Windell, Keith . 2006. Bear-Resistant Containers for Rafters. 0623 2307. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Missoula Technology and Development Center. 6 p.
Discusses evaluations of prototype bear-resistant, food-storage containers. Rafters commonly carry ice, food, and cold beverages in large, lightweight coolers. Bears would have an easy time getting into these coolers, and they're so bulky and heavy that they are difficult to hang in trees out of the reach of bears. A commercially available plastic cooler, a prototype insulated dry box made from marine-grade aluminum and foam board insulation, and a prototype storage box made from marine-grade aluminum were evaluated. During a field test of the prototype insulated dry box, river managers found that even when it was filled with twice as much ice as a plastic cooler, the ice did not last as long. The prototype storage box for coolers showed more promise, but funding for the project ended before the storage box could be subjected to additional tests. Both bear-resistant prototype metal containers were much heavier than the lightweight plastic coolers rafters are accustomed to carrying.
Keywords: black bears, coolers, equipment development, evaluations, food, grizzly bears, Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, rafting, Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group, testing
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