Camp Kitchen and Chuck Box 101

Your chuckbox gets you out where the cool things live.

Chuck box basics.

(Harder than you might think!)

Critical design issues


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Chuck box design and construction notes.

Also, IT MUST BE PORTABLE! In fact, one person should be able to transport it, in it's fully loaded state, without strain. This is the mistake almost all chuck box builders and even most wood chuck box manufactures make. They use materials like 1/2" plywood which can weight around 50 lbs a sheet. Honestly, even 1/4 Baltic birch is too heavy as it weighs 28 lbs a sheet. The heaviest product we manufacture weighs 25 lbs total in it's empty state. That should be your weight rule because you know it can be done.

Additionally, vibration from roadways ( especially washboard dirt roads ) tends to loosen the mounting screws used for hinges and other metal hardware. This can happen very quickly. Thus, chuck boxes that have been designed by 'real campers' ( those who camp more than, say, ten times per year ) tend to not use metal hardware at all.

Also, be careful of things that 'look' like they would be cool to have. For example, a lantern hung over the cooking and preparation area may 'look' like a good idea but those of us that really camp have learned this also attracts bugs. This, almost certainly, will lead to an unwanted crunch in your food. ;-)

Attachable legs are usually a very bad idea because they either require a great deal of effort ( time ) to attach and/or form a wobbly support system. A stand is a much more quick and stable means of achieving the right height. How quickly a chuck box sets up is a critical issue.

There are many other design and construction concerns that buyers should scrutinize and builders should consider. We have published a book that sums up the factors to be considered when building and even buying a chuck box. How to Design, Build and Outfit Your Own Camp Kitchen. ( This book is also available as an EPUB on Amazon)


Here is a video that describes how to get from a checklist to a chuckbox to a complete inventory:


Other chuck box uses.

Remember also, your camping equipment should be at the center of your survival plan. Give me my camping gear and I can survive, with a large degree of comfort, almost anywhere, for an extended period of time.

And anytime you need a portable outdoor kitchen, be it for tailgating, picnicking, or just barbecuing out back, you'll have everything you need in your camping kitchen box.


Note: Chuck and grub are cowboy type terms for food. A chuck box, grub box, camp box, and patrol box are all the same thing.

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