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BearVault Bear Resistant Food Canister for Hikers, Backpackers, and Campers | Clear, Durable, and Easy to Use | Bear, Wildlife & Rodent Resistant | Cache All Your Scented Items | National Park
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- CLEAR AND EASY TO USE: Where’s your breakfast? BearVault is transparent and has a wide opening so you can easily find and grab items, without emptying the contents onto the forest floor. The lid is rain-proof and tool-free lid: no fiddling or losing small parts.
- GRIZZLY & BLACK BEAR TESTED: Keep your food and scented items protected from raids by bears, rodents, and other wildlife. Tested and approved by Grizzly (IGBC) and Black Bear (SIBBG) Testing Facilities, a BearVault even survived 48 hours locked in a cage with two hungry black bears!
- EVERY OUNCE MATTERS: This is THE lightest plastic bear container on the market, for its volume. This model stores approximately 7 days of food for one person – perfect for groups sharing food, or for extended hikes.
- PACKS EASILY, DOUBLES AS STOOL: Oops – your pack is too full? No problem, the BearVault includes guides to strap it onto your pack. At camp, you’ll find your BV500 makes a perfect camp stool too, with a stable base and flat lid.
- APPROVED CANISTER OF CHOICE: 9 out of 10 PCT Thru-Hikers use a BV500. BearVault is approved by all National Parks and all National Forests with canister regulations. For a safe outdoor experience, take a BearVault with you on the trail or while exploring in bear country. For Long Distance Trails like the PCT - Pacific Crest Trail, JMT - John Muir Trail, AT - Appalachian Trail, and CDT - Continental Divide Trail, the BV500 is the ideal size.
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WHEN IT COMES TO BEARS, NOTHING COMPARES
Tried and tested by over a quarter million outdoor enthusiasts, BearVault has been the industry leader for some 15 years. Nothing else compares. Foiling grizzly bears and black bears at test facilities, and wild bears throughout campsites in North America, BearVault canisters have been put to the test by more bears than any other canister on the market.
EASY, USER FRIENDLY
BearVault is hands down the easiest bear canister to use, open and close, see and access your food, carry, and protect your food. It is lightweight yet super rugged, and keeps your food protected from raids by bears, rodents, and other wildlife.
PERFECT FOR HIKING, BACKPACKING, CAMPING, CANOEING, KAYAKING, HUNTING, AND FISHING TRIPS
Whether you are trekking over peaks and passes, exploring wild forests, gliding through the waters of the backwoods, or enjoying nature on an overnight adventure – put your worries aside by properly storing your food and scented items. Sit back (using your BearVault as a stool), relax, and enjoy nature.
PROTECT FOOD, PROTECT BEARS
They say “a fed bear is a dead bear”, and it is true: every year over a thousand bears are put down when they become habituated to food and trash left around by people. Thank you for securely protecting your own food, and doing your part to keep bears wild.
We stand by our product, and we’re here to help. New BearVault products that are sold by authorized dealers come with a limited lifetime warranty. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out.
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I compared the Garcia Backpacker's Cache and the BearVault BV-500 side by side for several days and ultimately chose the BearVault over the Garcia because (1) it has a greater carrying capacity for the same weight, (2) because it's made from clear (bluish) polycarbonate that you can see through (and which light can enter through) and because the lid opening is significantly larger. Neither container is claimed to be odorproof or waterproof, however the BearVault seems more waterproof from ordinary rain than the Garcia. Both units require use of some kind of odor-proof plastic bag inside, such as a 12" by 20" Opsak, and the bags are easier to put into and remove from the BearVault (because the opening is larger) than the Garcia. Although the Garcia seems easier to fit into a backpack or kayak compartment hatch because it is less angular, the BearVault was my choice because light enters the container through the translucent sides and bottom, and it is easier to see inside than the Garcia, so things are easier to find. A bear or raccoon can see inside too, but seeing won't get him the food, and I'd rather avoid the frustration of continuously digging for things I can't see. Although the BearVault is a bit harder to open, overall the increased visibility and accessibility of the BearVault make it easier to deal with than the Garcia. I covered my BearVault with disks of black reflective tape to obscure some of the contents and make it more stealthy, as well as to make it easier to find at night with a headlamp. The reflective tape stickers still let in enough light to see the interior. It's probably a small consideration, but I liked that the BearVault lid was large enough to put things in (contents being emptied from the vault) to keep them off the ground, and that the BearVault had a broader lid to sit upon as a stool. On a long trip I can easily envision using the wide mouth BearVault as a bucket to wash clothes, which would be more difficult with the Garcia due to the narrower mouth of the container. I think both containers are really nice products and the ultimate choice is one of aesthetic and personal preference. Aesthetically, the Garcia was my favorite.
One think is certain: On long trips through bear and raccoon country, walking a bear canister 100 yards downwind of camp (and stashing it on the ground) is less difficult and time consuming than rigging drysacks to hang food in, especially where vegetation is dense and good tree branches are scare. Hanging food properly is daily drudgery, and the task gets old really fast.
The thing to understand about bear canisters is that they are, of necessity, a compromise. They've got to be large enough to hold your food, but small enough to carry. So, any bear canister is going to be too small to carry all the food you'd like, and it's going to be too large to carry in your pack. That's just the nature of the compromise involved. The only question is how well a canister manages the compromise.
The BV500 does as good a job as can be expected. It's large enough to hold food for one person for up to a week, so long as you pack only food that packs compactly, like Mountain House and beef jerky. It's larger than other full-size canisters, it lets you see what's inside, and it has a wide mouth, which makes it easy to get stuff in and out.
At the same time, the BV500 is small enough that I can strap it to the outside of my internal-frame pack. If your pack has straps for attaching a tent to the outside, they should hold the BV 500--just use some mini-bungee cords to pull the straps together and keep them from sliding off the sides of the canister. Otherwise, use regular-size bungees to attach the canister to the back of the pack. A full canister is heavy enough that I do not recommend strapping it to the top of a pack.
The BV500 is no easier or harder to open than any other canister. It can be a bit of a chore to open in cold weather, but I have found that sliding a pocket-knife blade under the catch makes it much easier to release.
Finally, the BV500 is somewhat lighter than other full-size canisters. It's not as light as an Ursack, of course, but we hike in places where only canisters are permitted--no Ursacks. I have considered a carbon-fiber canister to get the canister weight down, but $200 seems a bit pricey.
In short, I think the BV500 is the best at what it does. I still hate it, but can recommend it without hesitation.
Bonus feature is that if you put it sideways in the pack right near the base of your spine, it helps form the pack into having more lumbar support and an even shape. Although it might not fit sideways in packs smaller than 75L in volume.
Also doubles as a functional but crummy music drum for when getting a little too drunk at the camp site. :)