A Bear Canister That Works

Spending time in nature is good for the soul. Breathing in the fresh air, hearing the wind rustle through the leaves, and feeling the sun on your skin is the best medicine. But, all those amazing outdoor vibes go flying right out the “front door” of your amazing hiking trip if a bear steals your food. 

Introducing the BearVault bear canister, made to protect your food and keep your adventure going with no disruption from wild animals. Our bear canisters are intentionally designed and well engineered to keep bears from accessing your hiking food so it can all be available to fuel your body as it is challenged by your hike. 

#1 Why? We Are Well Engineered

The BearVault was an invention of necessity. While on a backpacking trip with friends the discussion around the fire centered on the backpacking bear canister we were using. It had some challenges with shape, had a small opening, was quite heavy, and had very limited visual accessibility. All of these things added up made it our least favorite piece of equipment overall. Naturally the brainstorming was sparked, and reimagining the bear can began. 

Today our bear can design is a result of several prototype iterations. We have addressed so many of the issues we had with the original can that started the conversation in the first place:

Wide Opening:

It’s helpful when human hands of all sizes can fit into the bear can to rummage about at will. Our design has eliminated having to dump out the entire contents of your bear canister because your hand doesn’t fit through the opening.

Certified Approval:

Our BearVault models are approved by both the Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group and Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.


Specifically designed to be wide, round and slippery, reducing leverage points for entry from bear jaws, claws and paws. This is the most durable and reliable shape for a bear resistant food canister. The fewer the corners the better.


We made it lighter but with higher volume, thanks to the durable, polycarbonate construction. This helps to offset the added pounds that adding bear protection to your packing routine can add.

Screw-on Lid:

Intuitive, secure, and not requiring extra tools to operate is major plus for our lid. Not having to keep track of any tools makes the whole bear canister system completely integrated with nothing to misplace. See our helpful video on how to properly open and close your bear resistant food canister.

Strap Guides:

Assist in strapping and packing your small bear canister to the top of your pack. The ideal place for your bear can is inside your pack just above your sleeping bag, however if that is not going to work you can safely secure the canister in several ways with our guides.


Having an easy to see into bear canister that doesn't require you to empty the contents of the bear can to find specific items is a huge differentiation of the BearVault products.

BearVault® Bear Canister

You’ve most likely heard that there are two food storage philosophies. Hanging your food or using a bear canister. There is a third approach that we absolutely do not recommend, which is keeping your food in your tent. The third approach might have worked for you every time up until now, but it only takes one time for it to fail you and it could cost more than you bargained for. 

We obviously subscribe to using a bear food canister and here is why:

#2 Why? Store Food On The Ground

Bears Climb Trees:

Even if you do find the “perfect tree” bears are expert climbers and can move up and down trunks and branches with confidence and agility. Often adult bears will send their cubs to pull down the food and they will even venture up themselves.

Habituating Bears:

Bears notoriously debunk food hung from trees. Once a bear has encountered human food it is insatiably searching for it and it’s wild behavior changes to habituated behavior placing it in danger of hurting someone or being put down. There is no way to overstate that a fed bear is a dead bear. Please do not feed animals human food.

Tree Availability:

This is a real issue, oftentimes trees are too small, too tall, or just not around. Then what? Can it!

Tree Damage:

Branches and boughs are overused, becoming weak and eventually breaking off in well used and high traffic camping areas. Bark is worn off and dug into from ropes and limbs are climbed on or over burdened with loads too heavy for their weight capacity.

The Proper Hang:

If a perfect tree is actually available there are still very few people that can execute a proper hang every single time. Issues with tying rope, the height of the hang, how close the bag is to the trunk of the tree, and more prevail over and over again when observing a bear hang in the wild. It is harder than it looks and it is even more exposed to being invaded if done improperly.

Easy Access:

You can open and close your BearVault bear canister as many times as you want with no disruption before you stash it away for the night. Forgot your toothpaste? Need one last bite of chocolate? Found some chapstick in your pocket that you forgot to throw in your food bag? You don’t have to untie your entire food hang system in the dark to get to your food and scented items.

Be sure to visit our Tips, Care & FAQ’s page to get a really good understanding of how to open and close your bear resistant canister, how to properly pack it into your backpack, how to handle it when you are at camp for the night, how to use it when you are cooking and cleaning, and how to stash it properly at night.

A few things to remember about your bear canister

  • All bear resistant canisters are bear resistant but none of them are bear proof.
  • No bear canister is scent proof. Bears have an incredibly developed sense of smell, far beyond that of a Blood Hound hunting dog.
  • Bear canisters are designed to be “more work” than bears are willing to invest. This uses their instincts to not burn unnecessary energy against them so that they lose interest.

#3 Why? Bear Canister Testimonials

Don’t just take our word for it. We have hundreds of happy customers who have seen our approved bear canister in action. Here are a few reviews from our customers:

#4 Why? Bag Peaks, Can Food!

Keep your food yours with a bear canister so you can keep your adventure going. Whether backpacking or camping, you can calm the nagging problem of keeping your food available when you need it and safe from the paws of bears by using a BearVault. Our backpacking bear canister is easy to carry, clean, and integrates easily into your packing routine. Keep your adventure going without worrying about nature snacking on your food (or you).