While “bear hangs” are a near universal food-protection tool, it is often difficult to find a tree with an appropriately high branch to secure it from. For this reason, it’s a smart choice to purchase a bear canister: hard-sided containers that can stop a bear’s powerful jaws. Bear canisters also come with complicated opening mechanisms that are tested against bears.

Before being approved for use in black bear and grizzly country, bear canisters are given to actual bears by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC). To run these tests, food, such as peanut butter, honey and fish oil, were placed inside of the containers, which were then deposited inside of a bear enclosure. The bears had an hour to breach the container. If they failed, the container or bag was given a passing grade. Here’s a look at the different bear canisters on the market today, and how they stack up.

For More Information

Backpackers’ Cache
backpackerscache.com; 559-732-3785

bearvault.com; 866-301-3442

Counter Assault Bear Keg
counterassault.com; 800-695-3394

UDAP No-Fed-Bear
bearspray.com; 800-232-7941

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Winter 2016 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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