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Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs
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Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 12/12/2010 15:03:38 MST Print View

When the bear canister won't fit inside the small pack:

I know some folks have used small packs + small bear canisters for shorter trips by carrying the food in the pack like regular in non-canister territory and the Empty bear canister outside the pack on top. The empty canister is easier to strap on the pack since it's lighter weight and won't sag/swing/bounce and then the food stuff sack is put inside the canister at night in camp.

Have you ever done this? Thoughts?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
random thought on 12/12/2010 15:06:25 MST Print View

what if you meet a bear with the food in yr pack?

jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs" on 12/12/2010 15:11:55 MST Print View

Give him the pack.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: random thought on 12/12/2010 15:13:40 MST Print View

Black bears will not arm-wrestle you for your food. They don't have opposable thumbs.

Brown bears... now that is a different story.


Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 12/12/2010 15:54:08 MST Print View

We do that rather often, Ron. In RMNP, where they require canisters for their 20 bears, my buddy straps the larger Bear Vault to the outside of his pack (I carry the tent). He usually puts some bulky lightweight clothing in a water tight S-to-S roll top, and puts that inside the canister. We both carry our own food, and at camp we transfer it to the canister. He takes the S-to-S roll top to the car wash to try to keep the outside reasonably free of any acquired food smells.

Keep in mind that Colorado doesn't have many "Yosemite" type bears, so things are a bit more lax around here. The few park rangers we've met on the trail were OK with our approach. Most of them know how silly their canister law is. I've never had an encounter with a bear here in 35 years. I've seen only one, and that was in my back yard near Boulder. I've just seen bear scat once. They're out there, but apparently not yet habituated to humans (totally different situation around the mountain towns though, as they've come to appreciate easy garbage cans).

And Eric, if I do meet a bear on the trail, I'll just give him a vegemite/Tabasco sandwich and tell him a few boring stories of my childhood. He probably will either quickly fall asleep, or else bolt for a more interesting place that offers better food.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
cute fuzzay wuzzays on 12/12/2010 16:06:20 MST Print View

you cant go for a jog on a trail here without running into a bear ... i ran into bears twice on walks this summer within the GVRD (greater vancouver), once on the BCMC up grouse, the second at buntzen lake jogging ...

bears here are so yuppiefied that they get angry if you dont feed em sushi

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/12/2010 16:06:54 MST.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Y strap mod on 12/12/2010 19:12:49 MST Print View

On my GG Mariposa Plus, I did a mod to the Y strap, basically I cut it off but left approx. 2" remaining on each side, at the pack. This allows the straps to be threaded through the daisy chain on a 20 liter OR stuff sack, which "just" fits over a Garcia bear canister.
I used a slighter heavier nylon webbing for this new Y strap, reattaching each ends (2) at the (2) 2" tag ends at the pack with 3/4" tri-glide buckles. This allows you to leave the stuff sack attached to the pack,and helps to keep the bear canister in place without shifting side to side. All you need to do each time you use the bear can is remove it from the stuff sack.

Ron, I'm thinking you could probably come up with a nice external bear canister stuff bag/strap attachment system for your packs.

Edited by mfog1 on 12/12/2010 19:30:11 MST.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 12/12/2010 19:14:33 MST Print View

I have absolutely nothing to add except @Jeffrey LOLOL

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 12/12/2010 20:48:09 MST Print View


I'd want to make real sure that the food bag I put inside my pack during the day had an odor proof liner, VERY thoroughly sealed. Residual food odors in a pack could end up in a very unpleasant misunderstanding.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 12/13/2010 10:28:01 MST Print View

My thoughts exactly, Tom... Even a mildly unpleasant misunderstanding between a squirrel and the delicious smelling non-food contents of my pack could make me pretty grumpy...

Edited by areichow on 12/13/2010 10:29:16 MST.

Brian Miracle
Thoughts on doing this on a CDT thru? on 01/08/2013 19:04:13 MST Print View

I was thinking about doing this using a ULA OHM 2.0 on mt 2013 CDT thru-hike. Was glad to stumble on this. It seems like a good solution since I had to empty the Bear can on my PCT '11 hike, always putting dinner stuff in the bottom, at night it would just add a few of mins to pack up time in the morning. I would love to hear about the systems others used to attach it to the pack.

Edited by bmiracle on 01/08/2013 19:10:54 MST.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 01/08/2013 19:26:56 MST Print View

Assuming that you can afford a different pack (and I can't right now!) this seems like a complicated answer to a simple problem. Even an empty bear canister strapped to the outside of your pack seems likely to introduce a lot of headache. I could be wrong here, but wouldn't simply carrying your full canister inside an adequate sized pack be a more elegant solution?

Nelson Sherry

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Meeting bears on the trail w/o a food canister on 01/08/2013 19:56:15 MST Print View

Okay, I'm a little befuddled here. I'm really sorry if I lead this thread off topic, but, what does food in a bear canister have to do with running into a bear or being safe from a bear while hiking? Unless one is dragging their food along the trail 100 meters behind them, if the bear smells food and wants it, bear canister or not, the outcome for the hiker will be exactly the same.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Bear Canister Carry Options With Small Packs on 01/08/2013 20:10:37 MST Print View

I think that the notion is, if you set your pack down to climb the cables at half dome, for instance, and a bear rips it open for the food inside, you'll at least still have your food if it's in a canister.

Better still, take the canister out of your pack before wandering off for any time. Then it's all good.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Befuddled on 01/08/2013 20:22:52 MST Print View

Picking up a thread that is 2 years old will do that.

BTW, a Bearikade Weekender or Expedition will fit in an Ohm just fine. No falderal needed.

Edited by greg23 on 01/08/2013 20:23:43 MST.