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Renting Bear Canisters

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:39 pm
by ryan72
Has anyone ever had a problem renting a bear canister through the park service. We're going to need 3 of them. The site says reservations and not needed nor necessary. I don't want to show up to get our permits and be told "too bad".

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:50 pm
by AlmostThere
Yosemite has plenty - never seen anyone not get one. All Garcias, unfortunately. And they sell canisters in the stores too.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:36 pm
by ryan72
what are the negative on the garcias?

which do you prefer?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:09 pm
by AlmostThere

I agree with Calpidder for the most part. For my week long JMT section hike I rented a Bearikade Weekender and actually had a little extra room in it for a platypus of wine. Wild Ideas will mail you the canister, and you pay only for the time you use it, not the time it spends in transit. When you get home, you pop it back in the mail after taking your stuff out of it. I could see taking the box and appropriate postage along and dropping it off at any post office on the way home.

Ursacks aren't approved for Yosemite and I wouldn't encourage anyone to use them in the Sierras - a very persistent bear could get into one more easily than a hard sided canister.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:24 pm
by lucid1
What would you recommend for 2 people backpacking for 5 nights in the High Sierra in ealry fall (thus with tent/extra layering already in their backpacks)? 1 Garcia or 2? Alternativley, 2 Bearikade Weekenders or 1 Bearikade Expedition? Thanks!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:35 pm
by bill-e-g
I'll take the Garcia, thanks.

Have had one for 14 years. Never lost any food.

I love how people wanna pinch 2 cents here and there and then
buy the ripoff Mountain House food. And then try fitting those
unrepackaged into a garcia. Repack your stuff!

Bought the UrSUCK for the JMT when it was allowed. Got nailed the VERY
first night using it in Lyell Canyon b/c people are lazy and therefore
the bears win. Some bozo lost his pack in the same area.
My UrSUCK got some teeth marks in it and I got interrupted from
my TV viewing to run off the bear.

I hate the clear screw off kind. Won't ever buy one of those.

For solo 3-4 day trips I use the Bare Boxer.

Anyway, for 2 people 5 day trip each carry a can. You'd really be
pushing it with 1 can.

My 2 cents.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:52 pm
by balzaccom
I'll put in a word for the BV 500--that's the larger bear vault. Bill may not like the screw off lid, but we can get five days of food for two people in one of these things, and they have worked really well for us.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:09 pm
by AlmostThere
I have the smaller bear vault - have to use a flake of granite to get the lid off on cold mornings, and had to replace the lid once so far. I dream of a Bearikade, I like the locks on it and the nice wide opening that makes it so easy to pack....

Thought about getting the Bare Boxer for weekends. Nice little canister, cheap too.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:14 pm
by bill-e-g
I love the Bare Boxer. The lid is ridiculously over-engineered though.

We can fit 5 days in a Garcia but it takes some sacrificing...
(remember the first full day need not be in the can since you're eating it)


PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:21 pm
by Heybooboo
I have two Garcia's and like them very much. They hold 7 days of food very well and at night am able to get tooth paste, and other smelly toiletries into them. I carry one, my wife carries hers. In the evening and morning they make good seats, too. Never had a problem with them and have been using them for 10+ years.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:30 pm
by AlmostThere
It's not really that any of the canisters have real problems. It's that they are all HEAVY and hardly fit in the smaller backpack.

Those of us who have moved to 20-25 lb pack weights for 3-4 day outings have a lot of difficulty fitting a large canister in a backpack. It is far more comfortable for me to have a backpack that weighs less than adding two more pounds of a large pack I don't need, to carry 2-3 pounds of plastic extra to hold the food.

When people are irritated by bear canisters and comparing the Bearikade to the heavier models, it's because for some, every ounce matters a LOT.

Something like the Bearikade makes me happy because it is easier to pack, easier to open, and it represents the best ratio of weight to volume. If I went out once or twice a year instead of every month, this might be less of an issue.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:50 pm
by bill-e-g
Yeah, there's pros and cons to them all.
I wanted the people at bearikade to make me a 6 inch tall one many
years ago... they weren't allowed. The bearikade weekender is still
fairly large volume-wise. Myself for solo 4 day trips I want THE
smallest one. That's the Bare Boxer.

The Bearikade Scout is still 9" in diameter, 8" tall.

I think my Bare Boxer is 1.5 lbs. (they made slightly different models)

Anyway... save the bears.. just carry one of these goofy things
we love to hate...


PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:00 pm
by AlmostThere
The wide mouthed ones make good ice chests for beer when you get back to Yosemite Valley store. :)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:11 am
by ryan72
I think we'll just rent the garcias in the park. With shipping, It would cost over $200 to rent the bearicades for the 3 of us.

I like the fact that bear canisters can double as beer coolers. That makes the fact that we have to lug the extra 3 pounds around almost worth it right there.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:21 am
by AlmostThere
Garcias don't have very wide mouths, but I guess you could still layer in the ice and bottles....

I think the REI in Fresno rents Bear Vaults. And Sequoia NP rents Bearikades. I have a friend who drove up to the Ash Mountain entrance to rent one for a trip in Yosemite - but she lives in Three Rivers (right outside Sequoia).

Someone tried to use one as a washing machine on one of our longer trips. She wasn't very impressed.... They do make very good seats, and one trip, when we caught more trout than we expected, we took everything out of my Bear Vault, filled it with snow, and took home fresh fish. :)