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  1. #21

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    I bought a bear canister in 2015 for my thru hike, but never used it. Your thread definitely makes me think hard about carrying it for my section this summer in Virginia. In many parts of the trail bears are losing their fear of humans. And, i admit, i'm a lazy hiker, so i just want to "set it and forget it" so to speak. The drawbacks, as already mentioned, are the weight and bulk. I guess it is a matter of habit and "acquired taste".

  2. #22
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    The Appalachian Trail does not have a "bear problem". Every year we have thousands of hikers, hundreds of thousands of nights on the trail, nobody get's et by a bear. It's so rare for a bear to draw blood with the current systems of cables and boxes and hanging food that heavy,large, expensive canisters are not needed.

  3. #23
    Registered User wolfywolfy's Avatar
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    I use the Bare Boxer 101. It weighs 1.6lbs and is just the right size for me. I can carry 5 days of food in it but then again I am older and really short and only eat 3/4lb per day of food when on the trail.

  4. #24
    Registered User ant's Avatar
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    Itís 2018. There has got to be tech that allows for a canister that isnít two pounds. I donít think the Ursack is it. Unless I must, Iíd rather not carry the weight or bulk nor pay to rent or purchase. Also, why are they so expensive?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    While there's always the HYOH disclaimer, everyone also needs to realize that different places carry different requirements. I think the bulk of the AT allows sleeping with your food, but GSMNP and other locations along the trail DO NOT.
    Like the Whites.

    37A94324-64D3-4B69-9ECA-C7AD7E01EFE7.png D0A80046-69CC-4CEA-A83F-A379DD8AEC2E.png

  6. #26

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    I have a BV500. Bought it for use in Grayson highlands and Roan mountain where good trees to hang from are hard to find. Used it on a trip to Big South Fork because I wanted to camp up on the cliffs a couple of nights and just didn't know if I could find a good tree or not. Outside of that I will stick with hanging until a bear or raccoon defeats it,then I will reevaluate things. To me a canister is just another tool in the box. Worth the weight in areas without good trees. Not necessary in places with poles and boxes.

  7. #27
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    CYOC. But unless required I won't carry one and I own three plus an Ursack. (I used to hike extensive in the Sierra.). I sleep with my food 99% of the time and I also cowboy camp 90%+ as well. To all of those that think you're gonna get ate by bears going after your food answer one question. Why aren't bears attacking you when you are awake to get your food? I will give you a hint...... it is in your possession. Not in your possession then it's free for the taking.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  8. #28
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    Because itís heavy? I hung my food from the foot end of my hammock on my AT thru.

    If i go somewhere more remote and/or solo Iíll hang it.

    If I was out west in grizzly country this would be a very different conversation, though - bear can all the way

  9. #29

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    expensive, heavy, and bulky... all decent reasons to not want to

    The thing is, every time I read a thread about food storage,it's almost always about bears... but I'm always thing in the back of my mind about a threat much more prevalent in my estimation than bears...in the majority of places anyway..... rodents, coons, and other small animals really seem to me to be the bigger threat...and for that is what most interests me about the idea of one of these bear canisters....

  10. #30
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    I carry a bear canister (the Garcia--I call it "Jerry" for short ) because I've mastered all the parts of a great bear hang except for one: I can never get the hang high enough. At the end of a long day, the stress of having to get that thing into a tree, possibly after dark, does nothing for me. At least with a canister, I can stash it far enough from camp that I'm not stressed out about it.

  11. #31
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    probably the scent of food on clothes.......
    The scent of food is everywhere.
    Wayne

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    Because itís heavy? I hung my food from the foot end of my hammock on my AT thru.

    If i go somewhere more remote and/or solo Iíll hang it.

    If I was out west in grizzly country this would be a very different conversation, though - bear can all the way
    You arenít familiar with the rules in Grizz Country. Glacier and Yellowstone provide poles for hanging at most of the Backcountry campsites. I think that they require canisters in the few places that donít have hanging provisions. Grand Teton NP requires canisters and provides them free of charge.
    The National Forests leave your safety up to you. Self reliance.
    Wayne

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Most people wont want to admit to it but I will, Its heavy and if not required I'm not gunna carry it.
    Disclaimer, I have only hiked in black bear country.
    Same goes for me.
    Long-distance aspirations with short-distance feet.... :jump

  14. #34

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    And then we're sleeping inside bags made of dead animal products.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    i'll just continue to sleep with my food
    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I hope that's not your attitude EVERYWHERE...
    Specifically the area that comes to mind is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You're required to camp at designated camp sites where you're required to hang your food on the bear cables provided at each campsite.
    Every year, campsites get closed for relatively long periods of time because someone didn't want to take the time to hang their food (if EVERYONE did, then bears would never get access to human food and become a nusance).

    While there's always the HYOH disclaimer, everyone also needs to realize that different places carry different requirements. I think the bulk of the AT allows sleeping with your food, but GSMNP and other locations along the trail DO NOT.
    And even then, you have to pay attention to the exact regulations in effect in an area you plan to camp. Even areas that require bear canisters, they vary in exactly what they require. Some effectively say "any commercially available bear canister", while others limit canisters to a set list specific model numbers.


    As to the OP's comments, I must agree that while camping on the JMT, the Bearikade was a great way to deal with food storage. Not only was it easy to use and kept the bears away, it also kept critters out. But if I'm camping someplace like GSMNP, where food storage is effectively provided (i.e. bear cables), a stuff sack to hang food is a lot lighter and keeps the food from the bears just as well.

    The Wolf don't go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Too many people, too many rules lol

  16. #36
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    When you zone camp in Big Bend National Park you are requested (required?) to sleep with your food.
    Lonehiker

  17. #37
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    Excellent points brought up by many posters. I agree that the downsides of the can are weight and bulk, and thatís why I still donít carry it every time.

    The main reason I have started using it more is that it fits well into my hiking style. I section usually no more than 110 miles at a time, I carry less than 30 lbs (with the can) most of the time, and it fits nicely in my pack.

    I also agree with those that down played the bear threat. The can really provides me more piece of mind for smaller critters like mice and raccoons. However, on those rare occasions when a bear is creeping around camp (have had it happen a couple of times) Iíd rather have my food in the can. Then of course thereís many portions of the AT where a can is not needed because food storage is provided (GSMNP, SNP, NJ, etc.).
    JMT - 2013

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Berserker---You bring up some good points but leave out two major flaws of the bear canister---It's just not added weight but as Slo-go'en says BULK!!. Bulk/weight is the first drawback.

    The second is the amount of food you can carry. I routinely carry between 18 to 24 days worth of food and laugh at the idea of stuffing 50 lbs of the stuff in about 4 separate bearvaults. What's your solution??
    You're not a gram weenie girly man like a lot of us, so just strap all four of those Bear Vaults on your pack and haul 'em up there

    In all seriousness though, I get your point and don't disagree with it. I like using a bear can because it just makes me more comfortable, and fits into my personal hiking style. I do still sleep with the food in the tent sometimes though, and have no issues with others doing that if that's their choice and there are no regulations against it (e.g. such as one is suppose to use the cables in GSMNP).
    JMT - 2013

  19. #39

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    Too heavy!
    In the future, they'll come up with some chemical that bears will not go near.
    For now, sleep with it. And learn to camp where no one else does.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  20. #40

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    Weight and bulk. How long will you be hiking? Big canister for long walks, smaller one for short walks? How many different size canisters will you need? How much will they cost?
    If you want one then by all means take one, if not, well I personally am not fond of being told how to do everything. Educate yourself then make your own decision. Of course you will also carry the responsibility for the choices you make.

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