As a kid I guess that I didn't really need a camp box. Richard Jaco and I would take out every Friday night and go trapping and spotlighting all night and then get up and go duck hunting at daylight. Sometimes we'd meet the local Game Warden, Sammy Brown, and go stake out an area to try to catch poachers. I guess like most kids, we didn't have much. We were lucky if we had a Coke and two pieces of candy to do us until we got home Saturday night.
So the first real camp box I ever had was somewhere in high school. I used money I won from my first bull riding winnings to buy some wood and built a box. Mom and dad bought me the utensils to go in it for Christmas. I still have the original coffee pot but who knows where the box and the rest of the camp set ended up.
Hopefully I've learned a little since those days. At least in my mind I've perfected what meets my needs. My current box is constructed out of 1/4-inch plywood and reinforced by 1x1's that I ripped. In one end I made a small trey to hold my silverware.
You'll have to outfit yours according to your desires but here is what I stocked mine with:
|Enamelware 8-cup Camp Coffee Pot|
- can opener
- coffee pot - Bass Pro Shops carries several coffe pots my favorite is the Enamelware 8-cup camp coffee pot
- large frying pan
- small frying pan
- coffee, spices, matches and extra lantern mantles
You'll want to paint it with some waterproof paint. I camo'd mine a little and used some deck varnish to protect it. I don't use mine as a stool. I don't want some fat terd splintering it.
You may wonder why I'm making such a big deal out of making a camp box and devoting a whole article to it. If you camp very much you know the frustration of getting ready to cook dinner and, Oh no — you forgot the can opener or the spatula. If you make a camp box all you have to do is to throw it in your truck and you're good to go. You'll never be without again.
I stocked mine with semi light weight gear. In the beginning I had all metal plates, bowls, cups and so forth. Metal cups aren't the best for drinking piping hot coffee so I evolved to plastic cups. Later I bought all my gear at garage sales but now I pretty much have lightweight plastic plates, cups and glasses in mine. BPS carries a wide array of choices to choose from. For coffee pots buy a good one because you want it to last a long time. Like I say, I've still got my original one...plus probably six more plus one of my dad's old ones.
And for pans, don't even think about buying a lightweight aluminum one. Once I went on a fishing trip. I'd taken a kid with me and right before setting up camp I built a fire and threw some egg rolls in a pan to be heating up.
In a few minutes I looked over and my pan had literally melted in half. Hmmm, that didn't work! That ruined dinner and my pan. From then on I bought heavier metal pots and pans since I cook over an open fire a lot of the time.
And lastly I wrap my skillets and pans in a plastic grocery bag so they don't smear black smudge over all of my dishes. Happy Camping!