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dogdigger
member (11)member
  
05/13/2023 03:18PM  
We are going to head up the Falls Chain in June and we are making last minute gear plans. It will be two adults and an 11yo for 7 nights. We have previously used a Duluth pack with a cardboard box and plastic liner. This year we were thinking about trying a Bear Barrel. Mostly freeze dried food. Would we likely need a 30 or 60 ? Thanks!
 
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05/13/2023 05:05PM  
I would say it's possible to do a 30 for 3 people for 7 days with freeze dried food, but it'll be close. Bring a 60 and you should have room for other smelly things as well.
 
Tomcat
distinguished member(707)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/13/2023 07:18PM  
A similar question was asked recently here .

2023 BWCA Bear Canister Rules
 
05/13/2023 08:14PM  
I think a 30L will be too small. Use a 60L barrel for your group size, and no need to hang it. Just place it back in the woods away from camp and tie it to a tree with a few feet of cordage.
 
05/13/2023 09:19PM  
There are 50L barrels out there too. I have one that I purchased online. It keeps me from over-packing :).
 
05/14/2023 10:37AM  
Should go back and read Tomcats link. All food containers either hung with approved method of pass the IGBC test.
The common so called "bear barrels" do not pass this test and hanging is required.
I do not know if Quetico has adopted the same rule.

butthead
 
05/14/2023 10:47AM  
Tomcat: "A similar question was asked recently here .

2023 BWCA Bear Canister Rules "


I'm probably going to regret slapping the hornets nest, but for the sake of accuracy....

The information on the website bwcaguide.com is wrong regarding rules on food storage as far as I know. The site references rule changes that took effect in July of 2021 (I believe referring to SNF order R09-09-21-09 signed July 27, 2021 and taking effect July 30, 2021). It looks to me that that order was rescinded January 21, 2022. I have not heard of any new orders being issued - please update me if I am incorrect. My understanding is that while the SNF strongly urges people to either hang or use certified resistant containers, the rules right now are what they were before 2020 which were more vague and do not specify what storage devices are acceptable or considered bear resistant.

People need to be careful when referencing regulations that have been re-written or interpreted on third party sites such as outfitters and guides, as they may not be current or accurate. Even doing a Google search can be misleading as many news outlets like WTIP or Timberjay covered the new rules when they went into effect, but did not amend their original articles or post an update when the new rule was rescinded. Also notice that all the links to the new order are now dead, because the order has been taken down by the SNF after it was rescinded.


 
05/14/2023 12:46PM  
Jaywalker: "
Tomcat: "A similar question was asked recently here .


2023 BWCA Bear Canister Rules "


I'm probably going to regret slapping the hornets nest, but for the sake of accuracy....


The information on the website bwcaguide.com is wrong regarding rules on food storage as far as I know. The site references rule changes that took effect in July of 2021 (I believe referring to SNF order R09-09-21-09 signed July 27, 2021 and taking effect July 30, 2021). It looks to me that that order was rescinded January 21, 2022. I have not heard of any new orders being issued - please update me if I am incorrect. My understanding is that while the SNF strongly urges people to either hang or use certified resistant containers, the rules right now are what they were before 2020 which were more vague and do not specify what storage devices are acceptable or considered bear resistant.


People need to be careful when referencing regulations that have been re-written or interpreted on third party sites such as outfitters and guides, as they may not be current or accurate. Even doing a Google search can be misleading as many news outlets like WTIP or Timberjay covered the new rules when they went into effect, but did not amend their original articles or post an update when the new rule was rescinded. Also notice that all the links to the new order are now dead, because the order has been taken down by the SNF after it was rescinded.



"


This was my understanding as well. Would be good to know if that's not the case for some reason.
 
05/14/2023 02:06PM  
Tomcat: "A similar question was asked recently here . "


That is a very useful discussion. You *should* need just a 30L barrel for the food. That assumes you count your ounces, reduce the volume of the freeze-dried (and other) food by repackaging it, etc. I've been able to reduce my volume for 3 adults on a 10-day trip to 40L, but that includes some bulkier stuff like PB&J and Brownberry Sandwich Rounds. You'll still need a way to carry cooking equipment, of course, but maybe you did not include that stuff in your original Duluth Pack.

As for Quetico's regulations for food storage, I have only been able to find a mixture of advice and rules on the Ontario Parks web page Safety and Etiquette in the Backcountry. Written there is the following: "At night hang all your food and garbage away from the sleeping area at least 3 meters off the ground and 2 meters from a tree trunk using rope and a pulley." There is no requirement for true bear barrels (BearVault, Counter Assault, Garcia, etc).
 
05/14/2023 03:28PM  
Jaywalker: "I'm probably going to regret slapping the hornets nest, but for the sake of accuracy....

The information on the website bwcaguide.com is wrong regarding rules on food storage as far as I know. The site references rule changes that took effect in July of 2021 (I believe referring to SNF order R09-09-21-09 signed July 27, 2021 and taking effect July 30, 2021). It looks to me that that order was rescinded January 21, 2022. I have not heard of any new orders being issued - please update me if I am incorrect. My understanding is that while the SNF strongly urges people to either hang or use certified resistant containers, the rules right now are what they were before 2020 which were more vague and do not specify what storage devices are acceptable or considered bear resistant."


Although the Forest Service Order was rescinded, it appears that it is now baked into the regulations. See, for instance, the last item on the Forest Service webpage Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Regulations and Rules. It doesn't give the specifications of an acceptable bear resistant container on that webpage, but I'd bet, if asked, the FS would give their default 2021 answer. I'm not sure that the absence of a definition there is significant, however, because we are also not told how high above the ground or how far from a tree trunk a food bag should be hung.
 
05/14/2023 05:59PM  
Ausable: "...Although the Forest Service Order was rescinded, it appears that it is now baked into the regulations. See, for instance, the last item on the Forest Service webpage Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Regulations and Rules. It doesn't give the specifications of an acceptable bear resistant container on that webpage, but I'd bet, if asked, the FS would give their default 2021 answer. I'm not sure that the absence of a definition there is significant, however, because we are also not told how high above the ground or how far from a tree trunk a food bag should be hung."

I did call this morning*. I was told almost exactly what I wrote above - the 2021 new rule was rescinded and the food storage rules were back to what they were before. They expressed hope that people would follow the 2021 rules, especially in some trouble areas. Whether people here like it or not, what that tells me is blue barrels are allowed even if not hung in a tree. If anyone has concrete information to the contrary I would be glad to hear it. I am not advocating anything here - just trying to clarify what the rules currently are.

The link you provided does not specify what bear resistant means, and I do think that is important. Enforcement rarely benefits from vagueness and inconsistency.

BTW, I also just did a quick random check of 6 of the bigger outfitters websites. I saw 5 of the 6 renting 30 or 60L food barrels, and one renting bear ropes. I would be curious to hear if anyone has any experience on what their outfitters are renting or recommending.

*I'm not going to mention who I spoke with or which station as I don't want to drag them into this. I have already heard them refer to this website as "the website we are not suppose to mention" and I don't want to make that worse.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/14/2023 08:46PM  
My group brought blue bear barrel the first two years. Never again. It was so heavy, no one wanted to carry it. And every time we wanted something it seemed we had to empty the whole barrel to find it.

We went to Bearvault BV500s and never looked back. Rather then one guy having to lug the extremely heavy blue barrel over the portages, we assign one BV500 to each canoe in our group for the week's food. And in camp, you can see what's inside, sit on them, use them for tables, etc. While not waterproof as they come, wrapping duct tape arouond the lid opening makes them fully waterproof.

 
05/14/2023 08:56PM  
ockycamper: "My group brought blue bear barrel the first two years. Never again. It was so heavy, no one wanted to carry it. And every time we wanted something it seemed we had to empty the whole barrel to find it.


We went to Bearvault BV500s and never looked back. Rather then one guy having to lug the extremely heavy blue barrel over the portages, we assign one BV500 to each canoe in our group for the week's food. And in camp, you can see what's inside, sit on them, use them for tables, etc. While not waterproof as they come, wrapping duct tape arouond the lid opening makes them fully waterproof.


"


A 60l blue barrel weighs about .133lbs per liter of storage.

BV 500s weigh about .217lbs per liter of storage.

The blue barrel is a little more than half the weight of comparable storage volume with bear vaults.

I can see why the guy carrying the blue barrel might complain because they're heavy and awkward to carry, but overall the blue barrels are significantly more efficient in terms of weight on paper.
 
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