Bear Safe Food Storage that Works

Your hike. Your food. Keep it yours.

Being out in nature is good for the soul. Feeling the breeze through your hair, smelling the pine trees, the sun warming your skin: It’s the best medicine. What isn’t the best medicine? A bear raiding your camp and stealing your food. If you are a backpacker or camper, you need bear safe food storage so you keep your food your own. 

Our canisters are easy to carry, light, and tough as nails (just ask our bear testers).
Using the BearVault is a win-win for humans and nature. 

How the BearVault® Was Born

The idea for the BearVault® was born on a backpacking trip with friends. We sat around the fire, bemoaning the food storage we had brought with us: It was bulky, awkward, had a small opening, and was an absolute pain to use. 

Our founder, Jamie Hogan, decided to completely reimagine typical food containers. We began with a “child-proof” twist top. But we wondered: Would it withstand the pressures of a hungry bear?

Would it withstand the pressures of a hungry bear?

We created a prototype and began our testing. Field testing with backpackers went well: They approved of our bear resistant food storage. The tougher test was still to come, however. Our BearVault® design had to withstand the bear test: one hour in the enclosure of Fisher, a 560-pound black bear at the Folsom Zoo. Fortunately for Fisher and his hungry belly, and unfortunately for our design team, our prototype only lasted 8 minutes. Fisher enjoyed his treat of meat, peanut butter, and jelly. We went back to the drawing board. Our next design was put into his enclosure and this time, we were the victors: Fisher gave up and we removed the container from his enclosure after 24 hours. We went a step further in our testing: After passing the Fisher test, we put the BearVault into the habitat of Sequoia, another enormous black bear. After another 24 hours, we removed the unopened container from Sequoia’s habitat. Our bear resistant food storage container had made it 48 hours in the paws of two hungry, determined bears. 

We received full approval from the Sierra Inter-Agency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) for the BearVault bear safe food storage containers we had reimagined. 

Our bear safe food storage container had made it 48 hours in the paws of two hungry, determined bears. 

Bear Proof Food Storage

Why It's Important

Keeping food away from bears is important. While bears may appreciate a yummy, easily accessible snack, eating human food leads to more human-to-bear confrontations. Bears get used to scavenging around human camps. Run-ins with people usually lead to human bear conflicts. Bears are often killed as a result. Keeping human food away from bears is an important part of their conservation: being a responsible visitor to the natural habitat of bears is vital.

We are often asked about bear hangs, and whether they are a good option for keeping food away from bears. Hanging food in trees is not the best option: Trees get broken down from constant use in designated campgrounds, and often, finding a suitable tree is difficult. Additionally, many bears send their cubs up into trees to pull down hanging food – which is obviously not ideal. Here’s the best way to use your BearVault bear safe food storage:

Find a Place to Store Your Bear Safe Food Storage

Once you find your campsite, look for a good place to stash your BearVault. It should be away from your camp a bit (in case a bear finds it and tries to open it), and secure enough that it can’t get blown about by the wind.

Using and Storing Food in the BearVault

When you open your BearVault to get your food, replace the lid as quickly as possible. While the BearVault isn’t scent-proof, it does reduce scent transmission. Cook away from where you sleep and keep anything that has a strong scent (including deodorant and toothpaste) outside and away from your tent.

How the BearVault Bear Resistant Food Storage Works Best

What People Think

Don’t let us toot our own horn: Our bear safe food storage works for many avid hikers and backpackers. Here are their reviews:

Keep Your Food Safe with Our Bear Safe Food Storage

Your hike. Your food. Keep it that way.

Our bear safe food storage is the best: It’s easy to carry along with your other backpacking gear, is simple to clean, use, and is proven to keep bears out of your food. Stop worrying about bears getting into your food stash, and save your vittles for your hungry stomach.    

BearVault® Model BV500


BearVault® Model BV450