Do I Want a Bear Canister?

Do I want a bear canister? That’s query. Once you’re tenting in bear nation, it’s necessary to keep in mind that bears have a powerful sense of odor. Scratch that. Bears have a really robust sense of odor, about equal to that of a bloodhound.

Did you ever watch a police procedural the place the detectives have a bloodhound sniff any individual’s garments, and the canines are capable of comply with their path for miles? Effectively, bears can do the identical factor.

Luckily for us people, bears aren’t typically excited about consuming us. We’re massive, we’re clever, and a few of us carry the lengthy shiny sticks that go increase.

However the identical doesn’t go for our camp meals. Bears simply can’t resist the odor of meal, they usually additionally love the odor of mint — the sort you’ll discover in toothpaste, deodorant, and mouthwash. All of these items are magnets that may draw a bear into your campsite in the midst of the night time.

So for those who’re tenting in bear nation, it is advisable retailer your meals and toiletries away out of your campsite. And until you need to go hungry for the remainder of your journey, you’ll want to guard your meals in addition to attainable.

What’s a Bear Canister?

A bear canister is a hard-sided container, sometimes a thick polymer, which is designed to guard your meals from bears. These canisters sometimes weigh 2-Three kilos and maintain sufficient meals for one particular person for 5 days. For those who’re tenting with a buddy, two individuals can match 2-Three days value of meals in a canister.

These containers are engineered to withstand slashing and prying, that are a bear’s go-to methodology for breaking right into a container. The lids characteristic a locking mechanism that’s simple for people to open, however nearly not possible for a bear to get open. A preferred selection is the BearVault canister, which is accepted by all Nationwide Parks and Nationwide Forests

How Do I Use a Bear Canister?

Remember that a bear canister’s main goal isn’t to guard your meals and toiletries; it’s to guard you. So it doesn’t make a lot sense to maintain the canister in the midst of your campsite, the place bears could come and take a crack at it.

As an alternative, when you’ve completed consuming, put all of your meals, toiletries, and something that smells like meals (equivalent to consuming utensils) into the canister, and seal the lid. Then, take the canister not less than 200 ft out of your campsite, and put it someplace that’s going to be simple to search out within the morning. Since most bear canisters are inexperienced or black, many campers paint a bright-colored stripe on the aspect to make it simpler to find within the woods.

One final thing about positioning your canister. A bear could try and get into it in the midst of the night time, and within the course of, they might knock it round just a little. In case your bear canister is situated close to the sting of a cliff or the shore of a lake, the bear could knock it someplace the place you possibly can’t retrieve it.

What Are the Professionals and Cons of Bear Canisters?

Right here’s a listing of the reason why it is best to — or shouldn’t — use a bear canister.


Bear canisters are simpler to arrange and retrieve than a standard counterweight or bear bag.Bear canisters can be utilized even the place there aren’t any appropriate timber for hanging a bag.Canisters present higher safety than different strategies.Many campsites require them.They will double as a camp stool.


Bear canisters are comparatively heavy and ponderous.

What Are Some Options to Bear Canisters?

There are two different commonly-used strategies of storing your meals on a hike.

The primary is an easy bear bag. For this methodology, you set your entire provides right into a stuff sack, and tie a rope across the high of the sack. You then dangle the sack from a department, and anchor the opposite finish of the rope to a close-by tree so you possibly can retrieve the sack. Once you’re utilizing this methodology, make sure that the bag is not less than 10 ft off the bottom and 10 ft from the tree’s trunk, or a bear might be able to attain it.

The second methodology is the counterweight system, which has similarities. For this methodology, you utilize two stuff sacks, run a rope between them, and droop them each from a tree department. For retrieval, many campers tie a smaller rope and even fishing line to one of many baggage. Like a easy bear bag, counterweighted baggage must be not less than 10 ft off the bottom and not less than 10 ft from the trunk.

Sadly, these strategies require tall timber with sturdy branches. In lots of areas of the US, together with deserts, scrub, and pine forests, bear baggage simply aren’t sensible.

Some campgrounds present lockers which might be situated a protected distance from campsites. In case your campground offers these, they’re much more handy than a bear canister. Simply make sure that to be a courteous camper, and pack out your trash on the finish of your journey.

So long as we’re speaking bears, try our article on bear sprays. It’s one other good factor to hold on the path. 


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