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spicedog
  
05/27/2024 06:42PM  
regarding the latest ruling by the forest service,
Question: Has anyone EVER had a bear issue using a blue barrel food storage container in the bwcaw? I have been using blue barrels for food storage for many many years and never once had an issue. I have never once hung them up but always seal them up tight at night, buckle the harness to a tree and leave them with the other packs in camp. They are so nice, air tight, water proof, hard containers, keep the food nice, I just love this system. Now I have to hang this perfect food system in a tree? Someone needs to come up with a bear certified blue barrel. I’ll be first in line to purchase one. spicedog
 
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05/28/2024 07:12AM  
Blue barrels are NOT bear proof and there are plenty of pictures out there to prove it. Bears can chew through the barrel in minutes. Your perfect system will fail when a bear wanders into your camp.
 
05/28/2024 07:56AM  
Yes, blue barrels have been breached. Some outfitters have examples on display. But for the record, there are also plenty of pictures online of Ursacks and BearVaults being breached, and prior data seemed to indicate that hanging is the most breached storage method.

You can meet this questionable mandate by putting Ursacks in blue barrels. It's still extra cost and hassle but if you already have the barrels it's cheaper than buying canisters and easier than hanging.
 
05/28/2024 10:49AM  
As stated above, the blue barrels are not 100% bear-proof but neither is hanging your food pack. That being said, on this site you very rarely hear about bears messing with a blue barrel, but there are many instances of bears messing with food packs. We went from hanging to the blue barrels years ago for the ease of stashing and not having to worry about a campsite having an appropriate tree for hanging a food pack. I did just buy the Ursack 2XL when it was 25% off, but I haven't decided yet whether I'm just using that or if I'm stashing it in my 30L barrel. I like the low weight of the Ursack but I love the blue barrel for it's ability to protect food from being crushed.
 
05/28/2024 02:43PM  
spicedog: "regarding the latest ruling by the forest service,
Question: Has anyone EVER had a bear issue using a blue barrel food storage container in the bwcaw? I have been using blue barrels for food storage for many many years and never once had an issue. I have never once hung them up but always seal them up tight at night, buckle the harness to a tree and leave them with the other packs in camp. They are so nice, air tight, water proof, hard containers, keep the food nice, I just love this system. Now I have to hang this perfect food system in a tree? Someone needs to come up with a bear certified blue barrel. I’ll be first in line to purchase one. spicedog
"


Agree. Barrels are superior. I don't hang it nor store it off-site. Weighed against the probability of a bear snatch & grab, I'll take my chances.
 
05/28/2024 03:57PM  
Argo: "
spicedog: "regarding the latest ruling by the forest service,
Question: Has anyone EVER had a bear issue using a blue barrel food storage container in the bwcaw? I have been using blue barrels for food storage for many many years and never once had an issue. I have never once hung them up but always seal them up tight at night, buckle the harness to a tree and leave them with the other packs in camp. They are so nice, air tight, water proof, hard containers, keep the food nice, I just love this system. Now I have to hang this perfect food system in a tree? Someone needs to come up with a bear certified blue barrel. I’ll be first in line to purchase one. spicedog
"


Agree. Barrels are superior. I don't hang it nor store it off-site. Weighed against the probability of a bear snatch & grab, I'll take my chances."


Agreed, blue barrels are far better than the average hang. Ideal hanging trees and people that are able to achieve the ideal hang are few and far between. I personally decided years ago that stashing in a blue barrel away from camp was a lot safer than our attempts to hang.

That said, the food storage order does make blue barrels on the ground overnight illegal. I do think the FS screwed up on this one. Doing something to punish people not doing anything wasn't a bad idea, they just shouldn't have pointed people towards hanging. I don't want to be throwing rocks tied to ropes in the air and then climbing that high in the tree when it gets stuck. I realized that hanging the stupid food pack was the most unsafe portion of every trip I go on. Then once the pack is in the air, how often are you able to meet the specs in the order?

I know I can buy more gear to comply with the order, but my blue barrel and barrel pack are new and I don't have the money to invest in new gear right now. I hate that it even comes to mind that I would have to get fined 4-6 times at $50 per fine to justify the cost of 2-3 bear vaults.

I know I'm complaining but people like me that are trying to do things the right way are getting grouped together with people that aren't even trying. I can't afford enough vaults for a trip so my options are now to do what I feel is unsafe and put myself at risk, be the jerk that ignores the rules, or just not go and make my son miss his first trip. The whole situation just sucks.
 
billconner
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05/28/2024 06:08PM  
If you had to buy several BV500s or pay a $50 fine every couple of years...........
 
05/28/2024 11:14PM  
Blue barrels are not certified “bear proof”, however they are pretty bear resistant. If you leave a barrel unattended and a bear is free to work on it for awhile it will most certainly get into it.
If I leave camp to do a day trip, the barrel comes with me. At night I secure it to a tree next to my hammock. No Bear will have unfettered access to my barrel.
I understand this no longer meets the current rules so I’ll have to adjust my behavior. I just wanted to make the point that barrels are pretty effective, you just can’t leave them unattended and expect them to stand up very well to a determined bear with unfettered access.
 
05/29/2024 07:38AM  
billconner: "If you had to buy several BV500s or pay a $50 fine every couple of years..........."

No one on here said they wouldn’t follow the rules. And if someone didn’t want to follow the order they wouldn’t get a fine “every couple of years” the average person get’s checked every 10 years. Which might be part of the problem…there should be more enforcement.

I am sure there will be escalating fines as well. First time education, $50…you keep violating…eventually throw the book at ya.

Since you brought up the math though… a group of six needs at least 4 BV 500’s…Best price is $75 plus tax is $80.25 x 4= $321 or 6. 42 times I would need to be fined at the best price to make up for switching for the BV500. Normal price is $101.65 with tax x 4 $406.60 or 8x I would need to be fined to make up for the price difference.

Just pointing out the math...everyone should follow the rules. I can complain all I want, but I wouldn't teach my kids it's okay to just follow the rules I like...

T
 
05/29/2024 07:46AM  
To answer the original question. No I’ve never had an issue with Blue Barrels. I had a bear walk right by them and not know there was food there.

On this site there was a poster that had a bear get their food because the bear came into camp while they were eating and the barrel was open. That could happen with BV500’s or hanging as well.

Another poster had their barrel hidden and a bear did chew it open and got some of their food. That's the only report I've ever seen or heard of in the BWCAW.

Another poster hung them properly and the bear got the rope, the barrel landed and broke when it hit the ground (that’s why you don’t hang BV500’s).

There is a video I linked to in another post where a person hung their blue barrel. The bear worked for a very long time (the hanging job was perfect) and finally lowered the barrel...smelled it and just moved on...didn't even try to get into it. I believe that was on Knife lake.

At this point…it is what it is…we’ll see if forcing more people to hang works or not. I’ve already weighed in that I think it’s an awful decision. But there really aren’t a lot of bear issues. So will it make a difference one way or the other? May not be measurable?

T

 
HowardSprague
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05/31/2024 07:39AM  
The times I've heard of a blue barrel being snatched, it was not hidden away.

Mine is in a green CCS Barrel Pack - great for portaging and hides away nicely in the brush.(+ perhaps an extra layer of smell enclosure) And I can clip the straps to a tree trunk, for a bit of extra stall time in case Yogi discovers it.

I have a bag with some stronger rope and a couple pulleys, in case I attempt to hang.

(I appreciate the nature of the discussion here - on a FB group regarding this subject, I thought someone would be coming for me with pitchforks LOL.)
 
tumblehome
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06/02/2024 06:10AM  
When comparing a blue barrel to a BV500, I would like to note that the opening of the BV500 is about 6”. Therefore you have to pull everything out just to get to some of the stuff in the container, you can ‘t move anything around in there.

The BV500 is just an awful solution to food storage. I can’t believe this is a viable solution. Opening the locked lid is also a challenge. :(

I bought a BV500 to ‘be in compliance’ and feel pretty silly owning it.

Tom
 
06/02/2024 06:40AM  
Tom, it might depend on what you take, but I pack food by days so I never have to dig stuff out. Starting at the bottom with dinner, lunch/snacks, breakfast and continuing the same way . . .
 
06/02/2024 09:12AM  
tumblehome: "When comparing a blue barrel to a BV500, I would like to note that the opening of the BV500 is about 6”. Therefore you have to pull everything out just to get to some of the stuff in the container, you can ‘t move anything around in there.


The BV500 is just an awful solution to food storage. I can’t believe this is a viable solution. Opening the locked lid is also a challenge. :(


I bought a BV500 to ‘be in compliance’ and feel pretty silly owning it.


Tom"


Opening is 7" wide, overall width is 8.75". I believe the opening-to-width ratio is better than other options. That, being able to see what's inside, and the relatively light weight is why it's the most popular of the canisters. But yeah, it's still kind of a PITA to use. They all are.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8091)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/04/2024 01:43PM  
tumblehome: "...I bought a BV500 to ‘be in compliance’ and feel pretty silly owning it..."

I'm sure it will go quickly on this site's For Sale Forum.
 
tumblehome
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06/05/2024 12:28PM  
Like PT Barum said.
I guess I was the sucker. :(

This thing looks like a water cooler bottle sans the handle. What a jip.
And since it's not waterproof (an O ring would have been nice) it will be all nice and smelly for the bear to play with.

Tom
 
TuscaroraBorealis
Moderator
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06/05/2024 02:53PM  
spicedog: "regarding the latest ruling by the forest service,
Question: Has anyone EVER had a bear issue using a blue barrel food storage container in the bwcaw?
"


I have not ever had a problem, even had a bear in camp who never touched the barrel. But, like any storage method, it can be breached when not properly utilized. Which is likely the bigger issue.

I don't recall ever hearing of a 1st hand bwca account/occurence. Usually the responses are much like you've gotten already.



 
tumblehome
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06/05/2024 06:15PM  
TuscaroraBorealis: "
spicedog: "regarding the latest ruling by the forest service,
Question: Has anyone EVER had a bear issue using a blue barrel food storage container in the bwcaw?
"



I have not ever had a problem, even had a bear in camp who never touched the barrel. But, like any storage method, it can be breached when not properly utilized. Which is likely the bigger issue.


I don't recall ever hearing of a 1st hand bwca account/occurence. Usually the responses are much like you've gotten already.

"

Oh someone, somewhere probably had a bear get into one and therefore everyone has to get rid of their barrels.
Tom
 
ockycamper
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06/06/2024 08:59AM  
tumblehome: "Like PT Barum said.
I guess I was the sucker. :(


This thing looks like a water cooler bottle sans the handle. What a jip.
And since it's not waterproof (an O ring would have been nice) it will be all nice and smelly for the bear to play with.


Tom"


It seems you are on a personal crusade to bash bearvaults. Our groups have taken both the blue barrels and the BV500's for years. No one likes carrying a fully loaded blue barrel and they all hate digging through it to find what you want. All camps have moved to BV500's because we can load one cannister for food for that day, loaded breakfast on top, dinner on the bottom (we have 6-8 guys per camp and cook breakfasts and lunches), can see what's in them, and we divide up the BV500's one to a canoe making it much easier to carry vs the guy that has to lug a 60 litre blue barrel.

Your waterproof complaint is a non issue. We have not tested them in a capsize but they have been rained on many times and no water came in. If that is a concern it is easily remedied with running some tape around the lids.

I can't comment on the smell issue except for this: Everyone I have seen with a blue barrell opens up the barrell for breakfast and rarely puts the lid back on until they leave camp. Or they just set the lid on, not latching it in place.

Everyone can do what they want of course. Just be careful bad mouthing a system that others have proven effective for years, confirmed by the NFS as well.
 
06/06/2024 10:27AM  
His complaints are valid, but again every system has pain points so it's a matter of which ones you are willing to put up with. If the top sealed they'd need to have a mechanical fastening system that requires a tool/coin because it would be impossible to open by hand when the temperature changes while buckles give bears something to grab. If it was larger it would have to be much heavier to resist the bear.

Here's a quick overview of some options: Bear Canisters
 
bottomtothetap
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06/06/2024 10:40AM  
ockycamper: "
tumblehome: "Like PT Barum said.
I guess I was the sucker. :(



This thing looks like a water cooler bottle sans the handle. What a jip.
And since it's not waterproof (an O ring would have been nice) it will be all nice and smelly for the bear to play with.



Tom"



It seems you are on a personal crusade to bash bearvaults. Our groups have taken both the blue barrels and the BV500's for years. No one likes carrying a fully loaded blue barrel and they all hate digging through it to find what you want. All camps have moved to BV500's because we can load one cannister for food for that day, loaded breakfast on top, dinner on the bottom (we have 6-8 guys per camp and cook breakfasts and lunches), can see what's in them, and we divide up the BV500's one to a canoe making it much easier to carry vs the guy that has to lug a 60 litre blue barrel.


Your waterproof complaint is a non issue. We have not tested them in a capsize but they have been rained on many times and no water came in. If that is a concern it is easily remedied with running some tape around the lids.


I can't comment on the smell issue except for this: Everyone I have seen with a blue barrell opens up the barrell for breakfast and rarely puts the lid back on until they leave camp. Or they just set the lid on, not latching it in place.


Everyone can do what they want of course. Just be careful bad mouthing a system that others have proven effective for years, confirmed by the NFS as well."


I think that is mostly what's getting folks worked up: The NFS is "bad mouthing a system" that so many have found works for them and they find effective. One would think that if the blue barrels (or whatever color) hadn't shown a high degree of effectiveness for food protection, they would not have become so ubiquitous as they are today. As nothing is completely bear proof and as plmn pointed out earlier in the thread, examples do exist of both BV's and blue barrels being breached by bears, yet it's the blue barrels that are being "bashed" by the FS as insufficient while the BV's receive approval, probably because when the BV's have been breached it just happened to NOT be while they were going through the official IGBC test.
 
uqme2
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06/06/2024 11:13AM  
billconner: "If you had to buy several BV500s or pay a $50 fine every couple of years..........."


Excellent point sir!
 
06/06/2024 11:19AM  
uqme2: "
billconner: "If you had to buy several BV500s or pay a $50 fine every couple of years..........."



Excellent point sir!"


Yes if you do some very simple math it would be WAY CHEAPER to just do the fine. I don't know why you think that is an excellent point to make?

For most groups you would have to get caught 4-6x and fined each time to make up for the cost of the BV500's. That would take approximately 40-60 trips before you broke even on fines vs. groups cost for a BV500's. That's assuming current BV500 cost, if the cost goes up--which is likely, the numbers get even more uneven.

With that said I don't think it is appropriate to advocate for that on this website. So I don't really find this comparison appropriate to post. It's okay to complain, we still should follow the rules despite what some might advocate.

T
 
tumblehome
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06/06/2024 11:31AM  
I am indeed on a crusade to bash BV’s. But more so the ruling that made me waste money on one. Just let me complain and eventually I’ll stop.

I am moving into the camp of taking an occasional fine.

I paddle alone and one BV500 is not enough for a well packed barrel with all dried food. And I most certainly will never,ever buy a second one.

No group of more than a few people could do this without a whole pile of those plastic bottle thingys.

Whew!
Tom
 
ockycamper
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06/06/2024 12:00PM  
When running 6 guys in my camp, 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners, I brought 5 BV500s. One per day packed breakfast on top, dinner on the bottom. When paddling/portaging, I divided them up 2 per canoe (1 per person). So in practicality, no one had to carry more then one BV500 for the week.

That said, due to the rule, this year 3 of our camps are going with the Lifetime 55 coolers that are on the bear certified list. One of those and one BV500 per camp and we are set.

I wouldn't do this if we weren't base campers. But I will never haul in another fully loaded 60 litre blue barrel. Might as well carry in a grandkid
 
06/06/2024 01:35PM  
ockycamper: "When running 6 guys in my camp, 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners, I brought 5 BV500s. One per day packed breakfast on top, dinner on the bottom. When paddling/portaging, I divided them up 2 per canoe (1 per person). So in practicality, no one had to carry more then one BV500 for the week.


That said, due to the rule, this year 3 of our camps are going with the Lifetime 55 coolers that are on the bear certified list. One of those and one BV500 per camp and we are set.


I wouldn't do this if we weren't base campers. But I will never haul in another fully loaded 60 litre blue barrel. Might as well carry in a grandkid"


It sounds like based off of what you're putting in your bear vaults you pack food like you're backpacking.

IMO the benefit of the blue barrel is really for those of us who like to bring real food into the bwca which is one of the greatest things about canoe tripping VS backpacking. Want some garlic bread with your pasta dinner? A french loaf fits nicely in a blue barrel and won't get crushed if you pack it correctly. A box of pinot grigio to pair with that lake trout dinner? It fits in the barrel just fine. A dozen real eggs? pack it in that blue barrel close to the top, no problem. Try that with an ursack! Wanna a bring a whole pineapple to roast over the fire? Sure why not!

They are heavier than a hanging pack or an ursack, but they are lighter than a cooler and an equivalent number of bear vaults to achieve the same volume.
 
06/06/2024 02:56PM  
keth0601: " A dozen real eggs? pack it in that blue barrel close to the top, no problem. Try that with an ursack! "


Egg Carrier

OK, I was being very selective in what I quoted because blue barrels definitely do things Ursacks and BearVaults can't. But I have used these things for decades in all sorts of different packs.
 
ockycamper
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06/06/2024 04:05PM  
You are correct that in the past we used dehydrated food. Now, however, with the new rules we are moving to the coolers. Since we have had to move that direction, we will be bringing "real food"
 
ockycamper
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06/06/2024 04:06PM  
So are you going to hang your blue barrel?
 
billconner
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06/06/2024 06:44PM  
uqme2: "
billconner: "If you had to buy several BV500s or pay a $50 fine every couple of years..........."



Excellent point sir!"


Why thank you!

I'll just continue to hang my CCS deluxe food pack - over 7 BV500s. If they really are not levying fines right away in case they don't like my hang, at 72 I'll be done tripping before it catches up. And if it's a decent attempt at a hang, I'll probably not get fined ever.

Only slightly more seriously - just a warning for those that take everything deadly seriously - I do believe that the majority of hangs gotten to by bears are daytime and left in camp hangs. I've never left a camp for a day trip with food in camp. And campsite prioritie are level pads and good hanging trees, and all the rest way lower.

And then there's all the pictures I posted of BV500s destroyed by bears.
 
tumblehome
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06/06/2024 06:45PM  
keth0601: "
ockycamper: "When running 6 guys in my camp, 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners, I brought 5 BV500s. One per day packed breakfast on top, dinner on the bottom. When paddling/portaging, I divided them up 2 per canoe (1 per person). So in practicality, no one had to carry more then one BV500 for the week.



That said, due to the rule, this year 3 of our camps are going with the Lifetime 55 coolers that are on the bear certified list. One of those and one BV500 per camp and we are set.



I wouldn't do this if we weren't base campers. But I will never haul in another fully loaded 60 litre blue barrel. Might as well carry in a grandkid"



IMO the benefit of the blue barrel is really for those of us who like to bring real food into the bwca which is one of the greatest things about canoe tripping VS backpacking. Want some garlic bread with your pasta dinner? A french loaf fits nicely in a blue barrel and won't get crushed if you pack it correctly. A box of pinot grigio to pair with that lake trout dinner? It fits in the barrel just fine. A dozen real eggs?

"


I love you!
I never brought up real bread or fresh eggs because I feared retribution! I would love to stop by your camp for a trout dinner and a glass of wine. That’s what REAL camping is all about
 
06/07/2024 06:54AM  
ockycamper: "You are correct that in the past we used dehydrated food. Now, however, with the new rules we are moving to the coolers. Since we have had to move that direction, we will be bringing "real food""


Curious how you are planning to carry the coolers when portaging? I think the cooler might be an option for me now as well given the new order, but best way I can think to carry them would be a tumpline? Seems like they're going to be a real pain on longer portages.
 
06/07/2024 07:15AM  
keth0601: "
ockycamper: "You are correct that in the past we used dehydrated food. Now, however, with the new rules we are moving to the coolers. Since we have had to move that direction, we will be bringing "real food""



Curious how you are planning to carry the coolers when portaging? I think the cooler might be an option for me now as well given the new order, but best way I can think to carry them would be a tumpline? Seems like they're going to be a real pain on longer portages."


He is doing one simple portage. Easy to carry across. Going to the same lake I used them on a few years ago. They aren’t practical for anything else but a basecamp trip.

T
 
ockycamper
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06/07/2024 09:37AM  
keth0601: "
ockycamper: "You are correct that in the past we used dehydrated food. Now, however, with the new rules we are moving to the coolers. Since we have had to move that direction, we will be bringing "real food""



Curious how you are planning to carry the coolers when portaging? I think the cooler might be an option for me now as well given the new order, but best way I can think to carry them would be a tumpline? Seems like they're going to be a real pain on longer portages."


We base camp on Red Rock Lake. Our camp leaders, who bring in the food and kitchen gear, all take the shuttle to the short portage in. We would much rather carry in a cooler between two guys then multiple BV500's or one guy lifting a 60 litre blue barrell.

It seems from many that use coolers, the Lifetime 55 quart is a favorite. John Galt is the one that pointed me to them. Can't beat the price at $110 at Walmart.

Since we are biting the bullett for the first time in 15 years by going to coolers, we might as well go all in. Steaks, brats, burgers, bacon etc in the camps for this years trip!
 
06/07/2024 09:43AM  
My fully loaded barrel weighs, on average, 50 lbs for two people over 9-10 days. That's only a bit more than a Kevlar canoe. And of course it gets lighter by the day. It doesn't matter how many Bear Vaults and packs among which the food is dispersed, the food will still weigh the same regardless of the method of transport. And as the contents of the barrel deplete, certain items of the heavier pack can be transferred to offset the weight.

As said by others, the barrels are never left unattended if we head out fishing; they come in the canoe. I don't really approach the food protection issue as defending against bears. It's all of the other critters that are my concern. I believe the bear concern is way overstated.

I would really like to examine the statistics from which the bureaucrats rendered their decision to impose these measures. And how is that the same bureaucrats in Ontario don't come to the same conclusion as those in the USFS? Sure Quetico isn't as camper-dense as the BWCA. But the parks in southern Ontario certainly are.

Bill Connor, I respect your site selection criteria. But from what I gather, you camp in Ontario and are generally solo. Your site criteria are not realistic for larger groups who require additional real estate and the limited selection available in more densely populated zones.

Three 20L Bear Vaults would cost me over $420 in Canada vs $110 for the most expensive barrel (in fact I paid only $40 for my barrel several years ago. It was a recycled olive barrel and works perfectly). The cumulative weight of those three BVs is about the same as one 60L barrel. In my opinion, given that I employ a minimal bear risk-premium in my evaluation plus the inconvenience of having to compartmentalize food storage in separate BVs, I see no cost/benefit analysis that compels a case for Bear Vaults as an insurance policy verses barrels. It's not even close.
 
Minnesotian
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06/07/2024 10:50AM  
keth0601:

Curious how you are planning to carry the coolers when portaging? I think the cooler might be an option for me now as well given the new order, but best way I can think to carry them would be a tumpline? Seems like they're going to be a real pain on longer portages."


Yep, you're on the right track with the tumpline idea. Look up how wannigan boxes were portaged back in the day: https://waynorthblog.com/2019/12/20/building-a-wannigan-in-the-hudsons-bay-tradition/
 
06/07/2024 11:02AM  
Argo: "Three 20L Bear Vaults would cost me over $420 in Canada vs $110 for the most expensive barrel (in fact I paid only $40 for my barrel several years ago. It was a recycled olive barrel and works perfectly). The cumulative weight of those three BVs is about the same as one 60L barrel. In my opinion, given that I employ a minimal bear risk-premium in my evaluation plus the inconvenience of having to compartmentalize food storage in separate BVs, I see no cost/benefit analysis that compels a case for Bear Vaults as an insurance policy verses barrels. It's not even close."


The largest BearVault is only 11L. So you can almost double that cost. Not to mention the logistics of carrying six canisters between 2 people.

A couple of 30L Ursacks in your barrel would probably work better to meet the mandate.
 
ockycamper
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06/07/2024 11:10AM  
I did a little research. The BV500 is THE preferred bear resistent container nationwide by a very wide margin.

Its clear that many don't like the BV500's and want to hold on to their blue barrels. No one is taking the blue barrels from anyone. Just hang them and you are compliant.
 
06/07/2024 12:03PM  
ockycamper: "I did a little research. The BV500 is THE preferred bear resistent container nationwide by a very wide margin.


Its clear that many don't like the BV500's and want to hold on to their blue barrels. No one is taking the blue barrels from anyone. Just hang them and you are compliant."


Or use a couple Ursacks to organize your food in the blue barrel and you're compliant without hanging.
 
ockycamper
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06/07/2024 12:05PM  
Interesting articles on comparisons of methods Failure is often user related not the bear container Outside Magazine
 
billconner
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06/07/2024 06:44PM  
Interesting. I actually hadn't considered the operator error aspect of canisters. I expect hanging done poorly.

If I have to contemplate other than hanging, definitely looking into the IGBC certified electric bear fence. Less than $250 - so less than 3 BV500 - and only 4 pounds.

 
06/08/2024 12:52AM  
I'll just say I have my own method and because of the new law I am in compliance with ONE of my canisters. The FS will never find my real one. Like I've said in other threads, this law in impossible to enforce and at least to me, quite silly nonsense.
 
billconner
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06/08/2024 01:10PM  
Thank you Adam!
 
billconner
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06/08/2024 01:14PM  
Argo: "
Bill Connor, I respect your site selection criteria. But from what I gather, you camp in Ontario and are generally solo. Your site criteria are not realistic for larger groups who require additional real estate and the limited selection available in more densely populated zones.
"


Actually have not been in the Q in a while but generally after Labor Day so basically same result. More now in Adirondacks which for lack of regulation and maybe a little less adherence to LNT, surprisingly doesn't seem to have the bear issue in paddle areas. They do in the "high peeks" area in east and do require bear canisters and, because of a very few smart bears, do not accept the BV500. The bears - or a bear family - learned to open them. Also, I believe the collection of violated BV500s were all found in Adirondacks.

Never used a blue barrel Did use ursacks in High Unintas thanks to a very kind and generous BWCA member. Don't at my age want to invest in a bunch of bear canisters. (Are outfitters renting them?) Enjoy the sport of hanging my CCS pack - maybe because I've spent much of my life with theatrical rigging and housing a pack seems trivial to hoisting many thousands of pounds of lighting and sound gear and scenery. Maybe age will also lead me to few or nearly no portage trips. (And many portages in Adirondacks are easily traversed with a portage cart, so coolers are easier.)

Do what you have to do and stay safe. If stashing blue barrels has always worked, and seems to have for Cliff, continue.
 
ThePeregrine
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06/08/2024 05:23PM  
Just completed my first trip since the new order. I have only used blue barrels until this year.

Although they are expensive, I was very happy with my choice of Ursaks for an 8 day solo. I used 2 so I could distribute food between packs. For larger groups multiple Usraks would be needed, but I think they sell as large as 20L. I vacuum sealed almost everything so smell and water wasn't a concern, I didn't use an Opsak for smell reduction.

I've seen a few posts recommending Ursaks inside blue barrels for compliance. If you are able to spend the money on Ursaks, embrace the benefits and leave the barrel behind. Ursaks are flexible and pack well in the packs you are already taking. Or use a lightweight pack to hold all the food, something lighter than a blue barrel. They are meant to be "hung" overnight on any tree with a sturdy branch you can reach.
 
billconner
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06/11/2024 05:25AM  
Interesting article on bear canisters. Are NY bears really smarter than MN bears?
bear proof canisters
 
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