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Tag Archives | Food storage & protection

The Bear Vault BV500, which offers good volume for its weight at a reasonable price

Reader Q: Where should I put my bear canister or Ursack at night?

In a comment to my recent post about the ineffectiveness of bear bags and recommended alternatives, reader Jim N. asked, I received a similar question via email from David N., so a standalone post on the issue seems warranted. But to give a more comprehensive answer, I’ll broaden the question to: Official recommendations Let’s first look […]

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NOLS Cookery (National Outdoor Leadership School) (NOLS Library) Kindle Edition by Claudia Pearson (Author, Editor), Mike Clelland  (Illustrator), Stackpole Books; 5 Revised edition (January 1, 2004)

Ineffective & outdated: Six reasons to not hang a bear bag

Bear bags are a stubborn fixture of the backpacking world. Hanging is recommended, taught, and practiced by influential organizations and individuals even though it is less effective, less foolproof, less reliable, less efficient, and less safe than other food protection techniques, notably hard-sided canisters and (to a lesser degree) soft-sided bear-resistant food sacks. I have not […]

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The width of the 12" x 20" Opsak is about the same as most candy/energy bars and snack/sandwich bags.

Long-term review: LOKSAK OPSAK || Food storage enhancer

LOKSAK OPSAK bags are made of heavy-duty plastic and have a hermetic seal. When closed, the bag is airtight, waterproof, and odor-proof (the “OP” in OPSAK). On some trips, I use the 12″ x 20″ size ($6, 1.5 oz) as a lone food sack or as a liner inside a wildlife-resistant Ursack. I also like the 9″ […]

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A black bear in Bubbs Creek, Sequoia-Kings National Park

Tutorial || How to store & protect food from bears & mini-bears

You’ve set up camp for the night and cooked dinner. Now what should be done with the Snickers, salami, peanut noodle dinners, and the other calories that will sustain you for the remainder of your backpacking trip? Protect from what? Most backpackers seem to protect their food overnight because they’re worried about bears. In places […]

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Last summer I yo-yo'd the Pfiffner Traverse in 9 days, starting at Berthoud Pass. By the time I reached Rocky Mountain National Park, where canisters are required, I was able to fit all of my food inside the canister. In the James Peak and Indian Peaks Wilderness, I used other accepted methods to store my food at night.

Not bear- or idiot-proof: Documented canister failures

At least most of the time, hard-sided canisters like the BearVault BV500 successfully protect food from bears and “mini-bears” in the backcountry. But it turns out that they’re not 100 percent bear- or idiot-proof. Recently, I received a spreadsheet that documented 199 food-related bear incidents with backpackers in Yosemite National Park between July 2012 and […]

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The Bear Vault BV500, which offers good volume for its weight at a reasonable price

Buyers guide: Bear canisters || Comparison of volume per weight & cost

During the day, properly protecting food is as simple as not leaving it (or a backpack full of it) unattended. The conversation about overnight food protection is longer and more nuanced. Multiple techniques can be used; regulations vary by location; and misinformation and poor practices are abundant. In this post I will focus on one specific food […]

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The BV500 and Ursack AllWhite S29.3 are both about 650 cubic inches in volume. But the Ursak is 60 percent lighter and is soft-sided. Which would you rather carry?

Interview with Ursack CEO: Yosemite food regs, lobbying, & new products

Among bear-resistant food containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), the Ursack S29.3 AllWhite is easily my favorite. It weighs just 8 oz, or 80 percent less than my BearVault BV500, which has the same volume. It’s also $10 less. And, Unlike plastic or carbon fiber canisters, it’s soft-sided and collapsible, and as comfortable to […]

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