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Bear Cannisters

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Bear Cannisters

Postby desertrat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:04 am

I'm planning to hike the JMT for the first time beginning around August 16th from YV. I've purchased a BearVault BV500 for the trip and was wondering about placement at my campsites along the way.

Do I read correctly that you just need to "store" it somewhere on the ground away from your tent for the night or is there something special that needs to be done?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bill P.



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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby trav867 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:19 am

Officially, I believe you're supposed to keep your canister 100 yards away from camp, on level ground. When its dark and cold though, its usually all I can do to get it 100ft away before abandoning it. If a campsite has a bear locker, I usually put it in there (double safe?), although some lockers specifically state not to put bear canisters in them (if the camp is empty I don't think its a problem though!).
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:25 pm

I prefer to place the canister not that far away from my tent, I'd prefer to hear when there is
a bear playing around with it.
I like placing it in between bushes or logs so if it the bear does starts to smack it around
it will not roll down a hill or off a cliff.
If a bush or logs are not to be found I'll place a large rock and maybe a pot on top to be
my alarm.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby gary c. » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:04 pm

I usually put mine about a hundred ft away also in bushes, rocks or a low area so it won't go far. To be honest I'd just as soon not know the bear had been there until morning if possible, I'd never get back to sleep otherwise. When I reserved my permit last week for the Golden Trout Wilderness the lady on the phone suggested putting some reflective tape on the cannister in case I did decide to get up and look for it in the night. Sounded like a pretty good idea to me. I may try to find some reflective stickers so I can post a picture on Marks cannister pic thread. :nod:
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby BrianF » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:39 pm

I usually get it about 100' away and hidden in bushes or a cleft in the rocks. I try to keep it in an area that if a bear were to punt it a few times it won't end up floating in the lake or creek. I have a Garcia and I flip it lid down to keep any rain from leaking in around the inset lid.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby markskor » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:22 pm

Here in the Sierra, I want to see the bear if... always consider any backcountry sighting a rare blessing...few and far between.
Usually I put my can in easy viewing range of my tent mesh door...maybe 50 feet away, max, and put a pan or lid on top...balanced precariously.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:35 pm

The 'keep your canister far away' thing really doesn't make any sense in the Sierra. (In grizzly country, that may be different.) I would also recommend against a sleep-right-through-it policy, as the kindest thing we can do for bears is to scare the living %$@#& out of them whenever they come near our food. Aversive conditioning--make sure they understand that not only will they not get anything, but they'll also get an earful of noise (I find swearing a blue streak works) for their troubles.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby ERIC » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:43 pm

markskor wrote:Here in the Sierra, I want to see the bear if... always consider any backcountry sighting a rare blessing...few and far between.
Usually I put my can in easy viewing range of my tent mesh door...maybe 50 feet away, max, and put a pan or lid on top...balanced precariously.


Same. If a bear is going to play footy with my can, I at least like to put myself in a position to watch the show.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:11 pm

Your right TT and thats the main reasons to have it close enough so you can scare
the bear and not let it toy around with it for hours, these things are only considered
bear resistant not bear proof.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby trav867 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:27 pm

Thats good thinking, for some reason I never gave much thought to the 100 yards thing and instead just felt guilty every time I'd leave my canister close by camp. Nevermore!
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby balzaccom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:06 pm

I also want to second the motion of making sure that the bear can't lose your cannister. Keep it WAY away from cliffs, rivers, and deep holes in the ground--even lakes. There is nothing fun about swimming for your bear cannister in the morning because you want to eat some breakfast.

Nope, not me. BUt I know someone who did this. brrrrr.
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Re: Bear Cannisters

Postby hikerduane » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:14 pm

I've had deer hang around camp, I'm sure one drooled a little on my canister last summer, where I had stuck it in some rocks.
Piece of cake.
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