Wild Ideas Bearikade Scout
by Raymond Estrella
October 14, 2007
Huntington Beach California USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or fiancée Jenn.
Manufacturer: Wild Ideas
Web site: www.wild-ideas.net
Product: Bearikade Scout
Year manufactured: 2007
Height listed (from manufacturer email): 8 in (20.3 cm) Verified accurate
Diameter listed (from manufacturer email): 9 in (22.9 cm) Verified accurate
Capacity listed (from manufacturer email): 500 cu in (8.2 L)
Weight listed (from manufacturer email): 1 lb 12 oz (0.79 kg)
Weight measured 1 lb 11.7 oz (0.79 kg)
MSRP: $195.00 (US)
The Wild Ideas Bearikade Scout (hereafter called the Scout) is a very light weight compact bear resistant canister made to keep food safe from thieving bears in the back country.
It is made with two goals in mind, light weight and ease of use. And light weight it is. I have three other types/models of bear canisters in the gear room. The Bearikade is 2/3 (or less) the weight of my other styles.
The ease of use comes into play with the size of the opening. Because the Scout uses almost the entire diameter as access space it is very easy to get things in and out of it.
The Scout is made of a composite carbon fiber cylinder for the body. This is the black material seen in the picture above.
High strength aircraft aluminum alloy 6061-T6 is used for the three metal parts, the non-removable end cap, locking collar and the removable hatch, or cover.
High strength, two part adhesive epoxy is used to join the end cap and locking collar to the composite cylinder. This epoxy is applied quite neatly. I can find no runs or splotches of it.
The cover (seen lying next to the open Scout in the picture below) sits very snugly into the locking ring on the top of the unit. The cover, which is ribbed for added strength, has three aircraft-style quarter turn fasteners that go through holes in the locking ring and twist onto clips underneath with a camming action to secure the unit. A coin, key or flat screwdriver is used to turn the fasteners. I use my REI spoon to turn them.
A sealing o-ring is placed under the head of each quarter turn fastener, and a brass locking clip keeps them in place. In addition, a large o-ring is rolled into a narrow groove on the top side of the locking collar. The o-ring seals are to make the unit moisture resistant and limit the broadcast of odors.
A steel cable lanyard is anchored to the locking collar and cover, keeping it from being misplaced. (Or used as a Frisbee…)
I used the Scout on a 42-mile (68 km) 2 day backpacking trip in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Our camp was at Crabtree Meadows at 10600' (3231 m) elevation. The temps ranged from 36 to 75 F (2 to 24 C) and rain in the afternoon of the first day.
I used it on a 78-mile (126 km) three day trip from the Rock Creek Lake area down to Glacier Lodge in the John Muir Wilderness in the Sierra Nevada range of California. The temperatures ranged from freezing to 70 F (21 C), elevations ranged from 7800' to 11800' (2380 to 3600 m). Terrain consisted of dirt and exposed rock at the lower elevations and snow and ice up high.
I used it for a two day backpacking trip in Utah with my hiker girl. We went to American Fork Canyon, the day after a storm. Starting elevation of 6800' (2100 m) up to about 8400' (2600 m) with temperatures a chilly 37 F (3 C) in the day, and just below freezing at night. There was still three or four inches (18 cm+-) of snow at camp. Terrain was snow covered dirt and rock.
I bought the Bearikade Scout in summer of 2007 for a couple of reasons. First I have been cutting weight quite aggressively since 2003. This was about the same time that bear canisters became mandatory in the parts of the Sierra Nevada mountain range that I hike in the most. Before buying the Scout I had four different bear canisters, three of them just different models from the same company.
The other reason was size. I have gotten my food rations down to about 24 oz (680 g) a day and it can fit into a very small space. I just do not need all the space of a big canister for it. Even sharing with my brother-in-law for a three day trip we don't need a large unit as he has his food down near mine in weight and even smaller volume. The bear canister was forcing me to take a larger pack than I wanted to. The Bearikade Scout lets me have a choice again.
I have been using an Osprey Talon 33 pack a lot this year. The Scout will slide down into the pack in the upright position. (It will not go in sideways.) It will go in my Granite Gear Vapor Trail in any position.
I can carry four days food stores with no problem.
Because I try to keep the lightest weight items at the bottom of my pack I do not carry my food in the Scout. I keep my food in a silnylon bag that goes near the top of my pack. I put my sleeping bag and pillowcase in the Scout, and then slide it into the bottom of my pack.
The Scout works well as a camp seat. I am using it as such in the picture taken at American Fork Canyon at the end of this review. The top could be used as a cutting board, although I have not done so with this one. I have set my stove up on the top to have it closer to hand as I sat on a rock while cooking. It makes a good flat stable base.
I can not say that it works as advertised though as I have only seen two bears while in the back country in over thirty years of hiking. I have seen more in campgrounds and parking lots in one day than I have ever on the trail. I have never needed to rely on the Scout (or any other bear canister) but it is nice to know that, since I have to carry one, this is the lightest around.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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