Bear cannister, need to buy one...


Jun 14, 2012
So, new regs for Salt Creek are going to require me to have an approved bear canister for our trip in about five weeks. Boo... :(

But, it is what it is and I shall comply. And, it's good to hear about the possibility of seeing bears on the trip, I'd love to see one or two.

I haven't started research yet, and will do plenty of my own via google-fu. But I'd love to get opinions from you guys too.

Without knowing what I don't know yet, my basic parameters are:

- Needs to be an "approved" device.
- The lighter weight, the better. Ideally, I'll get the lightest solution possible.
- It would sure be nice if I could fit it inside my ULA Circuit.
- Only needs to hold 3.5 days of food for the upcoming Salt Creek trip, but more capacity for possible future uses might be a good thing.



So... It looks like the Bearikade is definitely the one I want.

But, I'm not going to spend that much on something I'll use so little. So I think I'll probably just rent a Bearikade for this trip. That will cost less than buying a Bearvault.

The problem though, is they don't rent the "Scout" model, which I think is the one that would best suit my needs. If I rent, I'll have to get the larger "Weekender". Which is okay, I guess, only a few ounces more but I'm afraid it is going to take up an awful lot of room in my pack. Maybe I'll end up packing a bunch of non-food stuff in it during the day while hiking and only transferring my food to it at night to make the pack/fit scenario more manageable?

I ordered a BearVault 450 yesterday....couldn't find one locally to see the size in person so hopefully it will work for me. Would have liked to get the Bearicade, but really couldn't justify the price right now for something I may not use very much. If I start needing one more, I may reconsider...
I think 450 should be plenty for a 3.5 day trip. If I could rent the Bearikade Scout, which is only slightly larger, that is the one I'd get. They don't rent the small one though, so I'm going to rent the Weekender, which is 650 cubic inches which I'm sure is way more than I need.

Like I said, I think the only way I'm going to make a cannister that large work with my pack is to put a bunch of other stuff inside the bear cannister for hiking during the day and only transfer my food to it at night. Figure I should be able to fit my sleeping bag, clothes, ditty bag and first aid kit all inside the bear cannister.

someone needs to invent a pack based around a large bearvault as the main storage area, for those who have to use it a lot.
You know...I wasn't too happy about having to buy a bear canister for the Salt Creek trip, but I have used it a few times since then and actually don't mind carrying it. The BearVault 450 has been a good size for me.
Having owned both a Bearikade and the Bear Vault, I can say I like them both. The Bearikade is definitely the better option, if your willing to pay the price. But I use the Vault a lot, and its the best value for the money.

An interesting note though. The Bearikade is not an approved canister in Grand Teton National Park. It apparently isn't approved by the IGBC (International Grizzly Bear Committee). Even though they use these in Alaska, and its approved in Glacier National Park, both of which have a much larger, stronger grizzly population. The Tetons won't allow them. I've tried, and gotten tired of arguing with them. I don't know why they are not approved by the IGBC, and honestly haven't really researched the answer.

It also isn't a black bear issue, so they are ok in Salt Creek and everywhere else.
I sure wish the NPS would get on with approving the bear bags (Ursacks). They have been tested thoroughly by real bears and are effective. NPS is just going by the IGBC testing and won't commission a new test due to laziness or cost reduction. The Ursacks weigh very little and I have two. I've even taken to taking them on all backpack trips since they function nearly exactly like a regular stuff sack but are also pretty much rodent proof. So even outside of bear country they protect my stuff from the other peanut butter predators.
From the Ursack site link you gave here is the story about the IGBC testing..
"April 18, 2014

We are still awaiting the official certification letter and number from the IGBC, but can share some of the details. At IGBC insistence, we baited an Ursack S29 AllWhite, knotted it securely and placed it on the ground with no aluminum liner and not tied to a tree. The first two grizzlies went at it for an active 57 minutes. One of the bears was nick-named "The Destroyer," but neither he nor his sister were able to compromise the Ursack. The Grizzly Wolf and Discovery Center rotates bears in and out at approximately one hour intervals. So the Destroyer went back to his quarters and five, count 'em, five more grizzlies came out to work on the same Ursack. The IGBC testing protocol requires a total of 60 minutes of active bear encounters, so even though we needed just a few minutes more to pass the test, there was no way to get the Ursack out until the five bears finished their shift. Not to worry. Ursack made if for another hour. A total of seven grizzly bears and two hours of active clawing, biting and scratching--yet Ursack survived. After washing the Ursack one could barely (bearly?) tell that it had been attacked."
Thanks Keith! I don't know. I will have to call both Canyonlands and Grand Teton and debate with them again. Never had to debate with Jellystone - they have bear poles everywhere I've been and you didn't need the cans or sacks.
Does Canyonlands have an issue with this? They aren't dealing with grizzlies, so wouldn't think they care too much about what the IGBC says.

Yeah, Yellowstone is funny like that. Their backcountry division is all over the place.