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[Yosemite]

One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby Grzldvt » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:52 am

Quick Question - I bought one the first Bear Vaults. I read where that lid was no good and contacted them and they sent me a new lid, many, many moons ago. I actually forgot I had it, and stumbled across it chasing a wiring problem in my storage area. My hiking friend has a tab, if I recall correctly, on his. I do not have any tab. The lid says to press the tab, but there isn't one. I am going to assume this is not even a 110B. I tried contacting Bear Vault, but no response. Right now I am ready to toss it in the recycle as it is not approved and I am not willing to take a chance.
Any ideas?
Steve
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby Phil » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:32 am

Hey Steve,

I'm not any kind of expert on BVs, but I do remember that the older models had problems back in the Adirondacks/AT (?), and from what it sounds like, the new lid is just some kind of compromise, what you basically have is a reverse situation wherein your stool doesn't also make a good food storage container. Hit them up again, but them not getting back to you at all might be a good indication. For the relatively little money it'll cost you to upgrade, as well as the potential trip costs of having your can gotten into and trip wrecked because of it, might as well just get a new one and make life easier.
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:01 pm

I've seen more recent versions of the BV in the REI garage sale and used in Facebook buy/sell gear pages.
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby Grzldvt » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:32 am

Phil wrote:Hey Steve,

I'm not any kind of expert on BVs, but I do remember that the older models had problems back in the Adirondacks/AT (?), and from what it sounds like, the new lid is just some kind of compromise, what you basically have is a reverse situation wherein your stool doesn't also make a good food storage container. Hit them up again, but them not getting back to you at all might be a good indication. For the relatively little money it'll cost you to upgrade, as well as the potential trip costs of having your can gotten into and trip wrecked because of it, might as well just get a new one and make life easier.

Thanks, and that makes sense, so I think I will just toss it. I have a Garcia I bought when they first came out and that has been my mainstay canister, I figured if BV was workable, I would start using it for the longer trips, but simply not willing to take a chance. Looking around I really like the Bearikade products, the Weekender looks really good for the early summer trips, but now that my hiking partner and I are both retired longer trips are going to be the ticket next summer.
I have been cutting pack weight, and the Bearikade fits. A bit pricey but I am ok with it.
Great conversation....
Steve
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby Phil » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:42 pm

You'll like the Bearikades. We had one made up custom that was their max size at 18.5" long and had them add a couple more layers of carbon fiber. Basically, the really big version is the Expedition at 18". For ours I think I paid about $425. It's huge. We drop down to a Weekender for short trips and revert back to our Garcias if each of us is carrying food. With the big can though, it takes up a lot of room in the pack, but if I'm not maxed out on food, we just start using it for cooksets and whatever else we need to, so it's kind of just like filling nooks and crannies but in a hard-sided cylinder. But yeah, with everything else for a trip, it usually only comes out if one of us is hauling the tent and sometimes a bit of the other's more bulky personal gear, and it really carries most comfortably in my 75L pack and for longer trips. Still though, we end up with about the same amount of day capacity with a couple Garcias...a little heavier on the cans, but for a lot less $.

Oh, but the best part is: I bet I'm the only backpacker on record with the NPS that has his listed, approved bear canister officially stated as "The biggest bear can I've ever seen". I thought the ranger was messing with me, but nope, it's actually in the records that way. I almost die laughing every time I hear them read it back when I'm picking up a permit.
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby balzaccom » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:16 pm

We've used both the BV450 and the BV500 for the past eight years or so. They both work well, never had any issues with them. I do think it the second generation that we have. Certainly approved for Yosemite and the rest of the Sierra.

And we're carrying 50L packs. Phil, what the heck are you taking that needs a 75L pack? You're supposed to leave the piano at home! :lol:
Check out our website and blog at: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/home
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby Grzldvt » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:06 am

Phil wrote:You'll like the Bearikades. We had one made up custom that was their max size at 18.5" long and had them add a couple more layers of carbon fiber. Basically, the really big version is the Expedition at 18". For ours I think I paid about $425. It's huge. We drop down to a Weekender for short trips and revert back to our Garcias if each of us is carrying food. With the big can though, it takes up a lot of room in the pack, but if I'm not maxed out on food, we just start using it for cooksets and whatever else we need to, so it's kind of just like filling nooks and crannies but in a hard-sided cylinder. But yeah, with everything else for a trip, it usually only comes out if one of us is hauling the tent and sometimes a bit of the other's more bulky personal gear, and it really carries most comfortably in my 75L pack and for longer trips. Still though, we end up with about the same amount of day capacity with a couple Garcias...a little heavier on the cans, but for a lot less $.

Oh, but the best part is: I bet I'm the only backpacker on record with the NPS that has his listed, approved bear canister officially stated as "The biggest bear can I've ever seen". I thought the ranger was messing with me, but nope, it's actually in the records that way. I almost die laughing every time I hear them read it back when I'm picking up a permit.

Good info, and I have heard that line when standing waiting for my permit. :mrgreen:
When the Yosemite Association was somewhat amatuerish they linked to my bear canister page back in the early 90's, which I have since taken down. Although I trashed URSack as we had someone at Young Lakes using one just above us and we heard a "SNAP" and watched a bear drag it off. I had that story on my site and the CEO got all pissed off at me in an email. I told him approved by the NPS or not this is a real story and people need to know it can be had by bears. Blasted him right back and said you suck as a CEO, instead of bitching at me to take the story down why didn't you contact with me with updated information about how they can't be taken and what you have done to get approval in Yosemite. Never heard back from him.

Balzaccomm - Good to hear... Ya and I was wondering if he was bring more than just a guitar :lol: MY friend that has the 450 has had issues opening it when it gets loaded with sand. How has that worked out for you?

You know this has turned out to be a really good thread, and quite by accident for the newbies wondering what to do.
Might be kind of fun for us of those experienced to have an equipment thread(s) to answer questions or solutions that people have not heard of.
Amongst us we have a ton of experience and tricks.
My thing is food, have not taken a Freeze dried off the shelf meal in years, and yet people around us are lusting after my meals, which may weigh a few ozs more then the shelf crap, but SO MUCH BETTER!!!

By the way, I have been down south(Orange County) for the last year enjoying the desert, but the business I sold is struggling a bit, so I moved back up to San Jose to get re-involved. No real complaint as I did not realize how much I miss being 3 hours from the Park.
Steve
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby Phil » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:27 am

balzaccom wrote:And we're carrying 50L packs. Phil, what the heck are you taking that needs a 75L pack? You're supposed to leave the piano at home!


I find that anything smaller tends to wreck havoc on the lacquer finish. :cry:

You know I tend to slightly overpack my clothing sometimes, but aside from that, I like the carry and only get out for longer trips much beyond the normal day hiking. I also have two fierce pet peeves that are inviolable: I simply can't function without compartmentalization (a big chunk of that volume), and there can never be anything but my water bottle lashed outside my pack, ever. It may not always be full, and the volume more than I need, but for as big as it may seem (and is), I get really weirded out if I'm not feeling streamlined. At this time, I want to take a moment to thank the bull elk on the south end of the Lost Coast for causing me to adopt this philosophy because of the brutal 45 minute bushwhack he caused us, at which time I would've traded the piano for a limb saw and a very large set of pruners and not even thought twice about the weight or missing the evening's musical interlude. :shock: Just be happy that I'm not singing, too.

Sans can, though, I get by for a couple days with about 35L, but now the girlfriend is getting out more, and she's little, so that may be changing real soon, because she still tends to want to haul some interesting stuff...and she's little. She's no "M", yet, but I have faith.

Yeah Steve, it looks like we're headed for Reno pretty soon.

And B, it's my turn to brag....I'm just normally pretty damned wonderful (well, duh), but the 21 year old sargeant kid that's a US Army geospatial engineer (aka: "Topo Guy") is now training for his second Bataan Death March memorial marathon. He's on the coed "heavy" team. Last year their time was 5 hrs 36 min, and they're on track to beat that this year if their training times are any indication. 35 lbs dry, and if you've never seen someone rucking for almost 20 miles at 6 mph consistently, it's not only inspirational, it's frightening. The one thing I like about getting older is watching the kids find their place in the world and succeed at what they do. So yeah, for me, it deserves a moment to share it with a few friends.
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Re: One of the First Bear Vault Canisters

Postby balzaccom » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:04 am

Grzldvt: have not had any issues opening our BVs for any reason. But we did learn that if you leave them out in the rain, and the temperature drops, they will suck in water that accumulates on the rim below the threads, and suck it right into the can. When I wrote BV about this they said, basically: "Oh Yeah, that happens, You should always stand it at about a 10 degree angle to keep that from happening." But they never say that anywhere on their website, materials, or anything else. So there is only one way you can learn it...lockingly, most of our food was in separate pouches....we didn't lose much!

Phil--the last time I went for a bike ride my daughter smoked me. There's nothing that quite brings a grin to a dad's face like trying to keep and realizing that it won't happen. And my older daughter just wrote me to say she climbed a 5.11 in the gym. Fun to watch them leave us behind!
Check out our website and blog at: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/home
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