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Where do you pack your bearicade?

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Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby oldranger » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:41 am

I'm looking to purchase an expedition size bearicade. Would also like to get a lightweight (<3.5 lbs) pack that that is capable of carrying the expedition horizontally in the bottom of the bag. If you have an Expedition how do you pack it? Anyone with any suggestions?

Thanks

Mike
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby trav867 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:13 am

I'm using the larger size BearVault, which at 9 x 13, is only an inch shorter than the Bearikade Expedition, so they should be pretty similar packing. My typical summer pack is an REI Cruise UL 60L, that weighs 3lb 3oz (no longer made, though its replacement, the REI Flash 50 looks even better).

The way I pack the canister depends on what kind of hiking I'll be doing that day. It is not possible to pack the can horizontally in my pack. For trail walking, I find it more comfortable to pack the can higher, nearly at the top of the pack. The downside to this is that your center of balance is much higher, and so anything but trail hiking becomes wobbly business. For off trail the can needs to be much lower in the pack.

I usually pack bottom to top, like this: Down sleeping bag in waterproof stuff sack > tent folded, w/o poles or stakes > bear canister sitting vertically > extra clothes packed around canister to keep it centered and stable in pack > tent poles and stakes vertically near pack frame > other gear as it fits.

It's not a problem to sit the can vertically as long as it is packed low and stable. I know some people empty food out of their canisters and fill them with other gear while walking to achieve a better balance, but this seems like a big pain, and I haven't had problems as long as I pack well.
-T
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby oldranger » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:18 pm

Trav,

I'm amazed after 50 years of backpacking I still learn new stuff every day, kind of duh, hit myself in the forehead why didn't I think of that. What a novel thought, carry the canister empty to keep center of gravity down!

Thanks

mike
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby Snow Nymph » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:24 am

Sleeping bag on bottom, Bearicade on top of it, clothes stuffed around it, thermarest against my back for padding, tent on top (3 lbs)
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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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby paul » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:07 pm

It's going to be tough to find any pack, much less a light one, that will fit an Expedition horizontally. I've always carried my canisters vertically. On the one pack that I made large enough to fit my old Bearvault horizontally, I found it was uncomfortable that way. Plus I can get a snack out of the canister without taking it out of the pack. I put the sleeping bag at the bottom, clothes bag (minus a garment or two for possible layering during the day) next, then cooking stuff, then the canister. As food gets eaten, the cooking stuff migrates into the canister. I roll my thermarest up loose and slip it into the pack before the canister, so that the canister is inside the thermarest, affording a little extra padding between me and the can.
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby maverick » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:28 pm

Hi Mike

I still have my Mountainsmith Ghost (3100 c.i.) at 38 oz., and the BearVault
fits in fine vertically with my sleeping bag and down jacket wrapped in a garbage
bag underneath it so its at the right height on my back so to distribute the weight
properly.
I too use clothes to stabilize it place, which is really important on off-trail hikes or
climbing.
I've also used the Bearikade before in the same fashion.
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby fishmonger » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:18 am

I put our Bearikade Expedtion into the upper compartment of my Gregory Whitney 95 last summer - below it some of the clothing I wasn't wearing, tent pieces and fleece jacket around the base of it, other small items left and right in the pack to stabilize it in the middle. As it got emptier, I moved things like fuel and stove from my kids' packs into the top of the bearikade to keep heavy stuff high, while they got the break in the weight.

It's a hassle to take it out, but I learned to pack the inside of the canister in a way that during the day we only had to open the top of the lid while it was in the pack to get to the food we needed. At camp we would then re-arrange the contents for the next day, move light garbage down, next day's food to the top. Taking it our of the pack and putting it back in is something I try to avoid as much as possible. Takes too much time
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby oldranger » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:21 pm

I think I'm just going to carry my expedition and all my gear to the shops and see how each pack feels. I am not willing to use a pack that weighs much more than 3 lbs. so that limits my options.

I was surprised to read that some people store their trail munchies in their container. I always keep mine handy so I don't have to open up the container. I've never worried about bears taking my food off my back.

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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby fishmonger » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am

oldranger wrote:I was surprised to read that some people store their trail munchies in their container. I always keep mine handy so I don't have to open up the container. I've never worried about bears taking my food off my back.


No worries about the bears - it's the rangers you have to worry about.
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby EpicSteve » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:53 pm

I don't worry much about bears taking food off my back, but I do worry about them carrying away my pack in the middle of the night (and I've read multiple reports of this happening), due to lingering food odors on the pack. That's why I NEVER keep any kind of food anywhere but in a bear canister or an Ursack (when hiking in areas where Ursacks are allowed). I also use an odor-resistant zip closure bag within the canister or Ursack. As others have said in this thread, if you store the canister vertically in your pack, it's not that hard to remove snacks without unpacking the canister.

By the same logic, I don't fill my canister with clothing as the canister becomes emptier. Do you really want to be wearing clothes (or keeping then in your tent) that smell tasty to a bear? :eek:

Perhaps I'm overly paranoid about food odors, but I imagine we've all read about the incredible sense of smell that bears have.
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby evan » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:11 am

Oldranger-
I haven't an knowledge of or experience with a "Bearikade" canister.
I have always just rented the standard canister from the Forest Department
(in Bishop). Last season was my first season with my Deuter Act Lite 65 + 10 &
on the way in I packed that canister vertically & horizontally on the way out.
Must say I preferred it horizontally for a multitude of reasons. Acutally been
debating about buying a canister, just not too sure whats out there, pricing,
or what the best "bang for my buck" is. Any suggestions? Hope my two sents
helped! Thanks!
-Evan
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Re: Where do you pack your bearicade?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:18 am

If you are one of those who goes out on a lot of 2-3 night outings with an occasional weeklong (or longer) outing, the way to go IMO is the smaller Bare Boxer (the smallest and lightest canister, anywhere, also the cheapest, also fits anywhere in the pack, on any axis) and an occasional rent/borrow of a Bearikade (best volume-to-weight ratio of any of them). For a very long trip, buying the Bearikade starts to make more sense.

Bare Boxer canisters are on many of the approved canister lists (Yosemite and SEKI are my primary concerns) but are not on sale in box stores very often... I have seen them in the grocery stores in Yosemite tho.

I carry snacks outside the canister all the time, usually in ziploc bags, but I am not in grizz territory. The worst bears I deal with, the ones in Yosemite, don't go after things like packs because of the smell. They go after things on sight. They will look in a car, see an empty, clean ice chest or bag of shoes, and break into the car to investigate. So when in Yosemite I make a point to put the pack somewhere close by or inside the bear lockers if in backpacker camps (signs instruct you to do this in Tuolumne backpacker campground, specifically) and never leave the pack when taking a short break on the trail (had four people last year tell me stories of taking off the pack to go have a "tree watering" break and come back to find a bear dragging the pack away).
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