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DenisLemeiux
member (7)member
 
05/19/2017 10:23AM
If we use a bear barrel, do we still need to hang it?
 
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Schmoe
Guest Paddler
 
05/19/2017 10:29AM
Probably, if you don't want to search for it floating away or have it carried off into the woods. Pretty sure the bear would claim it was his! Possession is 9/10ths of the law, ya know! Lol...
05/19/2017 10:31AM
No, but which kind of bear barrel are you talking about - the big blue ones or the smaller approved canisters like BearVaults?
DenisLemeiux
member (7)member
 
05/19/2017 10:34AM
Big Blue on with back pack straps!

Thinking about renting one instead of my Duluth pack . . . But if I gotta hang it, then might as well stick with big green!
05/19/2017 11:44AM
I have not used one, but have used the smaller approved bear canisters. I think most people who use the blue barrels do not hang them, but stash them out of the immediate camp away from the water and not on a trail. Some have mentioned securing them to trees. Other key things to know about the "stashing" method are to minimize food smells and don't get any on the barrel. I'm sure others who use them will chime in, but there's also a lot of information out there if you use the site search function.
05/19/2017 12:30PM
I've used the big blue barrels 3 separate occasions, never hung it, never a problem. When not in immediate use, secured it with the straps to a tree about 50 yards from camp.

When we were on day trips or just fishing in the canoe, we took it with us, mostly to trim the canoe properly but also to prevent any curious critters from finding it.
Arkansas Man
Moderator
 
05/19/2017 12:42PM
Just for a little clarification, the Larger Blue Barrels are considered to be Food Barrels and not really bear proof at all. The much smaller bear proof canisters are what are considered to be "bear barrels" As mentioned I have use the larger blue barrels for many years, and have two sizes I carry 12 and 10 gallon. Either fits inside an Army gear bag with shoulder straps and that's how we portage it. and I usually just set it off to the edge of camp in brush away from the trails into camp and I have never had a problem, other than the squirrels they will chew holes in the edge of the lids to try and get inside.

Bruce
shock
distinguished member(3134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/19/2017 02:54PM
keeping a clean camp is the best for not having visitors . every site/area is different , but i've never had a bear visit camp.
rdgbwca
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
05/19/2017 03:25PM
I have seen different advice and don't have personal experience in bear country.

However, I think this video is relevant.

bear encounter
Grandma L
distinguished member(4966)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/19/2017 03:46PM
I have been using the Blue Barrels - both 30 and 60 L for more than 10 years. We don't hang them - never have. We tie them to a tree, usually away from camp (but not far). We carry them in a pack which I remove in camp. The rodents are more of a problem in camp than the bears. I have not had a bear in camp since 1985. As the guys said, keep a clean camp and your food put away. Clean fish well away from camp.
Guest
Guest Paddler
 
05/19/2017 03:48PM
Have used the blue barrels for many years - no issues. We place our cooking pans in a mesh bag on the barrel at night and also secure the metal band with a zip tie so that the handle cannot be snapped open. We also remove the carrying harness in camp so a bear has little to grab. We do realize that given enough time a bear probably could get into the barrel. Also a Brittany in camp and tent gives warning and keeps the chipmunks and red squirrels at bay. Have a great trip.
OneMatch
distinguished member(2809)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2017 07:04AM
In the for what it's worth dept: three years ago, I used a 30L blue barrel with back pack straps. I kept a very clean camp, especially knowing there was bear activity in the area (Clearwater EP).

Woke up the next morning to a dragging sound and saw Mr Black Bear dragging my barrel off into the woods. Chased him a bit, and got "bluff charged" by him. Bear won.

If I hadn't had the back pack straps on (for him to grab) and secured my barrel to a tree with a metal strap, I'd still have that barrel today.
Grandma L
distinguished member(4966)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/20/2017 10:10AM
Yup, securing to the tree thing is a good idea. We use a combination cable bike lock and leave the combo right on it. Hopefully the bear can not read the numbers.
mjmkjun
distinguished member(1731)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2017 12:41PM
30 L blue barrel strapped to a nearby tree--in plain sight. Personally, I don't see the point of hiding it. I use a cable with combination lock to strap it securely to the tree. I also secure lid ring w/small clip. Since it's strapped to a tree I leave the harness on the blue barrel. Never had a bear in camp but I'm not one to fuss with cooking. All quick & easy. No frying bacon in my camp.
LostRanger
 
05/20/2017 04:57PM
Anyone try a 4" PVC ` 3' long, capped on both ends for food storage on one end with the other garbage? Bears should not be able to smell or get into the PVC, unless the know how to unscrew a cap. Have heard of one person doing this. Also wondering if it should be hung?
jeremylynn21
member (18)member
 
05/20/2017 07:23PM
quote LostRanger: "Anyone try a 4" PVC ` 3' long, capped on both ends for food storage on one end with the other garbage? Bears should not be able to smell or get into the PVC, unless the know how to unscrew a cap. Have heard of one person doing this. Also wondering if it should be hung?
"



Intresting. I think it would work just fine. Not sure how much food could be packed in it though. I'll make one for the heck of it. Endless supply of sch40 and all the fittings.
schweady
distinguished member(6374)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/21/2017 06:36PM
People talk about "stashing" these. How, exactly? I'm considering a BV500, but mention of attaching straps and tying it to a tree or such gives folks a chance to respond that this gives a bear something to hold onto for leverage. Thinking about leaving it out loose is met with warnings that it could disappear into the woods or be left floating. So... under down branches or piled on under that rare perfect boulder collection?
05/21/2017 06:48PM
Schweady-

There's a big difference (besides size :)) between the big blue plastic barrels that people are securing to a tree and the BearVaults you are contemplating. The blue barrels are not "approved" for use where bear resistant containers are required. BearVaults (BV) and other similar ones are.

Link to information about testing protocols . More information about approvals and use is available at the various websites.

The bear canisters like the BV and Backpackers Cache are designed so there's nothing for the bear to get ahold of and carry it off, so there's no need to secure it to anything. They are also made of material that the bear cannot just simply bite or claw through like they can with the blue barrels. They are round though and can be rolled around, so don't stash them where they could easily be knocked into the water or over a cliff.

Just stash it outside camp, off trails, but not on a rock at water's edge :). I usually set it next to a down tree, stump, or rock.



05/22/2017 04:47AM
I always stash my bear vaults close and where I feel comfortable that they won't be rolled into the lake. Not a fan of the barrel as you just as well use a pack designed for it. You can gain the lack of smell just as easy. Clean camp... and foods that don't smell so much in the first place.
Renol
member (20)member
 
05/22/2017 09:39AM
So I see a lot of recommendations for bear canisters. If only staying at a site for a night with all food and smelly stuff in scent proof bags is that enough?
schweady
distinguished member(6374)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/22/2017 10:11AM
quote boonie: "...Just stash it outside camp, off trails, but not on a rock at water's edge :). I usually set it next to a down tree, stump, or rock..."
Fair enough, thanks.

How about Ursack users? Stash? Hang? (I suppose not)... Strategies to keep the contents dry? Is the newer AllMitey worth the extra $$?
05/22/2017 11:48AM
quote schweady: "quote boonie: "...Just stash it outside camp, off trails, but not on a rock at water's edge :). I usually set it next to a down tree, stump, or rock..."
Fair enough, thanks.


How about Ursack users? Stash? Hang? (I suppose not)... Strategies to keep the contents dry? Is the newer AllMitey worth the extra $$?
"


Yeah, I got an Ursack to save weight and bulk when kanoes did the big group buy with the discount. The Ursack can be carried off, unlike the bear canisters, so it needs to be attached to something. Plus, the Ursack bag material does not provide the same level of protection to the contents as the hard exterior of the bear canisters, but does reduce in volume as the contents diminish and is more conformable. A branch is recommended vs. tree trunk to reduce the bear's leverage. There's some good info and video on their site, I believe. Not as much water gets in as you might think and the material does not absorb a lot. They do recommend use of the OPSacks (OP = Odor Proof) and they also provide a waterproof barrier. I remember reading some discussion about the Allmitey question you pose, but don't remember the consensus. I think it was a thread somewhere on bwca.com, but don't remember for sure. I believe the Allmitey is bigger . . .?, so it might depend on the amount of food you have. I can get quite a lot (more than a week) in the standard one, but I take mostly dehydrated and calorie-dense, low bulk foods in more minimal packaging. I would guess you'd probably find a larger one useful.
05/22/2017 12:08PM
OK, looked it up, schweady - The Allmitey is not the bigger one like I thought, but something new and different. So far I only have limited experience with the Ursack and I have not had any problems like that with other critters, but I do use the OPSacks and have food with low odor that is well-sealed.
05/22/2017 01:28PM
quote Renol: "So I see a lot of recommendations for bear canisters. If only staying at a site for a night with all food and smelly stuff in scent proof bags is that enough?"

If you are talking about the OPSacks, I'd still put the OPSacks in a dry bag or pack and at least stash that a little way outside of the main camp area.
05/22/2017 02:18PM
OK I'll jump in. We have a 60L Blue Barrel and GG harness. We have used it and not had any bear issues. Of course that could change next trip. However, I will add this, when we looked at ways to lighten our load and I actually weighed everything on a certified digital scale the 60L barrel plus harness weighed 9.5# empty. Wow, that had to go. So I looked at the bear canisters at 500 Cu In. that's 8.33 liters. That's not much for the weight 2.5#. We would need at least 2-3 canisters or 5#-7.5# of canisters. Long story, we're going back to hanging lightweight dry bags inside a sealine black canyon dry bag with our food to minimize odors, weatherproof, packable inside portage packs and lightweight comparatively speaking. Of course this is not bear proof at all but neither is a CCS, Duluth, kondos, etc.... foodpack. My .02 Good Luck with your choice.
05/22/2017 05:43PM
quote BnD: "OK I'll jump in. We have a 60L Blue Barrel and GG harness. We have used it and not had any bear issues. Of course that could change next trip. However, I will add this, when we looked at ways to lighten our load and I actually weighed everything on a certified digital scale the 60L barrel plus harness weighed 9.5# empty. Wow, that had to go. So I looked at the bear canisters at 500 Cu In. that's 8.33 liters. That's not much for the weight 2.5#. We would need at least 2-3 canisters or 5#-7.5# of canisters. Long story, we're going back to hanging lightweight dry bags inside a sealine black canyon dry bag with our food to minimize odors, weatherproof, packable inside portage packs and lightweight comparatively speaking. Of course this is not bear proof at all but neither is a CCS, Duluth, kondos, etc.... foodpaif ck. My .02 Good Luck with your choice."



I take two vaults, when I figure the rope and everything needed it wasn't enough weight savings. And the hanging trees? Most aren't anything worth hanging in. I'd still be stashing. I just like closing both eyes when I sleep. Haha. I quit using my food saver for most things. I get way more in my vaults now. Well to be fair I also trimmed my food some too. Most bears don't like my food... too much work to prepare. Haha.
05/22/2017 06:32PM
With all due respect nctry, we use zing it rope to hang and 3-23 gram carabiners for a backcountry block and tackle. Lifting 15lbs with 5 lbs of effort through slick carabiners not tree limbs. The whole thing weighs ounces not pounds. As far as sleep we have zero issues like a rock. As far as odor I'm quite confident there's less odor escaping waterproof dry bags than nearly any other option. If you have bear issues they just want the food not you. Not sure I follow how having bear vaults would help me sleep. I do agree 100% on how there is never a good hanging tree. They are a rare find. That is why I usually string a suspension rope between two trees. I also agree hanging is a PITA but trade offs must be made to single portage with too much fishing gear. This is one of ours. If we ever lost our food I would just have to clean more fish unless he took my fillet knife, stove and fire grate as well. Now that would be one mean spirited and incredibly clever bear. In that case I guess it's time to leave.
mastertangler
distinguished member(3744)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2017 04:38AM
The entire game is odor unless the bear is habituated to certain "hanging trees" which are used repeatedly. A bears world is smell and generally speaking if they can't smell it it doesn't exist.

I am not a fan of OP saks and find the seals eventually get contaminated and or bent and they fail. I was not impressed.

An interesting note (speaking of dry bags) the night we were under siege by a bear in Algonquin the bear batted around a small Sealine dry bag which was left in camp. It had a "butter accident" (butter had leaked out of its container and had contaminated the bag). Although the bear was curious it never ripped it open.

I am a huge fan of the Watershed Duffels which have a ziplock type seal (supposedly waterproof to 30 ft of depth).........that is a tight seal. These are tripping bags deluxe and I highly recommend them.

I use a combination of bear vaults and Ursak Bags and stash. Along with the Watershed Duffels I feel good about my chances. I have been clipped once of my entire food supply and that will get your attention. Fortunately it was on our last night out on Sawbill and the truck was 30 minutes away.
ockycamper
distinguished member (391)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2017 09:39AM
We have taken Bear Vaults BV 500 for years. We cook big breakfasts and dinners. So I bring one BV500 per day for groups of 6-8 men. Four of these will fit in a Sealline pack and can be carried that way.

The reason we use them is that they eliminate the need to hang or stash in the woods. The bear get a handle on them. I formerly brought Blue Barrells but moved over to the smaller Bear Vaults as I can organize them for one Bear Vault per day and I can see what's inside without opening them.

Never liked the idea of the Ursack. Can be dragged off and didn't seem to be a good deterent to mice.

As a guide. . .we bring one BV500 per day for our groups when they are 6-8 guys per camp. Again. . .we eat big breakfasts and dinners. No "survival" rations in our camps.
schweady
distinguished member(6374)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/23/2017 11:21AM
Used my REI 20% this morning to start my BV500 collection. My wife and I will be doing a 3-day in mid-July so this one vault should suffice and then we can get a better feel for what might be right for larger groups or longer trips.

It's taken a real 180 degree turn in our thinking to challenge some of our solidly entrenched paradigms regarding the usual (time-consuming) tasks easily accomplished by a larger group -- stove cooking vs firewood collection and cooking over a fire, stashing vs hanging food, dehydrated vs fresh foods, etc. Looking forward to it, but it has been a bit of a shopping spree lately... :-)
andym
distinguished member(3742)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2017 02:24PM
quote ockycamper
Never liked the idea of the Ursack. Can be dragged off and didn't seem to be a good deterent to mice.
"


Tie it to a tree, it is designed for that. Then, it can't be dragged off.

Never had a problem with a mouse or squirrel getting into one, even at sites with many little critters.

05/23/2017 03:19PM
quote schweady: "Used my REI 20% this morning to start my BV500 collection. My wife and I will be doing a 3-day in mid-July so this one vault should suffice and then we can get a better feel for what might be right for larger groups or longer trips.


It's taken a real 180 degree turn in our thinking to challenge some of our solidly entrenched paradigms regarding the usual (time-consuming) tasks easily accomplished by a larger group -- stove cooking vs firewood collection and cooking over a fire, stashing vs hanging food, dehydrated vs fresh foods, etc. Looking forward to it, but it has been a bit of a shopping spree lately... :-)
"


You should easily be able to get the 6 person-days (2 people x 3 days) of food in the BV500 and that even assumes you'd have 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches/snacks, and 3 dinners each; even easier if you only have 2 breakfast and dinners. I can get 8-9 days of food in one, but it is stuffed. You may already have discovered in your research that there are tricks to it - some foods and packaging methods pack better. If you have any trouble, there are some tricks that people have shared. Just ask.
sns
member (27)member
 
05/23/2017 09:00PM
I don't hang the canisters.

Not to hijack, but has anyone ever tried a waterproof dry bag, with a heavy rock inside along with the food, submerged? Theoretically it should be a winner - as long as the bag is well & truly waterproof (& probably secured too...)
lindylair
distinguished member(1729)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2017 09:17PM
After hanging for 45 years we are trying something new. My buddy bought a BV 450 for a backpacking trip out west this winter and i just bought a BV 500 to compliment that. We are hoping that all of our food for a 6 day 5 night trip will fit in those and we will not have to worry about hanging anymore. We shall see, I will take a shot at packing them up tomorrow. If all of the food does not fit we could hang a little bit for the first night or two, but the more logical idea is that we probably have too much food and we should cut it back so that it fits.

The plan is to put them out in the woods 25 yards or so from camp, although i have read of some who just leave them sit right in camp. Hanging was never a real problem for us, we were always able to find something that would work and it was kind of a fun tradition. But I think, based on what I have read that our food is probably safer in the bear vaults stashed in the woods than it was in our tree hangs, some of which were perfect, but some of which were pretty marginal.

Looking forward to the simplicity.
mastertangler
distinguished member(3744)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2017 03:39AM
Lindylair

Indeed the simplicity of stashing is appealing. A few suggestions........Avoid the shoreline as that is a travel lane for most critters but especially bruins. I also try and avoid high ground as air sinks when its cool and can carry odors further. Rather, I look for blowdown or thick places just off easily traversed areas usually about 20 yards out of camp. It can be "easy" to forget where you stashed your food particularly if you are up before dawn. For that reason I use Runners reflector bands (meant to be wrapped around an ankle or wrist) and put them in the tree above my food. The velcro makes it a snap to mark your spot and the reflector shows up instantly when a light is on it for those predawn starts.

Nothing more annoying than spending 20 minutes looking for your stashed food. Don't forget to retrieve your marker as well.
05/24/2017 05:02AM
quote sns: "I don't hang the canisters.


Not to hijack, but has anyone ever tried a waterproof dry bag, with a heavy rock inside along with the food, submerged? Theoretically it should be a winner - as long as the bag is well & truly waterproof (& probably secured too...)"


I don't think most dry bags are designed for prolonged submersion.
05/24/2017 05:07AM
Lindylair-

You should be able to get all your food in those, but packaging bulk and dead air space with the Mountain House meals were problems for me in the beginning. Solutions that people gave me were squeezing air out of the bags through a pinhole, then covering the pinhole with tape, or repackaging them into Ziploc bags. I also found that the Mountain House ProPacks, which were vacuum-packed, were like packing baseballs into the canisters and left a lot of dead space. I use a liner and am careful not to get food on it. I usually take them out of camp, but not far - about like you're planning. I do like the simplicity and ease compared to when I used to hang mine in a dry bag.
Bumstead
distinguished member (122)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/24/2017 08:20AM
3 BV500 Bear Vaults are plenty of room for me to pack food for 4 guys on a 4 night / 5 day trip. As mentioned before, being clear polycarbonate allows for ease of locating food, and the days can be organized into appropriate canisters for organization. I am sure a bear would make a good attempt to bite, tear, or smash its way into one, but it certainly can't carry it off. These 3 vaults fit easily into a typical 65L internal frame backpack with plenty of room to spare. To me it has been worth the investment for peace of mind that bears and especially other small critters, can't get into the food while we're out of camp fishing / day tripping. Best price I've found is Austin Canoe and Kayak with their monthly discount emails when you sign up for their newsletter.
schweady
distinguished member(6374)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/24/2017 09:28AM
quote Bumstead: "...Best price I've found is Austin Canoe and Kayak with their monthly discount emails when you sign up for their newsletter."
+1
Went with REI because it worked out to a few bucks cheaper than ACK, but I didn't factor in the fact that ACK doesn't charge sales tax for non-TX residents. I started to console myself with the REI dividend earned, but then I remembered that it's not awarded on these coupon sales...

It's been a tricky week of working everyone's spring sales come-ons... :-)
Renol
member (20)member
 
05/24/2017 12:13PM
quote boonie: "quote Renol: "So I see a lot of recommendations for bear canisters. If only staying at a site for a night with all food and smelly stuff in scent proof bags is that enough?"


If you are talking about the OPSacks, I'd still put the OPSacks in a dry bag or pack and at least stash that a little way outside of the main camp area. "


Yea those are the ones I was referring to. Appreciate the input.
05/24/2017 01:01PM
quote schweady: "quote Bumstead: "...Best price I've found is Austin Canoe and Kayak with their monthly discount emails when you sign up for their newsletter."
+1
Went with REI because it worked out to a few bucks cheaper than ACK, but I didn't factor in the fact that ACK doesn't charge sales tax for non-TX residents. I started to console myself with the REI dividend earned, but then I remembered that it's not awarded on these coupon sales...


It's been a tricky week of working everyone's spring sales come-ons... :-)
"


Not to ruin your day but you can get them from Campsaver for 20% off plus free shipping plus no tax. Still really expensive for 11 liters of food storage in my book but I know everyone has their own style and preferences.
ccterrell
member (8)member
 
06/14/2017 08:48AM
Hi Everyone,
I know this thread is a few week old but just wanted to pass some thoughts on from my experiences with the BV500.

My wife and I have used them on many backpacking trips. As far as expanding the vault capacity, what we typically do is put our first days worth of food and snacks in a dry bag to allow more room in the vault for food that needs to be kept secure for day 2 and beyond. All of our snacks get sorted and put into freezer zip lock bags, and then those backs get grouped and put into a larger bag to help conceal smells even more. Also, all of our trash goes into a freezer zip lock as well. If we eat a mountain house meal it gets rolled tightly and sealed with its seal and then placed in the trash bag. All of the trash gets put back in the vault.

I just started some forums threads asking bout blue barrels and hanging them, but after reading these posts I think I'm going to stick to my true and trusted vault. Not sure what I'll do with my cookset though if it won't fit in...I think in the past I've hunnit on pre-established bear wires that are in western nation parks.

One question: one of the guides mentioned packing them with food for "big" and food breakfasts etc...what kind of food are you packing?
 
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