Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Bear Canisters

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-21-2019
    Location
    Brunswick, GA
    Age
    43
    Posts
    4

    Default Bear Canisters

    Hi Everyone!

    New member here and thank you all for being here!

    My family and I (me, hubby and two boys, 12, 11) are doing a backpacking trip in 2 weeks. We are starting at the Blackburn AT center in VA and ending at Penn Mar county park about 11 days later. My question is this...DO WE NEED A BEAR CANISTER?? I have searched around and found conflicting thoughts. We want to save space and weight of course, but want to be safe. Any info on this would be SO very helpful!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    GoldenBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-31-2007
    Location
    Upper Darby, PA
    Posts
    707
    Journal Entries
    56
    Images
    335

    Exclamation Don't need them for that trek

    > I have searched around and found conflicting thoughts.

    I can think of a dozen sites telling you that you don't need canisters in that area, but I can't imagine an official URL saying that you do.
    EVERY part of the AT has the potential for bear problems, and you should ALWAYS use SOME method for protecting your food AND the bears.
    Canisters are the BEST way to do so, but hardly the only way. You could use a good hanging technique (which I simply can't do) or an Ursack (which I have used for over 1000 miles of The Trail).
    South of New York, only Shenandoah NP, Great Smokey Mountains NP, and Nantahala NF recommend use of canisters.
    https://www.appalachiantrail.org/hom.../trail-updates

  3. #3

    Default

    If you camp at shelter sites (and you should), they all have bear poles or bear boxes to store your food. Slowly, but surely, bear boxes are becoming standard equipment at all AT shelters.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
    Leonidas
    Join Date
    04-26-2016
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Posts
    882

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    If you camp at shelter sites (and you should), they all have bear poles or bear boxes to store your food. Slowly, but surely, bear boxes are becoming standard equipment at all AT shelters.
    Several in TN and maybe NC did not have either in the section from Hot Springs to Damascus. Was funny to watch people struggle to hang at the end of a long day as we set our canisters off a ways from camp.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  5. #5

    Default

    From a practical standpoint you probably can’t fit 11 days of food for four people into one bear can. You’d need more than one. From ease of use, peace of mind, etc. the bear can is much easier to use than having to depend on bear poles or boxes. I started carrying a BV450 this year, and gotta say the weight penalty is so worth the ease of just locking the can and placing it away from camp. It eliminated the need to find campspots based on trees. And even if I did find suitable trees, I don’t think I ever hung a bear bag correctly. I also don’t have to depend on bear poles or bear boxes now and can sleep almost anywhere, but HYOH and YMMV

  6. #6
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,241
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    From a practical standpoint you probably can’t fit 11 days of food for four people into one bear can. You’d need more than one. From ease of use, peace of mind, etc. the bear can is much easier to use than having to depend on bear poles or boxes. I started carrying a BV450 this year, and gotta say the weight penalty is so worth the ease of just locking the can and placing it away from camp. It eliminated the need to find campspots based on trees. And even if I did find suitable trees, I don’t think I ever hung a bear bag correctly. I also don’t have to depend on bear poles or bear boxes now and can sleep almost anywhere, but HYOH and YMMV
    I totally agree with the simplicity that comes with using a bear canister. Not only does it make it simple to protect the bears from your food, it also keeps smaller critters from getting to your food... something the bear cables in GSMNP can not do.

    When I planned my JMT thru hike, I budgeted 3,000 calories of food per day (and still lost between 1/4 and 1/2 lb of body fat per day). With a lot of effort, I was able to get that 3,000 calories into an average of 100cuin. That's why I decided to use the Bearikade Expedition, because it's almost 1,000cuin in size (compared to the BV450's ~450cuin), and I wanted to plan MTR to Whiney in 10 days with no resupply.

    So based on my experience, I'd say the BV450 might get you 5 days of food (for 1 person), which you could stretch to 6 or 7 days if you want to only budget about 2,000 calories per day.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-21-2019
    Location
    Brunswick, GA
    Age
    43
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Based on everything i've read thus far, including these responses, we have decided to go with a canister. Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses!!

++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •