 pad in coiled up and packed everything else down the middle. My 30 degree down bag in a stuff sack in the bottom. Next the Bearvault went in vertically and there was still some space all around to stuff some extra clothing and first aid. I still have room on top for a cook kit, raingear, Montbell ex light down jacket and Six Moon Serenity Nettent. With all this in there I could still blow up the pad a little to take up some more volume. My Duomid goes in the back pocket with stakes.

If the rest of your kit is pretty small volume this pack is very usable with a canister. Very comfortable too! I still have the two large side pockets for water and the hip belt pockets as well.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Re: Re: Bearikade Weekender: Which ULA pack on 05/15/2009 10:14:46 MDT Print View

"For comparison, I just got the Circuit and my Bear Vault 500 fits in it just fine with plenty of space left over."

Which way? Vertically or horizontally?

My brother owns a Circuit. I know on his PCT hike he had to place his Bear Vault (I assume it was the 500) vertically. IIRC, the only pack that ULA claims will hold a bear can horizontally is the Catalyst.

FWIW, my brother never carried his food in the canister while hiking, he would stuff his bag in the canister. And carry his food in a normal stuff sack. Once he made camp, he'd put the food in the canister. I think he did this so the he could put his food high in is pack rather than at the bottom where he'd put the vertical canister.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Re: Bearikade Weekender: Which ULA pack on 05/15/2009 10:32:32 MDT Print View

The circuit will hold the BV500 vertically. But like I said I still have more than enough food in the leftover space for the rest of my 7-9lbs base.

Kevin Lutz
(mtntrailrunner) - F
Use Caution on 05/15/2009 11:00:28 MDT Print View

A word of caution about using a Bearikade with any of the smaller packs:

Unlike the Garcia and the Bear Vault, the corners of the Bearikade are 90 degree angles, not rounded. This design concentrates fabric stress at the vertex of the angle. These angles must be padded or extreme care must be taken when handling the pack or the fabric will wear through. A couple of my packs have holes resulting from this issue.

In many lower volume packs there is barely any room for such padding.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Bearikade Weekender and ULA packs on 05/15/2009 11:19:15 MDT Print View

I have used a Catalyst for the last 4 years with a Bearikade Weekender. I typically set the canister in vertically on top of my sleeping bag which is at the bottom. I put my bladder and the "heaviest" of my lightweight items next to the canister to balance the weight distribution, left to right. I also had my tent in the outside side pocket opposite to the canister side. I have averaged 30-38 pounds of total pack weight of which 12-18 pounds of it was food and canister, and it has worked fine on up to 350 mile trips, with re-supplies about every 7-10 days.

I have also tried the Bearikade Weekender in the ULA Circuit, Ohm, and Conduit. In all cases, the application has been the same - vertically on top of my sleeping bag and pushed towards either side with other heavier items next to it to balance the load.

I was able to get the canister in the Conduit, yet, it stretched out the pack so much I lost most of the use of the front mesh area which I need to use. While I was able to get about 9 pounds of gear and 12 pounds of food and canister in there (21 pounds total), the pack didn't ride very well on me at that weight and with this canister. I wanted a lighter pack than the Catalyst, yet I think this application is pushing the limits of the Conduit and my week long time frames in between re-supplies.

I tried the same setup with the Ohm (the next lightest ULA pack) with the same application. The added suspension on the Ohm made it ride better on me yet, my hips were still sore as the canister pushes out the back of the pack a bit on me and lessens the amount of hip belt I have to use. This limits how much of it falls directly on my hips and at 21-23 pounds, it seemed like I would be unhappy with the fit when trying to do 25-30 mile days.

The same vertical application of the canister in the Circuit worked great. It rode as nice as my Catalyst and even weighed about a 6-7 oz less. I just couldn't justify spending several hundred dollars to save 6-7 oz. when my Catalyst is still like new. If I had to buy a new ULA pack today and I wanted to use the Bearikade Weekender in it and I would be carrying about 23-30 pounds, I would get the Circuit. If I was going to push over the 30 pound range and into the low 40's which I have done for several days in the Catalyst, I would buy the Catalyst. Another variable that comes into play is if someone needed the extra space the Catalyst offers.

If I was using the Bearikade Weekender for shorter trips where my total weight might be significantly lower, the Ohm might also work, yet each person would have to see if the savings in pack weight was worth the sacrifice in comfort, if in fact they had a comfort issue like I did.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Bearikade Weekender and ULA packs on 05/15/2009 12:54:31 MDT Print View

Thank you Rick. Very useful comments and description. I know this deviates a bit from my original question but can you tell me more about how you are getting 7-10 days worth of food in the weekender.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Bearikade Weekender and ULA packs on 05/16/2009 00:36:02 MDT Print View

Martin - I will be driving across the country for the next few days and I will be happy to reply to your question at the beginning of next week. Thanks!

Kirk Beiser
(kab21) - F

Locale: Pic: Gun Lake, BWCA
ULA Conduit on 05/23/2009 22:50:22 MDT Print View

It works pretty well in the Conduit (vertically only) if you don't have a tent or any other rigid larger items to put in the pack. I put the sleeping bag on the bottom then the canister vertically. There is probably room for two powerade bottles on one side of the canister (plus some height) that I will fill with various smaller item. And then my clothes go on top of that with the tarp in the outside pouch which does have a smaller volume with the canister inside.

It works but the pack isn't really designed for a canister and I prefer hauling a canister in a back horizontally.

Kirk

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
7-10 days of food in Weekender on 05/24/2009 20:49:07 MDT Print View

Martin - I believe the key to getting 7-10 days of food in the Weekender stems from the selection of food and how the canister is packed. I typically don't use the name brand freeze dried meals as they take up too much space. I make up most of my meals myself. I have also found that as I learn new ways to pack food in the canister, I can increase how much food fits in there.

Using these tactics on a JMT trip last year, I was able to get 9 days worth of food in my Weekender. This food averaged 132 calories an ounce, totaled about 26,000 calories or about 2,900 / calories a day, and is about 22 oz a day worth of food.

If you want any more details, please get me your email and I will be happy to elaborate more.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 7-10 days of food in Weekender on 05/25/2009 15:07:29 MDT Print View

Hi Rick,

Would you be willing to post your food list? I'm working along the same lines as you apparently are, and I'm always interested to learn what other folks have come up with.

Many thanks,

Tom

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: 7-10 days of food in Weekender on 05/25/2009 15:19:49 MDT Print View

Rick,
I'm lurking in the background on this one, but it is near and dear to me. 10 days in a Weekender seems like magic.

Any and all information, tips, and tricks greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: Re: 7-10 days of food in Weekender on 05/25/2009 15:37:37 MDT Print View

Check out my gear list for 9 days worth of food in a BV500.
This chart shows 5 people for nine days with 5 bear canisters. Yes, it was a TIGHT SQEEZE !!! If I had made all the dinners like I did for the lunches I could have fit in 10 days worth of food! It makes a big difference on volumn and making your own taste better. Just a lot more work.
Hope this helps.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/backpackinglight/forums/gear_lists/fb5650d209e64a6e67230a7b0f32772a.pdf
Kevin

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: 7-10 days of food in Weekender on 05/25/2009 16:04:26 MDT Print View

Kevin,
This helps a lot. I can now see it's possible.

Would you be willing to e-mail the Excel file? It would be easier than 200% on the screen. And I could then cut and paste and organize to my hearts content.

If so - greg at smgm dot org
If not, no problem. This much alone is tremendous.

The spreadsheet references "dried chicken chunks" from Wilderness Dining. Is this a freeze dried product or something else?

Thanks.

Edited to add question about chicken chunks...

Edited by greg23 on 05/25/2009 17:15:54 MDT.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
9 day meal list in Weekender canister on 05/25/2009 21:58:46 MDT Print View

Here is a sample of a 9 day meal list. I have this and the ingredients list in Word documents, yet, didn't know how to do any type of attachment so I just wrote the meal list here.

If anyone wants an ingredients list for anything, just let me know. Most lunch meals include tortillas which fit very nicely into the bottom of my canister.

Getting all this is a canister takes a little work, practice, and effort, yet it can be done. The first several days are a bit tough as usually the canister is not packed in order of food needed (Day 1 on top, etc), rather I just pack it to get it all in. After a few days, the process gets easier as free space in the canister increases. I guess this is price I pay for taking so much food.

If I am spending the previous night near a bear box or if I'm starting day one after driving to the trailhead, I often put the "Day 1" food in my pack and outside of my canister and this way I can carry 10 days worth of food. If this is done around Yosemite or in major bear country, I'm always careful of where I leave my pack and usually keep a careful eye on it until I can keep all my food in the canister (after dinner on Day 1).

Calories Weight

Day 1
Breakfast - Chocolate Protein Oatmeal - 575 4.9 oz
Lunch – Pizza Wrap – 590 5.3 oz
Dinner - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce - 690 5.6 oz
Snacks – Cashews - 320 2.0 oz
Malted Milk Balls 360 1.6 oz
Brownie - 290 2.2 oz

2875 21.6 oz
Day 2
Breakfast – Protein Powder / Water 785 5.8 oz
& Morning Potatoes -
Lunch - Bacon, Cheese, & Tomato Roll Up - 600 5.8 oz
Dinner – Beef Jerky & Garlic Potatoes 665 4.8 oz
Snacks – Garlic Sticks 320 2.0 oz
PB Pretzels 278 2.0 oz
Malted Milk Balls 360 1.6 oz

3008 22.0 oz

Day 3
Breakfast - Ramen Pad Thai - 628 5.1 oz
Lunch - Chicken Jerky & 2 brownies 760 6.2 oz
Dinner – Pizza Wrap - 590 5.3 oz
Snacks - Peanut Butter & Chocolate squares 330 2.3 oz
Garlic Sticks 320 2.0 oz
Honey Roasted Peanuts 320 2.0 oz

2948 22.9 oz
Day 4
Breakfast – Protein Powder / Water 785 5.8 oz
& Morning Potatoes -
Lunch - Peanut Butter & Jelly Roll Up - 630 5.6 oz
Dinner - Ramen Pad Thai - 628 5.1 oz
Snacks – Snickers 280 2.3 oz
PB Pretzels 278 2.0 oz
Brownie 290 2.2 oz

2891 23.0 oz
Day 5
Breakfast - Chocolate Protein Oatmeal - 575 4.9 oz
Lunch – Pizza Wrap – 590 5.3 oz
Dinner - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce - 690 5.6 oz
Snacks – Garlic Sticks 320 2.0 oz
Cashews - 320 2.0 oz
Malted Milk Balls 360 1.6 oz

2855 21.4 oz

Day 6
Breakfast - Protein Powder / Water 785 5.8 oz
& Morning Potatoes
Lunch - Bacon, Cheese, & Tomato Roll Up - 600 5.8 oz
Dinner - Ramen Pad Thai - 628 5.1 oz
Snacks – Snickers 280 2.3 oz
Peanut Butter & Chocolate squares 330 2.3 oz
PB Pretzels 278 2.0 oz

2901 23.3 oz

Day 7
Breakfast - Chocolate Protein Oatmeal - 575 4.9 oz
Lunch - Peanut Butter & Jelly Roll Up - 630 5.6 oz
Dinner – Beef Jerky & Garlic Potatoes 665 4.8 oz
Snacks – Garlic Sticks 320 2.0 oz
Malted Milk Balls 360 1.6 oz
Brownie 290 2.2 oz

2940 21.1 oz

Day 8
Breakfast – Protein Powder / Water 785 5.8 oz
& Morning Potatoes -
Lunch – 2 Cliff Bars (Chocolate Brownie) - 480 5.0 oz
Dinner – Beef Jerk / Garlic Potatoes - 665 4.8 oz
Snacks – Garlic Sticks 320 2.0 oz
PB Pretzels 278 2.0 oz
Cashews - 320 2.0 oz

2848 21.6 oz
Day 9
Breakfast - Stinger Bar - 350 2.8 oz
Lunch - Chicken Jerky & 2 brownies 760 6.2 oz
Dinner - Ramen Pad Thai - 628 5.1 oz
Snacks - Malted Milk Balls 360 1.6 oz
PB Pretzels 278 2.0 oz
Honey Roasted Peanuts 320 2.0 oz

2696 19.7 oz

GRAND TOTALS 25,962 196.6 oz (12.3 pounds)

Average calories per day: 2,884

Average weight per day: 21.9 oz

Average for food: 132.0 calories per ounce

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: 7-10 days of food in Weekender on 05/25/2009 22:13:30 MDT Print View

Greg,
No problem. I have the file at work and will email it to you tomorrow.

Yes, those are the freeze dried chicken pieces. I was going to make them put for the large group of 5, just easier to buy the large packet and use it.

Kevin

Edited by kegelhoff on 05/25/2009 22:15:01 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 9 day meal list in Weekender canister on 05/26/2009 13:33:35 MDT Print View

Rick,
Many thanks for going to the trouble of posting this. Lots of work, but much appreciated. Some interesting data to ponder.

Tom