View Full Version : Food Cache w/ Steel Ammo Can on NCT?

08-02-2013, 08:48
Ill be doing a 6 day section of the NCT in Pictured Rocks NL. Would an ammo can with a padlocked lid be a good enough "bear resistant" container? I don't own a bear vault.

This is my girlfriends first week long backpacking trip. I would like to keep the pack weight down the best I can. As it stands now food is about half of our total pack weight. Any help appreciated.

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08-02-2013, 11:48
NPS is ok with food cash as long as its not accessible to bears.

Here is my plan:
I want to use this ammo can:
Should hold all my needed food and even some cool stuff like clean socks. :)

I want to get a bike chain, two padlocks and two hasp kits. Mount the male end of the hasps in the bottom of the center slit in the latches. Then padlock through them so the lid can't come off. (A project I've wanted to do to this can for a while as its my Jeep toolbox.) Then use a cable through the channel welded on the side around a tree.

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08-03-2013, 08:47
Don't know if there are local rules or not, but I've seen notices on USFS bulletin boards specifically stating that caches of food or supplies are not allowed, though like most rules this would be almost impossible to enforce.

Pedaling Fool
08-03-2013, 08:54
You should remove the ID data, but that's just the Gunner in me talking.

08-03-2013, 10:09
Iwould take the approach of hiding it/burying it rather than locking it up. If it found locked up, someone will think it is worth taking. Buried, low likelihood of finding it. Colter, who is on this sire used Caches extensively during his last long hike. I would suggest either reading through his desert trail journal or sending him a PM.


08-03-2013, 10:27
FWIW, the NPS service uses old ammo cans at some of their campsites in RMNP (more for the marmots!).

I saw a couple who did the Colorado Trail and they used ammo cans for their caches as well.

As for legality, all depends on the area. Call the range district or national park office.

Using some quick Google Fu, I found this blurb from this site: http://www.nps.gov/grba/parkmgmt/backcountry-regulations.htm

"Caching of food and water supplies in the backcountry for use on extended backcountry trips is permitted All caches must be clearly marked with a date when they were deposited. Unmarked caches or caches left in excess of 30 days may be removed by park staff."

Seems caches are legal at least in some areas...just pick it up when you are done..AND (very important) call the local office first. :)

08-03-2013, 11:05
I called the local office, they told me if I follow bear protocol they don't care they have no rules against food caches.

There is a pdf on the following site that lists a similar can with 4 u channels in the lid as rated for bear. I only have Black Bear to deal with so maybe I'll be ok with just the can.


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08-03-2013, 11:32
I would need to hike the cache in 1.6 miles. The day before the trip. Its doable. I plan to hide it really well from humans, way off of the trail, bears getting in are my concern.

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