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[John Muir Trail] Re: Bear Vault bear canisters

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  • Frank Martin
    ... first day out I d turn back because of this!! :) but a bear can..go figure...was wondering how long it would take a bear tofigure out he jsut had to sit on
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 18, 2005
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      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Vera Lehmkuhl <vjl_47@y...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Frank...
      >
      > I dont' find this funny...I can't get mine open!:)...I figured the
      first day out I'd turn back because of this!! :) but a bear can..go
      figure...was wondering how long it would take a bear tofigure out he
      jsut had to sit on the thing...
      >
      > vera
      >
      >

      Hi Vera,

      Your not alone there. A lot of people have the same problem. I am on
      the BackpackingLight Group and the subject comes up there on occasion.

      I guess the person who designed and sells them posted claiming that
      they had product tested the BearVault and found that a 70 year old
      person could open one.

      I asked him how old they were when they first started trying.

      Really the most important thing about any piece of gear is that it
      should work. The wilderness is not a place for a any piece of gear not
      to perform the function it was intended for. I think a lot of
      manufactures forget this.

      I'm sure there are a lot of people who use the BV who like it and
      never have a problem with it. It is just there are many who do have
      problems and after hikig all day who feels like doing a battle with
      your bear can so you can eat.

      Happy trails.

      f
    • Will Schmidt
      I ran into a guy on the JMT last week that had his Bear Vault ripped open. He was camping below Forester Pass and a bear ripped the top off of the Bear Vault
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 18, 2005
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        I ran into a guy on the JMT last week that had his Bear Vault ripped
        open. He was camping below Forester Pass and a bear ripped the top off
        of the Bear Vault and ate 18 lbs of food during the night. Another
        person I met said that a ranger told him to put his Bear Vault in a
        bear locker because the canisters can no longer be trusted. Bears have
        figured out a way to open them by jumping on the canister until they
        break open or the top breaks off. I would advise people to avoid these
        canisters.

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <ibsavnu@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Just a quick note to let you all know that a bear south of Whitney
        has
        > figured out how to open a Bear Vault bear canister. What the rangers
        > at Lone Pine figure is it watched someone open one and just kind of
        > muscles it past the locking tabs. It (the bear) has already broken
        > into 3 or 4 of them. If the bear can't open it they said it just
        jumps
        > on it till it breaks open. Still no issues with the Garcia bear
        > canister.
        >
        > Steve
        > JMT '04
      • John Lovaas
        ... ripped ... top off ... The BearVault folks have had a report of someone installing the lid incorrectly and having its contents pilfered. ... a ... have
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 18, 2005
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          > I ran into a guy on the JMT last week that had his Bear Vault
          ripped
          > open. He was camping below Forester Pass and a bear ripped the
          top off
          > of the Bear Vault and ate 18 lbs of food during the night.

          The BearVault folks have had a report of someone installing the lid
          incorrectly and having its' contents pilfered.

          > Another
          > person I met said that a ranger told him to put his Bear Vault in
          a
          > bear locker because the canisters can no longer be trusted. Bears
          have
          > figured out a way to open them by jumping on the canister until
          they
          > break open or the top breaks off. I would advise people to avoid
          these
          > canisters.

          And yet the manufacturer has received NO reports of the canisters
          failing in this manner, nor have any canisters failed in any gear
          review tests in similar fashion(being hurled off of cliffs, fer
          example).

          When somebody said somebody said.... I'd suggest waiting for
          documentation.

          jl
        • Frank Martin
          ... I suggest not buying one until the documentation comes also. If any of this is so they will lose their certification. What you most likely have is a
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 18, 2005
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            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John Lovaas" <jlovaas@m...> wrote:
            > > I ran into a guy on the JMT last week that had his Bear Vault
            > ripped
            > > open. He was camping below Forester Pass and a bear ripped the
            > top off
            > > of the Bear Vault and ate 18 lbs of food during the night.
            >
            > The BearVault folks have had a report of someone installing the lid
            > incorrectly and having its' contents pilfered.
            >
            > > Another
            > > person I met said that a ranger told him to put his Bear Vault in
            > a
            > > bear locker because the canisters can no longer be trusted. Bears
            > have
            > > figured out a way to open them by jumping on the canister until
            > they
            > > break open or the top breaks off. I would advise people to avoid
            > these
            > > canisters.
            >
            > And yet the manufacturer has received NO reports of the canisters
            > failing in this manner, nor have any canisters failed in any gear
            > review tests in similar fashion(being hurled off of cliffs, fer
            > example).
            >
            > When somebody said somebody said.... I'd suggest waiting for
            > documentation.
            >
            > jl

            I suggest not buying one until the documentation comes also. If any
            of this is so they will lose their certification.

            What you most likely have is a 'rogue bear' who has figured out how to
            open these. Last year a 'rogue bear' was ripping packs off people
            backs in the vicinty or Kersage Pass.

            The purpose of these groups is a sharing of information. It helps all
            of us. If someone told you (that someone told them) that a trail had
            washed out and if you took that trail you would fall off a cliff would
            you still take it.

            People on trails share information. I have always found the info
            shared as truthful.

            f
          • Vera Lehmkuhl
            ***Frank, you re cracking me up...this line I nearly spewed....:) I asked him how old they were when they first started trying. It is just there are many who
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 18, 2005
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              ***Frank, you're cracking me up...this line I nearly spewed....:)


              I asked him how old they were when they first started trying.

              It is just there are many who do have
              problems and after hikig all day who feels like doing a battle with
              your bear can so you can eat.


              **Heck I can't stand tweaking my stove so that I have to eat....can't imagine wrestling the cannister...told Janie today we needed to ante up for the bearikade next year...sigh...

              back atyou,

              v
              Happy trails.

              f





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            • Frank Martin
              ... eat....can t imagine wrestling the cannister...told Janie today we needed to ante up for the bearikade next year...sigh... ... I used the Jetboil for the
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 19, 2005
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                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Vera Lehmkuhl <vjl_47@y...> wrote:

                >
                > **Heck I can't stand tweaking my stove so that I have to
                eat....can't imagine wrestling the cannister...told Janie today we
                needed to ante up for the bearikade next year...sigh...
                >
                > back atyou,
                >
                > v
                > Happy trails.
                >
                > f

                I used the Jetboil for the JMT this year. I am solo and have used
                alcohol stoves in the past. I never thought I would like the Jetboil
                but saw one for next to nothing at an REI garage sale and got it.

                I loved it. I dehydrate all my own food. At somepoint in the hike I
                soak the food for evening and double-bag it. Basically after that I
                am just boiling water. It just was so simple,fast and efficient. I
                did my entire hike on one 250 gram canister boiling 4X/day with fuel
                left over. The time savings and less hassle compared to alcohol
                really sold me on that system. I do a 'Jardine thing' where I stop by
                a creek and soak my feet and change my socks out a couple of times a
                day. In the afternoons when doing this I usually have some miso soup.
                Those small light packets that you get at the Chinese grocery. With
                the jetboil I could be doing all this at the same time.

                I can see how this stove wouldn't work for everyone and all types of
                food. If you are actually cooking your food and in a larger group no
                way. But as for boiling water and heating up re-hydrated food it is
                great.

                As far as the Bearikade goes I would take a close look at the
                Expedition vs the Weekender. It is a lot bigger but really just has
                more uses than the weekender. Any time you go group backpacking and
                can save the additional weight of a second bear can you are lbs ahead.
                But a lot depends on just how much other gear you carry. The
                Expedition doesn't fit sideways in a pack but goes in vertically. You
                then pack your other gear around it. For me it is no problem as I
                have a low baseweight.. Also it won't fit in some packs like the
                Granite Gear vapor or barely in the Mountainsmith Ghost.
                I have used it successfully in Go-lite packs I used the Gust last year
                and this year I went with a ULA P-2. But really you don't need that
                much gear for a Sierra hike. Unfortunately people find that out the
                hard way.

                have fun,
                f
              • John Lovaas
                Hi Frank- Yes, I had read the gear review of the earlier model of BearVault. The two conditions that caused difficult opening were icing(which could be
                Message 7 of 18 , Aug 19, 2005
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                  Hi Frank-

                  Yes, I had read the gear review of the earlier model of BearVault.
                  The two conditions that caused difficult opening were icing(which
                  could be remedied by tapping the edge of the lid against an
                  appropriate object- like my head) and sand and grit- which is the
                  bane of any threaded device.

                  You had also mentioned that there were discussions of BearVault
                  difficulties on the BackpackingLight group. I searched the messages
                  all the way back to the introduction of BearVaults, and found only
                  one comment- from someone who had difficulty opening it in the
                  store. A store employee could have assisted there, I bet, thus
                  making a sale. And then of course your toungue-in-cheek response to
                  the developer of the BearVault.

                  As to documentation of BearVault "incidents", I'd like to get
                  some "who-what-where-when" before giving up on them. To elaborate
                  on your analogy-

                  >>>If someone told you (that someone told them) that a trail had
                  washed out and if you took that trail you would fall off a cliff
                  would you still take it.<<<

                  A corollary would be that an unknown individual told someone I just
                  met on the trail that a portion of the JMT was washed out- can't
                  tell you where, can't tell you when, and can't tell you if trail
                  crews had addressed the issue.

                  So I'd have to continue my hike- not enough information. I'd do my
                  best not to walk into space.

                  And Vera- are you simply pressing against the arrow on the lid of
                  the BV? Playing with my home scale, it appears I'm applying 2-3
                  pounds of force to get the lid tab to pass by the container tab. I
                  hold the BV between my knees, and press with one hand. I do have
                  issues with arthritis and carpal tunnel, BTW. I am not the governor
                  of CA ;-)

                  jl
                • Vera Lehmkuhl
                  ***the good news Frank is that Jetboil actually now makes an expander that you can attach to the Jetboil to allow it to use larger stoves. Yeah you lose the
                  Message 8 of 18 , Aug 19, 2005
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                    ***the good news Frank is that Jetboil actually now makes an expander that you can attach to the Jetboil to allow it to use larger stoves. Yeah you lose the heat exchanger but is small thing to give up for versatility. Also, make a coffee press for it too. I love the jetboil and am going to probably switch out to it when next I hike ...I have used alcohol stove too. It rocks...

                    If you are actually cooking your food and in a larger group no
                    way. But as for boiling water and heating up re-hydrated food it is
                    great.

                    As far as the Bearikade goes I would take a close look at the
                    Expedition vs the Weekender. It is a lot bigger but really just has
                    more uses than the weekender. Any time you go group backpacking and
                    can save the additional weight of a second bear can you are lbs ahead.
                    But a lot depends on just how much other gear you carry. The
                    Expedition doesn't fit sideways in a pack but goes in vertically. You
                    then pack your other gear around it. For me it is no problem as I
                    have a low baseweight.. Also it won't fit in some packs like the
                    Granite Gear vapor or barely in the Mountainsmith Ghost.
                    *****I have a Granite Gear Kia...nice pack I can fit the Bear Vault up and down and get gear in I think but if the Bearikade is much bigger then I'll be SOL...

                    I'll check it out tho. Nice to hear the gear review on the JB. I am experimenting with a rehydrating sleeve...one made for me by friend...looks like the AntiGravity gear one...and ziplock bags. You put food in ziplock, pour boiling water in, stir, pop it in the sleeve and in 5-10 minute have hot cooked noodles etc...is working ok...

                    vera



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Vera Lehmkuhl
                    And Vera- are you simply pressing against the arrow on the lid of the BV? Playing with my home scale, it appears I m applying 2-3 pounds of force to get the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Aug 19, 2005
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                      And Vera- are you simply pressing against the arrow on the lid of
                      the BV? Playing with my home scale, it appears I'm applying 2-3
                      pounds of force to get the lid tab to pass by the container tab. I
                      hold the BV between my knees, and press with one hand. I do have
                      issues with arthritis and carpal tunnel, BTW. I am not the governor
                      of CA ;-)

                      jl

                      jl,
                      Yes I am doing the same thing as you are and I work in a gear store so couldn't sell it cauze I can't open it!! :) HA I am laughing here so dont' be upset...I pushed, I grunted, I stomped, I hit it on my head (hey I thought if it worked for you...:) couldn't get it to budge...and yes I have all those things too like bad fingers and carpal tunnel etc etc, athletes feet, stubed toes you name it I've had it..

                      Id' walk on too...:) so I just figure I'm gonna starve unless I get a different vault...however the one I have is free so I think I'll keep trying....:)

                      nite all, you guys make me laugh..thanks,

                      v

                      oh btw...I am tentatively trying to think about maybe hiking JMT next year...hopefully no grandbabies will arrive right before my hike..
                      So I'd have to continue my hike- not enough information. I'd do my
                      best not to walk into space.






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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Bill Holt
                      I have one of the orginal Bear Vault BV100 s with the upgraded lid making it a BV110 (A no hassle free upgrade from Bear Vault). As reported that lid can be
                      Message 10 of 18 , Aug 20, 2005
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                        I have one of the orginal Bear Vault BV100's with the upgraded lid
                        making it a BV110 (A no hassle free upgrade from Bear Vault). As
                        reported that lid can be hard to open or close.

                        That said the new models the BV300 and BV250 are very easy and quick to
                        open and close. I've purchased a BV250 to use on short trips not so
                        much because of the weight savings but because of its smaller size.

                        The Backpacklinglight Yahoo Group thread on this topic is fairly
                        enlighting since Bearvault has responded there with information on
                        the "reported" failures. They've also posted a notice on their site
                        regarding potential issues with the lids on the BV300 and BV250.

                        The BV300/350's have some tolerance issues that require the user to pay
                        attention when closing lids that are slightly out of tolerance.

                        It so happens that the display model in the REI where I purchased my
                        BV250 had this tolerance issue. I was able to have hands on experience
                        compensating for it and didn't find it a big deal.

                        I also have a Garcia and find the new BV300/250 models much easier to
                        work with than the Garcia. My perception right now is that the
                        BV300/250 especially the BV250 are the best bang for you buck approved
                        bear cannisters on the market today.

                        Here's the link to the Bear Vault notice.
                        http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_productnotices.php


                        Bill in Sacramento
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