When I go camping, there’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning to discover racoons have got into the food in my cooler. Luckily, using the right type of cooler can prevent this from happening.
Yeti coolers are racoon proof, but only the hard Tundra coolers because you can fit a Yeti-approved lock to them. Other hard and soft Yetis aren’t racoon proof because you can’t lock them and racoons can sometimes work out how to open them and steal your food.
If you’re interested in investing in a Tundra cooler to keep racoons away, it’s good to understand how they work and if they keep other creatures away as well.
What Makes Tundra Yeti Coolers Racoon Proof?
What makes Tundra coolers racoon proof is the fact that you can lock them with a Yeti-approved padlock, which is durable enough to keep racoons and other animals (including bears) out of the cooler.
However, you should make sure you buy a Yeti-approved padlock (or one that’s strong enough to withstand racoons).
You can buy these Yeti Padlocks from Yeti or Amazon, which are long enough for a Tundra cooler and very strong.
Keep what's inside your cooler safe from hungry bears (and humans) with these bear proof locks. The extra-long shank Master Lock Padlocks fit perfectly onto Yeti Tundra coolers and have be thoroughly tested in both controlled bear simulations and with wild grizzly bears.
Otherwise, the correct size lock for a Yeti Tundra cooler should have a shackle length of 2.5 inches a maximum diameter of 4/10 inch. This guide to the best Yeti locks should also help you choose the right one.
Alternatively, you could use a Cable Lock that allows you to lock the cooler and also attach it to a heavy object for extra stability and safety.
Tundra coolers also meet the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s standards for bear proofing, meaning they are highly durable, tamper proof and can withstand the force of a grizzly bear.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to lock other hard Yeti coolers and racoons have no issues forcing open the zips in soft coolers.
How To Keep Racoons Out of a Non-Racoon Proof Cooler
If you don’t want to invest in a Tundra cooler or don't have the required padlocks, here’s how to keep racoons out of your cooler:
- Place your cooler in the car overnight. Racoons emerge at night when everyone is asleep and they can’t be disturbed. Keeping the cooler in your car overnight makes it impossible for them to breach.
- Place a large, heavy object on the cooler. Racoons are crafty creatures and find clever ways of opening coolers. However, they’re not big animals and aren’t strong enough to open a cooler with something heavy on it. Big rocks or even another cooler could do the trick.
- Use odor-proof bags for food. Racoons can easily detect the smell of food, even if it’s in a durable cooler like a Yeti. Yeti coolers are NOT smell proof. Odor-proof bags provide an effective barrier as they don’t allow the food smells to escape.
Consider buying some from Amazon (like these Odor Proof Storage Bags). It can be a hassle storing your food in them but worth it when you don’t get racoons.
Prevent air-sensitive foods from getting stale, extend food's shelf life and keep smells away from animals when camping with these odor proof storage bags.
- Use ratchet straps. Securing a ratchet strap or two around your cooler will definitely keep racoons out of it. For extra peace of mind, consider using heavy duty straps.
For example, consider these Stanley Cargo Ratchet Straps from Amazon. The nice thing about these is that they’re a great investment because you can use them for various other scenarios.
- Use rope or paracord. If you don’t have ratchet straps, tying your cooler shut with some durable rope or paracord can help.