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Old 07-12-2014   #1
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
The actual required lock for bear coolers

I have an IGBC approved Yeti Tundra, but I have not yet bought the locks to make it fully bear resistant. I see locks on sites like NRS, but they are pricy, and I am convinced if I use locks I will just lose the keys anyway. Combo locks seem likely to get grit and sand problems. I have seen discussions of people using bolts, but am unclear if they are officially acceptable in the eyes of the feds.

So, does anyone know, and is there anyplace where this stuff is documented? I can find the IBGC website, but it looks unmaintained and doesn't say anything on my question.

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Old 07-12-2014   #2
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Gypsum, Colorado
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Posts: 458
Just buy some nuts and bolts with washers. Easy Cheap

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Old 07-12-2014   #3
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Or a little carabiner. It's a bear, not a teenager.
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Old 07-13-2014   #4
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vancouver, Washington
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Just get some salmon decals for your buddies cooler

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Old 07-13-2014   #5
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
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follow this link, scroll down to "coolers and dryboxes", there it sates coolers must be used in conjunction with a bolt or padlock... So I'd say a bolt would work fine. Why not a carbineer? who knows... should work but not technically approved. If in an area where they are required why mess with something not "approved".

I imagine you could always call one of the two folks listed on page one for clarification...
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 07-13-2014   #6
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. I checked earlier this year and the list was more than a year old. This one's from May, and much longer.

Make mine bolts; hard to lose the key and you can carry a couple of spares in the repair kit.
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Old 07-14-2014   #7
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 106
I own a Tundra and have been in your shoes. A carabiner will not work - not the right shape. If you don't use a lock, and a bear gets in, you are not in compliance with the manufacturer's specifications to make the cooler bear-proof. (If you care about that). A lock would also keep hobos out of your beer in the grocery store parking lot, restaurant, etc. (Won't prevent theft of the entire cooler.) Also, most likely of all, a lock will keep teenagers out of your beer in camp. If you are looking for your own off-brand padlock, fitting the lock is difficult, since you want no slop/slack. A few years ago at Home Depot, I found pair of Master locks, reasonably priced, keyed alike, that had shackles long enough and thin enough to fit. There was a little slop, so I cut a short spacer from plastic tubing to fill the gap. There is a risk of losing the key, so I bring a spare and so far no problems. I worry a little about rust jamming the innards of the lock but so far, so good. In known, serious, bear encounter country, I think I'd go with the locks, as they will, for sure, keep the lid closed.

I also think bolts work fine, and would probably keep the lid closed in the event of a bear encounter. Bolts may well be the better option. No key to lose, and easier to get the right, tight, fit. (Very easy to drop small metal parts into the river, though...) Track down hardware made of stainless or at least galvanized. Make it easy on yourself; use eye-bolts and wing-nuts, or some other combination that will not make you use tools every time you open the cooler. My bolts fit better with the nut on the bottom.

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Old 07-14-2014   #8
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
My reluctance for locks is premised on the certainty of dropping things in the river. Eyebolts are good, already using wingnuts. Could somehow fasten the eyebolt to the handle, that would slow down losing it. The major thing is the reference to the fed guideline on bolts and yeti in the link to IGBC doc. I'm convinced we will see more and more bear proof requirements, given the reports off deso this year wouldn't be surprised to see it required next year. Personally, I'm more concerned with raccoons. They're very similar to teenagers.

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