Bear-Resistant Containers

Mention in this document of commercial goods or services does not constitute an endorsement by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

Bear-resistant containers come in all sizes and shapes, from ultra light backpacker food containers weighing a few ounces, to dumpsters able to hold 20 tons. Although some of these products have been tested by trial and error through direct experience with bears, some meet criteria for "bear-resistant" that can be found at websites of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee ( for grizzly bears. See also Living with Predators Resources Guides for additional information on black bear and grizzlies. Select from the following list to read more about containers suitable for a particular use:

Camping with backpacks, lightweight boats, or bicycles

Extra Lightweight Food Storage Containers

Camping with boats, airplanes, horses or all-terrain vehicles

Extra Lightweight Food Storage Containers
Aluminum Boxes and Panniers

Backcountry cabins, lodges or residences

Steel Barrels with Locking Lids
Large Portable Containers
Walk-in Storage Containers

Campgrounds or neighborhoods

Large Portable Containers
Permanently Mounted Food and Trash Containers

Field camps or small industry

Permanently Mounted Food and Trash Containers
Containers For Community Solid Waste Systems
Walk-in Storage Containers

Extra Lightweight Food Storage Containers

bear resistant container BearVault Model BV500 Solo Bear Resistant Food Canister
3419 Via Lido, Ste 638
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Weighs 2 lbs 1 oz with a 440 cubic inch/4 day capacity. Offers full access, rain-proof opening and retention guides for strapping the canister to the outside of a backpack.

Backpacker's Cache Model 812
Garcia Industries
14097 Avenue 272
Visalia, CA 93292
Manufactures a 615 cubic inch (internal volume) bear-resistant backpacking food container. Approved for use in the U.S. National Park System in Alaska.

bear resistant container Counter Assault Bear Keg Model BK-914
120 Industrial Court
Kalispell, Montana 59901
(800) 695-3394
Weighs 3.1 lbs with 716 cubic inch/6-8 day capacity. Height: 14 inches, Diameter: 9 inches.

Aluminum Boxes and Panniers

bear-proof cooler

Heavy gauge aluminum is an excellent material for bear-resistant boxes and panniers. Boxes should meet USFS criteria for bear-proof containers, which include: "(a) resist a direct force of 200-pounds; and (b) contain no cracks, external hinges, gaps, etc. by which a bear can force the container open using claws or teeth."

9145 Glenoaks Blvd.
Sun Valley, CA 91352

Vendor for this Product

Bear Country Containers
P.O. Box 38
Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
406-763-4364 (phone/fax)
Manufacturer and retailer of certified bear-resistant aluminum panniers.

Fritz Creek Welding
40095 Martin Drive
Homer, Alaska 99603
Manufactures custom aluminum bear-resistant boxes for camp, boat or airplane. Seamless construction with a bear proof lid design.

bear can

Steel Barrels with Locking Lids

Steel barrels (or "drums") can be used with appropriately fastened lids for food and garbage storage. Because bears have been known to crush lighter gauge drums, it is suggested only heavier gauge drums be used.

Grizzly Can
ShowerTek, Inc.
2557 Napa Valley Corporation Dr. Ste. #F
Napa, CA 94558
Manufactures 55-gallon drum with hinged locking lid with "bear-proof" locking mechanism.

Arctic Fire and Safety
702 30th Ave.
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Sells 15 to 55-gallon drums with locking lids.

Unitech of Alaska
7600 King Street
Anchorage, AK 99518
Phone: 907-349-5142
Fax: 907-349-2733
Sells 55-gallon drums with locking lids.

New Pig Corporation
One Pork Avenue
Tipton, PA 16684-0304
Manufactures 5 to 110-gallon steel drums with locking bolt rings and available phenolic/epoxy linings.

Permanently Mounted Food and Trash Containers

Permanently mounted containers for campgrounds, businesses and homes are among the most effective devices for keeping bears from human food sources.

Haul-All Equipment Systems
4115-18th Ave. North
Lethbridge, Alberta, T1H 5G1
1 (888) 428-5255
This company manufactures "Hid-A-Bag" bear-resistant containers from 32 gallons to 6 cubic yards. These permanently mounted containers are in use in over 250 national, state, and provincial parks across Canada and the United States including Talkeetna, Alaska. Haul-All also manufactures a complete bear-resistant refuse collection system, which consists of specially built trucks and containers.

Vendor for this product
Whitehorse Motors 4178 4th Avenue
Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 1J6

Bear Necessities Waste and Food Storage, Inc.
210 Lady MacDonald Dr.
Canmore, Alberta, Canada T1W! H3
Manufactures bear-resistant containers for campgrounds and permanent installation. Sized from 60 to 200 gallon. Self-closing top doors, emergency release chain on rear door allows for the event a child may crawl in and become trapped. Company also makes "hydraulically activated waste containers for community collection stations.

P.O. Box 6412
Battlement Mesa, CO 81636
Manufactures permanently mounted trash and food lockers with "bear-resistant lids to keep you compliant with local ordinances." Manufactures a full complement of 2 to 8 yard dumpsters, both front and rear loading, and a 95 gallon rollaway "tipper cart." And wall mounted food lockers for cabins and unique applications. Containers are used by state agencies in Colorado and Montana, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army and Air Force.

Wildflower Meadows, LLC
14113 NE Airport Dr, Ste 100
Vancouver, WA 98684
Supplies bear-proof food storage lockers in three different sizes, from 15 to 24 Cubic feet. Uses a two-point self-latching system with an inner, easy to operate child safety latch release mechanism.


Portable Wheeled Containers For Neighborhoods

Cascade Engineering aka Cascade Cart Solutions
4950 Thirty-Seventh Street SE
Grand Rapids MI 49512
Manufactures "The Bear Cart" 96 Gallon Bear-resistant, roll out cart with solid, threaded steel lid hinge bar.

Vendors for this product:

Peninsula Sanitation
A Waste Management Company
43335 Kalifornsky Beach Rd. Suite #7
Soldotna, Alaska 99669
Rents Cascade tipper carts to garbage pick-up subscribers on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Bear Guard Company
P.O. Box 89
Tahoe City, CA 96145
Manufactures steel containers for residential use. Used widely in the Lake Tahoe area.

1390 S. Milliken Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
Manufactures campground food storage, public use trash enclosures with chutes and low cost residential trash can enclosures. Trailhead boxes and custom aluminum fabrication are also available. Enclosures are ADA accessible and have been tested on brown bears.

mackey dumpster

Containers For Community Solid Waste Systems

Capital Industries
5801 3rd Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98108
Manufactures bear-resistant dumpsters from 2 to 40 yards. 2 and 4-yard bear-resistant models are in use on the Kenai. This company has supplied dumpsters for use in National Forests and the grizzly recovery area in Montana.

Mountain National Park
Gatlinburg, TN
Manufactures 2,3.4-yard dumpsters. Approved for use in Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

Haul-All Hyd-A-Way
Haul-All Equipment
4155-18 Ave North
Lethbridge, AB T1H 5G1
htpp:// Manufactures a very widely used bear-resistant system-requires conversion to entire system-bins plus specialized trucks. Approved for use in U.S. National Parks. System is used in Prudhoe Bay oilfield where both grizzly and polar bears present.

Walk-in Storage Containers

Large steel shipping containers are almost certainly bear-proof and can be used for permanent and semi permanent storage.

Summit Logistics
3453 Truck Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Sells and leases 20-40 foot walk-in style steel shipping containers-generically called "conex"-that meet international shipping standards. Conexes have been used at oil exploration and production sites in both grizzly and polar bear habitat.

NOTE: In northern Canada outfitters and remote camp owners store equipment in the off season in small-corrugated steel grain silos fitted with a bear proof lock on the man-door. No vendor is known for Alaska.