Possum Barrel

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Possum Barrel

Postby Neo » Sun 04 Nov, 2018 2:33 pm

G'day

Any ideas on what would make a good food storage container? Instead of a stuff sack or dry bag but still lightish.

I'm tempted to try a bear barrel but would have to import one and they are too heavy duty...

Something like a 3kg plastic peanut butter jar would do!
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Mark F » Sun 04 Nov, 2018 3:04 pm

What capacity and what purpose - long term caching or just overnight type protection?

For caching where I have carried in the cache I found a 4 litre metal olive oil can was very light and worked well. Zero cost as it is recycling our rubbish. Cut three sides of the lid with a can opener and pull open. Drill a couple of matching holes in the top and side opposite the uncut side to allow a bit of wire to securely close the lid with a twist. Once filled and closed I run a bead of silicone around the cut and the drilled holes to fully seal it. I have stashed these in tree stumps, fallen logs etc without any issue from animals or insects. One was in the field for over 12 months.

For in camp type protection I wouldn't bother. Hang the food in a sil-nylon stuff sack. If concerned about creatures managing to access the neck of the stuff sack a small cone of plastic stops them holding on and keeps out the rain if hanging outside. Also could consider replacing the drawstring with dyneema cord.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby norts » Sun 04 Nov, 2018 3:09 pm

Ursack, but you would probably have to import it, lighter than a bear canister.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Neo » Sun 04 Nov, 2018 3:18 pm

The topic name is just a catchy headline! Thinking first as alternative food storage and secondary as critter protection.

Olive can is a great idea for a stash. Sometimes they come in a plastic barrel, but thats a lot of olives!

Icing or fondant tubs from a bakery is an option but could be close to half a kilo empty.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Neo » Sun 04 Nov, 2018 3:26 pm

Did have a critter nibble into a bag beside me one night at a camp cave. Currently using an Exped dark blue dry bag BS. The internet tells me its 13L which it doesn't look like.

If so then I'm taking up about 10L which includes some plastic jars. They are bulky so I could eliminate most jars if using a main barrel.

(jars are reusable instead of ziplocks etc, have minor OCD type organisation!)
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 17 Nov, 2018 10:37 am

Large Milo tin
About 3 litres capacity and almost ready to go once washed out; 163 grams on my kitchen scales.
I have one here I have just washed out and it will go in the car with "Emergency" supplies in it. Matches candles Firelighters and a few Mars bars/soup packets. I line mine with bread bags as a secondary protection layer.
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Neo » Sat 17 Nov, 2018 8:01 pm

Cheers for the idea. As a kid my favourite cereal was rice bubbles with Milo on top.

Had forgotten about my barrel whim. Will be in a town tomorrow so might snoop around the bakery and cafe bins for a small barrel!
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Aardvark » Sun 18 Nov, 2018 7:38 am

In the interests of those exploring all options.
I have had extensive use of 30Lt canoe barrels. That is those that are watertight, have a wide mouth lid, preferably black but that can be painted over.
One came to grief from bushfire many years ago but other than that they have faultless.
There is often more than food in mine though.
I suspect they are best suited to my environment. There are always discreet patches of bush to hide them in.
My last use of water containers involved coles soda water bottles. Of nearly thirty bottles placed we lost four to bites at the base of the bottle where small teeth got a grip. That'll be overcome for sure by cutting some bottles to double layer the base of the water bottles.
Water is often an issue on long routes for those of us in SEQ.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 18 Nov, 2018 9:50 am

Next time ALDI have a special on Calamata olives I may buy a couple of the 5 kilo drums of such, that size would be handy for my uses
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Neo » Sun 02 Dec, 2018 3:35 pm

Got a 4.6 litre Unipro painters bucket from Bunnings for $6.80 is clear with a yellow lid so looks like a 5kg honey tub.

The lid tore on first removal so will sort that out when going past the shop again tomorrow.

Won't get to give it a go on a trip for a while. Should be able to squeeze a bunch of ingredients in.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 14 May, 2020 8:04 pm

Hey Neo, Did you get much use out of any of your possum barrel ideas? What were the wins and fails of your trials?

I have just finished a big tub of collagen powder (tub weighs 135g empty) and a friend gifted me an even bigger barrel of whey protein that she didn't like that I have been using to make icecream etc with which is also getting close to done and I think they both could be reasonably possum/rodent proof. The collagen size would easily fit 3 or so days food I think and the larger one would do me a week perhaps.
I hate possums trying to gnaw through things to eat my food and I even had a fox get in my vestibule last year too, it was very persistent and had clearly been fed by some other (stoopid) humans. I never leave food out, but hate having to cuddle my sil food bag to make sure it stays safe. I could hang it from a tree I guess, but I am unco and prefer not to.

Is the barrel idea more of a go-er or something lighter and odour proof like opsak in a kevlar bear sack? I have the space in my pack for either option. I am still working full time in this pandemic, but no time overnight in my tent has given me too much time to ponder gear ;-)
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Neo » Tue 19 May, 2020 2:49 pm

Hi MsMudd. Nope I ended up just being more careful to put the food stuffsack in the backpack and haven't met anything more cheeky than a turkey.

The rounded shapes and screw top lids on those looks very handy. I think the only downside of a possum barrel is its fixed bulk. A bit tricky to pack and balance.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 21 May, 2020 10:43 am

Thanks for the reply Neo. Good to know you have remained largely unharassed.
I think I will hang on to the containers, may come in handy if doing a walk with rodents on steroids.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby peregrinator » Thu 21 May, 2020 11:00 am

Ms_Mudd wrote: . . . may come in handy if doing a walk with rodents on steroids.


Yeah, I can't keep up with ones on steroids.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Warin » Thu 21 May, 2020 11:08 am

peregrinator wrote:
Ms_Mudd wrote: . . . may come in handy if doing a walk with rodents on steroids.


Yeah, I can't keep up with ones on steroids.


Should make a harness for them to pull us along.

----------------
I have had some rodents chew through canvas to try and get some food ... must have been some remnant there. I slept through it. I think I would also sleep through them chewing through lesser materials. Hanging looks to be my option in those areas.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 21 May, 2020 11:49 am

Hmm I have trained goats to carry a packsaddle/panniers and ponies to pull carriages so training marsupials to pull us along sled-style should be no problem ;-)

The chewing through things to get to food worries me, I would hate to end up with a pack or my foodbag gnawed through. You must sleep very soundly Warin or else the 'roided up marsupials and rodents also enabled their stealth-mode. The flipside to the gnawing issue is I would hate my Lindt 90% to be a melted mess as I have cuddled my food bag all night to prevent the first scenario from happening.

I have hung bags in huts, but never in the wild. I have visions of getting tangled up and/or having my bag stuck up high.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Baka Dasai » Thu 21 May, 2020 12:59 pm

I once had a critter nibble through the outer pocket of my pack while I was sleeping. Since then I've been hanging my food from a very thin cord in the hope that no critter could abseil down it. So far, so good, but I'm tempted to splash out on an ursack.

https://ursack.com/collections/ursack-b ... sack-minor
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 21 May, 2020 1:19 pm

Baka Dasai wrote:I once had a critter nibble through the outer pocket of my pack while I was sleeping. Since then I've been hanging my food from a very thin cord in the hope that no critter could abseil down it. So far, so good, but I'm tempted to splash out on an ursack.
https://ursack.com/collections/ursack-b ... sack-minor


I've seen a water rat chew through heavy Cordura to get at an apple in someone's pack.

Personally, I find that smell is a key driver of animals attacking food while camping. I usually keep my food in a lightweight drybag. It would be easy to chew through, but because it's airtight the animals don't smell the contents and don't attack it. At least they never have mine. I don't bother hanging it. The benefit of the barrels above would be the same. By stopping the smell, the animals don't know there's food there, so don't try to get at it.

As for the fancy kevlar bag, there's a couple points I'd make. Firstly, because the top is only sealed with velcro, the smell will get out, so animals will be drawn to it. They may not be able to get into it, but they'll still try if they can smell food. A nylon drybag that's a fraction of the cost will likely provide just as much benefit. Also note that kevlar doesn't do well with UV exposure, so it will degrade and weaken over time. It's one of the reasons bullet proof vests have a short lifespan (and that's after the kevlar is hidden underneath black nylon fabric).

For canyoning, I often use a keg (https://www.canyongear.com.au/product/c ... anyon-keg/), but that's about keeping things dry when submerged, not protecting from animals, although it would definitely achieve that goal. But they're a much heavier / bulkier than anything I would consider using for bushwalking.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby philm » Fri 22 May, 2020 9:25 am

Use high strength fishing line to hang from a cord fastened between 2 trees. As a bonus add 2 empty plastic bottles in either side that rotate freely to spin off any critter that makes it along the top line! Lightweight solution
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby north-north-west » Fri 22 May, 2020 11:33 am

I'm with the chubby one on this - I keep all my food in sealed packets inside a sealed drybag. The only time I've had something have a go at any of it is when I got careless while snowed in at Haven and left an open bag of sunflower seeds out. The antechinus was most grateful.
This, of course, does not include the *&%$#! devil that chewed its way into my big heavy-duty kayaking drybag to get the smoked salmon and camembert inside. Damned animal has expensive tastes. Also a very good nose if it could smell anything in that bag. With any luck, I added a small degree of fear of aggro older women, especially when they're chasing you around, starkers, in the middle of night.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Ms_Mudd » Sat 23 May, 2020 4:48 pm

north-north-west wrote:This, of course, does not include the *&%$#! devil that chewed its way into my big heavy-duty kayaking drybag to get the smoked salmon and camembert inside. Damned animal has expensive tastes. .


If I smelled the above in someones food bag I would personally chew through the drybag myself to get at it. I wouldn't even have the courtesy to wait until they were asleep to do so.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby north-north-west » Sat 23 May, 2020 8:08 pm

No offence Muddy, but no way am I ever walking anywhere near you. That stuff costs.
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Mark F » Sun 24 May, 2020 12:37 pm

I always hang my food and haven't lost any for ages. I made a simple hanging system (20g) that deals with most smaller critters and keeps my food stuff sacs dry. See for details and more comment on the thread topic.

http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=29142&p=367740&hilit=hanging+food#p367740

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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 24 May, 2020 1:15 pm

If anybody needs a really big barrel I still have some 200 litre blue barrels here. Naturally pick-up only.
These are the barrels I was using for secure and waterproof stashing at my annual winter camps, now very surplus to requirements. Also good for animal food storage or mini water tanks for the garden
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Possum Barrel

Postby CaptainC » Mon 27 Jul, 2020 8:42 pm

For car camping or food drops you can get empty metal drums with lids, eg https://www.perennialpackaging.com.au/p ... ead-pails/
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