When Chris said he'd keep his eye out for camping gear at the Barrie Flea Market this year, I thought he was just saying it so I'd let him go. I wouldn't have stopped him either way but honestly, I didn't think he'd find anything camping related, so I just rolled my eyes and told him to have fun. I've been to the Flea Market at Burls Creek Family Event Park and I don't recall ever seeing anything but rusty car parts and...for some reason, tube socks. (Okay, I did get a set of canisters there one year...but that was an anomaly.)
Imagine my surprise when he came home with a 60L food barrel/canoe barrel. I've wanted one of these for ages but since we haven't managed to do more than single night trips, it didn't seem worth the expense...of course it could be taken the other way, we haven't done longer trips because we didn't have the gear to do them...but that's beside the point. (Ours isn't exactly the same as the one showed in the link, but it's similar.)
These barrels are great for keeping your food dry, even if you flip your canoe, and because this one is pretty big it should be able to hold our clothes and some other things that need to be kept try. They are also sturdy and therefor are a safe place to store anything that you don't want getting banged around. Even for car camping, they can be handy. They are pretty much animal proof. so if you head off to the beach for the afternoon, you can feel confident leaving the barrel at your site without worrying about critters eating your hotdog buns.
It is possible, apparently, to get ones that are about 30L for free if you ask at a grocery store that has an olive cart. The olives come in barrels that are very sturdy and have good tight fitting lids. I've tried this, but none of the stores around us get their olives that way, but rather in small pails. I'm wondering if maybe in a larger town or a city, the stores would go through enough to buy them in larger size containers, so I'll keep trying and let you know how I make out.
A while back, Chris brought home a small olive barrel from work. It's only about 15" high, but we thought it would be perfect for one night trips, to keep food dry, especially if you are taking dehydrated foods. You can try asking at restaurants that serve things like greek salad, or maybe at a pizza place or Subway.
Now, ours didn't come with a harness, but I know a few places where I can get them, or we can take the advice of the man Chris bought it from and cut up an old backpack.
I'm hoping to post a picture of the barrel and maybe see just how much gear I can stuff into it. In the meantime, does anyone have any advice for making a harness either from an old backpack or from scratch, let me know. I'm thinking of trying the latter. If it works, I'll post the instructions here.