Link to the Gear List

Bear Vault BV400

It's not a vault to put bears in...


  • 2lbs 9oz
  • Polycarbonate
  • 700 cubic inches
  • $80

Initial Impressions

We first bought these in 2008 when we planned on doing the trail. It's a large nalgene made for food pretty much. They're solid, sturdy, and simple. It's a plastic can.


Bear can did what it was made to do. There are lighter options out there. There are bigger options out there. For all of our needs and plans of a 3 week, 10 mile per day thru hike of the JMT, the BV400 was the answer.  I wrapped mine with a few bits of reflective tape thinking a bear might come and roll it down a hill and I'd have to find it. Never happened.

They aren't smell proof, they aren't shatter proof, and in Vermont with at least one bear, they aren't bear proof. But for the shattering and bear opening, these are extreme and rare cases.

It's a solid container that Sierra bears can't open, and it's approved by park agencies. Worked awesome as a stool/camp chair as well.

If rodents, animals, and creatures are a problem in other camping trips, the bear can is very helpful. I'd not hesitate to use it on some Texas trips where creatures have a habit of getting my food.

Last Words

Bears are smart. They'll try to get your food. Don't let them. Don't make the bear die. At the end of the day they're an inconvenience to carry because of all the room they take up and how much they weigh, but they're a must. There are lighter, larger options out there. And you can also rent them if you don't want to buy for life. Or there's craigslist...

Overall Arbitrary Trail Score (OATS)


7.5- Heavy, cumbersome, but mandatory. 

Link to the Gear List

Best since Day 1.