Are Alu-Box bear proof ?

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
Headed up to Canada and Alaska to bear country. I'm wondering if the Alu-Box is bear proof when locked with a padlock? Maybe not officially but practically.

Thanks
 
Last edited:

llamalander

Active member
With ample evidence that car doors are not bear proof, I would say no.
Not only are bears smart enough to manipulate latches, they are strong enough to destroy thin gauge sheet-metal.
Most bear-resistant trash boxes are 3/32"-1/8" steel, I never seen an aluminum one.
Basically, if you can put a steak knife through it, a bear will get in it-
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Kinda agree. Living in the mountains and seeing how the relatively small Colorado Black Bear (compared to the huge Brown Bears) regularly peel open Hondas, Toyotas and Subi's for a Snickers bar I'd be a little worried. Have you checked with Paul May at Equipt?

Either way, have a fantastic adventure!
 

Factoid

Three criminal heroes
I read the best description of “bear proof” a few years ago. The best bear proof is “bear not interested” meaning make your camp uninteresting to any bears in the area or at least less interesting than nearby camps. Bears are master locksmiths. If they can’t open it, they will destroy it trying. This is amplified by hunger and this time of the year is when the males start emerging from hibernation followed by females with cubs. They are ravenous and your aluminum box is simply a wrapper around the goodness inside. Basically, your box is only as secure as the lack of interest to what’s inside, so keep food and bait out of the box and you might have a chance.
 

rgallant

Adventurer
Pretty much make your camp "bear safe"

Start simple check for bear sign before you setup if there is a lot of bear scat in the area move on.

If the camp site has a a lot of garbage around same rule move on, odds are it will attract garbage bears

Keep a clean camp - I know it sounds trite but no open bags of chips etc.
Clean everything up when you are done wash your dishes and so on.
I keep any open food packages like chips inside sealed zip lock bags in a sealed container when I am done.

If you have any doubts about open food, the old method of storing it at least 100 meters away and up tree still works.

I am in BC and travel through black and grizzly bear country regularly and I have not had any issues so far just following those basic steps.

Your 2 biggest issues with bears are always "garbage bears" the ones who are used to both people and rooting through the garbage that gets left behind by those who don't care.

And sows with cubs, cub are just like young kids inquisitive and not too bright. They may just want to see what you are, but mom will not be impressed in a big way and try to chase you off.
 

Rezarf <><

Explorer
If you are camping at established campgrounds in bear country most have lockers on sight for your food storage. I would not count on an aluminum product to repel forced entry of a grizzly... or black bear for that matter. It is still a sound piece of kit for your adventure, this scenario puts the boxes well past their intended usage.
 

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
I called Equipt and was told they didn't think the boxes would withstand a bear attack. I seem to agree. I plan on keeping the camp unattractive for bears but like to have options. I can always get another yeti and use it for food storage away from camp if need be.
 

pluton

Adventurer
I bought the one low-end Zarges case that I have because it was, in my estimation, small animal proof. Small means mice, rats, birds, raccoons, etc. Bears don't count as 'small.'
And this:
bear flowchart.jpg
 

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
Can't vouch for Alu-Box but know that three sizes of the Zarges K470 are "bear resistant." From what I understand, and for what it's worth, Zarges cases are the original aluminum travel cases.

One thing I like about them is that the rubber seal/gasket is in the lid, not along the edge of the bottom part of the case. The way I do things, that seal will stay less scuffed or damaged in the lid than it would if around the bottom part of the case.

I have three of the cases in two of the K470 bear-resistant sizes for my outdoor camp kitchen and have used them all over the US. They've been approved to stay out before by park rangers in bear country. I'm in Maine right now, then headed up to the Maritime Provinces, and hopefully this summer across Canada to BC, the Yukon, and Alaska, and know I have the right cases for the trip.

Here's the Zarges page on the K470 sizes.

They are pricey, but rugged, dependable, and will outlive me by generations. I don't regret for one second getting mine.

Here are two vids with bears and Zarges aluminum cases:



Here's two of mine in my typical base camp kitchen setup:

roaddude_partnerstove22-3699.jpg

All of this doesn't mean I'd leave them out, though, in bear country while away from camp. As noted above a few times, making one's camp as unappealing as possible is wise. Keep your food and food containers put away, and all pots, pans, utensils etc cleaned up from food smells as much as possible. Don't wipe your hands on your clothes, either, when out hiking and camping. We all have stories about someone being woken in the middle of the night by a bear poking its head into a tent, rooting around for the source of that great bacon smell someone wiped on their pants leg.

Hope that helps in your decision!
 
Last edited:

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
thanks I posted about the Zarges boxes . A much better option than using a Yeti for a food storage box.
 

OCD Overland

Explorer
Bears carry can openers on their paws, so, no.

It's interesting that only two specific zarges boxes are certified. I wonder if that's all they submitted, or all that passed.

I wish the IGBC would publish a list of boxes/coolers that failed the bear test. I know a bear would have a hard time with my Hardigg cases, but they aren't certified and I have no way of knowing if they've even been tested. I doubt it.
 
Last edited:

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
thanks I posted about the Zarges boxes . A much better option than using a Yeti for a food storage box.
Mike, sorry I didn't notice the link to Zarges in your post. I have to say I absolutely love my Zarges cases for food storage. Easily the best containers I've ever used for food, or anything else for that matter. I just bought another one they had on clearance that I'm going to use as field desk and table, I think. It's wide both ways but short in height.
 

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
Bears carry can openers on their paws, so, no.

It's interesting that only two specific zarges boxes are certified. I wonder if that's all they submitted, or all that passed.

I wish the IGBC would publish a list of boxes/coolers that failed the bear test. I know a bear would have a hard time with my Hardigg cases, but they aren't certified and I have no way of knowing if they've even been tested. I doubt it.
There are three K470s that are listed as "bear resistant" actually; #40810, #40568, and #40678, but it's a great question if those are the only ones submitted. The 40678 is a pretty good-sized box, almost two feet long by over thirteen inches deep, so I can't imagine that it's only small sizes that are bear-resistant.

Aren't the Hardigg cases primarily military? They have no real reason to test for bear-resistance, I suspect, but it would be interesting to see how they test. I suspect they'd pass with flying colors.
 
Top