Chuck Boxes and Camp Kitchens


Have you seen out my outdoor gear guide?

Here’s another survey of chuck boxes and camp kitchens. There’s lots of interesting ideas, plans and designs out there!

chuck boxes and camp kitchens Troop 416’s chuckbox plans available here
chuck boxes camp kitchens Image gallery of this chuckbox available here
chuck boxes camp kitchens Trailer mounted chuck box see more images here

chuck boxes and camp offers a number of ready-made chuck boxes.
chuck boxes and camp kitchens Follow the planning and building of this handsome chuckbox here
chuck boxes and camp kitchensJust don’t let things get out of hand!
chuck boxes and camp kitchensBut we can dream, right? The Roll’s Royce bespoke picnic basket

I am still planning my ultimate field kitchen/patrol box Here is a proposed design.
Don’t miss  these Let me know.

Follow’s board Chuck Box on Pinterest.



  1. Mick says

    for those saying these are just for car camping are wrong,
    we use them for canoe trips and boat trips = wanigan which i think is cree for kitchen.
    they are great for base camps.

    • mdoss says

      Mick –
      I been reading about wanigans and there use for canoe camping. Do you have any picture of the ones you are using?

  2. charles marshall says

    Hi Jym. When I was a scout. I built a kitchen box from 1/2 ” plywood similar to the ones at That size takes well to routers as long as they’re sharp. Use glue as well as nails .It will strengthen the box. Using any plankwood will add to your weight. bluesky has 2 books. One for building the ones they also sell(camp boxes), and one that teaches you to design your own lightweight Box if you haven’t already done one thispast year. good luck . charles

    • Mike says

      The plywood you want to use is called Baltic Birch plywood (some people might call it apple wood). It traditionally comes in 5′ x 5′ sheets, in a 1/2″ piece you will have 9-plys. Regular 1/2 plywood will have 4plys. The stuff is very strong and 1/2″ to 3/8″ (maybe even 1/4″) would be more than antiquate for the structure and 1/8″ would work perfect for the dividers. You won’t find this stuff at home depot or lowes you need to look up hardwood suppliers in the phone book, should be in the $30 range for a sheet of 1/2″

  3. Steve J says

    Shawn, being every Troop is different, some may not have “chuck boxes”. My sons troop basically stays @ camp, does very little back packing. Consider yourself lucky , in this regard. To answer your question it is a portable kitchen, with most or all your kitchen needs, minus the food of course.
    Jym, I found a chuck box @ a moving sale that is made of 1/4″ Luan plywood. It has slats attached to the sides for shelf / drawer slides.Don’t know what your building supply company situation is. The big box stores may not have what you need. Try & find a lumber yard that will more than may have a better selection of plywood. Or have them order you a piece, depending on the $$ & what you want. Try on line, there should be plans that you could use , or modify to your liking. Good Luck….

  4. Jym Dhoe says

    I don’t know if this is a good place to post this, but I was looking to make a chuck box, and the only planks of wood I can find are 1″ or maybe 3/4″ thick. I’ve heard that even 3/4″ ends up being too heavy for a chuck box and that 1/2″ wood should be used, but the only thing I can find in 1/2″ thickness is plywood. Is plywood decent enough to use for a chuck box? I wanted to route out some channels for the shelves, etc., but I’m not sure how well plywood deals with a router.

    • Dorothy Rowe says

      Hi Jym,
      I have found that 1/2″ is very hard to find. See if you can find someone with a planer and have it planned to the thickness you want… Just an idea. Dorothy

    • Jim Spence says

      You’re right, dimensional hardwood is normally sold rough in full inch, called “four quarter” or surfaced and costly, at 3/4″ thick. For a camp box (take this from a seasoned outdoors guy and a woodworker), plywood is THE way to go. If you use any decent plywood (ACX or CDX is exterior grade) or the prettier birch options, and finish it with several coats of exterior polyurethane, it will be strong enough and light enough to do the job. You don’t want to be joining strips of hardwood to make the widths necessary for a kitchen box- only the best joinery will withstand the weather demands. Using plywood, you’ll want to get smart on use of firring strips or rabbets and grooves to join your edges. Find a serious woodworker or shop teacher in the community and discuss one of the online plans- you’ll be in good hands.

  5. says

    What is this Chuck Box that you speak of? My troop has none of these and never will (tongue in cheek). Seriously, we won’t, as our troop is a backpacking troop, and we carry our kitchens on our backs (as well as our bedroom and bathroom).
    I do have some “car camping” gear that I will lug on occasion, but that’s only if we are defintely staying in a building or if we are camping a short walk from the parking lot.
    Great post and a lot of good links, thanks!

    • Keith L. says

      Our troop has 3 of these chuck boxes the boys have constructed over the last 12 years. We don’t consider them to be “car camping gear”. They are well used on every campout by the adults and the boys. If you limit your troop to backpacking only you may be missing some learning experiences, ie: sharing responsibilities and duties which include cooking meals for the troop, duty rosters, assigning chores, setup and takedown , cleanup, just to name a few. We do backpack also, which I find much easier, but this is integrated into giving the boys a well rounded experience. We have never camped in a building, we have constructed our own shelters as needed in primitive conditions on hikes.
      What are these “parking lots” you speak of? (tongue in cheek) we’ve never camped close to a parking lot. Thanks for the info on your troop.

      • Larry Geiger says

        Hi Keith

        I guess that I don’t understand. If they aren’t “car camping gear”, do you take them backpacking? I don’t think that I understood this comment, “We don’t consider them to be “car camping gear”.” Car camping usually means that you take your gear “in a car”?

        • Keith L. says

          Larry, you need to read the post by sm shawn that I was replying to. He went out of his way to post on this article about building patrol boxes just to say they don’t use them and referring to them as “car camping gear.” A backpacking only troop? That’s much easier on the leaders, but it misses a lot of marks.