I will never forget my first trip with a bear barrel, it was truly a game changer. Not only is this a helpful tool to keep your food safe from bears, it is also a great way to cut down on how much you have to carry. I use my bear barrel not only for food but for all of my other kitchen related supplies as well. The only caveat would be that you must be cautious about the weight of your pack or it will not be an easy one to carry.
I recommend organizing your barrel by either weight, importance, or frequency of use. I usually put things like canned foods, cups, plates, fuel, stove, and others at the bottom. These are typically items you would only need once your on a site and they wont be damaged being in the bottom of the barrel. You might want to keep the snack foods up near the top so that you can dive in for a quick snack after a portage.
What’s in my Bear Barrel?
- Axe & Folding Saw
- Fire Starters
- Pots & Pans
- Stove & Fuel
- Coffee Thermos with filter system
- Mini folding grill for fires (sometimes I hang this on the outside of the barrel to save space)
- Water Filter (tablets or systems)
- Plates, Cups, & Cutlery
- Dry Food (Bread, Canned Food, Jerky, Trail mix, PB, Tang, Noodles, etc)
- Tin Foil
- Cooking Oil
Hanging your Barrel:
It is also good to note the correct way hang your bear barrel. This is a topic that has been under debate by many people. The most important thing is to keep the pack away from your site when you are not using it. Whether you decide to hang it in a tree or secure it to the base of the tree, it will not make much of a difference. If a bear wants your barrel and its in a tree, its going to get it down. I will go over this in more depth in another post.