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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Bear Resistant Containers > Wild Ideas Bearikade Expedition > Owner Review by joe schaffer

Wild Ideas Bearikade Expedition

by Joe Schaffer
March 15, 2013
NAME: Joe Schaffer
AGE: 65
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Hayward, California USA

    I frequent California's central Sierras, camping every month; up to 95 nights a year; about half the time solo. I work part time at an outdoor store. As a comfort camper I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. Summer trips last typically a week to 10 days; 40 lbs (18 kg), about half food related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000' to 7,000' (1,830 to 2,135 m); 2 to 3 nights; 55 lbs (25 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) on snowshoes.
Expedition bear can
The Product:
        Manufacturer: Wild Ideas, LLC.
        Web site:
        Product: Bearikade Expedition animal resistant container
        Year purchased: 2009

My measures:
        Weight: 35.5 oz (.974 kg)
        Diameter: OD: 9.1" max  (23.1 cm)  ID: 9" useable (22.9 cm)
        Length: 14.5" outside (36.8 cm) 14.25" inside (36.2m)
        Volume: 907 useable cid inside (14.9 L); 943 cid outside (15.4 L)
        Volume (inside) per wt:  25.55 cid per oz  (0.0153 L per g)
        Volume (inside) per US dollar of MSRP:  3.3 cid  (0.0542 L)

Factory specs (from website):
        Weight: just over 36 oz (.99 kg)
        Diameter: 9" (22.9 cm)
        Length: 14.5" (36.8 cm)
        Volume: 900 cid (14.8 L)
        MSRP: $275 US

Product Description:   

    Several aircraft engineers in Southern California developed this can from carbon fiber and high-grade aluminum. The flat metal bottom’s glued to a carbon fiber tube. Three aircraft turn clips lock the flat metal top precisely into an 0-ringed, glued-on metal seat. The inside walls are smooth, slick and straight. The lid and bottom are very thin, beefed up with spiderwebLooking into Expedition arches.

    The open can boasts a big mouth, very nearly matching the inside diameter of the can. The turn clip seats present sharp edges and can snag nosh on the way in or out. The clips lock the lid solidly and usually turn easily with a coin. The open lid hangs close on a wire cable.

Field conditions:

    I’ve carried this can on 166 days of outings over four seasons. The can's benefits come to bear on outings requiring 7-10 person/days of food storage. I’ve toted it about California's Sierra Nevada in Emigrant, Dinky Lakes and Kaiser where it is not required; and half-a-dozen times in Yosemite and twice in Sequoia-Kings Canyon where cans are required.  One of the SKC trips dumped three days of what a ranger said was the worst summer rainstorm in 30 years, but the can stayed dry inside. I’ve used it in temperatures of 20 to 90 degrees F (-7 to 32 C). No bear on this can yet.


    Arithmetic sold me this product: 2.25 lbs (1.05 kg) of SIBBG (Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group)-tested and approved, 900-cubic-inch (14.8 L) volume giving me 10 days capacity.  I find no legal alternative close to the volume/wt ratio of the Expedition. 

    It costs a ton. But for equal capacity I calculate a weight savings from the Expedition of about 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg) at a marginal cost of about $150 US. I compare that incremental cost to stepping up to the lightest tent in the world, or sleeping bag or the lightest combination of anything and find it possible to swallow the price. Slashing that much of my fixed weight translates to about 2 more nights out. Or, leaving the car with exactly the same food ration, alternative storage tare takes about 2 days to get pack weight down to what I can leave with when using the Expedition.

washing in can     Washday’s a breeze. I can lug a lot of water away from the lake and give me dirties a tidy thrash and rinse. I'm reminded to be careful of the turn clip seats, which do, however, make the water-laden can easy to grab with one hand.

    I find the top and bottom edges relatively sharp. Things rubbing outside the pack into an edge have caused abrasion cuts.  When expecting a scramble, I've learned to place towel, sock or shirt to blunt any forces that might otherwise scrape skimpy fabric over an edge.

    Edges also tend to grab on the way in and out of my pack; again, more on lighter fabrics. Bear cans are not my favorite pill. This brute crammed to the brim gives me a clumsy armload.

    It might work OK for a stool if I could tolerate hundreds of dollars of carbon fiber that close to campfire.

    A c-ration P-38 can opener will usually let me rotate the turn clips, though sometimes I have to fish out a key or coin to exert a bit more torque on a cranky clip. (Durned arthritis!) I find the Expedition not as easy as turning the locks on other cans; and much easier than coaxing a lid past keepers, especially with cold fingers.

    The worst part of this can is going out for less than a week, I have plenty of capacity in a smaller can that’s either heavier or only a few ounces lighter! Stuffing the Expedition's surplus space with gear sometimes leaves me fiddling to get the tonnage pill centered in the pack.
bear can lineup
Expedition quick shots for park-approved, animal-resistant can:

a) Low weight
b) High volume
c) Expensive
d) Sharp edges

Read more reviews of Wild Ideas gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Bear Resistant Containers > Wild Ideas Bearikade Expedition > Owner Review by joe schaffer

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