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Gear Review

2 5

People-proof, NOT bear-proof or water-proof

I bought this canister to comply with mandatory bear canister regulations for my hike on the John Muir Trail in the High Sierras. I chose this particular product mainly for its capacity. It holds more food than any other canister on the market and there's a 100+ mile stretch on the JMT with no resupply opportunities. Generally, I found the Bear Vault to work okay. It successfully defeated the attempts of two bears to open it. But it also frequently defeated MY attempts to open it. On cold mornings it was nearly impossible to push the plastic in far enough to spring the latch. Very frustrating. It seemed like everybody had this complaint on the JMT where it gets pretty cold overnight. Also, I was told by the Rae Lakes Ranger that a bear living along Bubb's Creek had learned how to open the Vault and had made its way into 4 of them this summer alone! There is talk that the Bear Vault may have its APPROVED status revoked by the National Park Service. To top it all off, its not watertight! If you leave your BearVault out in the open, and it rains, your food WILL get soaking wet. I consider this a serious flaw considering this product is supposedly designed to be left out in the open. Very shoddy work by the people at BearVault. What were they thinking?