Bear Proof Food Containers

Bear Proof Food Containers
Page Type Gear Category
Object Title Bear Proof Food Containers
Page By Vic Hanson
Created/Edited Jun 4, 2007 / Jun 4, 2007
Object ID 3323
Hits 21369
Page Score 86.47%

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Where Are They Needed?

Go-Big and His Bearikade
Through much of the Sierra Nevada, including Mt. Whitney, approved bear proof food containers, or bear cans, are required for overnight camping. Currently there are about four different containers that have received official approval, and two more that have conditional approval. These are the only legal ones to use. Some older models are no longer approved in certain areas, and if stopped by a ranger, you can receive a ticket for using one of these, or for not having one at all. In some campgrounds there are metal bear boxes that are available for use, but these may be full of camper's food or not spaced properly for your desired campsites. There have been endless discussions on the PCT-L, a favorite hiker email list serve, about whether or not to use bear cans, if it is possible to just use the bear boxes, and the ethics of "stealth camping" to avoid bear problems. In most of the High Sierra, hanging food is not legal, because the smarter than average bears there have learned how to get it down. Many thru-hikers will pass through this area early enough in the season that bears aren't a huge problem, but almost every year there is a least one story of a bear ripping someone's backpack apart to get the food in there.

Sierra Nevada Information

A BearVault With a Bear Alarm on Top

The following website is the official site for information about bear containers in the Sierra.

Sierra Regulations

The following is taken from the above site:

Conditional approval is given to any container that has passed visual inspection, an impact test and a zoo test. Full approval is given to any container that has done the above and has been successful during three months of field trials in the summer. Either type of approval may be revoked due to unexpected problems in the field that either lead to failures, injuries, or resource damage.

If a bear enters your camp, make noise and try to scare it away. However, if a bear does take possession of your food storage container, DO NOT try to take the container back from the bear, and please advise us on the outcome.

Approved Canisters

A Week's Food and One BearVault
They Make a Great Seat

Backpacker Model 812-C
Garcia Machine, 14097 Ave. 272, Visalia, CA 93292
Phone: 559-732-3785
Garcia Backpacker

BearVault 110b, 200, BV250, BV300
June 3, 2006 -- The Bear Vault containers listed above (110b, 200, 250, and 300) are not allowed in the Rae Lakes area of Kings Canyon National Park until further notice. (The BV350 and 400 are allowed.) Check out the Rae Lakes Canister Swap Program, for info on how you can swap out your old BearVault for a newer model. One or more bears have figured out how to open the BearVault in this area- and have opened at least eight canisters. It may be only the earlier version that is the problem - the SIBBG and the manufacturer are looking into the problem. In the meantime, we are asking hikers to either use a different type of canister or use a locker.
BearVault BV350, BV400

Bearikade Weekender MKII (1766 and higher) and Expedition MKII (1766 and higher)
Please contact the company for information on retrofitting canisters.
Wild Ideas, LLC
P.O. Box 1575
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Phone: 805-693-0550

The Bear Keg
Counter Assault, 120 Industry Court, Kalispell, MT 59901-7991
Phone: 406-257-4740 or 800-695-3394
FAX: 406-257-6674
The Bear Keg

Purple Mountain Engineering, Inc "Tahoe"
(This canister is no longer in production or available for purchase)

Conditionally Approved Canisters

An Ursack

The Bare Boxer Contender
Golf City Products
9614 Cozycroft Ave. Suite D
Chatsworth, CA 91311
The Bear Boxer

Ursack S29 Hybrid (aluminum insert required)
38 Miller Ave. #488
Mill Valley, CA 94941