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Bear Canisters
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Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Bear Canisters on 05/20/2012 22:03:36 MDT Print View

Upon planning a JMT hike this summer, my friend and I decided on using custom 11" tall Bearikades (Approx. 2lb 1oz). REI has the BearVault BV500 on sale for $60 but will be about 8oz heavier than the 11" Bearikade and has slightly less volume.

If it were you, would you spend over $225 for a custom Bearikade or $60 for a BearVault?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Bear Canisters on 05/20/2012 22:07:34 MDT Print View


Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
60 on 05/20/2012 22:17:03 MDT Print View

not that I would really have a choice, but $60. Over $150 difference is a chunk of change better spent on important things, like beer. If the extra 8oz ruins an awesome hike like the JMT, we should rethink our priorities!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Bear Canisters on 05/20/2012 22:32:37 MDT Print View

If you hike a lot in required canister territory, and plan to keep doing so, get the Bearikade. If you need something for this trip and maybe once in a while afterward, BearVault.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Bear Cannisters on 05/20/2012 22:34:47 MDT Print View

It's not uncommon for someone to spend $160 to lighten their pack by 8 oz. At $27/yd, a 6x9 cuben tarp costs that in fabric alone, then you sew it.

I've always rented Bearikades in Cedar Grove, $5/day iirc, but then they are 14".

I once saw some young packers with smallish packs carrying a couple bearikades in their hands that they must've had to rent then and there because they didn't check the regs ahead of time.

Phil Gross (erstwhile ranger of KCNP) tells of an ornery old timer presenting his pot-and-skillet-held-together-with-bolts bear cannister at the trail head. Rather upset at not being allowed to use it as such, he threw it against a tree at which point it disassembled. Broken kit, broken pride, hand carried bearikade.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Bearikade on 05/20/2012 22:34:53 MDT Print View

I ponied up the cash for a bearikade, but I use it many nights a year... They also offer rentals at a good price.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Bear Cannisters on 05/20/2012 22:39:50 MDT Print View

When are you hitting which trailhead? My clan is heading SOB down Lyell on 6/28. I'll be soloing NOB late august.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Other good reasons in favor of Bearikade on 05/20/2012 22:55:12 MDT Print View

The bearikade is easier to fill, easier to open and close, slips into one's pack more smoothly and works as a seat.

Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: Boston
bearvault on 05/20/2012 23:10:20 MDT Print View

I'm planning to do the JMT June/July and budget points me to the bearvault.

Jeffrey McConnell
bearvault on 05/20/2012 23:16:25 MDT Print View

I went with the bearvault and I'm happy with it. Works well, its a nice seat, and very easy to open with the credit card/I.D. trick. I don't use a bear can enough to justify the extra $$$ for the bearikade. I'm also hoping the ursack gets approved eventually.

Edited by Catalyst on 05/20/2012 23:18:35 MDT.

Tom D.
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
Bear Vault on 05/20/2012 23:19:05 MDT Print View

Im starting at the end of July, southbound with my 14 and 11 yr old sons. I'll be picking up the Bear Vault as I don't have that much money to spend.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
You Probably Already Know on 05/21/2012 02:20:37 MDT Print View

I suspect you already know the answer to which canister. The question boils down to cost vs convenience of use (weight, size). If you'll use a canister enough that a half pound difference will over all make backpacking better AND you have the money to spend, get the better one. If it's just for this trip and maybe random other ones, plus the fact that you don't have to bother with figuring out the canister details on said random trips, get the cheaper one.

I actually opted for a Garcia (I know; gasp!) simply because it was cheap and available. I've only used it on one trip though; so that's something: you might not get to those other trips as quickly as you think. Had I realized I'd only be on one lousy trip requiring a canister, I would've rented from the NPS.


Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
$5 rental on 05/21/2012 07:07:03 MDT Print View

The wilderness center will rent you a Garcia can. Weight is 2 pounds 12 ounces. Cost $5 for the whole trip.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Bear Vault on 05/21/2012 09:40:23 MDT Print View

I can't justify the cost for the Bearikade, but I can tell you the BearVault 500 is easy to load, easy to slide into a pack with its rounded,no-snag corners, easy to sit on or use for a stove stand, and performs well when Yogi gives it a gnawing.

Everything's relative, and compared to a Garcia, the BV500 is heaven.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Bearikades on 05/21/2012 15:11:18 MDT Print View

We just sprung for two--yes! two!--Bearikade Weekenders (good for about 6 days per person with careful food selection and packing). Why not Bear Vaults? (After all, I can get employee pricing on those from REI ProDeal.) Well, the 8-oz. weight saving is important to us as we get older, and they are much easier to for us to get into than the BV's. And if we ever change our minds they are easy to sell for a good price so the risk is actually pretty low.

But mostly, symbolic of our commitment that we really will be soon taking ourselves on more amazing longer trips including more Sierras, plus Glacier, Yellowstone, North Cascades, and more!

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Bearvault on 05/21/2012 15:14:59 MDT Print View

After seeing those photos of a Bearikade post-grizzly I'd go with a Bearvault. Yes, heavier, but cheaper, and actually approved for grizzly country.

Edit--should have been more clear. I think the money spent on a Bearikade might make sense if they were grizzly approved, but since they're only useful in black bear country, I'm not sure I could justify it.

Edited by tekhna on 05/21/2012 15:16:40 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Bear Canisters on 05/21/2012 16:39:55 MDT Print View

After reading Greg Mihalik's posts about the Bearikade's spectacular failure of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee tests, I'm extremely sorry I bought one!

I especially dislike Wild Ideas' telling me that even though the Bearikade isn't IGBC approved, the old Sierra Black Bear approval involved the "same tests." In view of what actually happened in testing, this is, IMHO, downright dishonest!

If there's any possibility that you might visit areas requiring an IGBC-approved canister, such as the Tetons, do not buy a Bearikade! It does not have IGBC approval. Get one only if you're absolutely sure that you'll never backpack in grizzly bear country.

Fortunately, my son has a large Bear Vault, so we can trade back and forth. I'm sure he'd rather have the Bearikade for trips to the Olympic Peninsula coast, where the canister only needs to protect from aggressive raccoons.

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/21/2012 16:44:20 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Bear Canisters on 05/21/2012 18:31:29 MDT Print View

Folks..... Bearboxer common!

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
BV500 on 05/21/2012 19:07:30 MDT Print View

The BearVault 500 wins and my base pack weight just jumped 8oz for saving $$$ lol.

I saw the photos of the destroyed Bearikade and thought of how ticked off I'd be if that happened to me after spending the cash. Yellowstone and the Wind River Range are on my list of places to experience, better to go with the Griz approved model rather than worrying about it. I have used Garcia cans in Alaska and was not very fond of them due to the small opening.

@Nathan: We are SOBO from Happy Isles in Mid-August.

Edited by radio_guy on 05/21/2012 19:16:30 MDT.

steven franchuk
Re: Re: Bear Canisters on 05/22/2012 21:31:32 MDT Print View

"Folks..... Bearboxer common!"

If you just look at weight the Bearboxer looks great. However if you compare the volume the Bearikade and Bearvault canister are better choices.

The bearboxer Contender is about 1 oz lighter and 1" shorter than my Bearikade Scout. However the Bearboxer has only about half the valume of the Bearikade Scout (about 500cubic inches).

In fact the Bearikade scout Has only slightly less volume than than the bearboxer Champ, weighs 1.2lbs less, and is a full 4inches shorter. In fact the Bearboxer champ specs are almost identical to the specs of the Backpakers Cache (same volume and only 1 oz lighter).

If you want to minimize the space the canister takes in your pack, the weight, and maximize the food you can carry the the Bearikade and Bearvault canisters are the best choices