Home Life Are Bear Canisters Worth It? – Guide 2024

Are Bear Canisters Worth It? – Guide 2024

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Are you planning to go on some type of outdoor adventure? If so, you should keep in mind that you must store your food properly.

If you do not do this, you can end up losing your food. One of the most popular and safest ways to protect your food from animals is storing it in a bear canister. Therefore, before you start with the backpacking process, check the best bear canister and effectively keep your food.

A bear canister, as the name itself, says, represents a bear-proof container that is perfectly designed to safely store your food while you are camping. They truly come with a very specific design that not only will prevent bears to smell the food and accessing it, but they will also get bored when they realize that they can not open these canisters. Over time, bears will understand that canisters do not provide them easy food access and they will not even bother approaching them and trying to take it.

Therefore, learn how to properly use bear canisters and in an effective way prevent bears to access your food. At the same time, you will prevent the interaction between you and bears on a camping trip as well, since they will not come to steal your food.

Can Bears Smell Food In A Bear Canister?

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This is one of the most asked questions, so let’s discuss whether bears can smell food that is stored in a bear canister. In general, very few know about this fact, but bears are having the strongest sense of smell compared to any other animal. This means that is nearly impossible to completely contain the scent of the food.

Therefore, even though canisters are designed in a way to completely smell resistant, bears can still smell the food stored inside them.

However, nothing can preserve your food better than this specially manufactured bear canister. We suggest you place the bear canister at a particular distance from your tent. This will prevent the bears to snoop around your camp and you will be secured and safe. Once they find out that they can not open the canister, they will just leave it and go away.

It is worth mentioning that you can truly store a lot of food inside the canister. You just need to find the right food for the camping trip and pack them properly so you can maximize the canister space. Do not get overwhelmed since this will take some effort and it can be a time-consuming task. However, you will surely be satisfied with the results. Finally, remember that literally every food that is scented must be inside the canister and this includes garbage as well.

How to Store the Food Inside the Bear Canister?

When it comes to storing your food, you primarily need to choose the right food that can last longer. After that, measure out every meal you are going to have on the trip. Your next goal is to repackage the food into little baggies or small containers. Make sure that all food, trash toiletries, and other scented items are going to fit inside the canister.

Literally, whatever you are using on your skin or you eat it, you must store it in a bear-resistant container. This includes sunscreen, lip balm, soap, deodorant, medication, feminine products, etc. After that, you need to put the canister 50 feet from your sleeping area. Leave the canister on the ground, and never hang the canister on a tree.

What Size Bear Canister Do You Need?


In most cases, 100 cubic inches which are 1.6L of canister for your food, toiletries, and other scent items will be enough.

Logically, this will be enough as long as you know how to pack things in the canister efficiently. You should not over pack.

Benefits of Using a Canister

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If you are still wondering whether a bear canister is worth it, you should hear about some great benefits that it comes with.

Primarily, when you are having a bear canister you will be completely peaceful and you will not have reason to stress whether or not bears or other animals will visit your tent.

Therefore, instead of thinking about how to hide and store your food while camping, you can focus on yourself and relaxing time.

Additionally, you will not have the reason to abort your trip only because bears ate your food. You will have the freedom to camp anywhere you like in the woods, or by the lake peacefully. There will not be a need for searching for the right tree or to carry some ropes for counterbalance. Finally, the most important benefit that you will enjoy is increased safety in the terms of protecting yourself from wild animals.

Where Bear Canisters Are Required

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In general, protecting your food from bears is required in any outdoor areas that are inhabited by bears, whether it is a national park, national forest, or some wilderness area. It can be challenging to navigate the area where there are bears, so it would be a wise decision to have these bear canisters with you every time you decide to go on a camping trip. There are just a couple of additional things that we have not mentioned that you should pay attention to.

For instance, one of the great tips regarding how to properly use the bear canister is keeping it properly locked and secured at all times. This means that you should not forget to lock it after you take the food out of it. Additionally, we would recommend you select some area that is not close to the cliffs or some water sources.

If a bear takes your canister and decides to leave it because it can not take the food, you would not like to see your food rolling off into the river. One more thing that we want to tell you is to always place something on top of the canister which will act as a bear alarm. It will confuse bears and they will decide not to examine your canister. For instance, you can use some rocks.