Garcia Backpackers' Cache
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $74.95
Convenience and security in a stout package. After you accept the bulk and weight of it as a given, the bear can is worth it for the piece of mind, especially now that some bears have figured out how to get to bagged food!
- Doubles as a stool
I've used the Cache on two trips in the Ouachita Mountains, one with two other hikers and one by myself and the piece of mind it offers has greatly out-weighed its own bulk and, well, weight!
It takes up quite a bit of pack space if placed in the main pack compartment, but I have a larger pack with deep recesses into which the canister disappears creating plenty of nooks to stabilize the can with extra layers, socks, and other accoutrement. Using the carrying case, you can lash the can to the top or back of a pack, but inside the pack is easier and more stable if you have the space.
The construction is of a thick, sturdy plastic that hasn't shown any wear after drops and such. It also conveniently holds the weight of an adult making it a great camp stool for cooking or just relaxing. The lid locks are easy to operate with a key or knife, and there is a small button that allows you to lift the lid with ease. I've put the can out overnight during long down-pours and nary a drop entered to spoil my food, even without a can liner.
If you can justify the weight and space the can takes up in your pack, it sure beats having to hang a bag in a tree at the proper height and distance from the trunk, etc. With a group, it's even easier to carry. A large group may need more than one can, though. Our trio struggled to stuff three days worth of food into this can and we did resort to hanging our overflow fragrant toiletries and some small food stuffs just to be safe.
With bears and small rodents becoming craftier as more people enter the wild spaces, the bear can seems the last defense against our hungry forest friends.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $55
Simple to use but, very large.
- Lots of space
- Must have knife or coin to open
This is everything you need in bear country. It has a lot of space, simple to use, and works great. However, you need a knife or coin to open the lid, it did not fit our our packs so we had to keep it on the outside and it is heavy. This is what to be expected from a bear can.
Great for a long trip in bear country.
Every ranger likes to point out the added benefits of carrying a canister. And, they do help you cope with the extra pound + you're carrying. It makes a great stool. Your crackers don't get crushed. And, in a pinch you can use it to bail out your canoe.
However, these things are heavy. You'll definitely feel it alongside your titanium pot and ultralight tent. And, they are a little awkward to pack depending on the width of your pack.
But, this model is the bombshelter of culinary delights. There are other options like Ursasack and that clear canister (??) - both of which have had some issues. But, this one is virtually impossible to crack. Opening it requires a coin - which bears don't carry. So, you're safe there.
I personally like to carry the clear canister because 1. it's clear and I can see what's inside 2. it's a bit lighter.