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Bear Vault

Does anyone use these on the regular outside of parks that require you carry them?? The convienence factor seems to balance out the extra weight. Whats the opinions on these for traveling through areas with bears, but your not required to use a canister??

I have one that I have used up here in the Tetons and other rabge around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They are required in Teton but not in the Wind River, Gros Ventre and Wyoming Range. But I still carry it as "it is better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it." I have only had one encounter with a bear around here in 30 years, but it did not after my food but tore up my tent looking for it.

Bears often associate tents and packs with food sources from years of people not properly stashing thier food. Never trust that any animal won't try to get into your tent, pack or whatever looking for food. You like me may not leave food anywhere for the bears to find it but they will look. My tent that was 25 years old and was totaled by the bear.

It depends on the specific area and season, but I use my canisters in areas known and suspected for marmots, raccoons, and other varmints, as well as bears. I don't carry them for high altitude mountaineering (though we have had buried caches attacked by ravens as high as 14,000 ft in Alaska - they will dig down through a couple feet of snow before giving up, and people who don't believe the ranger's warnings frequently learn the hard way how smart and resourceful ravens can be).

I was looking at buying one of these and I came across an interesting article here it is.

It has been discovered there is a bear in the Marcy Dam area of the Adirondacks that has learned to open BearVault food containers. Until further notice, BearVault advises that their product should not be used within 20 miles of the Marcy Dam area of the Adirondacks.

The article was located here

I guess ill buy the other brand because I camp in the Adirondacks.

If I had it to do over again, I would invest in a Bearikade, simply because 50% of the hikes my group goes on are in Yosemite or SEKI and the rest are in local wilderness areas where they are "highly recommended" and will probably become required gear in the near future. If you look at the ratio of volume to weight of the can (by itself), the Bearikade is lightest, the Garcia is heaviest.

Bear Vault is okay, but I find it hard to open with cold hands in the morning. I have also heard of bears figuring out how to open it here in Cali. My solo isn't quite big enough as I am planning longer trips.

I will be using mine on the coast where bears are not a problem - it's easier to do so than hang food. Raccoons and rats are the biggest issue over there.

November 23, 2020
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