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JMT bear canister capacity question
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Mike Gerty
(michael.gerty) - F
JMT bear canister capacity question on 08/18/2010 16:13:59 MDT Print View

Hi all, I'm planning a JMT thru-hike later this month and I have a bear canister question. I have a BearVault BV500 and am planning on 7 days from Muir Trail Ranch to Whitney Portal. I just tried to fit 6 days of food in the canister (my first day of food I can keep in my pack since it will be gone before going to sleep) but I'm unable to fit everything in the canister.

I assume other people have had this problem before - what should I do? Thanks!

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: JMT bear canister capacity question on 08/18/2010 16:20:01 MDT Print View

In order of increasing cost........

alternate 1: re-do your menu to reduce the bulk so it does fit.

alternate 2: carry a 2nd smaller Beavault for the excess

alternate 3: buy a larger canister (i.e. Bearikade Expedition = 9 days capacity) and sell the Bearvault.

Edited by wandering_bob on 08/18/2010 16:23:55 MDT.

Brian Cripe
(brian.cripe) - F

Locale: Midwest
Option 4 on 08/18/2010 16:28:38 MDT Print View

Option 4: (althought probably cheaper than option 2) Rent a Bearikade for that section of your trip. The rental rates are pretty good ($3 a day for the first couple of days, $2.50 a day afterwards).

Also, look at the packaging on your food. If you are using prepackaged freeze-dried food, a lot of space can be saved by repacking into ziplock bags or something similar.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
JMT bear canister capacity question on 08/18/2010 17:03:29 MDT Print View

Yes, definitely look at your food packaging and eliminate bulky items. For example, the packaging for commercial freeze-dried meals is very bulky--repackage them in quart ziplock freezer bags. Consider taking couscous (a more compact and quicker cooking form of pasta) to replace noodles. Or take a rolling pin to your noodles to break them up into very small pieces.

I have easily put 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners for 4 people in a BV500, so it is quite possible to squeeze a week's food in the thing.

Chad Eagle

Locale: SoCal
bear can on 08/18/2010 17:15:04 MDT Print View

I don't know if I am alone here, but I was able to fit 4 1/2 days food in the small bearvault for my upcomoing jmt.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: JMT bear canister capacity question on 08/18/2010 20:08:38 MDT Print View

If you can't get more efficient then hang the excess the first night. I bet at least half the JMT hiker do that after resupply and it is perfectly legal. I have done this on most of my longer trips.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
JMT bear canister capacity question on 08/18/2010 20:22:37 MDT Print View

You can get ten days of food into a BV-500 if you pack for minimum volume per calorie rather than just trying to stuff a bunch of freeze dried stuff into the can. I am an old, slow hiker and spent ten days going from resupply at MTR to Whitey Portal. I was able to fit all of my food at 2800 cal per day into my BV-500. All it takes is a bit of planning and starting the trail with a bit of a reserve tank (eg pot belly).