How To Find The Best Ultralight Bear Canister For Your Adventure

    A bear canister is an airtight, bear-proof container that keeps the odor of food inside while preventing four-legged creatures inside.
    Bears can smell food up to 20 miles away.
    You are required to pack your food in a bear-proof food storage container in many of the US's most popular parks, such as Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Sierras and many more.

Best of Men's Trail Runners Reviews

Adidas Men’s Vigor Bounce M Trail Runner Product Review

Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)

Key Product Info:

  • Shoe Style: Trail Runners
  • Waterproof: No
  • Men

Pros

  • Lightweight under 10 ounces
  • Lots of padding in the midsole
  • Good comfy feel around your feet
  • Great grip and traction in the outsole

Cons

  • Tight toe box
  • "Luggy" sole not great for city running

The Adidas Men’s Vigor Bounce M Trail Runner great a great, grippy trail runner from Adidas.

They are super lightweight at just under 10 ounces and give you amazing cushion and grip on the bottom that will help keep you on the trail longer with less fatigue.

Using these on regular road or concrete will give you kind of a cleat type feel so they’re incredibly grippy.

The upper on the shoe is very strong with durable overlays combined into a breathable mesh, built to handle any obstacle nature throws your way. They fit well in the heel and midfoot with a snug, but not overly tight feel.

The midsole is built with Adidas’ Bounce energy returning technology with plenty of thickness and padding for a more comfort.

There’s definitely enough room for your feet to breathe a little, although we did notice the toe box to be a little tighter than we like, not a deal breaker but just what we noticed.


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Best of Women's Trail Runners Reviews

Adidas Performance Women’s Rockadia W Trail Runner Product Review

Editor's Rating: (3.6 / 5)

Key Product Info:

  • Shoe Style: Trail Runners
  • Waterproof: No
  • Women

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Good traction in the outsole
  • Molded foam footbed for added comfortable fit on your foot
  • Mesh uppers offer lots of ventilation

Cons

  • Constant heel rubbing
  • Stiff feel

The Adidas Performance Women’s Rockadia W Trail Runner will offer you really good support for a lightweight running shoe on or off the trail.

The uppers include a durable mesh and synthetic textile materials for ventilation and toughness.

There’s also a padded tongue and collar for added comfort around your ankle.

They feel very light on your feet and offer great traction on the bottom of the sole.

Surprisingly good traction on the sole, you can feel confident taking these off-road and even dealing with a little street ice.

You also get good arch support and room in the toe box along with a molded foam footbed.

We did find these to be a bit stiff but felt with a little time to break them in you can get some more comfort.

They also tend to rub the back of your heel a little more than we like so be prepared to ditch your low cut socks for something a bit higher.


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Best of Showers Reviews

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower Product Review

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Key Product Info:

  • Heat Source: Solar

Pros

  • Tough/durable construction
  • Lightweight to carry
  • Holds enough water to take longer showers
  • The water gets Plenty hot over 100 degrees

Cons

  • Slow water pressure
  • Very heavy once full of water
  • Sometimes the water gets too hot

The Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower is a more “high tech” solar shower that will get you a hot shower without having to lug a tank of propane.

The 4-ply construction of the shower bag really helps to get the water inside nice and warm.

It includes a reflector and insulator panel along with a solar panel to use the heat from the sun to get the water inside as hot as possible.

You’ll even surprise yourself when you look at the temperature gauge, yes there is a temperature gauge on the bag, and it reads over 100 degrees.

The carry weight of the Advanced Elements bag is a little over a pound, however, once its filled the weight will go to about 40 pounds.

It can hold enough water to easily take a 10-minute shower with some water left over. It works great for the solo backpacker or couples who can take fast to moderate showers.

The shower also includes velcro straps to hold soaps and washcloths and is extremely durable.

Keep in mind that the water pressure can be kind of slow because it is gravity fed, but the hose is durable and easy to activate.

We loved this portable solar shower bag!


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There’s no way around it: An ultralight bear canister is an absolute must.

if you are hiking in certain areas of the US (including the AT and PCT), you are going to have to think about bears and how to keep them away from your food!

Roughing it in the backcountry is hard enough, especially if you’re going the ultralight route.

You’ve most likely rationed every piece of food you bring down to the gram.

The more you can do to protect your rations, the better your trip will be.

Bear Country

Black bears and grizzly bears can be a huge nuisance to your food supply (not to mention potentially dangerous to you personally).

With the most sensitive nose of any animal, bears can smell food up to 20 miles away.

This means there’s a good chance that open container of trail mix in your bag could attract some unwanted attention.

While encounters with bears rarely turn immediately dangerous, a bear going through your campsite can destroy expensive gear, and eat all the food you had for the rest of your journey.

If you are far from civilization, this could become a serious issue.

Additionally, this is bad for the animal.

Bears that become dependent on human food can become “too friendly” with hikers and must, unfortunately, be put down.

So, for the sake of both species, get a bear proof canister.

What Is A Bear Canister

A bear canister is an airtight, bear-proof container that keeps the odor of food inside while preventing four-legged creatures inside.

They are built to withstand bears mauling it and pushing it around.

Usually, they are made with some sort of polymer and feature a locking mechanism on the lid.

A good bear canister should pass the Inter-agency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) certification program, which involves a live bear attempting to open it.

It should also be as light as possible while offering the most protection

The Lightest Bear Canister For Ultralight Backpackers

Ultralight campers need to consider not only the security of their bear canisters but how much extra weight they are packing.

When looking for the lightest bear canister you need to consider the amount of food you will need to take with you on your hike.

The lightest canister we’ve seen is the Bare Boxer Contender.

This canister weighs a little over a pound and a half and can fit enough food for about 2-3 days for a single person.

This one is perfect for weekend trips.

Wild Ideas’ The Scout canister weighs an ounce more but fits twice as much food.

This is a huge upgrade, but keep in mind that it also costs much more than other options.

If you have the money to spend, it’s an excellent choice though.

The BearVault BV450 is a great bang for buck option, with enough space for 3-4 days of food, relatively low weight, and reasonable price-tag.

Another possible option for ultralight backpackers is the Ursack.

This is not actually a hard canister at all, but a bulletproof sack that keeps bears at bay.

It has obvious disadvantages, such as bears being able to squish your food even if they can’t open it, as well as allowing them to drag it away.

Still, it is IGBC certified, so appears to be somewhat effective.

It only weighs a few ounces, so it is dramatically lighter than any canister.

Some parks will allow the Ursack, others will not recognize it as sufficient.

If you are adamant about shaving as much weight as possible from your pack, this may be an option.

Tips For Keeping Your Camping Food Safe

  1. Hang your food from a tree: To keep safe from a bear make sure it is 10 feet high and 8 feet out from the trunk of the tree
  2. Use a bear-proof canister
  3. Store away from your campsite
  4. Booby trap your food with pots and pans

Many times you will hear about hanging your food from a tree as a strategy for keeping bears out of your supplies.

Although this can be effective, we advise using a bear-proof canister instead.

Hanging your food takes practice, it’s time consuming, and not a viable option if there are no good trees around.

Even worse, many times smarter bears can still find a way to get the food down.

Plus, it’s inconvenient if you realize something you need from your pack once it’s all the way up there.

So, we recommend making the investment in a bear-proof canister.

Although heavier and bulkier, you are virtually guaranteed to keep out bears.

After you lock your food inside and then store it a couple hundred yards from your site.

This way, if it does attract attention, you will be a good ways off.

Never, ever store food in your tent in bear country!

We also recommend stashing it somewhere downwind from your campsite and cooking area.

Careful Placement

Be mindful not to place it near a steep drop or river either.

Bears may not be able to break into your canister, but if the push it off a cliff or underwater, they might as well have.

Some campers suggest booby-trapping your canister with a bunch of pots and pans.

That way if a bear disturbs it, the pots and pans will clank together and make a noise that will hopefully frighten it off (we have not personally tested this method)

We also recommend attaching a brightly colored marker, like tape, just to ensure you will be able to spot it in the underbrush.

Bear-Proof Food Storage

You are required to pack your food in a bear-proof food storage container in many of the US’s most popular parks, such as Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Sierras and many more.

Some of these areas offer bear canister rentals, but not all of them, and sometimes they are out of rentals.

We encourage you to show up prepared with your own canister, just in case.

Besides, do you really want to use someone else’s food storage?

These regulations are strictly enforced by Park Rangers

You cannot thru-hike the PCT or AT without a bear canister.

Carbon Fiber Bear Canister

Carbon fiber is an extremely resilient, lightweight material perfect for bear canisters.

The most notable company using it is Bearikade, who makes four sizes of canisters.

These are the lightest canisters out there in terms of volume-to-weight.

This is because carbon fiber is so tough the walls can be made thinner.

However, these units are about 4x the retail price of similar models, so may be out of the price range of many hikers.

Still, if you have the extra cash to blow, this luxury model may be worth it.

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