It’s simple. Reduce the air exposure, keep water out and your dry goods will last longer. You also keep the rodents at bay unless they can smell through tough polyethylene, sealed plastic. While some rodents are pretty determined, I figure if a bear can’t smell through this stuff, then neither can rodents. We’ve been using these barrels for Boundary Waters canoe camping since the early 90’s. they are nice because around the camp, they can be used to sit on or as a work surface. At night or when you leave camp during the day, you simply stash them by laying them 50 feet away from your campfire , in a slump in the ground. They you throw some sticks and brush over the top of them to break up their appearance and off you go. Bears and rodents walk right by. Pouring down rain is meaningless and short of a flood carrying them away, they are impenetrable. Bears can get into them, but they have to wail on them for a long time because they are slippery even on rocks.
OK, that is the camping use. But, what about the overlooked uses for these barrels that REALLY make them worth owning? They are a ridiculously simple design. They stack. They do not retain any odors. So, why can’t you have a half a dozen of these in your basement or one in each closet of your home as a “go bag” with food, clean-dry-warm clothes, a medical kit, water, and everything you’d need for a catastrophe. Heck, at 60 liters in size, you could pack food for a family of 4 for 7 days with no effort. You could also have another with clothing and one more with a medical kit. Lock up a pistol and ammo. Bugspray. Rope, a small ax, duct tape, a screwdriver, hunting knife, batteries, small radio, small saw, footwear, and stuff that you need to grab quickly and all in one, durable, waterproof, airtight spot. Need to go fast? Grab the barrels and throw them in the box of the truck in the blinding rain. Need to stash them? Bury them in the garden or in a ditch. Come back later for them.
I know this sounds a little extreme, but depending on where you live, a wildfire could wipe you out in a half an hour. You see it on the news all the time. People all over the country being mandated to evacuate NOW. Just think if you had four barrels with everything you need to survive for 7 days all ready to go. Run down in the basement, grab ’em, throw them in the back of the car and get going, now. Given just the wildfires in California of the last few years, is this that crazy sounding or is having a little bit of preparedness, the responsible thing to do? And, I’m not talking about really knocking yourself out doing it. Put the stuff that you would need to get by in a barrel, lock it up, set it somewhere you can find it fast. How hard is that to do, really?
It’s just a thought.
The other thing you could do is have your travel gear all locked up in one spot. If you come to Minnesota every year for a vacation, what if everything you needed to do your trip was replenished and airtight at the end of your trip. Next year, when the time comes, your tackle, reels, travel rod, plus specific clothing and gear are all in an airtight container. Time to go? Grab your barrel and head north or south if you are from Canada.
The point is, these barrels are really, really useful and they don’t cost a lot. And, unless they are filled with gold bullion, they float like a duck.
Who would have thought that something so simple could be so handy, eh?