I decided to build a bear canister rather than buying one. The Bear Kegs on the market range from 50 to 80 bucks for a good sized one. These containers are designed to withstand the crushing blow of a bear. They are generally intended to be hung from a rope about 30 or 40 feet up in a tree. This keeps bears from getting their paws on your food in the first place. For under ten dollars I made an equivalent to this product and tested it in the mountains in Kentucky. Made at Techshop. www.techshop.ws
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Step 1: Getting Started
Collect Materials and tools: The materials you will need are as follows: 1 leak tight construction bucket with one leak tight twist on lid (these are sold as separate products), two key chain rings, two bike inner tubes or straps, one tube of 100 % silicone bathroom calk, 1 vinyl cut or hand drawn message to detour bears and 50 plus feet of light rope. Home Depot will have all the materials needed for this project except inner tubes. Feel free to use something else rather than inner tubes for the straps or talk to a local bike shop to get used or damaged tubes. The only tools you will need are: 1 razor blade or knife, 1 calk gun and a mallet or hammer.
Step 2: Step 1
First step is to apply silicone calk to the top rim of the bucket. This is to help in securing the rim to the leak tight twist top. This will also help in keeping the container air tight to lock in smells. The rim top will be permanently attached to the bucket after it is installed even without the silicone, so this is slight over kill. Once you have laid a small bead on the rim of the bucket place the leak tight ring on the top of the bucket without smudging the silicon off of the rim. After the ring is in place press the ring down to snap it on the the rim. Start in a single spot on the ring and press down working in both directions to apply fasten it to the bucket. If this doesn’t work, try a mallet.
Step 3: Step Two
After you have applied the ring to the bucket it is time to make straps that will allow it to be fastened to a hiking backpack. These can be made from any material. I re-purposed some used bike inner tubes. Cut the valve off both tubes. Next hook the key rings to the small holes the handle mounts in on the bucket. This gives you a spot to tie the ends of the inner tube to create a strap to tie to a back pack. Next cut two slits in each side of the inner tube to create a loop for a cross strap to thread through the other inner tube. Connect the ends after you have threaded it through the other inner tube.
Step 4: Step 3
At this point the Bear Keg is constructed but to truly protect your food from theses burly wooly mammals there is one last step. Either by cutting out a decal using the vinyl cutter or simply illustrating it by hand with a marker, write something that clearly indicates “BEARS KEEP OUT”. This is the only way for the bears to truly understand that your food is not for them.You are now ready to sling this bad boy up in a tree. Using the 50ft of rope hang the bucket from the handle about 30 feet up and 4 feet from the trunk of the tree.