• This article is part of the following channel(s)

A bear cache made of reclaimed wood

Designer Regan Appleton created a bear cache in British Columbia, made of pine and cedar shingles and held up by deadwood tree trunks harvested on site.

Bear caches are structures that allow people to stay in an area for a longer time without being afraid of bears. Cache comes from the French word ‘cacher’, to hide. The caches keep foodstuffs over 3.5 metres (12 feet) above the ground so that bears cannot get to them.

Called Deadwood Bear Cache, the cache is located atop a rocky outcrop on an isolated island with the coordinates 49°55 North and 123°06 West. The remote spot became the first gathering place for friends between lockdowns of the pandemic.

The cache is made of pine and cedar shingles that were brought to the island via a stand-up paddle board (SUP) and hiked to site. The legs of the structure consist of deadwood tree trunks that were harvested on site. The four trunks were stripped and oiled to protect against the elements.

On the one hand, the form of the cache echoes the uneasy, contemporary malaise felt during the pandemic. It is inspired by the apocalyptic novels of H.G. Wells. However, its function subverts the dystopian aesthetic as a device that enables sustenance and communal gathering.

Eventually, the structure will decay and be consumed back into the forest.

Photos: Regan Appleton