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WIMike
senior member (70)senior membersenior member
 
01/04/2018 11:07AM
Which do you prefer? Looking for something that will cover solo and group trips.
 
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01/04/2018 11:16AM
Barrel, for me. Thirty liter for solo, sixty liter for group trips.

mapsguy1955
distinguished member(649)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 11:29AM
Food pack but could be convinced to change!
Wick
distinguished member (267)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 11:59AM
i am outfitting for my first trip. I bought the barrel. I do not want to have the time/hassel of hanging, and i do not want to carry the rope needed to do it.
ozarkpaddler
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01/04/2018 12:01PM
awbrown: "Barrel, for me. Thirty liter for solo, sixty liter for group trips."
For years I used a Rubbermaid box that I fit into my old #4 Duluth Pack. I much prefer the barrels as they're waterproof and small critter proof. If a bear really wants in one.... And both my barrels fit in a pack. 30l is CCS and had it's own pack and the 60L fits perfectly in my Kondos with plenty of room for saw, axe, sink, stove, fuel, H2o bottles, etc. The blue and the green pack are my food pack/barrel combos:
WIMike
senior member (70)senior membersenior member
 
01/04/2018 12:19PM
Anyone use 5 gallon plastic buckets with screw on lids? Just noticed that idea in an old thread.
01/04/2018 12:37PM
Lots of people using the 5/6 gallon buckets w/gamma lids. My first two bwca trips we used a bucket. I've since upgraded to barrels.
unshavenman
distinguished member(1043)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 12:39PM
If it's two of us I have a 30L blue barrel that I carry in a CCS food pack (it will fit in either size pack). The pack holds all of the kitchen items as well. At camp the barrel get's tied to a tree in the woods. If there's four of us then we use a 60L blue barrel with a CCS barrel harness.
Duckman
distinguished member (274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 12:44PM
Odor proof plastic bags sealed and put in an old backpack that I stash.

Finding a good stash place is part of the fun. My go to spots are crevices in rock walls/faces that you can only get to by canoe.
ozarkpaddler
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01/04/2018 12:57PM
WIMike: "Anyone use 5 gallon plastic buckets with screw on lids? Just noticed that idea in an old thread."

I have, friends have. They will eventually fail if you use it enough. The seals will eventually crack or get dirt in them. I've had two fail and have had 3 friends whom had them fail.
01/04/2018 01:05PM
WIMike: "Anyone use 5 gallon plastic buckets with screw on lids? Just noticed that idea in an old thread."
I use a Garcia Bear Barrel for a very short solo. Otherwise I use a 5 gallon bucket with gamma seal. Never had one that failed.

Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13082)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/04/2018 02:45PM
WIMike: "Anyone use 5 gallon plastic buckets with screw on lids? Just noticed that idea in an old thread."

Our group has been using these for years. I have never had a failure with one with one yet. That includes the bucket itself, handle or bail, or the Gamma seal lid. I’m sure someday they will fail because it’s totally made out of plastic. But at $5.00 a pop, it has been one of the best camping investments I’ve made. We have 4 buckets going on 10 years old now.
01/04/2018 02:48PM
I don't use either, unless by barrel you mean one of the approved bear canisters such as a BearVault or Garcia, and not the "blue barrels". I have no experience with the blue barrels. I don't need anything that big and like not having to hang anymore. I have used the BearVault and Garcia previously, but have switched to Ursacks the last couple of years. The food just goes in the pack with everything else; there is no separate food pack.
Tony
distinguished member(2067)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 04:03PM
WIMike: "Anyone use 5 gallon plastic buckets with screw on lids? Just noticed that idea in an old thread."

I have for many years. This past year I found out that it fits perfectly in the Cooke Custom Sewing bushcrafter pack.

Tony
01/04/2018 04:37PM
Ursack
Jaywalker
distinguished member(1435)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 05:41PM
A good many people on his site started BWCA trips by hanging and switched to blue barrels, true bear barrels, or opsaks. To my knowledge none have switched back. Barrels seem to work, and are just easier.
OldFingers57
distinguished member(5389)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/04/2018 07:28PM
We use a 30 Liter blue barrel plus take a BV500 along with in our day pack. Our daily lunch and snacks go in it, along with an extra lunch and a dinner. That way if a bear gets into our blue barrel we have some food to get us out of Quetico.
mschi772
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 08:01PM
OldFingers57: "We use a 30 Liter blue barrel plus take a BV500 along with in our day pack. Our daily lunch and snacks go in it, along with an extra lunch and a dinner. That way if a bear gets into our blue barrel we have some food to get us out of Quetico. "

As I've recently been trying to find a food setup that suits a particular group of 6+ of us more appropriately, I've been slowly settling toward a similar setup. A 60l barrel with a BV or Ursack. The BV/Ursack wouldn't be able to hold everything, but we could stuff it full and stash it separately at night, and it would hold more than enough to get us out in the even the barrel was compromised.
Fizics
distinguished member (146)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 09:30PM
I have a bear vault. Food enough for 4 people on a 6 day trip. I don't hang a pack, I don't tether it to a tree either. I find a spot somewhere the bear can't roll the vault until the water or down a hill, and I Just drop it in the bushes. Not too far away, he'll never get into it but I want to hear him trying. A bear that hasn't gotten into food will scare off like a raccoon. Unless he's a product testing grizzly bear in the Adirondacks in New York, he can't and won't get into your bear vault. I don't even think about my food in the middle of the night, or when I'm off fishing, "GOOD LUCK BEAR, TRY IT" I think to myself. None of that sticking your food under a canoe, or hoping a bear will give up before he figures out your bag hanging system crap. Just give him a container he literally CANNOT open, carry, bite, drag, drop, you name it that vault isn't shook. I'm from Montana and have used it on grizzly country, no problems.

Want a bear proof canister? Their out there, $70 and you can get the big bear vault I have. It's a big clear jar that has a lid you need to think to open (trivial after the first time (unless it's cold out)). It adds a couple lbs but it's a couple lbs of 100% assurance my food won't get crushed, bitten, drooled on, carried of, swiped at, or pissed on. Ursack ain't got **** on a rigid uncrushable bear proof container. Buy one, treat it right, and go the rest of your life knowing that piece of gear is 100% bear proof until bears evolve much much more.
01/04/2018 10:40PM
Switched to barrels after tripping to Knife where several areas have no trees to hang and bears are plentiful. I'll never go back to a food sack / hang system, too much screwing around.
01/04/2018 10:52PM
Personal preference, but I switched to the blue barrels back in 2000 from hanging.

T
01/05/2018 01:27AM
Last year on my 21 day solo to the Kashishabog River in Ontario I had most of my food and all my cooking gear in a 30L barrel, I also took a BV5oo with the foodstuffs I didn't want crushed, worked out well. I also took a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma lid for my lunch, extra jacket ect. in the canoe and as my chair. FRED
mr.barley
distinguished member(7407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/05/2018 03:53AM
Bannock: "WIMike: "Anyone use 5 gallon plastic buckets with screw on lids? Just noticed that idea in an old thread."
I use a Garcia Bear Barrel for a very short solo. Otherwise I use a 5 gallon bucket with gamma seal. Never had one that failed.


"
Rare bannock sighting!
01/05/2018 04:09AM
We use 60l blue barrel with a GG barrel harness if double portaging. If single portaging we use ursack and dry bags and just pack in with our gear packs since the barrels and bear vaults are just too much added weight for us when we want to move fast and light.
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1592)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2018 05:35AM
bear vault 500 for me, 1- solo trips, 2 with my wife.
yellowhorse
member (37)member
 
01/05/2018 05:39AM
I've always hung the food pack but it sure feels like I'm hanging bear bait and the food pack is a scent lure for any bear within a mile. The only barrel I've considered using was a 12lb version that I was given on a permit backpacking trip in AK as it was "mandatory" to have in the field for the permit. I didn't ask if it was mandatory to carry it around so it sat in the same place for 7 days.

Lifting that barrel in 2002 had me convinced to never consider actually carrying on in the field. Are weights reasonable?
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2066)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2018 06:05AM
30 L Blue Barrel w/Kondos harness and it's the most comfortable load I portage. I pack so weight is properly distributed. Heaviest of items are neither at the top nor the very bottom.

bct
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
01/05/2018 06:21AM
I prefer a barrel in a CCS barrel pack.
billconner
distinguished member(6661)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/05/2018 06:56AM
Love my CCS food pack. Have never been bothered by hanging, and not found a site where I couldn't. Actually look forward to it as one of the traditions of canoe trips.
yellowcanoe
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01/05/2018 07:43AM
another thing to consider if you are trying to decide which to buy is whether you will always canoe in treed areas.

As I don't ( ex, the Green River, the Yukon, and the Everglades...areas where trees are more of bushes as on Yukon Islands) I favor the blue barrel. If I overpack I'll use a bucket with a Gamma Seal provided its a portageless trip ( those mentioned trips are such)
01/05/2018 08:37AM
yellowhorse: "I've always hung the food pack but it sure feels like I'm hanging bear bait and the food pack is a scent lure for any bear within a mile. The only barrel I've considered using was a 12lb version that I was given on a permit backpacking trip in AK as it was "mandatory" to have in the field for the permit. I didn't ask if it was mandatory to carry it around so it sat in the same place for 7 days.


Lifting that barrel in 2002 had me convinced to never consider actually carrying on in the field. Are weights reasonable?"


I never heard of one that heavy - how big was it and what was it made of?

A BearVault BV500 weighs 2 lbs. 9 oz. according to the website. Other bear canisters are similar. Ursacks are lighter, but less protective.
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5338)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/05/2018 08:51AM
Yes, I do NOT miss these things in my old BWCAW albums:
yellowhorse
member (37)member
 
01/05/2018 09:01AM
boonie: "

I never heard of one that heavy - how big was it and what was it made of?

A BearVault BV500 weighs 2 lbs. 9 oz. according to the website. Other bear canisters are similar. Ursacks are lighter, but less protective. "


It wouldn't have fit in my 30l Kifaru internal backpack. 12lb might be an exaggeration but it was more than 3lbs! It reminded me of some sort of military pony keg with metal clamps on lid. Not entirely metal but enough to know it wouldnt chase sheep for 7 days .
Thwarted
distinguished member(1478)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2018 10:07AM
We tried the 60L barrell but found them very heavy at the start of the trip.
Now use a combo of 30L barrell, insulated food pack, and ursack. The ursack is perfect for next day's lunch and misc. snacks that show up after the bigger packs are already stashed/hung. We eat well I guess and this combo gives use flexibility based on group size.
SteveF
senior member (78)senior membersenior member
 
01/05/2018 10:45AM
I use these dog food canisters they have a rubber seal on the lids. You can get them at Marshall’s,T.J. Maxx or Home goods for around $20
unshavenman
distinguished member(1043)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2018 12:47PM
yellowhorse: "I've always hung the food pack but it sure feels like I'm hanging bear bait and the food pack is a scent lure for any bear within a mile. The only barrel I've considered using was a 12lb version that I was given on a permit backpacking trip in AK as it was "mandatory" to have in the field for the permit. I didn't ask if it was mandatory to carry it around so it sat in the same place for 7 days.


Lifting that barrel in 2002 had me convinced to never consider actually carrying on in the field. Are weights reasonable?"

Yellowhorse, the Harmony 30L barrel that I use weighs in at just over 5 pounds empty. I think that weight includes a harness though......
01/05/2018 02:12PM
yellowhorse: "I've always hung the food pack but it sure feels like I'm hanging bear bait and the food pack is a scent lure for any bear within a mile. The only barrel I've considered using was a 12lb version that I was given on a permit backpacking trip in AK as it was "mandatory" to have in the field for the permit. I didn't ask if it was mandatory to carry it around so it sat in the same place for 7 days.


Lifting that barrel in 2002 had me convinced to never consider actually carrying on in the field. Are weights reasonable?"


To be exact our 60L Barrel with Granite Gear harness weighs 9.25# empty. For comparison my Granite gear superior one pack w/ poly liner weighs 5.5# empty. I don't have one but, based on capacity, material and insulation I would assume a full size insulated food pack would come in over 6#. When we single portage we get down to Ursacks and LW dry sacks packed in our gear packs for exactly the weight considerations listed above. Heck, I could eat a week on the weight of our 60L barrel + harness alone. Something to consider.
01/05/2018 04:12PM
I use a food pack, the larger Kondos 4700 food pack with hip belt, load lifters, and a sternum strap. I have inserted a cardboard box into the pack to maintain its boxy shape and a piece of closed-cell foam on the back for comfort. I keep its packed weight in the 40-45 lb range for a 1-week trip for 3 guys. All the food and cooking gear are in that pack plus some odds and ends. I've never hung a food pack; I just stash it. I've never had a bear problem (lucky me?). I used a 60L blue barrel for one 1-week trip for 2 guys, but it just barely fit our food and cooking gear. If/when I do a solo trip, I'll probably buy a Bear Vault.
01/05/2018 11:07PM
Barrels. 30 for solo. 50 for family trips. I've used a 5-gal. bucket with a gamma seal lid for solos as well. I've also started out with a dry bag and zip locks for a food bag before switching to barrels.
ozarkpaddler
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01/06/2018 03:42AM
SteveF: "I use these dog food canisters they have a rubber seal on the lids. You can get them at Marshall’s,T.J. Maxx or Home goods for around $20 "
I've heard others recommend these too, I may pick up a couple of these for my June trip for lunch stuff so we don't have to open the barrel as much? We store the little soft cooler outside the barrel and try to stuff lunch stuff in the dry side. One of those would work better. Thanks!
QuietWaters
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01/06/2018 11:14AM
I've used the smaller one for a few years, after reading about it here (and watching a video by one of our board members.) It holds more than the Garcia bear barrel, all the food for 5 day trips for two, and most food, plus a very small soft sided cooler bag with fresh food, for 4 day trips for four. It fits into the #3 Duluth pack with room to spare. I tip it on its side and place my kneeling pad against my back to pad it. I really like it; just stash it out of the way in the woods.
jeremylynn21
member (43)member
 
01/09/2018 07:17PM
Opsacs and an ursak, tied to a tree. or opsacs in a rolltop waterproof sack hooked with a caribener to a branch. This whole hanging food between trees really doesn't do much good, bears are a creature of habit. They know whats in them bags hanging between 2 trees. Some parts of the country a bear vault is required but in Mn its not. If you don't mind lugging around the extra weight for overkill in Mn then get yourself and actual bear proof canister. The blue barrels are NOT bear proof.
Keep a clean camp. YOU are the best deterrent from a bear getting your food.
yellowcanoe
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01/10/2018 09:08AM
Not having a bear in camp during your visit is more a function of how clean previous occupants have left the campsite. Future campers depend on you leaving a clean campsite

If you occupy a campsite that has recently been a dump you will are more likely to have a bear than if its been kept clean and it matters not what the current state of cleanliness is
Bears are creatures of habits and routine

The blue barrels are a very good deterrent as they contain odors and more to the point keep the common rodent raiders out.. Bears are a concern but often overmagnified in their supposed desire for your food.. little four foots more likely to get you.
 
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