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Backpack for carrying a bear vault...

2:53 p.m. on December 29, 2010 (EST)
30 reviewer rep
145 forum posts

Hi all...first I hope the New Year brings you all joy and happiness.

I have seen many posts on backpacks and bear containers, however, I would like to know if any of you have (or have seen) a backpack (external or internal frame) that a small bear vault will fit into nicely.  So a pack that is good for a two or three day hike where the container fits snugly into a bottom compartment or can be lashed to an external frame pack.  I wish that someone would make a lightweight pack that is designed to carry a bear container.  Some of the Keltys are good but are kind of heavy.  So if you have discovered one that really works with a container, let me know what you have.

Sankey

 

5:47 p.m. on December 29, 2010 (EST)
3 reviewer rep
170 forum posts

While hiking in Yosemite last summer I saw three different people using external frame packs (all of them Kelty's) with their bear cannisters being carried on the outside. 

I have a North Face internal frame pack (I can't remember the name right now) and the largest size BearVault fits neatly into the upper compartment.  My Henry Shires Contrail tent also went into the top compartment, along with a few things like my camera and a book that rode along on top of the cannister.  The lower compartment had all of my clothes and my sleeping bag.

If I needed more room on the inside of the pack I could have easily carried my sleeping bag and tent strapped to the outside of the pack in waterproof stuff sacks.  The only thing that goes on the outside of my pack right now are my sandals and a fishing pole.

7:28 p.m. on December 29, 2010 (EST)
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3,925 forum posts

Maybe someone will make a pack that is a bear proof container? I dislike having to carry those hard containers. IfI were going to hike in bear problem country I would use the soft style bags. For their average size I find it difficult to carry enough of them for the long trips I usually take. When I hiked in Denali in 2006 I had to use three of them for a months trip.

10:45 p.m. on December 29, 2010 (EST)
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145 forum posts

Yeah Gary, I agree.  However, it looks as if eventually the bear container will be required for use everywhere so I might as well get ready. 

12:00 a.m. on December 30, 2010 (EST)
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3,925 forum posts

The bottom of the Grand Canyon has no bears, just rodents like mice,squirrels,skunks and ringtailed cats. Ravens too are food raiders. In the campsites they use ex-ammo cans to keep the rodents and ravens out. For the remote areas I used to cache my food for month long trips (spread at week intervals) in 5 gallon ex-mayonaise buckets to keep the rodents out. They could chew thru them plastic, but no smelling the food they don't try.

By caching food in this way I could hike without all the food needed for a 30 day hike, just a weeks worth at a time, between caches. I learned to do this in Yosemite in 1980 when I hiked for as long as three months between buying and packing in more food supplies.


Square-5-gallon-food-cache-buckets.jpg

I also use the square bukets for bicycle panniers for touring. Each holds about 5 gallons of water, make seats, tables and even ice coolers.

The one above has a old bike inner tube strap to keep it closed. Empty they weigh about 1 lb. You can get them free usually at places like restuarants. Mayonaise, pickles and cooking oil come in them. Many places go thru about 3-6 a week.


Pail-Panniers.jpg

My homemade pail panniers on my Trek. I also have two that go on the front when I have the touring rack on it. Cost me about $20 per pair for the paint, reflective tape and shelf brackets/screws I used to hang the panniers on the rack.

12:44 a.m. on December 30, 2010 (EST)
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328 forum posts

How large a pack do you want?  The pack I use for weeklong trips is an Osprey Atmos 65, and it will fit a canister no problem.  Same for my Jansport Carson.

Gary - Do they still allow food caches in the Grand Canyon?  I doubt you would get away with leaving food caches in Yosemite now.  I know that in Sequoia/Kings Canyon, if a ranger finds the cache you will lose it.  And if they find out who left it, that person will be cited.

12:45 a.m. on December 30, 2010 (EST)
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328 forum posts

How large a pack do you want?  The pack I use for weeklong trips is an Osprey Atmos 65, and it will fit a canister no problem.  Same for my Jansport Carson.

Gary - Do they still allow food caches in the Grand Canyon?  I doubt you would get away with leaving food caches in Yosemite now.  I know that in Sequoia/Kings Canyon, if a ranger finds the cache you will lose it.  And if they find out who left it, that person will be cited.

1:27 a.m. on December 30, 2010 (EST)
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3,925 forum posts

I only cached food for longer trips than one week. But yes, most parks do not allow food caching. Most of mine would have never been found by the average hiker.  On one trip in the GC I had a food cache found and removed by somone, causing me to have to hike out to resupply to continue the trip that lasted 28 days and covered 256 miles. Luckily I was out and back into the canyon in less than 2 hours.

My current pack will accomidate one or two canisters, I used it once in the Denali NPwhere the BCO rents them for $3 a day. They do not allow any bear canisters other than thier own, unless you are lucky enough to have the same one(s).

9:54 a.m. on January 3, 2011 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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2,913 forum posts

Later this year, Granite Gear is coming out with a pack designed to hold a bear canister:

11:45 a.m. on January 4, 2011 (EST)
30 reviewer rep
145 forum posts

Thanks Alicia!  Hey...any new "lighter" bear canisters revealed?

11:12 p.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
38 reviewer rep
134 forum posts

ULA Catalyst.

11:22 p.m. on January 25, 2011 (EST)
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328 forum posts

Thanks Alicia!  Hey...any new "lighter" bear canisters revealed?

 I would be very curious about the technology used to create canisters lighter than what is already available.  The lightest on the market now are carbon fiber.

11:21 a.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
10 reviewer rep
459 forum posts

Not lighter in technology but you can get custom size to meet what you would like to carry.  A 9x18" can would be a formidable object to lug around if full of tamped down high density food.

Following was in response to seeing the manufacturer's canister not on a few approved lists (pardon the advert):

" I'm happy to say that our demand is very heavy and we do not have staff to keep track of each and every ad hoc committee creating test standards. There is no coordinated NPS, US Fish & Wildlife, US Forest Service effort to qualify portable food canisters. Two ad hoc committees have been active for a number of years: Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group and IGBC. We are approved by SIBBG. This group uses the very machines built by IGBC for drop testing. They follow this test by exposure to 950 lb. Grizzly Bears. Finally they use Black Bears and if the candidate canister passes all of these tests, they are allowed into the field for a one year trial. SIBBG and IGBC should work out a reciprocity agreement since they share identical criteria.

"We are enjoying our 13th season without loss of food to any wild animal. Bearikades are made in custom sizes from 8" tall to 18" tall to suit specific needs of our backpacking population. All are 9" in diameter to prevent bears from getting their jaws around the cylinder. We cut lengths in 1/8" tolerances and so the variety is virtually infinite. We have no plans for further testing of the Bearikades which have a sterling field record all over North America and the Northern Coast of Greenland. "

Allen DeForrest
Wild Ideas, LLC
Managing Member

April 18, 2014
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