How many of you use bear vaults/cans?

1:21 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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Living in Colorado, everyone I talk to either uses a vault every trip or has never used one. It seems there is no in between with the 20 some backpackers I know. 

With a few recent attacks here (one being 2 homeless idiots), just wondering how many of you use them?

2:00 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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I only use them when required by the area rules and usually borrow (if possible) or rent one. Hanging a bag works pretty well in most of the Eastern US places I go.

I do know folks that frequent the same places as me and love the convenience of a canister; to me it's no big deal to weight a line and toss it over a limb.

To date, my personal hangs have never been compromised but I have used a permanently installed steel cable hang that was defeated by mice (but that's got more to do with a certain campsite that gets heavy use; I'm sure my line would be compromised at that site also).


2:23 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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Hey Sam,

I take out my Bearvault BV450 every time I go out. I live in SC and mostly go backpacking in Western NC. The areas that I go to most of the time are known to have bear activity, so I figure that I might as well use mine since I have one.

I bought mine 4 years ago when I went camping in Yosemite and was required to have one. Otherwise, I would most likely hang my food like I did before I had the canister.

4:19 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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I use the bear can where required or highly recommended, hang elsewhere.

4:31 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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I still hang my food.

To be perfectly honest I enjoy seeing how fast I can sling a line over a branch and get my food hung.

To get the line over a branch I currently use a stainless water bottle with a little water in it for weight, tie a line to the cap, and I sling it like a missile. 

I've just always though it was fun to do.

Years ago I would drive ahead in my truck and pre-position food caches I could pick up halfway through a long hike. I used a large steel ammo box with a padlock & hasp I welded on it & chained the thing to a tree. Never had it broken into or messed with. I would pick it back up on the drive back home.

I would use a canister if I had to, but so far it isn't required where in the places I go in the Southeast US.

7:23 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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I hang..I have a trip coming in next year that requires a bear canister so I'll be buying one..I know I do more than one trip to that area..But I am on the East Coast so where I hike is alot of black bears..

7:38 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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I like to hang, although I own & have used a BV500 when required. I haven't really found a 'great' way to lash it externally, & it just swallows all of the inside of a backpack.

Yeah, only when required. 

9:44 p.m. on July 1, 2015 (EDT)
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Bearvault.  Required in National Parks in California, and frankly, so much easier that we use it everywhere.  There is nothing quite like getting your food bag hung correctly and then discovering that you have two energy bars in your pocket...

1:09 a.m. on July 2, 2015 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the responses. I usually hang as well...quick, easy, efficient. 

1:56 a.m. on July 2, 2015 (EDT)
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Here in California, approved bear canisters are required in certain areas. Park websites will have the rules. I have an early Bear Vault but mine is obsolete because the lid can be opened.I haven't replaced it. In winter, you don't need one in Yosemite, but I've taken it just for the convenience as both a container and something to sit on.

2:04 a.m. on July 2, 2015 (EDT)
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Just in case, I nearly always use bear vaults when I go out.

5:21 p.m. on July 2, 2015 (EDT)
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balzaccom said:

There is nothing quite like getting your food bag hung correctly and then discovering that you have two energy bars in your pocket...


Or toothpaste...or hand sanitizer...or sunscreen...

2:48 a.m. on July 14, 2015 (EDT)
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I use bear vaults when they are required. I have also hung food, usually with success, once in a situation that was not successful in Yosemite. On my Northern Canadian trips, there are a couple of issues. One is that I couldn't afford the number of bear vaults I would need, and hanging isn't practical in many places because what few trees there are a very small and usually just willows. I use what are called "blue barrels" on my canoe trips, either 30 liter or 60 liter or a combination. I've also used five gallon buckets with screw tops. While these are only appropriate for canoeists and others who can carry the weight, it has taught me a lot about where to put my food. Bears are opportunistic feeders. They will go to places where they have learned or been taught there is a likelihood of food. Established camps that may have been used by sloppy campers, river or creek shores, established trails. In the North, I put my barrels in bushes, separated, and away from shorelines or established trails. To date, I have never had a problem. However, I have also only had one issue with bears getting my food. That was nearly 30 years go in Yosemite, near Cathedral Peak.

9:58 a.m. on July 18, 2015 (EDT)
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Good by Erich. It is possible to outsmart bears. Some people take new equipment for granted. I have never used a bear vault because they have only existed recently. Any place that requires them, to me is either too crowded or has too many problem bears. I have always hung my food or put it in an unusual place. We have learned that  some really experienced outdoor people like North sleep with their food to protect it.

For years I worked and hiked around bears and carried firearms because bear spray did not exist. It is a new product that I really like.  The Thermarest cot is another good modern innovation.















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