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Bear Canister Packing

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  • ravi_jmt2013
    I have a few short trips coming up so I thought it would be a good time to buy several days of food at one time to practice packing my bear canister. I have a
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 30, 2013
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      I have a few short trips coming up so I thought it would be a good time to buy several days of food at one time to practice packing my bear canister.  I have a custom 12 inch Bearikade which is 1.5 inches taller than the Weekender and 2.5 inches shorter than the Expedition.  The capacity is 750 cubic inches.  I thought I would post what I did here to see if anyone has feedback.  Also, maybe my experience with a first attempt at packing will help others new to bear canisters who are planning a JMT thru hike this year.

      My test was intended to simulate the longest section of my hike without resupply: From MTR to Whitney Portal.  Although this segment is scheduled for nine days, the first day of food will not need to be in the canister.  Additionally, I do not anticipate eating more than breakfast and a snack on the final day.  So my test involved packing about 7 1/2 days of food into the canister.  I should note that what I am listing below isn't necessarily what I'll take since I'm hoping to add more variety but the extent of my back country culinary skill set right now is that I can reconstitute a Knorr side and that's about it.

      Here is a list of what I packed:
      • Package of 16 Mission tortillas (medium).  2240 calornies.  28.5 ounces.
      • 8 double servings of instant oatmeal plus Nido.  3200 calories.  30 ounces.
      • 8 servings of hot cocoa plus Nido.  1360 calories.  11.2 ounces.
      • 7 Knorr dinners (various).  4660 calories.  37.8 ounces
      • Peanuts.  2560 calories.  16.8 ounces
      • 34 fun size Snickers.  2720 calories.  20.4 ounces
      • Jif Peanut Butter.  3040 calories.  19.5 ounces
      • Nutella.  2000 calories.  14.9 ounces
      • 16 Clif Bars.  3760 calories.  40 ounces

      Other than the tortillas, peanut butter, nutella, and Clif Bars, I repackaged all of the items into various sizes of zip locks for individual portions.  Total calories:  25,540.  Total weight:  219.1 ounces, or 13.7 pounds.  Calories per ounce:  116.6.

      How I packed:  The tortillas were placed at the very bottom of the canister (perfect fit!).  On top of the tortillas, I alternated between individual oatmeal packets, hot cocoa packets, and Knorr sides.  I tried to knead all of the contents to take up all the space.  In crevices where I could not fill the space, I used fun size snickers to totally fill up available room.  I put the bag of peanuts and remaining snickers on top of this, then the peanut butter and nutella (containers on their sides), and then the Clif Bars. 

      After all of the above was loaded, the canister had a bit of room left but was very close to full.  It could have accommodated scented toiletries in the remaining space.

      Thoughts on use of space:  I felt like I was being very efficient in the bottom part of the canister with the tortillas, oatmeal, Knorr Sides, snickers, and peanuts.  I believe that all of that food took up no more than 6-7 inches of space in the canister. 

      The peanut butter and nutella took up a fair amount of space on top of all that but what really seems inefficient are the clif bars.  I feel like if I wasn't using Clif bars, I would be able to fit in more calories with things like trail mix, almonds, M&Ms, etc.  In fact, I'm almost certain that I could get away with a Weekender rather than a 12 inch Bearikade if I get rid of the energy bars in favor of something else.  I don't feel comfortable repackaging energy bars and even if I did so, the shape is such that I don't think I could cram them in much more tightly. 

      Overall, I am happy with getting about 3,400 calories/day of food in the canister for 7 1/2 days which I think should be sufficient, if not to maintain weight then at least to not feel too hungry.  But it sure would be nice to be more efficient with the energy bar snacks.  I think that I could probably get everything into a Weekender if not for the energy bars.  A Weekender would fit either horizontally or vertically into my backpack and I have an opportunity to exchange my custom for a smaller unit if I want to. 

      Any input on this would be great!  Thanks.

    • Don Amundson
      A few thoughts. I know you re just simulating but I think you find when you pack for real things might be a bit different. Are you taking electrolyte mixes,
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 30, 2013
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        A few thoughts. I know you're just simulating but I think you find when you pack for real things might be a bit different. Are you taking electrolyte mixes, salty snacks other than peanuts, coffee, tea, soup mixes etc.?  Getting enough calories per day isn't too difficult. 
        13.7 lbs for 7.5 days is a lot of food though.  I tend to pack around 1.5lbs per day max. With a little creativity you shouldn't have a problem getting everything into your custom Bearikade.  I use a weekender and can manage 9 days in it.  Just hope you don't come across a picky ranger that questions your use of a non approved canister.  I've never seen one with a tape measure yet.
        Variety is important in my experience.  Repackage you peanut butter and Nutella if you have't already or get individual serving packages as they'll pack much more efficiently.  I always pack my Cliff type bars lined up around the perimeter of my canister standing up like Stonehenge and then pack stuff in the middle to hold them up. I've never had any lucky keeping tortillas for more than 4 days or so before they dry out an start crumbling for lack of a better word.  They are really weighty besides.  After the first meal you pull from the canister all your packing efforts go to hell but then there is plenty of room for everything to fit without having to pound it in the a rock.

        On Mar 30, 2013, at 5:17 PM, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote: 

         

        I have a few short trips coming up so I thought it would be a good time to buy several days of food at one time to practice packing my bear canister.  I have a custom 12 inch Bearikade which is 1.5 inches taller than the Weekender and 2.5 inches shorter than the Expedition.  The capacity is 750 cubic inches.  I thought I would post what I did here to see if anyone has feedback.  Also, maybe my experience with a first attempt at packing will help others new to bear canisters who are planning a JMT thru hike this year.

        My test was intended to simulate the longest section of my hike without resupply: From MTR to Whitney Portal.  Although this segment is scheduled for nine days, the first day of food will not need to be in the canister.  Additionally, I do not anticipate eating more than breakfast and a snack on the final day.  So my test involved packing about 7 1/2 days of food into the canister.  I should note that what I am listing below isn't necessarily what I'll take since I'm hoping to add more variety but the extent of my back country culinary skill set right now is that I can reconstitute a Knorr side and that's about it.

        Here is a list of what I packed:

        • Package of 16 Mission tortillas (medium).  2240 calornies.  28.5 ounces.
        • 8 double servings of instant oatmeal plus Nido.  3200 calories.  30 ounces.
        • 8 servings of hot cocoa plus Nido.  1360 calories.  11.2 ounces.
        • 7 Knorr dinners (various).  4660 calories.  37.8 ounces
        • Peanuts.  2560 calories.  16.8 ounces
        • 34 fun size Snickers.  2720 calories.  20.4 ounces
        • Jif Peanut Butter.  3040 calories.  19.5 ounces
        • Nutella.  2000 calories.  14.9 ounces
        • 16 Clif Bars.  3760 calories.  40 ounces

        Other than the tortillas, peanut butter, nutella, and Clif Bars, I repackaged all of the items into various sizes of zip locks for individual portions.  Total calories:  25,540.  Total weight:  219.1 ounces, or 13.7 pounds.  Calories per ounce:  116.6.

        How I packed:  The tortillas were placed at the very bottom of the canister (perfect fit!).  On top of the tortillas, I alternated between individual oatmeal packets, hot cocoa packets, and Knorr sides.  I tried to knead all of the contents to take up all the space.  In crevices where I could not fill the space, I used fun size snickers to totally fill up available room.  I put the bag of peanuts and remaining snickers on top of this, then the peanut butter and nutella (containers on their sides), and then the Clif Bars. 

        After all of the above was loaded, the canister had a bit of room left but was very close to full.  It could have accommodated scented toiletries in the remaining space.

        Thoughts on use of space:  I felt like I was being very efficient in the bottom part of the canister with the tortillas, oatmeal, Knorr Sides, snickers, and peanuts.  I believe that all of that food took up no more than 6-7 inches of space in the canister. 

        The peanut butter and nutella took up a fair amount of space on top of all that but what really seems inefficient are the clif bars.  I feel like if I wasn't using Clif bars, I would be able to fit in more calories with things like trail mix, almonds, M&Ms, etc.  In fact, I'm almost certain that I could get away with a Weekender rather than a 12 inch Bearikade if I get rid of the energy bars in favor of something else.  I don't feel comfortable repackaging energy bars and even if I did so, the shape is such that I don't think I could cram them in much more tightly. 

        Overall, I am happy with getting about 3,400 calories/day of food in the canister for 7 1/2 days which I think should be sufficient, if not to maintain weight then at least to not feel too hungry.  But it sure would be nice to be more efficient with the energy bar snacks.  I think that I could probably get everything into a Weekender if not for the energy bars.  A Weekender would fit either horizontally or vertically into my backpack and I have an opportunity to exchange my custom for a smaller unit if I want to. 

        Any input on this would be great!  Thanks.

      • Frank Dumville
        I am planning on packing 8 days for the MTR to the Portal segment using a Weekender. I ve packed this amount a few times before.   Good idea about the first
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 30, 2013
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          I am planning on packing 8 days for the MTR to the Portal segment using a Weekender. I've packed this amount a few times before.
           
          Good idea about the first day's food not needing to be packed, but remember the garbage has to be stored at the end of the day along with your other scented items.
           
          I would suggest packing all the food for the first few days on the top so you don't have to unpack the whole can. I would take 2 packages of 8 tortillas. One goes on the bottom, the other on the top. Eat the bulkiest meals first.
           
          My preference is to not repackage into individual serving but to pack a couple of larger bags. I mix up my oatmeal and Nido into 2 larger bags. One goes in the bottom of the can, the other on the top. This seems to pack better for me. I don't do the freezer bag cooking thing, I rehydrate in a plastic bowl so I just pour out what I need into the bowl.
           
          I don't be take peanut butter on long sections. I prefer a something like dried black bean soup mix that I rehydrate before lunch. It's lighter and more compact. I do carry olive oil to add some fat to these lunches.
           
          For dinners I stay away from noodles and macaroni. Instant rice, couscous and potato based dinners pack smaller.
           
          I suppose something like a Power Bar could be molded to fit better but I prefer Cliff Bars and Snickers so I pack those. If you've got extra room I would pack a few extra bars.
           
          Snap
           
           
        • ravi_jmt2013
          Don and Snap, Thanks for the great feedback. Don, I repacked using your suggestion of packing the Clif bars around the perimeter and then packing other things
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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            Don and Snap, Thanks for the great feedback. Don, I repacked using your suggestion of packing the Clif bars around the perimeter and then packing other things in the middle. This made a HUGE difference in volume usage. I am now able to get everything except the peanut butter and Nutella into the canister with over 3 inches to spare. If I can find a way to repackage the peanut butter/nutella or find individual packages, I'm almost certain that I could fit 7.5-8 days of food in a standard Weekender canister.

            I plan to pack more variety for the trip and I will be taking coffee, olive oil, and other snacks other than peanuts (especially if I take peanut butter). I also think I can do better than 116 calories/ounce.

            I am hoping to take tortillas since the expiration date of the Mission brand seem to be 5-6 weeks out so they should theoretically hold up even given the MTR shipment lead time. Are there are bread-like substitutes that may hold up better?

            "Just hope you don't come across a picky ranger that questions your use of a non approved canister. I've never seen one with a tape measure yet."

            This is something I never considered. Reading the approved canister information strictly seems to imply that just the two standard sizes are approved... something to think about. Could any ranger be that bureaucratic?

            "For dinners I stay away from noodles and macaroni. Instant rice, couscous and potato based dinners pack smaller."

            I may do the same after the experience of repacking noodles which can stick through a ziplock when compressed. I like the Near East brand couscous and it re-hydrates much more easily than noddle based Knorr sides.

            I forgot to ask one question in my original post: Is it typical to use odor proof Loksak liners for the canister? One thing I really noticed when repacking is that the ziplocks do not contain odors at all. I'm sitting at my computer which is about 20 feet from the place where I repackaged everything yesterday and I can still smell a combination of Knorr sides, peanuts, and hot cocoa mix. If I can smell this from 20 feet away, my guess is any bear or "mini bear" will be drawn to the location of the canister. Although there isn't any chance of the canister failing, I would prefer to be as "stealth" like as possible to avoid visitors.
          • Barbara Karagosian
            Minimus.biz sells individual packages of PB and nutella (called something like chocolate nut spread). Some Ralph s stores stock them now too. Barbara
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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              Minimus.biz sells individual packages of PB and nutella (called something like chocolate nut spread).  Some Ralph's stores stock them now too.

              Barbara


              On Mar 31, 2013, at 6:38 AM, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote:

               

              Don and Snap, Thanks for the great feedback. Don, I repacked using your suggestion of packing the Clif bars around the perimeter and then packing other things in the middle. This made a HUGE difference in volume usage. I am now able to get everything except the peanut butter and Nutella into the canister with over 3 inches to spare. If I can find a way to repackage the peanut butter/nutella or find individual packages, I'm almost certain that I could fit 7.5-8 days of food in a standard Weekender canister.

              I plan to pack more variety for the trip and I will be taking coffee, olive oil, and other snacks other than peanuts (especially if I take peanut butter). I also think I can do better than 116 calories/ounce.

              I am hoping to take tortillas since the expiration date of the Mission brand seem to be 5-6 weeks out so they should theoretically hold up even given the MTR shipment lead time. Are there are bread-like substitutes that may hold up better?

              "Just hope you don't come across a picky ranger that questions your use of a non approved canister. I've never seen one with a tape measure yet."

              This is something I never considered. Reading the approved canister information strictly seems to imply that just the two standard sizes are approved... something to think about. Could any ranger be that bureaucratic?

              "For dinners I stay away from noodles and macaroni. Instant rice, couscous and potato based dinners pack smaller."

              I may do the same after the experience of repacking noodles which can stick through a ziplock when compressed. I like the Near East brand couscous and it re-hydrates much more easily than noddle based Knorr sides.

              I forgot to ask one question in my original post: Is it typical to use odor proof Loksak liners for the canister? One thing I really noticed when repacking is that the ziplocks do not contain odors at all. I'm sitting at my computer which is about 20 feet from the place where I repackaged everything yesterday and I can still smell a combination of Knorr sides, peanuts, and hot cocoa mix. If I can smell this from 20 feet away, my guess is any bear or "mini bear" will be drawn to the location of the canister. Although there isn't any chance of the canister failing, I would prefer to be as "stealth" like as possible to avoid visitors.

            • Robert
              Don and Frank, man I must be a glutton, as I can barely get 5 days of food in my Weekender : )! I m not a great packer though, and I pack a lot of drink mixes
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                Don and Frank, man I must be a glutton, as I can barely get 5 days of food in my Weekender : )! I'm not a great packer though, and I pack a lot of drink mixes , ( Perpetuem, Heed, Recoverite, etc. ), that hog, ( no pun intended ), a lot of space in my can. I've had better luck than Don on my tortillas staying moist, but that may be just a different brand of tortillas though. I pack my tortillas flat on the bottom of my bearcan as well, but I only use them on my mid-day extended breaks so I have time to dig and rearrange, even if it is a pain in the.... I agree with Don on maybe packing some kind of electrolyte replacements. At least your taking the time to figure it out before your hike, and not a couple of days before you leave like some!

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville <nccctsd@...> wrote:
                >
                > I am planning on packing 8 days for the MTR to the Portal segment using a Weekender. I've packed this amount a few times before.
                >  
                > Good idea about the first day's food not needing to be packed, but remember the garbage has to be stored at the end of the day along with your other scented items.
                >  
                > I would suggest packing all the food for the first few days on the top so you don't have to unpack the whole can. I would take 2 packages of 8 tortillas. One goes on the bottom, the other on the top. Eat the bulkiest meals first.
                >  
                > My preference is to not repackage into individual serving but to pack a couple of larger bags. I mix up my oatmeal and Nido into 2 larger bags. One goes in the bottom of the can, the other on the top. This seems to pack better for me. I don't do the freezer bag cooking thing, I rehydrate in a plastic bowl so I just pour out what I need into the bowl.
                >  
                > I don't be take peanut butter on long sections. I prefer a something like dried black bean soup mix that I rehydrate before lunch. It's lighter and more compact. I do carry olive oil to add some fat to these lunches.
                >  
                > For dinners I stay away from noodles and macaroni. Instant rice, couscous and potato based dinners pack smaller.
                >  
                > I suppose something like a Power Bar could be molded to fit better but I prefer Cliff Bars and Snickers so I pack those. If you've got extra room I would pack a few extra bars.
                >  
                > Snap
                >  
                >  
                >
              • John
                Don t worry about the canister. As an ex-backcountry ranger I can say with 99% certainty it s a non-issue. The can is of an approved manufacturer, diameter,
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                  Don't worry about the canister. As an ex-backcountry ranger I can say with 99% certainty it's a non-issue. The can is of an approved manufacturer, diameter, material and closing mechanism. Without a tape measure no one is going to know the difference.

                  IMO, don't bother with a liner, it makes packing a hassle. If a bear is cruising the area it's likely to check out your camp regardless as there are smells all around from previous users and bears are quite habitual. This goes for rodents as well.

                  Tortillas. From my experience Mission brand are thin and dry and like to break and crumble. I find Guerro much more durable (and tastier).

                  JD
                  Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                • ravi_jmt2013
                  ... I m not experienced enough to really stealth camp so I will probably use established camp sites where bears may be common anyway. I ve read that bears
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > IMO, don't bother with a liner, it makes packing a hassle. If a bear is
                    > cruising the area it's likely to check out your camp regardless as there
                    > are smells all around from previous users and bears are quite habitual.
                    >

                    I'm not experienced enough to really stealth camp so I will probably use established camp sites where bears may be common anyway. I've read that bears give up pretty quickly when they see food in a canister so even if it smells they may not be around for too long anyway. I would like to see a bear on the trip but not necessarily at 2am.
                  • Gail
                    Justin s also sells several kinds of nut butters in packets: http://www.justins.com/products.php. I haven t tried these but plan to. Does anyone take pita
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                      Justin's also sells several kinds of nut butters in packets: http://www.justins.com/products.php. I haven't tried these but plan to.

                      Does anyone take pita rather than tortillas?

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Minimus.biz sells individual packages of PB and nutella (called something like chocolate nut spread). Some Ralph's stores stock them now too.
                      >
                      > Barbara
                      >
                      >
                      > On Mar 31, 2013, at 6:38 AM, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > Don and Snap, Thanks for the great feedback. Don, I repacked using your suggestion of packing the Clif bars around the perimeter and then packing other things in the middle. This made a HUGE difference in volume usage. I am now able to get everything except the peanut butter and Nutella into the canister with over 3 inches to spare. If I can find a way to repackage the peanut butter/nutella or find individual packages, I'm almost certain that I could fit 7.5-8 days of food in a standard Weekender canister.
                      > >
                      > > I plan to pack more variety for the trip and I will be taking coffee, olive oil, and other snacks other than peanuts (especially if I take peanut butter). I also think I can do better than 116 calories/ounce.
                      > >
                      > > I am hoping to take tortillas since the expiration date of the Mission brand seem to be 5-6 weeks out so they should theoretically hold up even given the MTR shipment lead time. Are there are bread-like substitutes that may hold up better?
                      > >
                      > > "Just hope you don't come across a picky ranger that questions your use of a non approved canister. I've never seen one with a tape measure yet."
                      > >
                      > > This is something I never considered. Reading the approved canister information strictly seems to imply that just the two standard sizes are approved... something to think about. Could any ranger be that bureaucratic?
                      > >
                      > > "For dinners I stay away from noodles and macaroni. Instant rice, couscous and potato based dinners pack smaller."
                      > >
                      > > I may do the same after the experience of repacking noodles which can stick through a ziplock when compressed. I like the Near East brand couscous and it re-hydrates much more easily than noddle based Knorr sides.
                      > >
                      > > I forgot to ask one question in my original post: Is it typical to use odor proof Loksak liners for the canister? One thing I really noticed when repacking is that the ziplocks do not contain odors at all. I'm sitting at my computer which is about 20 feet from the place where I repackaged everything yesterday and I can still smell a combination of Knorr sides, peanuts, and hot cocoa mix. If I can smell this from 20 feet away, my guess is any bear or "mini bear" will be drawn to the location of the canister. Although there isn't any chance of the canister failing, I would prefer to be as "stealth" like as possible to avoid visitors.
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Gail
                      It looks like my link doesn t work, sorry - go to justins.com and navigate from there.
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                        It looks like my link doesn't work, sorry - go to justins.com and navigate from there.

                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Gail" <forgetwho@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Justin's also sells several kinds of nut butters in packets: http://www.justins.com/products.php. I haven't tried these but plan to.
                        >
                        > Does anyone take pita rather than tortillas?
                        >
                        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Minimus.biz sells individual packages of PB and nutella (called something like chocolate nut spread). Some Ralph's stores stock them now too.
                        > >
                        > > Barbara
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > On Mar 31, 2013, at 6:38 AM, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > Don and Snap, Thanks for the great feedback. Don, I repacked using your suggestion of packing the Clif bars around the perimeter and then packing other things in the middle. This made a HUGE difference in volume usage. I am now able to get everything except the peanut butter and Nutella into the canister with over 3 inches to spare. If I can find a way to repackage the peanut butter/nutella or find individual packages, I'm almost certain that I could fit 7.5-8 days of food in a standard Weekender canister.
                        > > >
                        > > > I plan to pack more variety for the trip and I will be taking coffee, olive oil, and other snacks other than peanuts (especially if I take peanut butter). I also think I can do better than 116 calories/ounce.
                        > > >
                        > > > I am hoping to take tortillas since the expiration date of the Mission brand seem to be 5-6 weeks out so they should theoretically hold up even given the MTR shipment lead time. Are there are bread-like substitutes that may hold up better?
                        > > >
                        > > > "Just hope you don't come across a picky ranger that questions your use of a non approved canister. I've never seen one with a tape measure yet."
                        > > >
                        > > > This is something I never considered. Reading the approved canister information strictly seems to imply that just the two standard sizes are approved... something to think about. Could any ranger be that bureaucratic?
                        > > >
                        > > > "For dinners I stay away from noodles and macaroni. Instant rice, couscous and potato based dinners pack smaller."
                        > > >
                        > > > I may do the same after the experience of repacking noodles which can stick through a ziplock when compressed. I like the Near East brand couscous and it re-hydrates much more easily than noddle based Knorr sides.
                        > > >
                        > > > I forgot to ask one question in my original post: Is it typical to use odor proof Loksak liners for the canister? One thing I really noticed when repacking is that the ziplocks do not contain odors at all. I'm sitting at my computer which is about 20 feet from the place where I repackaged everything yesterday and I can still smell a combination of Knorr sides, peanuts, and hot cocoa mix. If I can smell this from 20 feet away, my guess is any bear or "mini bear" will be drawn to the location of the canister. Although there isn't any chance of the canister failing, I would prefer to be as "stealth" like as possible to avoid visitors.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • John
                        ... I have, but as I recall they too didn t seem durable. Perhaps there are different qualities there as well. John
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Gail" <forgetwho@...> wrote:

                          >
                          > Does anyone take pita rather than tortillas?

                          I have, but as I recall they too didn't seem durable. Perhaps there are different qualities there as well.

                          John
                        • Don Amundson
                          I ve never used the Opsaks with a canister. If I was that worried about bears being attracted to odors I d have to get an Opsak big enough for me to fit into.
                          Message 12 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                            I've never used the Opsaks with a canister. If I was that worried about bears being attracted to odors I'd have to get an Opsak big enough for me to fit into. And you are right about regular plastic bags not holding out odors. Ground coffee is the worse--I would recommend an Opsak or at a minimum double bagging any ground coffee you might be carrying unless you like coffee flavored rice.


                            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                            From: ravi@...
                            Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 13:38:51 +0000
                            Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Bear Canister Packing

                            I forgot to ask one question in my original post: Is it typical to use odor proof Loksak liners for the canister? One thing I really noticed when repacking is that the ziplocks do not contain odors at all. I'm sitting at my computer which is about 20 feet from the place where I repackaged everything yesterday and I can still smell a combination of Knorr sides, peanuts, and hot cocoa mix. If I can smell this from 20 feet away, my guess is any bear or "mini bear" will be drawn to the location of the canister. Although there isn't any chance of the canister failing, I would prefer to be as "stealth" like as possible to avoid visitors.





                          • Gail
                            Re coffee -I don t think bears like coffee, lol. Anyway, here s what happened to me: Once in the 80s I was backpacking (in Evolution Basin) with a friend.
                            Message 13 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                              Re coffee -I don't think bears like coffee, lol. Anyway, here's what happened to me: Once in the 80s I was backpacking (in Evolution Basin) with a friend. We hung our food in a tree far from our tents. In the morning the remnants of the sack were on the ground - we'd heard nothing during the night. Every scrap of our food was gone except for the coffee. I yelled to my friend, "He didn't take the coffee!" and she called disgustedly back, "Well, what did he need COFFEE for? He was up all night anyway!"

                              We were truly grateful to still have the coffee :-)

                              After that we told hikers we met what had happened. We really weren't trying to bum food, just to share our story, but almost everyone offered us some food. But what they wanted to unload were excess freeze-dried packages. They kept all their gorp. So whenever we wanted to eat anything after that, we pretty much had to stop and pull our stove our of our pack...

                              That was the trip on which I learned that it is possible to survive without brushing your teeth, and that pots can be scraped clean with sand :-).

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Don Amundson <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > I've never used the Opsaks with a canister. If I was that worried about bears being attracted to odors I'd have to get an Opsak big enough for me to fit into. And you are right about regular plastic bags not holding out odors. Ground coffee is the worse--I would recommend an Opsak or at a minimum double bagging any ground coffee you might be carrying unless you like coffee flavored rice.
                              >
                              > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                              > From: ravi@...
                              > Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 13:38:51 +0000
                              > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Bear Canister Packing
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > I forgot to ask one question in my original post: Is it typical to use odor proof Loksak liners for the canister? One thing I really noticed when repacking is that the ziplocks do not contain odors at all. I'm sitting at my computer which is about 20 feet from the place where I repackaged everything yesterday and I can still smell a combination of Knorr sides, peanuts, and hot cocoa mix. If I can smell this from 20 feet away, my guess is any bear or "mini bear" will be drawn to the location of the canister. Although there isn't any chance of the canister failing, I would prefer to be as "stealth" like as possible to avoid visitors.
                              >
                            • Don
                              Robert--you re not a glutton, just what I call a beast on the trail. You re the only hiker I ve ever seen with a dust trail behind them from hiking so fast.
                              Message 14 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                                Robert--you're not a glutton, just what I call a beast on the trail. You're the only hiker I've ever seen with a dust trail behind them from hiking so fast. And as you remember that was when you were hiking uphill NOBO on the way to Muir Pass. Your calorie/energy requirements as a fastpacker are a bit higher than us more mainstream types. ;-)

                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <rnperky@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Don and Frank, man I must be a glutton, as I can barely get 5 days of food in my Weekender : ).....
                              • John Ladd
                                US Plastics sells a variety of plastic jars that I use for repackaging things like nutella and peanut butter, to make them a bit more compact than odd-shaped
                                Message 15 of 19 , Mar 31, 2013
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                                  US Plastics sells a variety of plastic jars that I use for repackaging things like nutella and peanut butter, to make them a bit more compact than odd-shaped original jars. They are also good for holding things like field-mixed hummus and tabbouleh from the time I make them (
                                  after
                                  breakfast) until I eat them (lunch).  

                                  The polypropylene (PP) jars (
                                  marked with
                                  Recycle s
                                  y
                                  mbol number 5) can stand quite hot temperatures so can be sterilized before you leave home if you want to package things like
                                  rendered
                                  baconfat
                                  , ghee
                                  or homemade pesto, and can also serve as containers for steeping your meals in boiling water. They also resist freezing temps without cracking. 

                                  Lots of other types of plastic either deform with hot water and/or become brittle if used in sub-freexing temperatures. Pour boiling  water into an empty peanut butter jar and you will see what I mean.
                                  .
                                  Good jar choice
                                  s
                                  here:

                                  http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23371

                                  Must buy the lids separately

                                  lid 70-400
                                  works for the PP 
                                  6 and 8 ounce jars
                                  lid 89-400
                                  works for the PP
                                   12 and 16 ounce jars

                                  http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=22820

                                  The foamed
                                   
                                  Polyethylene
                                  (
                                  PE
                                  )
                                  liners
                                  (supplied with
                                  the caps at the above link
                                  )
                                  help keep oily contents from leaking. Unfortunately the liners can't take full heat for sterilizing
                                  when the jars are empty
                                  .
                                   You can, however, package them first and then use an extended hot water bath to sterilize them without degrading the liners.

                                  And, no, I don't know why Gmail keeps changing font size on me.

                                  John Curran Ladd
                                  1616 Castro Street
                                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                  415-648-9279
                                • jyeider
                                  RAVI THE PACKAGES ARE EXPENSIVE MESSY WASTEFUL AND SMALL IN PORTIONS. POLY SQUEEZE TUBE COST A DOLLAR AND ARE REUSABLE. YOU CAN MIX UP ANY CONCOCTION YOU LIKE.
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Apr 1, 2013
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                                    RAVI
                                    THE PACKAGES ARE EXPENSIVE MESSY WASTEFUL AND SMALL IN PORTIONS. POLY SQUEEZE TUBE COST A DOLLAR AND ARE REUSABLE. YOU CAN MIX UP ANY CONCOCTION YOU LIKE. PB&J HONEY.THEY FIT ANYWHERE IN YOU CANISTER. TRY THEM OUT.

                                    JEFFERY


                                    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™III, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone
                                  • Herb
                                    I have used the squeeze tubes and generally like them. However, we did an early season Sierra trip many years back with tubes filled with peanut butter and
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Apr 1, 2013
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                                      I have used the squeeze tubes and generally like them. However, we did an early season Sierra trip many years back with tubes filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Thought we would be in hog heaven. But... we started out in usually cold temps for the first 5-7 days and the mixture was so stiff in the tubes we could not get it out. We finally resorted to opening the back side and chipped out the contents chunk by chunk like frozen ice cream.

                                      As to leakage of the small packages, I have jammed them into a bear can and not had any problem.

                                      Herb

                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, jyeider <jyeider@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > RAVI
                                      > THE PACKAGES ARE EXPENSIVE MESSY WASTEFUL AND SMALL IN PORTIONS. POLY SQUEEZE TUBE COST A DOLLAR AND ARE REUSABLE. YOU CAN MIX UP ANY CONCOCTION YOU LIKE. PB&J HONEY.THEY FIT ANYWHERE IN YOU CANISTER. TRY THEM OUT.
                                      >
                                      > JEFFERY
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™III, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone
                                      >
                                    • jyeider
                                      The free fast food condiment packs are not a probkem at all. We use at least 10 different kinds of those never a leak. Doesn t everyone use those Jeffery Sent
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Apr 1, 2013
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                                        The free fast food condiment packs are not a probkem at all. We use at least 10 different kinds of those never a leak. Doesn't everyone use those
                                        Jeffery


                                        Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™III, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone
                                      • Frank Dumville
                                        I ve used the squeeze tubes in the past but didn t think they were worth the effort on a longer hike. If I bring peanut butter I use the plastic jar it comes
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 1, 2013
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                                          I've used the squeeze tubes in the past but didn't think they were worth the effort on a longer hike. If I bring peanut butter I use the plastic jar it comes in. If I'm tight on space I pack something else.
                                           
                                          Snap

                                          From: jyeider jyeider@...

                                           THE PACKAGES ARE EXPENSIVE MESSY WASTEFUL AND SMALL IN PORTIONS. POLY SQUEEZE TUBE COST A DOLLAR AND ARE REUSABLE. YOU CAN MIX UP ANY CONCOCTION YOU LIKE. PB&J HONEY.THEY FIT ANYWHERE IN YOU CANISTER. TRY THEM OUT.

                                          JEFFERY


                                          Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™III, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone
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