The Sierra Nevada is Black Bear Country. And in many areas Bear Safe Containers are required for backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Region. The most recognized resource for this is the Bear Vault. The Bear Vault is a standard for keeping hikers and bears safe in the wilderness.
The BearVault® Story
BearVault® manufactures bear-resistant food canisters, primarily used by backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts who carry food into bear country. Approved bear canisters are recognized as the only effective portable means of food storage in many wild areas. Proper precautions with bears keep the bears wild and neither attracted to nor dependent upon people for food. This helps eliminate bear-human conflict and protect personal property, food, and the bears.
Designed by Backpackers
The concept for the BearVault® was born during a 2002 Sierra backpacking trip with friends from the San Diego Hiking Club . Camped around a mountain lake, the group was lamenting the problems they had with bear canisters. Everybody agreed the available canisters were too heavy, held too little and had too small an opening. Several hikers had external frame packs, and attaching the slippery, tapered canisters of the time to those packs was a problem. Why didn’t someone make a better canister? Thus began the story of Jamie Hogan’s invention…
Tested by Bears
During the autumn and winter of 2002/2003, BearVault® made several prototypes which were impact-tested by the Sierra Inter agency Black Bear Group (SIBBG). By May 2003, we had a canister that was ready for the ultimate test: a trial stint with Fisher, the 560 pound black bear at the Folsom Zoo. Fisher, with his massive bulk and powerful jaws, had sent many designers back to the drawing board. It turned out, that is exactly what he did to this early BearVault® design as well. The SIBBG required the canister to last one full hour – but after just 8 minutes, Fisher had torn into the canister, and claimed his tasty reward of meat, peanut butter and jelly.