When you find yourself in bear country, you need to worry about your food. This is for your safety and also for the bears. Bears that become habituated to getting food from campers are bears that are far more likely to have to be put down one day. Hanging food is one good option, and a bear proof canister is another. Many national parks actually require that you use a bear proof canister when camping within the park, which makes a bear proof canister a good investment if you’re the kind of person that goes camping a lot.
Bear Proof CanisterWhat to look for when you're shopping for a new bear proof canister.
- Lightweight – A bear proof canister is meant to keep what is a very large, powerful animal away from something that it wants quite badly. The point is that bear canisters are often quite heavy, because it’s not easy to make something bear proof, and while there aren’t many bear canisters to choose from, there is quite a weight difference between many of them.
- Capacity – Some bear canisters are bigger than others, and depending on how many people are going to be using the canister, along with how many days you plan to be using the bear canister, the size of your bear proof canister could vary quite a bit. So for that reason it’s best to do a quick calculation and find the bear canister that’s the right size for you.
Best Bear Proof CanisterA few of the better bear proof canisters that you'll find out there on the market, though there aren't too many to choose from.
- Garcia Bear Proof Canister - If what you're looking for is to save on weight, this canister is definitely a contender. It weighs 2.75 pounds, which is 1.24 kilograms, and for that you get 10 liters of storage capacity, which is about 6 days of food, depending on how much you plan on eating.
- Counter Assault Bear Keg - This is the biggest bear proof canister on the list, at 11.7 liters, but it's also the heaviest, at 4.4 pounds, which is 1.92 kilograms. It's enough room for a good weeks worth of food. The one feature that this bear canister has going for it is that it's bright yellow. Bears will sometimes drag your bear canister out of camp and in to the woods before they give up on it, and so in the morning you have to go looking for it. Bright yellow is an easy color to spot.
- Bear Vault BV500 - The BV500 is the best overall bear proof canister on the market. It's both lightweight, at 2.56 pounds, which is 1.16 kilograms, and also quite large, at 11.5 liters. It also has a nice, big opening so you can easily get food in and out. Best of all, however, it's clear, so rather than digging through every time you want a granola bar you can spot the granola bar inside and then grab it, making your life a whole lot easier.