Bear Resistant Food Container.
Protects your food and the bears. Mandatory in many National Parks in the United States and Canada.
– May 31, 2017
I just got back into backpacking after a couple of decades away. I live in CT but I grew up hiking the White Mountains of NH. I went to school in Vermont and hiked the Green Mountains. And I live only about a couple of hours from the Adirondacks in NY. So that’s pretty much my territory for now. Just black bears, no grizzlies to worry about. Way back when, I never used a bear canister and never had a problem…..with bears. But mice, chipmunks, and squirrels? Oh yeah! Mice can go just about anywhere. We also have coyotes, fox, bobcat / lynx, and the very rare cougar sighting. I’ve never had a problem with anything other than rodents. Yet. But I decided a canister wasn’t a bad idea based on reading I’ve done that says bears are more plentiful now, as curious as ever, and learning how to get a free lunch.
Yes the bulk and weight suck. But, so does waking up to find all your food gone when you’re three days from the car. Or finding evidence that mice have been gnawing away all night.
So what made me buy this canister?
Size: Big enough for 2 people for 4-5 days. My pack is 110 liters. I can carry this inside easily.
Acceptance: Strong certification and broad acceptance. I haven’t seen anywhere in my region that doesn’t accept this canister. A competitor that’s about a pound lighter was tempting until I read that it’s being defeated by bears in the Adirondacks.
Visibility: I like the high visibility yellow color and the reflective tape of this container. If a bear does play with it for 30 minutes, you have a better chance of finding it. Likewise if you forgot where you placed it, the yellow color is more visible than black or clear containers.
Latches: The lighter weight competitor touts tool free latches but it seems a lot of people in addition to bears have trouble using them, especially when it’s cold. These latches are straight forward although they do require a tool of some sort.
Access: I thought the opening had more of a lip on it but it’s not bad. You lose about 1/2″ all around leaving you with a 7″ opening which seems well sized.
Utility: The keg makes a fair camp stool to get you up off the ground.
In the end I accepted the weight in trade for the security. And like I said, even if it’s not a bear, there are plenty of other critters looking for a free meal
– August 7, 2018
Have had my Bear Keg for a number of years, used mainly in the Olympic Mountains. Outside of being heavy, it has been a stellar, trustworthy food keeper. Everything Russ said above is spot on.
I love the yellow and have had the canister tossed around a few times but yellow makes it easy to spot.
Opening is wide enough for all things and have stuffed 6-7 days of food for one person in it. I use my spork, a thin rock, penny, or knife to release the three twist locks. Easy.
We have many required bear canister places in the Olympics, but my biggest issue is raccoons. This stops them all.
Working on a way to haul it on my bike for back-country tours…
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