My Camping Chuck Box

One of the biggest things that prevents people from going camping is how long it takes to prepare for a trip.  One way to cut down this time is to make yourself a camping chuck box.  A chuck box, also known as a patrol box, is really just a self contained set of kitchen gear.  It’s history goes back to the cowboy era in the American Southwest.  It was the primary component of the Chuck Wagon.

A chuck wagon held all of the cooking equipment, from pots and pans to silverware, and also all the dry goods necessary for such a transient lifestyle.

My chuck box holds the essential cooking equipment along with a couple of other necessary supplies.  When I get ready for a camping trip, I don’t need to decide which pans to bring.  I won’t forget silverware.  I know I’ll have matches and a flashlight.

Take a look at what’s inside my Camping Chuck Box


  • Lantern Mantles
  • Multitool
  • Lighter
  • Matches
  • Headlamp
  • Mini Mag-lite
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Turners (plastic and metal)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can Opener
  • Biodegradable Dish Soap
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Bandaids
  • 9×12 inch Cutting Board
  • Salt & Pepper (This is the one I’d like to get)
  • GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
  • Spare Batteries
  • Silverware
  • Small Cutting Board
  • Marshmallow Roasting Forks (MANDATORY :))

Some people say a chuck box isn’t complete without dry goods like coffee, flour, sugar, or even a roll of aluminum foil.  I don’t have these things in my box for a couple of reasons.  I prefer to take only the food I’m going to use and I like to rotate through food so I don’t have to worry about whether it’s still good to eat.

It’s easy enough to put it all together in a different container right before we leave.  I also pack food away in the car at night so we don’t have to worry about critters digging through it.  I can keep my chuck box out and ready without attracting said critters.

You may choose to build your own chuck box.  This is a nice option if you have the space.  We are car campers so everything needs to fit in the trunk.  It is easier for me to fit a bunch of smaller containers in the truck rather than a few big ones.  Because of this, I chose against building my own.  They also can be quite heavy.  That was another turnoff for me.

Before your next camping adventure, take some time to prepare for your future trips.  This chuck box fits in the truck of my car and only weighs 20 pounds fully loaded.

Print Friendly

About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
This entry was posted in Camping, Outdoor Cooking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Eddie Bashaw

    This is a really cool idea. I’ve been a camper my whole life and using one handy box like this is such a time saver. 

  • Raun Lauterbach

    It really is pretty slick. We used to use the “throw it all in storage containers” method and always got frustrated because we couldn’t find what we were looking for. Now, everything has a defined place and is easy to get at.

  • Sheree

    May I ask where you bought your “chuck box” ? I love the idea and want to do it for out hunting trip coming up. We have been campers all our lives and this would definitely make camp life much easier. Thanks for your great blog!!

  • Raun Lauterbach

    I got it at a local hardware store. Basically, I had it before I turned it into my “chuck box.” It just happened to be the right size to fit my cookset into it. Everything else fits around it. Thanks for stopping by!