After many trips doing the traditional PCT bear bagging method I wanted to try something different. There are so many times where finding good hanging spots is just to much of a chore, with the growing number of locations that are starting to require bear canisters I figured I would just purchase one. I did some research and after comparing weights and features I decided the Bearvault 450 was the best canister for my starting point. At 2 lbs 1oz it was the lightest one for the money, only the carbon fiber canister was lighter.
Very solidly built, I like how easy it is to see where things are in the canister compared to the solid colored plastics other company’s are using. Feels a bit bulky and heavier than the standard food bag.
After taking this canister out on multiple trips, all I can say is I love this thing. It fits well in the top of my pack making it easy to get when I want lunch in the middle of my trip. Makes a great seat or small table to set my drink while lounging in my hammock during the day. I no longer have to worry about finding that perfect branch to hang my food from especially at night. All I have to do is walk a little ways from my camp and set it on the ground or somewhere safe. I don’t have to worry about the weather or other critters that might want to get to my food. It is added weight but the peace of mind and simplicity more than makes up for that.
If you pack carefully and are mindful of packing everything as small as you can, you could manage 5 days worth of food. I have had no trouble carrying 4 days worth. I tend to not pack my first day of food in my canister, letting me go even further. I only gave it 4 stars because it can be bulky even after you have eaten most of your food. But then again you no longer have to worry about smashed and crushed food…
When I can, I put the canister in the bottom of the holes left from a tree falling and uprooting. This way I don’t have to worry about a bear that is trying to get to it rolling it down a hill or something. Sticking it next to logs or rocks works well to.