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Thread: Bear Canister

  1. #1
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    Default Bear Canister

    Sorry for the stupid question, but if you are carrying a bear canister and there is no bear box or such, where do you leave it overnight? In your tent? Outside but close to your tent? Anywhere you feel like it?

    Thx

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    Registered User SoaknWet's Avatar
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    I would not keep it inside your tent. Remember you are handling it with the same hands you handle and eat your food with.

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    Default Bear Canister

    I walk thru the woods at least 100 paces from my tent and hide it behind a tree or rock. I have bright tape on it so I can see it from a distance. And, like anytime I walk into the woods away from my camp, I pay careful attention to where I'm going. it's very easy to get lost in the woods when walking even a short distance. Lots of tricks to help you avoid that. That's a different topic and there are plenty of threads here on that, plus a Google search on "keeping from getting lost in the woods" should bring plenty of helpful info.

  4. #4

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    I keep mine far enough away from my tent that if a bear comes along and “works on it” for a while, I won’t be cowering in my tent, watching out the screen door, hoping the canister doesn’t roll my way. I never leave it where it can roll downhill more than a couple of feet, because a bear canister that rolls away and can’t be found is just as bad as a food bag that a bear got and hauled off. It is recommended that you wedge it under something, but anything that I could move, a bear could move... but that might be very helpful in trying to counter raccoons.

    Pringles

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    Registered User tarditi's Avatar
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    Could hang it in a bear bag

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    About 10-20'.

    1. Bear knows where you are, you arent hiding from him by placing cannister a distance away.

    2. Cannisters arent bear-proof. They are resistant. Every cannister out there has been defeated by just black bears.

    Cannister success rate is something like 90-95%. This is a tradeoff because a cannister no one will carry has a 0% success rate . Bear proof cannisters can be made, but would be so heavy no one would use them. The sierra agencies explicitly accepted this tradeoff in documents regarding container approval.

    3. You need to defend your food, drive bear away. If theres actually active bears , stack rocks on top to make noise when disturbed, and keep small pile of baseball sized rocks handy . To throw at it while yelling.

    In places where nightly raids are occurrence, like yosemite, this is exactly what rangers tell you to do. The goal is to prevent bear from getting food. Period.

    The goal is not to alleviate your unfounded fear of bears .
    A sure way to do that.....stay home.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-13-2019 at 09:04.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    About 10-20'.

    1. Bear knows where you are, you arent hiding from him by placing cannister a distance away.

    2. Cannisters arent bear-proof. They are resistant. Every cannister out there has been defeated by just black bears.

    Cannister success rate is something like 90-95%. This is a tradeoff because a cannister no one will carry has a 0% success rate . Bear proof cannisters can be made, but would be so heavy no one would use them. The sierra agencies explicitly accepted this tradeoff in documents regarding container approval.

    3. You need to defend your food, drive bear away. If theres actually active bears , stack rocks on top to make noise when disturbed, and keep small pile of baseball sized rocks handy . To throw at it while yelling.

    In places where nightly raids are occurrence, like yosemite, this is exactly what rangers tell you to do. The goal is to prevent bear from getting food. Period.

    The goal is not to alleviate your unfounded fear of bears .
    A sure way to do that.....stay home.
    Good advice for all you Daniel Boones out there. I don't want that bear within 10 or 20' of me. I've been in places in the Sierras and southern desert and elsewhere where baseball size rocks are very scarce. Even if they were plentiful, my pitching arm ain't what it used to be.
    All that said, tho, there's folks out here that will tell you they have been just sleeping with their food - in bear country - for decades. So, as, the saying goes, it's your hike - hike it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Every cannister out there has been defeated by just black bears.
    According to what I've read the BearVault is known to have been "defeated" a bear, as have several lesser-well-known canisters. I've never heard of a recorded case where the Bearikade (or the Ursack Major for that matter) -- when properly used -- has been defeated by a bear. Any canister will prove useless when used improperly of course, such as when not fully locking a Bearikade at all three points.

    If anyone knows of a documented case where a properly sealed Bearikade has been penetrated by a bear -- much less a black bear -- I'd definitely be interested, because it would contradict my research thus far.
    Last edited by Zalman; 03-13-2019 at 11:42.

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    10-20 feet isn't bad. Most of the cables/boxes around shelters aren't much farther away anyway. I sleep with my food in a nylon bag in Ziplocs so unless someone nearby is un-comfy with that close to a shelter or nearby tent sites, I'll just hang it then so I'm not "that guy". It's not all about me out there, I respect others uncomftorableness. Most people I've run across that have a canister tie it to the base of the tree and stack something on top that'll make noise if it's knocked over or messed with. I'd need bells though, after a long day of hiking I aint hearin' nuffin!
    - Trail name: Thumper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalman View Post
    According to what I've read the BearVault is known to have been "defeated" a bear, as have several lesser-well-known canisters. I've never heard of a recorded case where the Bearikade (or the Ursack Major for that matter) -- when properly used -- has been defeated by a bear. Any canister will prove useless when used improperly of course, such as when not fully locking a Bearikade at all three points.

    If anyone knows of a documented case where a properly sealed Bearikade has been penetrated by a bear -- much less a black bear -- I'd definitely be interested, because it would contradict my research thus far.

    Bears in yosemite have broken many cannisters by rolling off cliff, then go to bottom to eat. The bearikade is a "less secure" cannister which never passed IGBC testing either. It was grandfathered for sierra, if you find old pics of failed one online, its impressively failed.

    Black bears have eaten into cannisters that passed IGBC test. Its 1 hr of play....only.

    Ursack is easy, black bear ripped bottom out of one tied to tree a couple yrs ago on CT. Photos posted on facebook. You may not hear about these things, but they happen.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-13-2019 at 14:19.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    About 10-20'.

    1. Bear knows where you are, you arent hiding from him by placing cannister a distance away.

    2. Cannisters arent bear-proof. They are resistant. Every cannister out there has been defeated by just black bears.

    Cannister success rate is something like 90-95%. This is a tradeoff because a cannister no one will carry has a 0% success rate . Bear proof cannisters can be made, but would be so heavy no one would use them. The sierra agencies explicitly accepted this tradeoff in documents regarding container approval.

    3. You need to defend your food, drive bear away. If theres actually active bears , stack rocks on top to make noise when disturbed, and keep small pile of baseball sized rocks handy . To throw at it while yelling.

    In places where nightly raids are occurrence, like yosemite, this is exactly what rangers tell you to do. The goal is to prevent bear from getting food. Period.

    The goal is not to alleviate your unfounded fear of bears .
    A sure way to do that.....stay home.
    Are you going to fight a 800 pounds grizzly? really???

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarditi View Post
    Could hang it in a bear bag
    This should not be done.

    Canisters work in large part by being shaped so that bears cannot get enough of a grip on them to bite or puncture them. Putting a canister in a bag, or tying any sort of rope or cord to a canister can give a bear the additional leverage needed to either defeat the canister or walk off with it.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    ... The bearikade is a "less secure" cannister which never passed IGBC testing either. It was grandfathered for sierra, if you find old pics of failed one online, its impressively failed. <snip> Ursack is easy, black bear ripped bottom out of one tied to tree a couple yrs ago on CT. Photos posted on facebook.
    Links to your evidence, please? I've also never heard of a properly used Bearikade being breached by a bear...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalman View Post
    According to what I've read the BearVault is known to have been "defeated" a bear, as have several lesser-well-known canisters. I've never heard of a recorded case where the Bearikade (or the Ursack Major for that matter) -- when properly used -- has been defeated by a bear. Any canister will prove useless when used improperly of course, such as when not fully locking a Bearikade at all three points.

    If anyone knows of a documented case where a properly sealed Bearikade has been penetrated by a bear -- much less a black bear -- I'd definitely be interested, because it would contradict my research thus far.
    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Bears in yosemite have broken many cannisters by rolling off cliff, then go to bottom to eat. The bearikade is a "less secure" cannister which never passed IGBC testing either. It was grandfathered for sierra, if you find old pics of failed one online, its impressively failed.

    Black bears have eaten into cannisters that passed IGBC test. Its 1 hr of play....only.

    Ursack is easy, black bear ripped bottom out of one tied to tree a couple yrs ago on CT. Photos posted on facebook. You may not hear about these things, but they happen.
    Andrew Skurka has a very good article about bear canister failures, that links to real world data, which can be found here:

    https://andrewskurka.com/2018/bear-canister-failures/

    Short version:
    1) Human error is the most common cause of canister failure.
    2) All appeoved canister models have had incidents where they’ve been defeated.
    3) The canisters with the most reports of being defeated are also the ones that are by far the most popular, so it is difficult to conclude whether there is any design issue, or whether there are simply a lot more of them out there and a small percentage of them are being defeated.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  15. #15

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    I usually place mine about 100' from the tent in some thick grass or small bushes. I want to be close enough to hear the bear if it starts messing with my can and pot-bang and yell at it. A black bear tried to get into my bare boxer just before Thanksgiving and failed.

    I also have noticed that this same bear (a problem at one of my local camp haunts) has never bothered with me or my food again on nights when it raided other nearby campsites. They learn very quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Andrew Skurka has a very good article about bear canister failures, that links to real world data, which can be found here:

    https://andrewskurka.com/2018/bear-canister-failures/

    Short version:
    1) Human error is the most common cause of canister failure.
    2) All appeoved canister models have had incidents where they’ve been defeated.
    3) The canisters with the most reports of being defeated are also the ones that are by far the most popular, so it is difficult to conclude whether there is any design issue, or whether there are simply a lot more of them out there and a small percentage of them are being defeated.
    "Human error" is exactly what canister failure is not, and the statement about all models being defeated includes the human error cases. From that article:
    From what I can gather, when used properly there were no reported cases of broken Bearikades or the Ursack Major.

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    You want to keep the canister far enough away from you that you are not putting yourself in the proximity of the bear when he comes to investigate. So the typical advice given by park rangers is to place it about 100' to 300' away from you in a position the bear will not be able to easily roll it off a cliff or into a body of water.

    But as with most things, the real answer depends upon the situation.
    I believe that when I picked up my permit for the JMT, the speel you must listen to included the advice above.

    But on the trail, I encountered a ranger warning people of a bear frequenting the area and he was suggesting keeping it about 20' to 30' away from your tent to better allow yourself to hear and try to scare off the bear.

    And of course what's good in black bear country is not necessarily good in grizzly country.

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    First I find a nice flat sleeping spot in a huckleberry patch next to a stream with spawning salmon. I like being close to Nature. It's best to find a spot where many others have repeatedly done the same, to concentrate the impact you know. We have to be mindful. I like to sleep near an established campfire ring where discarded food remains and food packaging made a nice colorful campfire. I'm going to do the same tonight. If there's an adjacent picnic table so much better. I can prepare my dinner on it and also eat at it while sitting in a relaxing chair absorbing Nature as countless others have enjoyed. I find it convenient preparing and eating my dinner where I sleep. I eat my dinner. I like something with sardines, tuna, Vienna sausages, or pepperoni, common trail foods. Next morning I plan on eating and drinking something with a sweetener maybe trail coffee in my sleeping bag. I like Peanut butter on trail too. I like doing this especially if it's a chilly morning. After gnoshing I brush my teeth with toothpaste spitting the wash next to where I sleep. It keeps away the ants I figure. Then I apply a bunch of lip balm. My lips get chapped easily. I find sleeping in the same clothes I cooked and ate and hiked in all day is better time management and more UL than changing into a second set of clothes. My approach is to continually gnosh all day on the move using the drip method. Besides my clothes aren't usually wet or dirty and I need to get in my FB time on my Smartphone in camp anyway. Wife and kids need my daily 7 p.m. check in too. Might spend an hr or so watching a movie. Gotta stay connected! I don't over think all this. Too many long winded details that I can't keep focused on that some anal backpackers or authoritarians impose upon others as if they know it all. They can be so rude and offensive. I use my pack wisely under my feet as insulation. I go UL.

    Then, for bear safety food protection I store my food in a canister 100 ft away. I'm on the fence whether bear canisters work.

  19. #19
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    A 100% bear-proof canister? How about a stainless steel sphere approximately 14" in diameter that unscrews at the center. Weighs about 20 lbs.
    It's all good in the woods.

  20. #20

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    I bought a bear container (BV450) in 2015, but i used it the first time on a section hike in the summer of 2018 from Front Royal to Pearisburg. i wanted to like it but i just couldn't. First, there's the weight. it is two pounds of dead weight, there's no way around it. And for someone like me with bad knees, it matters. Then, it is bulky and cumbersome. No matter how i tried to arrange it in my pack, it always found a way to jab me in the back while hiking. finally, there's the search for the "perfect" location to leave it for the night, and you are not even sure you will find it there the next day. I used to be a "hanger" but, like many others, i got tired of hanging bags, and beside, mice and other critters can climb down and up cords with no difficulty. So the only choice for me is the new Ursack AllMitey bear bag. It is, i hope, the right combination between lightness and toughness. it may be a bit pricey at $134.95 at REI but that is why i'm waiting for their March 22nd 20% off coupons.

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