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How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

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How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby guyd » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:07 pm

Hi,

I'm thinking of renting the Bear Vault canisters for a backpack end of June, either the smaller BV450 and/or the 500.

We will be 2 adults and 3 teens (13, 15 and 17) and will go for 2 nights (2 breakfast, 3 lunchs, 2 suppers)... How many (of which one) do you think we should have...?

Thanks



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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:11 pm

That kind of depends on if you're into simple meals, or full-on freeze dried meals. Tell us about your "menu".
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:18 pm

I know you're working on the menu, but remember all smelly things have to go in as well.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby balzaccom » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:00 pm

The two of us always manage to get by with one BV500 for a six or seven day trip, so it would seem possible that you could do the same for your trip. But it does depend on your menu and, as RLOWN has suggested, what else you bring.

instant oatmeal and swiss miss for b'fast? No problem. Eggs and bacon? that's not gonna fit!
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:54 pm

Packing bear canisters is an art. If all your food is like couscous, rice, m&ms - that is, freeflowing and moldable when packaged in ziplocs - you will be able to maximize storage. Repackaging cup a soups into bags, for example. Choosing tortillas or those round flatbreads or pitas instead of a loaf of bread, since flat, dense things can be packed in the bottom of a canister, or down the side, or in the top after everything else is packed in. Getting exactly the number of Justin's peanut butter in packets for the meals you intend to use PB for, rather than putting in a jar of PB.

You might want to rent the canisters a day or two in advance, so you can play with packing them. That would give you time to pick up a third if you need one.

Another alternative - the largest Bearikade, rentable by mail, lighter than the large Bear Vault, holds more food. Two of those would probably hold food and toiletries and trash for all of you. One of the expedition canisters holds 900 cu in, instead of the 700 cu in of the Bear Vault. Renting bearikades by mail is effortless and you do not pay for the days in transit, only for the days you are actually hiking - I got mine three days in advance of my trip.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:02 pm

https://www.wild-ideas.net/rent.html for the bearikade. they only charge you for the time used. very nice.
still wanna see your menu, guyd. If you know you're going again several times, just buy one. totally worth it.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby Nacci » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:40 am

Your first day's lunch & dinner will not go in the bear canister since you'll eat them. The first night you'll need to fit the 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, snacks!, the garbage from the day, and all the smelly toiletries (toothbrushes) for your group.
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Two

Postby gregw822 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:03 am

(2 + 2 + 1)*5 = 25 meals. I'm a picky eater (oatmeal....blech!), so my food probably takes up much more room than most others. I can do a 7-day solo trip easily with one canister. Excluding Day 1, that means 18 meals in one canister plus various "stuff". Two canisters should give you luxurious space. Give 'em to the kids. They're young and tough.

But, with careful planning, you can probably get by with just one:

I've carried these for several years. I keep trash, sunscreen and other stuff in them.
http://www.loksak.com/products/opsak

Also, if you carry freeze-dried, the vacuum packaging is odor-proof. Has to be. If molecules of the air could get out, they could also get in, hence the product wouldn't stay vacuum packed. If the small molecules that make up the air can't pass through pores in the packaging, then neither can the larger molecules responsible for food scent.
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby snusmumriken » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:20 pm

With three teens on the trip I'd bring plenty of food. Yes you could probably get by with two bear cans, but bring three and then you don't have to worry about it. Check if the ranger will rent you Garcia cans (most do) and then there is no need to do it beforehand. Have the three strongest hikers in your group carry the cans with the food, that frees two hikers up to have light and easy packs.
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Re: Two

Postby The Other Tom » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:53 pm

gregw822 wrote:Also, if you carry freeze-dried, the vacuum packaging is odor-proof. Has to be. If molecules of the air could get out, they could also get in, hence the product wouldn't stay vacuum packed. If the small molecules that make up the air can't pass through pores in the packaging, then neither can the larger molecules responsible for food scent.


Hmmmm....never thought about it that way. So, if you leave a package of freeze dried food out, and a bear comes by, he will ignore it ?
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby balzaccom » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:32 pm

Only if you've never touched it with anything that has any food odor on it at all...!
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Re: How many bear canisters for five 2 nights?

Postby gregw822 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:30 pm

balzaccom wrote:Only if you've never touched it with anything that has any food odor on it at all...!


Well, that's true of just about anything you don't want a bear to tear up.

All I can say is that I've never bothered to protect freeze dried vacuum packed stuff, and I've never had a problem. On the other hand, I've only seen bears a few times in Sierra wilderness, and even then it was the ass end heading out of sight in a hurry. I know many others have had very different experiences. In general I avoid places where there are bear boxes, because that's where there are bears.
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