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THE BACKPACKER’S CACHE: Keeping Bears and People Safe!

HUPC member Richard Garcia and his HUPC-supporting business, Garcia Machine of Visalia, CA, have contributed much to making the backcountry safe for bears and hikers alike. His revolutionary, strong canister was created back in the early ‘80s when rangers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks sought a serious solution to bear/hiker conflicts. The design and refinement have a fascinating history of backcountry use and on site testing by bears at the Fresno Zoo, who were frustrated by the sturdy, black, ABS kegs. Field-tested on the Denali tundra, where bears were observed trying for an hour and a half to unsuccessfully open “the Garcia” food canister, numbers of bears coming into camp severely dropped.

Retailer Campmor states on its web site that “The container...cannot be opened unless the bear has a coin or screwdriver.” I was delighted to spot “the Garcia” on sale in the Tuolomne Meadows store on the edge of the Pacific Crest Trail this summer. This canister guarantees no bear will access food, thus making bear country safer for hikers and bears alike.

We appreciate the work of Richard, his family and crew in developing a fine product that will hopefully result in fewer bear/human disasters that Utah has seen of late.

Margaret Pettis


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