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A novice, again!?

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A novice, again!?

Postby JM21760 » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:30 pm

I feel real funny asking this. I started packing in 1975 as a teenager. Down sleeping bags, Svea 123 stoves, tube tents, and, of course, no water filters. We didn't even bear bag back then. If there was a problem, 2 or 3 rocks took care of it. By the time the bears started getting smart, is when health problems, unfortunately, caught up to me. Could anyone tell me about these Garcia cans?
(My Svea 123 still fires and cooks fine!)



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Postby sierranomad » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:03 am

I've had my Garcia canister for @ 10 years and they work great. It's wonderful to not have to worry about hanging your food (finding a tree/limb of right heighth, length etc). However, there are lighter and larger cans out there now. If I were you I'd take a look at the Bear Vault.
Jon

"When one tugs on a single thing in nature, he finds it's attached to the rest of the world". - John Muir
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Postby sierra cyd » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:51 am

Yeah, the bear cans are a few extra pounds, but on the other hand, it is nice not to have to worry about your food at all. I've got the Bearikade Expedition, which is $$$$$ but very light for its size. The Garcia is readily available, and can be easily rented. The only difference between the old days and carrying a can is that you need to select and pack your food more carefully to make it all fit (no big fluffy loaves of bread, except for short trips!).

I'm not a big fan of the Bear Vault. From what I've seen, if you aren't careful to keep the threads clean and lubricated, (hello, there is dust in the backcountry!) it can get jammed shut! Then, you can find yourself in the position of the bear, spending hours just trying to get the damn thing open. I've got a funny photo documentary of this happening to some friends. They did get it open, eventually. But you should see all the things they tried! It took over an hour with 4 men and one woman trying different approaches :eek: :lol:
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Postby krudler » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:55 am

I've had the Bear Vault for 2 years now with no problems (although it does have the "new" lid, which I believe is standard now). It is slightly larger (capacity) and slightly lighter than the Garcia.
The Bearikade would be cool if you have the $$$.
"Krusty, you know Bette Midler?"
"Yeah we own a racehorse together - the Krudler!"
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Postby sierra cyd » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:16 am

Hmmm, my friend only had her Bear Vault for just over a year before she had that bad experience (bought it in early summer '04), so it probably had the new lid? Anyway, she said she had never cleaned or lubricated the threads, and I read up on it afterwards out of curiosity and on the Bear Vault website (I think) they say you need to maintain it and they recommended some kind of silicone lube, so I assumed that was a big cause of the problem (but then again, wouldn't dust stick to the silicone lube anyway?). Also, you know how when you close it you have to get the plastic bump past the stop, well, she had closed it at night (in the dark) and I THINK she thought it wasn't closed past the bump and in trying to close it further may have over tightened it. Anyway! Just a word of caution for you Bear Vault folks! The lighter weight, larger volume and wider opening than the Garcia is certainly a plus! And wiping the threads periodically with a bandana wouldn't be too difficult.
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Postby sierranomad » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:38 am

Sierra cyd:

Wow!! I checked out the Bearikade. Less weight and 50% more capacity! Now I'm salivating. But $245? Still, with how much of my backacking time is spent in Yosemite I think it will be my next purchase.
Jon

"When one tugs on a single thing in nature, he finds it's attached to the rest of the world". - John Muir
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Postby sierra cyd » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:59 am

sierranomad,
I KNOW! The price is absolutely insane! But, they are so light and hold so much! I got mine in early 2004 and tried it out, and liked it so much that my husband got one a few months later. Our "excuse" was that we were through hiking the Sierra High Route that summer, and wanted the biggest, lightest cans available. They ended up being perfect for that trip (though many will argue that bear cans aren't needed on that route, we weren't willing to risk that), and we love them. The sizing is such that we each carry our own for full-week trips, or we share one for long-weekend trips. For anyone who usually spends more than 5-6 days out at a time in the sierra, I would recommend that canister, if you can afford it! :)
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Postby wingding » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:00 pm

I have a garcia, a bearikade weekender, and a small size bear vault.

Once I bought the bearikade a few years ago I never used the garcia again. Last year I bought the small size bear vault for shorter trips. It weighs about the same as the larger bearikade I have, but it is smaller and fits easier into my pack. So, unless I'm headed out for over 4 days I'll probably carry the bear vault. For trips longer than that it'll be the bearikade. I can fit 7 days of food in the bearikade weekender and 4 days in the small bear vault.
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Postby yosemitechris » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:26 am

We have 2 Garcia canisters from the "old days" and a newer Bear Vault. I like the BV because although it is more bulky, it is see-through, lighter and can hold more food.

I am moving to NM in a few months and may not need any of them out there. I used to backpack in the Pecos Wilderness often and never had any trouble at all. Of course, things change. We never used to carry a canister in the Sierra either, years ago.

Yochris
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Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:39 pm

We also have Bearikades, a Weekender for short trips and 2 Expeditions for our long trips. For the time I spend in the Sierra, I feel I've gotten my money's worth out of those canisters. I'm not big, so a few lbs off my back is worth the cost (comfort is important). We've had bears walk past our canisters without bothering them.

On solo trips I put other items in the canister (cooking items, etc), plus it fills my pack so I can hook my chair on.

There's a photo on the http://www.wild-ideas.net site with an animated bear sitting on the canister next to the tent, with Banner and Ritter in the background. That's our tent!

Also, Bearikade rents canisters.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Bear Canisters

Postby tpdwr » Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:34 pm

I used the Garcia Canister for several years with no problems. I went to the Bear Vault when it came out. Less weight, see through and easier to pack. I do clean the threads occasionally to keep the lid spinning easily.
Don Raether
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