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real deal on bear cannisters

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  • real deal on bear cannisters

    According to this article -,

    "Fast forward to 2007 and enter a skittish, tiny 125-pound bear named Yellow-Yellow, named for her two yellow DEC ear tags. Through trial and error she learned to open the canisters much like a human would. Utilizing her incisor tooth, she pushed the stop bump and spin the lid open. This caused quite the commotion for five years, which mythical stores abound. Was she the only bear? Did she teach her cubs to open the canisters? False reports of bears opening improperly closed canisters. Yellow-Yellow is a legend. She died in fall 2012 and since then there have been no known bear break-ins of BearVaults in the Adirondacks. Therefore BearVaults no longer carry the warning in the high peaks."

    Then THIS page - says:
    "NOTE: Black Bears in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness have regularly defeated bear resistant canisters made of clear plastic such as the one depicted on the right in the photo below. Campers should use another type of bear resistant canister to prevent the loss of food."

    Having read IETF RFCs all my adult life, I'm keying on the word SHOULD. Does anyone have a real (i.e. legal) reference for bear can requirements? Absent that, does anyone know if the top reference about the clear ones is legit? (laws are one thing, LNT is another).
    46er #9404

  • #2
    The regulation requires the bear canister, but does not stipulate which ones should be used, other than it has to be tested a bear-proof, for then which the clear ones do not qualify because they have shown to be 'openable' by bears. The Garcia is the standard one used and rented by the HPIC. That being said I have the carbon fiber one and I'll be damned if I'm ever going back to the Garcia.
    #8335W, Solo 46W
    NE 111 113/115

    One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
    Half Dome, 2009


    • #3
      Anyone know if this is a Ranger-discretion thing? The Garcias get carried away and dropped off rocks to smash them; so they're not bear proof either.
      46er #9404


      • #4
        I'd be interested in knowing ahead of time if Rangers plan to issue tickets based on people using certain canisters. I currently have three, both the larger and smaller models from Lighter1 and one of the traditional black canisters. Opening all of them involves loosening or removing screws in order to get the top off, so I wouldn't think they'd be an issue.
        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


        • #5
          This summer near Flowed Lands ADK ranger reminded me to put my BearVault away from a leanto.
          She had no comments about a bear canister model.
          Last edited by Yury; 12-26-2017, 07:24 PM.


          • #6
            I don't think there is any specific legal requirement for or against a specific brand of bear canister. They just have to be solid material (not the 'bear bags') and can't be home-made. So maybe the bearvault is "legal". But I have heard directly from a ranger that there have been reported cases of bears opening them after yellow-yellow's demise. So I think they really discourage them.

            I know that the bearvault company was frustrated by the whole thing and at one time was working on a new design. I had bought a BV in texas and had no idea about the problem up here until I was heading out on a several day trip from the loj and saw the warning at the HPIC. (They loaned me a garcia) Anyhow, the BV company was working on a new ADK-bear-proof design and offered me (and several other people in the same situation) a replacement when it would be available; to my knowledge, it never was. I bet he was working on something like the lighter1.

            I get the attraction to the BV; it's way lighter and easier to pack than the garcia. I ended up renting and then buying a bearikade, which is perfect except for the painful price. Unfortunately they've gone up, too; when I bought mine it was around $200 and he took off the rental price I had paid (I think about $50 for a month). Now they're closer to $300.

            I don't know that I would trust the lighter1. If bears that have opened the BV find one, my guess is that they'll figure it out as well. I heard that they were just tearing off the lid on the BV, not actually opening it like a human would. Considering how strong, adaptive, and hungry ADK bears are, it's kind of surprising that any of these canisters work.

            We now use the BV as a dog food canister. They are proven to be dog proof!


            • #7
              I thought bears had only opened the original one-tabbed bearvaults... they had re-designed them with two locking tabs and never had the newer design defeated by a bear. That's just what I read somewhere years ago when I finally decided on a BV. Someday when I need more capacity (or officially disallow BV) I may upgrade to the Bearikade, but ouch the price! Might be my most expensive single piece of gear.
              39/46 get'n closer
              19/46 barefoot ;-)


              • halocline
                halocline commented
                Editing a comment
                It's definitely true that yellow-yellow opened the later, two-tab model of the BV canister. What's happened since she was shot who knows; but I did hear that they've been opened. I would be really interested in some first hand info on that.